Starting a Business in Singapore for Foreign Entrepreneurs

There are several reasons why Singapore is an ideal location for foreign companies looking to expand their operations abroad.

First, Singapore law allows local companies to be 100 percent controlled by foreigners. A parent company that forms a subsidiary incorporated in Singapore can enjoy all the benefits of incorporation in Singapore.

Singaporean businessman

Competitive tax rates

Singapore has a flat corporate tax rate of 17%. However, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can take advantage of several tax credits and incentives, including: If your company has fewer than twenty shareholders, you may be eligible for an annual tax deduction of up to $125,000 if your company earns fewer than 20 shareholders. $200,000 in taxable income for the first three years of operation.

In addition, if your business does not qualify for the start-up exemption, you may be eligible for a partial tax exemption. It can go up to $10,250 for the first $20,000 of earnings.

Starting a business in Singapore

Singapore offers excellent opportunities for companies from all over the world. They may choose to establish or establish one of these types of businesses:

  • Subsidiary company
  • Branch office
  • Representative office

Foreign-owned business utilities

Singapore actively promotes local and foreign businesses by offering government-sponsored assistance programs. Depending on the requirements of each aid program, businesses with at least 30% local business may be eligible for local grants, including:

  • StartUpSG is an umbrella for a variety of government-funded startup grants and loans.
  • An ASP encourages companies to automate their business processes.
  • Singapore offers tax breaks for foreign companies, including:
  • RISC is a program to encourage companies to develop new technologies.
  • Training fair for the company, which aims to encourage the expansion of employees’ capabilities in new technology and skills.
  • Efficiency subsidies, which create efficiency in energy and labor practices.
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Restrictions for foreigners

Singapore encourages foreigners to set up businesses here, but there are certain requirements to do so. One of these is that the foreigner must be able to run the company locally.

Can foreigners start a business in Singapore if they have certain work passes?

If you are not from Singapore, you will need a permit for your stay here. Different licenses allow different things. For example, some permits give you permission to start a business, while others do not.

A foreigner wishing to open a business in Singapore must first obtain information on entrepreneurial opportunities from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). Once he/she obtains the EOI, he/she can register his/her business under the Small Scale Enterprises Scheme (SSES).

If you are convinced and ready to set up shop in Singapore as a foreigner, here are the basic things you need to consider.

Obtain a license. To obtain a permit, company details must be registered with the relevant authority. Once registered, they can then apply for a license from the resources. Licenses vary depending on the industry and the type of operation being performed. For example, if you are active in the food sector, you need a Food Establishment License (FEL). In addition, companies must also meet certain regulations, such as health and safety standards. These standards ensure that the safety of employees and customers is guaranteed.

Businesswomen in Singapore
photo credit: Paul Lee / Flickr

Living in Singapore as an entrepreneur

Expats living in Singapore often feel at home in a bustling metropolis where the weather is always warm. As a result, Singapore is one of the most popular destinations for expats from all over the world. It ranks high on the list of happiest countries for expats. And it’s not surprising why so many people choose to live there: it offers strong economic stability, good health care, and excellent educational opportunities.

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Despite the current Covid-19 climate, Singapore has seen an increasing trend in the number of people moving to Singapore. With the prospect of quarantine looming, many are choosing to move to Singapore rather than face the uncertain future at home. Property prices in Singapore have risen significantly due to this influx of new residents, meaning those who have already moved to Singapore may want to consider purchasing a property. We offer a wide range of protection policies for expats living in Singapore, so if you’re considering buying property, there are some new launch apartments to consider.

An upcoming new apartment project called Grand Dunman is under construction along Dunman Road, District 15. The development includes 1,040 homes of various sizes, ranging from studio apartments to four-bedroom penthouses. Located in a serene landscaped setting, residents can enjoy the beautiful views of greenery, trees and water bodies. Located within walking distance of the iconic Dakota MRT station, the project also features a wide range of lifestyle facilities including a swimming pool, gym, sauna, steam room, jogging track, children’s play areas, car park and community clubhouse.

The official languages ​​in Singapore are Chinese (Mandarin), Tamil, Malay and English. These languages ​​fulfill a culturally symbolic role, but English is widely spoken among the population.


Moving to a new country can be challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start. However, finding ways to get involved in the local community can help you settle in quickly and enjoy your stay.

If you want to live permanently in Singapore, you must have the correct legal residency and employment status. You may need to apply for PR or even become a citizen of Singapore.

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