Singapore at a Glance

Singapore is a city, a state and an island all in one. Formerly part of the British Empire, it merged with Malaysia in 1963 and became a fully independent state in 1965.

Singapore is a developed economy with an extremely wealthy population. In fact, according to the IMF, last year it was the third wealthiest country in the world (after Luxembourg and Qatar) in terms of economic output per head. That puts it ahead of Norway, Switzerland and the U.S.
There are 5 million people living in Singapore, made up of three major ethnic groups: Chinese, Indian and Malay. Mandarin-speaking Chinese are the biggest group by far, making up about 77% of the total population.

Population: 5.53 million (2015)
Life expectancy: 82.14 years
GDP PPP: $452 billion (2014)
GDP/per capita: $82.762 (rank 3)
Public debt: USD 292.168.389.000 (national debt clock)
Unemployment: 1.9%
Major trading partners: China, Malesia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, USA, Japan, South-Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Panama, Netherlands, Philippines


Doing Business in Singapore

Advantages in Doing Business in Singapore

  • The World Bank has ranked Singapore the best country to do business in the world several years
  • Singapore is very well suitable for running global business
  • Recruiting very competent employees is relatively easy
  • Singaporean companies pay an average of 2% of taxes from profits

Disadvantages in Doing Business in Singapore

  • At least 1 local director required
  • Singapore is very dependent on fluctuations in global economy
  • Economic growth was stagnant at 1.8% for the first three months of 2016. Prices have been falling for 17 months in a row, so deflation is a serious issue. Global trade is slowing, the real estate market is falling and the growth trajectory of China (Singapore’s largest import and export market) is a source of major uncertainty.

The World Banks “Ease of Doing Business ranking”:

  • Overall rank: rank 1st
  • Starting a business: rank 10 (average processing time 2.5 days)
  • Dealing with construction permits: rank 1 (average processing time 26 days)
  • Getting electricity: rank 6 (average processing time 31 days)
  • Registering property: rank 17 (average processing time 4.5 days)
  • Getting credit: rank 19 (change: -1)
  • Protecting minority investors: rank 1
  • Paying taxes: rank 5 (average company tax from profits 2%, average time used for taxation 83.5 hours per year)
  • Trading across borders: rank 41
  • Enforcing contract: rank 1 (375 days, average cost from standing amount 13,3%)
  • Resolving Insolvency: rank 1

Who can start a new business in Singapore:

  • Any legal person/business (no matter the nationality) that has the documentation needed for registration (in accordance with the laws of Singapore)

Who can own property or shares of a Singaporean company:

  • A company of any nationality
  • A private person of any nationality

Who can act as a director or member of the board:

  • Private person of over 18 years old (no limitations regarding nationality)
  • There needs to be at least 1 director permanently living in Singapore

Business entities in Singapore:

  • LLC, private or public (Limited Liability Company)
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership (General, Limited or Limited Liability Partnership
  • Foreign Company (Subsidiary, Branch or Representative Office)

Requirements to incorporate in Singapore:

  • At least 1 owner
  • At least 1 local director
  • Must have official registered address in Singapore

Opening bank account:

  • Incorporation documents, trade register documents and articles of association (in accordance with the laws of Singapore)
  • Board of directors’ rule of opening the account
  • Authentication of the company’s signatories’ identities

Public register of shareholders and directors:

  • Directors: yes
  • Shareholders: no

Allowed trades:

  • Through a Singaporean company one may practice any legal business activities that do not require special permits (such as in the fields of insurance and banking)

Accounting and reporting regulations:

  • Accounting obligation
  • Singaporean company has to apply to GST register if its homeland sales during the past 12 months have exceeded 1 million Singapore Dollars, or if presumable, this amount will be passed during the following 12 months. GST tax applies to the sales of services and goods. Quarterly reporting to Singaporean tax authority IRAS.
  • Financial statement must be delivered to the authorities at the end of every accounting period
  • If the company’s revenue exceeds S$55 million or if it has over 20 employees or if all the owners aren’t private people the company is obligated to audit accounts.
  • Company must keep register of shareholders. Changes in the register must be reported within 3 months time.
  • Changes in the managers of the company must be reported

How funds can be withdrawn from company:

  • Company can pay dividends from its own capital to shareholders after end of the book year
  • Company can lend money to another company and / or person given that loan agreement with minimum interest and payment terms have been made. Owners cannot owe money for the company in the end of the book year.
  • Company can pay dividends to shareholder from its own capital at the end of fiscal year
  • Company can pay salary to it´s employees given it has registered in the Tax Administration´s employer register. Employer is obliged to pay tax withheld at source from all wages paid to employees, along with making employer´s social security contributions.
  • Company can pay allowance, such as kilometer allowance for using they own car, per diem and meal money, to owners and employees in order to cover their temporary business travel expenses
  • Company can pay meeting allowances for its directors, members of the board and owners
  • Company can transfer funds to its subsidiary, both domestic and foreign (group contributions).
  • Company can invest in shares, funds or real estate

Can you transfer Singaporean company to another jurisdiction?:

  • No

How to terminate a business in Singapore:

  • Company may be sold
  • Filing bankruptcy
  • Terminating business activities through investigation

Residency and Moving to Singapore


  • One of the highest ranked countries to live in
  • Low personal taxation
  • Well suitable for “expats”


  • High cost of living
  • High requirements for immigration

Freedom Index: Singapore

  • Overall rank: 13th (69/100)
  • Property rights: 90/100
  • Freedom from taxes: 91/100
  • Freedom of speech/religion: 56/100
  • Limited government: 91/100
  • Gun rights: 15/100
  • Drug rights: 10/100
  • Freedom from corruption: 86/100
  • Freedom from inflation: 82/100
  • Business freedom: 97/100

Taxation in Singapore

Corporate Taxation in Singapore

Corporate tax17% (though there are many exceptions that lower the tax)
GST (ALV) applying for registerTurnover more than S$1milj / year
GST (ALV)7% (or 0%)
Tax at source / from dividend0%
Tax at source / from royalties10%, if no exception
Tax at source from interests15%, if no exception
Stamp duty1% / 2% / 3%
Capital gains taxConsidered as regular income
Property tax0-10% (progressive)
Income tax0%
Wealth tax0%
Tax treaties76 countries
Tax authorityInland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)





  • business planning, tax consulting by Novasigma
  • Personal Tax Plan and Wealth protection cases
  • Singapore - Company Formations Services from 3.000€



Consulting & advisory services for Singaporean entities

  • Due diligence process
  • Foreign Market entry & Supplier search
  • Business Plans & Descriptions
  • Development & Capital Advisory
  • International Tax Planning
  • Funding & Investor Search
  • Business Restructuring via Offshore entities
  • Exit Strategy & IPO
  • Problem solving in Singapore | by Novasigma Accounting & Law partner office


Incorporation, administration & business services in Singapore

Incorporation services in Singapore

  • New company formations in Singapore
  • Financial company licenses in Singapore
  • Company Closures and liquidations in Singapore

Company administration in Singapore

  • Legal registration address service for a Singaporean company
  • Company secretarial service for a Singaporean company


Additional business services in Singapore (by Novasigma Certified Partners)

  • Virtual office services in Singapore
  • Hosting services
  • Real estate in Singapore (offices, trade facilities, industrial)

Accounting, bookkeeping & audit for a Singaporean entity

Some of the common domestic accounting services we provide in Singapore include

  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • Invoicing and payments
  • Annual accounts
  • Monthly Reconciliation
  • Monthly financial statements (including balance sheet and income statement)
  • Payroll services
  • Income and tax return
  • Management accounts

Value Added Tax (VAT)

  • VAT registration
  • Advice on VAT scheme options
  • VAT returns and declarations


  • Annual accounts in view of an annual audit and attend accounting audits


Legal services for Singapore companies and business owners

Legal services in Singapore for all Novasigma Clients including companies and their owners and directors

Novasigma has built in Singapore a team of lawyers, associates and legal advisers to assist our clients with a business and tax planning, overseas business operations, risk management and other legal matters. Primarily focused on business transactions, Novasigma Accounting & Law corporate attorneys are a great asset to a small and large businesses. With a background on corporate law, our corporate lawyers and legal advisers have an in depth knowledge on the transactions that may put your business at risk of litigation. These include contracts and negotiations, taxation laws, business structuring, buy/sell agreements, and intellectual property, among others.


Banking, financial and insurance services in Singapore

Banking services in Singapore

  • Business bank accounts
  • Personal bank account
  • Payment service providers
  • Investment solutions
  • Alternative banking solutions

Financial services in Singapore

  • Debt collection services
  • Invoice funding & cash flow solutions
  • Factoring
  • Leasing
  • Wealth management

Insurance services in Singapore

  • Insurances for corporations
  • Insurances for business owners and their families


Tax residencies & Immigration services in Singapore

  • Meeting with Novasigma before applying Singapore residency
  • Assistance in applying a tax residency from Singapore
  • Personal bank account in Singapore
  • Address service available for Novasigma business clients



  • High Net Worth Individuals immigration soars 16%
  • Offshore bank account opening with Euro Pacific Bank
    Euro Pacific Bank- New USD Route available
  • Use an Offshore Company for Cryptocurrency Tax Benefits


Interested in Singapore? Please leave us a message and we will come back to you shortly.


Available services

  • Company Formation
  • Company Administration
  • Company disclosure in netherlands, UK, Germany, Russia
    Business Disclosure & Redomiciliation
  • Marine, Aircraft & Vehicle Registration
  • Novasigma offers citizenship programs with Caribian passports and tax residencies with a immigration service
    Residency & Citizenship Solutions

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