When it comes to starting a business overseas, concerns naturally arise. As an international city, Singapore offers abundant resources for entrepreneurs and brings unlimited business opportunities. Chang Weirong, the founder of the Global Chinese Marketing Academy, invited Huang Chunxian, the chief consultant of JM Commerce, a Singapore-based consulting and training service company, to unveil the secrets of Singapore on the Cross-Border Good Business Channel. Huang Chunxian specializes in assisting chain franchise businesses with optimization and market development, which involves marketing, creative lifestyle, brand building, and education and training. This invitation aims to discuss the employment situation, entrepreneurial subsidies, and the pros and cons of foreigners starting businesses in Singapore with Huang Chunxian.
Is renting for foreigners in Singapore friendly?
Huang Chunxian consultant, explains that renting in Singapore is primarily divided into two categories: work and residential purposes. In recent years, Singapore has seen the establishment of numerous shared offices, varying in size, even near MRT stations. Opting for a shared office can significantly reduce rental expenses compared to leasing a single unit in a traditional office building.
Currently, Singapore is trending towards low capital-intensive assets, such as light industrial factories and central kitchens, which are in high demand. However, the residential rental prices are not deemed friendly, as they have surged by more than 50%. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that the housing market may present a good opportunity for purchasing properties in 2025, as it is expected that bank interest rates will decrease by that time.
Despite of the establishment of cowering spaces, does the Singapore government provide resources for foreign entrepreneurs?
Huang Chunxian consultant states that the Singapore government highly encourages foreign businesses to start ventures in Singapore and highlights five key advantages: incubator industrial parks with rent exemption, tax benefits, financing environment, global marketing hub, and access to talent.
Incubator Industrial Parks with Rent Exemption:
Singapore has established over 20 incubator industrial parks where technology companies can operate rent-free after the application and approval process. The government also provides specialized assistance to facilitate their development and market exploration.
Capital gains are not taxed, and corporate profits are subject to a fixed tax rate of 17%, which is relatively low compared to other countries. Additionally, there are tax incentives for small companies established for less than three years.
The government actively promotes various credit loan programs offered by financial institutions. Even for those who do not meet the loan requirements, Singapore has reputable small and medium enterprise loan companies. Although interest rates may be slightly higher, they can still meet short-term funding needs for businesses.
Global Marketing Hub:
Singapore’s multicultural composition, encompassing four major ethnic groups (Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian), allows for comprehensive connections with global markets, including China, affluent Middle Eastern countries, India, and Europe. Despite its small domestic market, Singapore serves as an optimal springboard and a global hub for marketing.
Access to Talent:
Singapore boasts a high level of education, social harmony, career freedom, and financial freedom. The government provides assistance, fostering a pool of talented individuals who choose to stay in Singapore.
If you want to start a company in Singapore, what local business resources can be applied?
Consultant Huang Chunxian points out that the Economic Development Board (EDB), Enterprise Singapore, private business consulting firms, and secretarial companies under the Singapore government are excellent resources. The EDB focuses on large companies and projects, while Enterprise Singapore assists with procedures related to international expansion, relocation, and local establishment. Registering a company in Singapore is swift, typically taking 2 to 3 hours, and the costs are relatively affordable.
Foreign companies should be aware of certain conditions and benefits:
1.If an individual is a foreigner, they must possess a Singaporean citizenship or permanent residency to become a director and register a company.
2.For setting up a company in another country and receiving government subsidies (employee salaries), a business plan must be submitted after three years, and Singaporean local partners or shareholders must hold over 30% equity.
3.The Central Provident Fund (CPF), a mandatory government savings scheme in Singapore, has undergone significant reforms to alleviate healthcare expenses. Understanding terms is essential to maximize benefits.
4.Compliance with government regulations regarding taxation, including conducting shareholder meetings, is crucial. Failure to comply may result in fines.
Overall, the rental market in Singapore is relatively friendly towards foreigners. There is an ample supply of rental properties, offering various types of accommodations such as apartments, serviced apartments, and standalone houses. Rental contracts are legally protected, ensuring the rights of tenants and ensuring transparency and fairness throughout the rental process. Singapore’s robust legal system provides protection against fraud and improper behavior for renters. The competitive rental market in Singapore also contributes to reasonable and flexible pricing, with rental levels varying based on the supply and demand dynamics in different areas and property types. As a result, foreigners renting in Singapore can enjoy a relatively stable, transparent, and secure rental environment, making the rental process smoother and more reassuring.