You have heard many say Singapore is the best place to do business, but why is it so? Why do investors from all around the world still flock into Singapore even if the country has one of the highest rates of business openings? And why is Singapore consistently maintaining its reputation as one of the biggest business hubs in Asia and in the world for years?
In this article, we discuss some of the must-know facts about Singapore’s economy and the reasons why opening a company in Singapore is one of the best things you can do.
Overview of Singapore Economic landscape
Singapore has one of the most vibrant economies. It is one of the most developed territories in the world, when it comes to both, business, and people’s everyday lives.
Very High GDP
Singapore’s GDP per capita is around $59,164 as per estimates in 2020. Furthermore, the GDP is $337.451 billion, placing it on 38th in the world. Mind you; this is despite the fact that Singapore’s population is only around 5.7 million, scattered on an area of only 728 square kilometres, which is even smaller than many cities in the world.
Singapore also has one of the strongest and most stable currencies in the world. Also, the imports and exports are somehow balanced, with the country exporting goods of around USD 313 billion in 2019, compared to imports of around USD 322 billion. Remember, like we said, Singapore is supposed to be a small country, and how it has still managed to export as much as it imports can be baffling for many. The FDI stock was estimated to be around $1.285 trillion in the end of 2017.
The Human Development Index
The Human Development Index (Human Development Report Office) of SIngapore was 0.928 in 2019, which places the city-state as one of the most developed places in the world. Innovations and new technologies enter Singapore as soon as they are introduced, and some innovations start from Singapore. The Global innovation index in 2018 ranked Singapore first in the Asia Pacific and fifth in the world for Best global innovation.
The skyscrapers, expensive cars, modern artifacts, and the high purchasing power of the people also indicates the splendid education system in the city-state. Many statistics have shown that Singapore is the best place to live in the world currently, and the World Bank’s most recent Human Capital Index also showed that Singapore is the best country in Human Capital Development.
If you didn’t know, Singapore used to be one of the least developed countries in the world five decades ago. How the city-state has turned it over is impressive, but we all can agree it wouldn’t be possible with the best lawmakers? In fact, Singapore has had one of the most stable political environments in the world for decades.
The ruling party is the PAP, which has been in power for almost all the time since the city-state’s independence in 1965. The tenure of a government is around 5 years and that’s when the general elections are held. However, elections are a healthy competition in the city-state, also indicative of the fact that bureaucracy and corruption are almost non-existent. Once you open a company in Singapore, you won’t have to go through frequent changes of laws.
The Rule of Law Index from the World Justice Project in 2018 places Singapore first in Asia for effective governance and enforcement of rule of law.
Future Developments of Singapore
The GDP growth rate of Singapore was around 3.2% in 2018, which is a good number given that the city-state is already one of the most developed economies. Despite how easy and great it is to live and run business in Singapore already, the government has many future development and innovation plans which are going to help business people and everyone living in the country.
The Singapore government has hundreds of plans in the Commercial (for example, capita spring and greater southern waterfront), Industrial (Jurong Innovation District, Dover Knowledge District, etc.), Residential, Transportation, Education, Healthcare, Community, etc. which are positively going to affect how you run your business in the coming days. Furthermore, the government brings special projects, for example, it recently released the Tech Pass, which would allow leading tech experts from around the world to come to Singapore and work as professionals, advisors, mentors, and such.
What to Take Note Before Setting up a Company in Singapore
If you want to start a company in Singapore, the first thing to know as a foreigner is that you have to contact a registration service in Singapore. As easy as it may be for registering a company in Singapore, foreigners are not allowed to do it without a registered filing agent. The filing agent should not only help their client register their company, but also guide and help them with the daily operations of the business and other consultancy.
Documents/Information Required to Submit
For registering a company, you need to submit the following documents:
- Company name registered with ACRA
- Description of business activities
- Details of the registered address of the company
- Particulars of shareholders
- Particulars of directors along with signed consent to be a director
- Particulars of company secretary along with signed consent to be a secretary
- Company constitution, i.e., Memorandum & Articles of Associations
- Singapore identity card for local applicants
- For foreign owners, a copy of their passport and overseas residential address proof
Foreigners don’t necessarily need to travel to Singapore to register or operate a company. However, a company needs a residential secretary (talked about it more in the coming parts).
What Types of Services do you Need?
Foreigners need to open a private limited company in Singapore. These are the requirements for opening a private limited company in Singapore:
- A residential director.
- Between 1 to 50 shareholders.
- A registered address.
- A resident secretary.
- You also have to do an annual audit and register for licenses and taxes after receiving the company registration certificate.
Depending on your current workforce and level of experience, you will need more services, like accounting, bookkeeping, secretarial, registered address, auditing, nominee director, etc. You have to make a list of everything that you need before contacting a filing agent, or consult them to know what could be helpful.
Costs Required to set Aside for Company Incorporation
The costs can be as low as S$1,000 or could go higher than S$15,000- depending on the services you need. We would like to give you a rough estimate, but that isn’t just possible because of the complexities. You have to talk to your service provider.
How 3E Accounting can set up a Company in Singapore for you within 2 hours
We researched for a bit on the internet and after a field visit, we decided that we would tell you about 3E Accounting. It is a well-known company providing Singapore company incorporation, with a portfolio of more than 4000 clients. The team consists of some of the most talented accounting corporate experts who, if you have the right documents and consultancy, will help you register your Singapore company in as less as two hours.