Starting a Business
Global businesses will find it advantageous to site their headquarters in Singapore. Strong trade and investment makes Singapore the most competitive Asian country and the world’s easiest place to do business.
By situating their international HQs here, companies benefit from Singapore’s network of over 50 comprehensive Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements. They also gain from Singapore’s many free trade agreements and the Investment Guarantee Agreements. Companies can always rely on protection of their ideas and innovations through Singapore’s rigorous enforcement of its strong intellectual property laws.
Registering your business
You can easily register your business, including foreign branch offices, online at Bizfile by the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority.
Foreign businesses that wish to set up a representative office in Singapore may approach these government agencies:
A useful summary can be found at EnterpriseOne.
When it comes to locale, businesses are not short on choice. Whether situated in the heart of the civic district or in a suburban estate, housed in uber-modern luxury or flatted factory, businesses are assured of premium facilities and infrastructure.
View the list of business parks and specialised industrial parks by the Economic Development Board.
Singapore maintains an edge in human resource with a strong pool of local talent, as well as a capable international workforce. Take a comprehensive look at our labour market. There are many online recruitment portals as well as head-hunting agencies available here, while information on hiring and training can be found at the EnterpriseOne site. You may also want to explore training programmes the EDB offers in partnership with many corporations.
Information about work passes is available here.
Assistance from government agencies
Singapore is famed for her smooth-running bureaucracy, which sees inter-agency co-operation working seamlessly to help businesses grow. The following are some government outfits which you can rely on to support your company’s growth in the Republic.
Economic Development Board: The EDB describes its role as to “dream, design and deliver solutions that create value for investors and companies in Singapore”. It provides comprehensive investor support and ensures a first-rate pro-business environment in Singapore.
Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board: SPRING, an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is the enterprise development agency for growing innovative companies and fostering a competitive small and medium enterprises (SME) sector. It aids enterprises in financing, capabilities and management development, technology and innovation, and access to markets. It is also the national standards and accreditation body.
International Enterprise Singapore: IE Singapore, an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, spearheads the development of Singapore’s external economic wing, and at the same time works to position Singapore as a base for foreign businesses to expand into the region, in partnership with Singapore-based companies.
Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority: ACRA oversees the registration and regulation of business entities and public accountants, and also provides information on new business structures, compliance requirements, and corporate governance practices.
EnterpriseOne: The EnterpriseOne portal is a one-stop site for enterprises looking to start, sustain and grow their businesses. It features links to government information and services, as well as industry help and how-to guides.
Laws and Regulations
To view the full list of statutes, visit Singapore Statues Online.
The EntrePass is a work pass for foreign entrepreneurs who would like to start a business in Singapore. EntrePass applications are jointly assessed by MOM and the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board Singapore. Successful first-time applicants are issued with the EntrePass valid for up to two years. If the business meets the EntrePass renewal criteria, the period granted for subsequent renewals will be for up to three years.