Although expats often dream of being their own boss, starting a business in Singapore can be a nerve-wracking endeavor. Still, dealing with the extra workload is often worth it to follow your dream. This guide will give you some pointers on how to begin when starting your business in Singapore.
Before starting a business in Singapore, you need to secure the right type of visa, an EntrePass. To be eligible to receive an EntrePass, you need to fulfill certain requirements:
An EntrePass is particularly important if you plan on being actively involved in managing your company’s operations. For more information on the EntrePass, have a look at our article on work permits, or simply contact the Ministry of Manpower.
There are a variety of business structures in Singapore:
In order to register your company in Singapore, you need to contact the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Two local agents who are legal residents of Singapore can act on your behalf when starting a business in Singapore. The registration process is fully computerized and therefore quite easy and should not take too long as long as you take care of the following points beforehand:
The registration fee will amount to approximately 300 SGD, plus 15 SGD for the approval of your business name. Once all this has been taken care of you can register your business online with ACRA. Furthermore, it is advisable that you register for the SingPass, a common password which you can use for different official online services when starting your business in Singapore.
Any type of income you receive is subject to income tax in Singapore. This is also the case when you are starting a business. However, there are other taxes business owners have to pay as well, such as Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is levied on the import of goods. The tax rates are as follows:
When starting a business in Singapore, it makes sense to get in touch with an accounting firm to help you with taxation and other financial details. That way, you will make sure to do everything right without losing your mind over it. Refer to our articles on Finance and Taxation for more information.
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