Most people who thoroughly researched their options for offshore incorporation or even migration to a very favourable jurisdiction tend to arrive at the same conclusion: Singapore is a great choice. This is partly due to their favourable taxation but also things such as ease of doing business, a highly efficient legal system based on common law – not to mention the weather and infrastructure. It therefore goes without saying that these days, Singapore has become much more than just a hub for regional offices: it attracts a special kind of financially savvy expat who know what they’re doing.
Setting up a business in Singapore – How it is done
If you’ve dealt with countries where there is a lot of red tape, setting up business in Singapore will come with a sense of relief. That is because systems are incredibly streamlined and even the legal system has largely gone digital these days. E-Sandhurst business consultants in Singapore is a leading example of how service providers are geared to help expats in a fast and efficient way. Essentially, whatever you can think of from company registration, statutory compliance needs and ongoing accounting – and even migration assistance, is managed by the same consulting unit. This helps in many cases, for example if you are a high-net-worth-individual and you do not want too many helpers handling your business – then dealing with a single point of contact is the best way.
Choosing the right structure
Tax planning is essential and is indeed a major reason Singapore is favoured. For this reason, a sensible starting point is to decide on the right corporate structure. Just as international business companies (IBC’s) are renowned in some parts of the world, so does Singapore have a unique entity: it is known as an “exempt private company” (EPC). Your consultant will guide you through the process to meet the requirements for such an entity which will in turn make you subject to some major tax breaks. Where appropriate, consultants may propose other structures too which depend entirely on individual needs.
Statutory compliance and corporate secretarial services
Once an appropriate structure has been selected and incorporated, there will be ongoing statutory compliance. In Singapore, relevant legislation is known as “The companies act Cap 50”, which requires that a qualified secretary be appointed within 6 months from the date of incorporation. There is in fact a range of activities that is covered under corporate secretarial services: Opening bank accounts, annual returns, annual general meetings, maintaining statutory registers where appropriate and so forth. The key is to work with a provider that can take care of all these things by means of a one-stop solution.
Taking care of tax and accounting
Once a legal entity is up and running, it can be used to trade, or purely for investment purposes. Whichever way, tax and accounting in Singapore is something to take care of. It can be that your new entity requires assistance on an annual basis – or more frequently depending on it’s activities. Just as EU countries have “VAT”, so does Singapore have “GST” – known as general sales tax. In some cases, you’d be required to register for GST. It is good to know these requirements and any possible exceptions – so it is a key question to ask during consultation.
Many people realise that countries like Switzerland, Malta and Belize have their own limitations and they started to look east. Today, even things like online betting and casinos are administered from within Singapore. To date, there is yet to be a serious contender that can provide parity on so many different points with Singapore. Regardless of weather you require a great location to migrate to as an expatriate or simply a regional hub in the heart of the APAC region, incorporating and doing business in Singapore could just be the next thing on your list. You may want to look into schemes offered by the government and discuss these in depth with your business consultant.