Singapore

Introduction

Singapore is a leading global city in Southeast Asia and the world’s only island city-state. Singapore’s territory consists of the diamond-shaped main island and 62 islets. Singapore is a global commerce, financial and transportation hub. Its standings include: “Easiest place to do business” (World Bank) for ten consecutive years, most “Technology-ready” nation (EIU), top “International meetings city” (UIA), city with “Best investment potential” (BERI), 2nd-most competitive country (WEF), 3rd-largest foreign exchange centre, 4th-largest financial centre, 3rd-largest oil refining and trading centre and one of the top two busiest container ports since the 1990s.

Features and Advantages

  • English is the official business language and therefore all company reports are produced in English and all information is available in English.
  • Common law is in place.
  • Singapore is a world leader in foreign trade and investment and has one of the best business environments in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Singapore is the best country in which to run a business according to a recent world bank study and it has been named as having the most open economy for international trade and investment and least corrupt economy in the world.
  • Singapore has one of the most highly developed and well-regulated financial centres in the world which has been built on the highest regulatory and prudential standards.
  • The Singaporean tax system is straightforward and stable.
  • There are no restrictions for foreigners to be shareholders or Directors of a Singapore company. However, one of the directors must be an ordinarily resident in Singapore. (i.e. a Singapore Citizen, a Singapore Permanent Resident, a person who has been issued an Employment Pass/Approval-In-Principle letter or a Dependant Pass)
  • The incorporation process for a Singapore company is quick and efficient.
  • Minimum requirement for share capital is S$2.00.
  • Only one Director and Shareholder is required to form a limited liability company.
  • There is a concept of territorial taxation where foreign source trade profit is not subject to Singapore income tax if it is not repatriated in Singapore.
  • There is no capital gains tax in Singapore.
  • Foreign dividends are not subject to Singapore income tax.
  • Tax credits for foreign tax paid are available in Singapore. However, they are is subject to some conditions.
  • There are some partial income tax exemptions available in Singapore.
  • There is no net worth tax in Singapore.
  • Intensive double tax agreement system with more than 60 agreements signed and ratified with other countries.

Summary

Type of Company
Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd)

Time to Incorporate
1-2 working days

Director / Shareholder Information
There are no restrictions for foreigners to be shareholders or Directors of a Singapore company. However, one of the directors must be an ordinarily resident in Singapore. (i.e. a Singapore Citizen, a Singapore Permanent Resident, a person who has been issued an Employment Pass/Approval-In-Principle letter or a Dependant Pass)

Taxation

  • There is a concept of territorial taxation where foreign source trade profit is not subject to Singapore income tax if it is not repatriated in Singapore.
  • There is no capital gains tax in Singapore.
  • Foreign dividends are not subject to Singapore income tax.
  • Tax credits for foreign tax paid are available in Singapore. However, they are subject to some conditions.
  • There are some partial income tax exemptions available in Singapore.
  • There is no net worth tax in Singapore.
  • Intensive double tax agreement system with more than 60 agreements signed and ratified with other countries.

Minimum Director
At least 1 director who must be a natural person and one of the directors must be an ordinarily resident in Singapore. (i.e. a Singapore Citizen, a Singapore Permanent Resident, a person who has been issued an Employment Pass/Approval-In-Principle letter or a Dependant Pass)

Minimum Shareholder
At least 1 shareholder who can be natural person or corporate body

Audit Requirement
Accounts need to be audited by auditor every year (unless obtain exemption)

Filing of Accounts
Need to prepare accounts (Accounts are not accessible publicly)

Filing of Annual Return
Required