Singapore has firmly established itself as the best place for doing business in Asia Pacific and is indeed one of the best business jurisdictions in the world. Recently, the World Economic Forum ranked Singapore in 2nd place in their 2013 – 2014 Global Competitiveness Report. It’s not just established companies that are venturing into Singapore; the city-state has become a preferred destination for startups and entrepreneurs. According to an article on the Economic Times, Indian entrepreneurs, in particular, view Singapore as their favourite destination for establishing a company.
If you’re looking to venture into Singapore, here are 4 tips for you.
Secure the right licenses and permits
Before you can run your business in Singapore, you need to get licenses that are required in your industry. There is an exhaustive list of licenses and permits by industry on the EnterpriseOne website which you need to run through before starting up a business here.
The application process can be initiated online. Very few countries make it this easy for an entrepreneur to set up a business.
Tap public financing and assistance schemes for entrepreneurs
Starting a business requires capital, which is difficult to procure. Entrepreneurs often fail to secure the necessary funds, which in turn prevents them from starting their company. Finding investors may be a problem in other countries, but not in Singapore. The government here has started many equity financing schemes for you, such as SPRING SEEDS, Business Angel Fund and Early Stage Venture Fund (EVFS).
The government also helps entrepreneurs secure loans and provides them with tax incentives to help them along the way. Many newly-formed startups get full or partial tax exemption, if they meet the criteria set by the government of Singapore. This provides an opportunity of growth for your company.
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Check EntrePass Eligibility
EntrePass (Entrepreneur Pass), a visa designed for entrepreneurs, was introduced in Singapore in 2004. It was meant to attract international entrepreneurs to Singapore and invigorate its business community. As you look to relocate here and start a business, you may choose to apply for an EntrePass. Since September 2013, the eligibility requirements for the EntrePass have gotten tougher and more complex, so it’ll be best to hire professional help for this.
Apart from the necessary documents, you need to provide a detailed business plan. The business plan needs to be submitted in a concise format that highlights each aspect of your business idea. Once the application has been approved, you have to inject the necessary capital.
Taking the company public may not be on the horizon yet, but it’s definitely something that you need to consider when you’re in Singapore. You’ll be well compensated for your shares based on fair market prices. When a company goes public, it gains exposure, which in turn helps the company grow. A public limited company is always seen as a safer bet than a private limited company. The benefits of going public far outweigh the difficulties associated with it.
Singapore is the ideal destination in Asia for foreign investment from the United States. From 2002 to 2012, the United States has invested $138 billion in Singapore, which is more than what they invested in China. Singapore has also been listed as the most business friendly economy in the world. This has inspired many entrepreneurs to set up business here.
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