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Why do Foreign Businesses Choose Singapore Over Other Countries?

Why do Foreign Businesses Choose Singapore Over Other Countries?


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Singapore has long held its status as a premier destination for international companies. Whether it’s an international expansion or setting up company headquarters, the country has been the focal point for commercial ventures across ASEAN and Asia. The favorable legal and tax regimes largely shape the country’s status as a preferred investment destination in Asia. Singapore boasts a highly integrated financial system, besides being one of the most investor and business-friendly countries in the world. Forward-thinking businesses rightly seek professional assistance for company formation in Singapore to fast-track the process.

Singapore’s financial system is deeply integrated with the global market, positioning the country as a strategic gateway to some of the largest combined free trade areas through ASEAN. This includes free trade agreements (FTAs) in ASEAN-Hong Kong, ASEAN-China, and ASEAN-India.

However, there’s much more for businesses in store in Singapore beyond financial perks and tax incentives. Let’s explore the aspects that make Singapore an ideal destination for businesses.

The Geographic Advantage

Singapore boasts a prime location in the heart of Southeast Asia, located between Indonesia and Malaysia. This strategic positioning provides seamless access to transport and trade links across the region. Being centrally located, Singapore continues to be an alluring destination to some of the most rapidly expanding and vibrant markets of the world.

For investors looking forward to capitalizing on the opportunities in the ASEAN markets, Singapore offers a seamless pathway to business. Thanks to its competitive tax environment, efficient setup procedures, and seamless supply chains, the country stands out as a global destination for investment. In recent years, Singapore has even surpassed traditional regional choices like Malaysia.

Interestingly, the Port of Singapore ranks among the best-connected and busiest global seaports. It connects 120 countries through more than 600 ports across the world. Besides, the Singapore Changi Airport continues to be one of the largest transport hubs in Asia. It handles more than 68 million passengers and over two million tons of air freight annually.

Singapore’s multicultural society, with various cultural and linguistic connections to ASEAN members, delivers a strategic advantage to the country. In Singapore, English is the primary working language. This fosters effective communication with investors from all over the world.

The highly skilled local workforce in Singapore acts as intermediaries for investments in Asia. This ensures a smooth market entry for international businesses, along with optimal profit maximization. No wonder, why Singapore continues to strengthen its position as a key business and management hub in Southeast Asia.

Tax Incentives for International Businesses in Singapore

Singapore welcomes companies with a wide array of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to strengthen economic development in the country. Applicants need to fulfill stringent criteria, commit to specific investment levels and introduce cutting-edge skills and technology. These incentives aim to promote innovation and economic growth in the country. In return, Singapore offers privileges like reduced corporate income tax rates. The country has several schemes in place like Double Tax Deduction for Internationalization, Start-Up Tax Exemption Scheme, Progressive Wage Credit Scheme, and more. Besides, businesses can tap sector-specific incentives if they operate in industries like tourism, maritime, or biotechnology. To fully benefit from these incentives, it’s imperative to understand the compliance requirements, eligibility criteria, and application procedures.

So, if you aren’t sure about how to set up a local company in Singapore, it’s logical to seek professional support from established companies.

Favorable Corporate Tax Regime in Singapore

Singapore’s corporate tax regime is among the best in Asia. For commercial profits, it features a corporate income tax rate of flat 17%. The territorial tax system ensures that companies are not taxed on most types of foreign-sourced income. However, they need to pay at least 15% tax at the source country. Besides, international businesses operating in Singapore need not pay any capital gains tax, further positioning the country as an outstanding destination for investment.

A Network of Agreements

One of the paramount advantages of running an international business in Singapore is the extensive network of nearly 100 double taxation agreements (DTAs). The country also has 24 free trade agreements (FTAs) in place which are both limited and comprehensive. They cover different types of income and facilitate tax information exchange. The presence of FTAs with ASEAN member states enhances the country’s competitiveness in the vast market.

The FTAs of Singapore also extend to India, Hong Kong, ASEAN, China, and the EU. Moreover, the country is actively negotiating new FTAs with the Pacific Alliance-Singapore and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

The Ease of Doing Business

The transparent business and legal regulations in Singapore ensure ready access to essential information online. This simplifies the process of exploring the market for overseas decision-makers. Singapore has consistently benefitted from this transparency and efficiency, earning top rankings in global reports like the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report and the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report.

From establishment to dissolution, bureaucratic procedures for companies can be executed online through BizFile, ACRA’s (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) portal for online business filing.

Robust Intellectual Property Protection

Singapore continues to demonstrate high standards of commitment when it comes to safeguarding intellectual property (IP) rights with its transparent legal system. The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) shoulders the responsibility of overseeing this aspect. The country also boasts a specialized IP court and the only office of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) outside Geneva, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center. Singapore’s Copyright Act, Patent Act, and Trademark Act are in place to streamline global businesses.

The IMC Group, consisting of an expert team of professionals, offers comprehensive Singapore company registration for foreigners assistance. Reach out to us to benefit from a rapid and hassle-free market entry, ensuring legal compliance, and stride ahead with your business.

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