Singapore is situated at the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsula. Strategically located along the major shipping and air routes of Asia, it is the major nerve centre for trade and investments in the region.
Spanning just over 622 sq km, Singapore though small, is undoubtedly an advanced and bustling economy. It thrives on an excellent infrastructure, highly educated labor force, political stability and an efficient business environment. Singapore is an ideal holding company and headquarters location and a gateway for foreign investments in to the emerging economies of Asia, such as China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.
Singapore has a population of approximately 4.35 million people. More than 75% are Chinese with the remaining 25%, mainly Malays, Indians and others. The different races live together with mutual respect and in racial harmony. The work force is well educated and hardworking and there is a high level of managerial and technical expertise available.
The People's Action Party, its single dominant ruling party since its independence in 1965, rules Singapore. There is no strong opposition party in Singapore.
The Singapore Government vigilantly plans, manages and administers the country's socio-economic development. Singapore is one of the world's most politically stable and corruption-free countries.
Singapore has an excellent infrastructure with state of the art communication facilities and road transport system. It operates busy and efficient air and seaports and is a free port with no customs and excise duties on most items.
Singapore is also one of the leading international financial centres. Offshore investors are well served by representatives of most major international banks, financial institutions, investment management companies and accounting and legal firms.
The Singapore Government actively woos foreign investments with generous tax and financial incentives. This has successfully attracted numerous regional holding companies, corporate headquarters, business and service centers, group finance and treasury centers as well as investments in high tech industries, media and communications, shipping and financial services.
The most commonly used official languages are English and to a lesser extent, Chinese, Malay and Tamil which are also official languages.
Resident or non-resident, Private Limited Company.
Submission of name approval, Memorandum and Articles of Association and details of shareholders & shareholdings, registered office address and appointments of directors, company secretary and statutory auditors.
Generally no restrictions except for financial services, education, media related or other politically sensitive businesses.
A company incorporated in Singapore has the same powers as a natural person.
3 - 5 days subject to name approval.
Name resembling names of existing companies or which are undesirable or politically sensitive will be rejected
Bank, financial institution, insurance, fund management, university, Chamber of Commerce and other similar names.
Private Limited or Pte Ltd for privately held companies.
The concept of authorised share capital has been abolished in Jan 2006 and the minimum number of issued share is 1.
Ordinary shares, preference shares and redeemable preference shares.
17% on income sourced in Singapore for Year Assessment 2010.
To support entrepreneurship and to help Singapore local enterprises grow, a newly incorporated company that satisfies the qualifying conditions can claim for full tax exemption on the first $100,000 of normal chargeable income* (excluding Singapore franked dividends) for each of its first three consecutive YAs.
A further 50% exemption is given on the next $200,000 of the normal chargeable income* (excluding Singapore franked dividends) for each of the first three consecutive YAs.
First $100,000 @ 100% = $100,000
Next $200,000 @ 50% = $100,000
Total $300,000 $200,000
To qualify for the tax exemption for new start-up companies, your company must:
* A company is resident in Singapore if the control and management of its business is exercised in Singapore.
Singapore has an extensive investment protection agreement and double tax treaty network. This includes most countries in the Asia-Pacific Region and countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. These countries include China, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, India, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Belgium, Finland and the United Arab Emirates.
Singapore is also one of the very few countries to have a tax treaty with Taiwan. This explains the popularity of Singapore holding companies for Taiwanese investments into China and the region.
Minimal annual statutory filing fees of approximately S$20.
Annual audited accounts are required to be filed with the Registrar of companies. The accounts must be audited by a registered certified public accountant in Singapore. However, audit exemption is available to qualified companies.
Companies qualifying for audit exemptions are :
A minimum of one (for both individual and corporate shareholders), who must be a Singapore resident individual. To fulfill this requirement, OCRA could assist you in appointing a Singapore professional director. A foreigner who wants to register a new company in Singapore and act as a resident director of the company or operate the company, a valid pass must be obtained from the government first.
Companies are required to appoint a resident company secretary, who must be a natural person.
A minimum of one shareholder is required. Shareholders may be corporations or individuals. 100% foreign ownership is allowed.