When entrepreneurs and business leaders research the best places to start a business, Singapore tops nearly every list, including the exclusive list in the World Bank’s “Doing Business” report. As Kaushik Basu notes in the World Bank foreword: “The laws that determine how easily a business can be started and closed, the efficiency with which contracts are enforced, the rules of administration pertaining to a variety of activities—such as getting permits for electricity and doing the paperwork for exports and imports—are all examples of the nuts and bolts that are rarely visible and in the limelight but play a critical role.”
Simple tax systems
Singapore’s efficiency is often lauded throughout global trade circles, and their simple tax system is yet another example of this focus. A nearly-flat 17% tax rate allows businesses to focus their funds on R&D and investments–not on paying taxes. The conversion to an all-electronic tax process in 1992 was so efficient and effective that it has been the subject of several global whitepapers on the subject, with time required to issue a tax assessment dropping from 12-18 months to around 3-5 months, making the system much less dependent on individual tax officers and reducing corruption potential.
Not only are business taxes incredibly reasonable, individual taxes enjoy a very competitive rate as well, starting at 0% up to 20% for individuals making over S$320,000 annually. Singapore is making a concerted effort to move dependency away from income taxes and adopted a Goods and Services Tax (GST) that they believe will make the economy even more competitive. Their current GST rate at 7% ranks far below the global average VAT tax rate of 16.4%, making the economy very favorable for entrepreneurs.
Flexible immigration and strong base of knowledge-workers
One of the most challenging part of starting or running a business is ensuring that you have a flexible, talented and highly-trainable workforce–and this is something Singapore excels at providing. Whether you’re looking for Singaporean nationals or foreign professionals, Singapore’s government has work visa provisions that will fit your needs, and a relaxed immigration policy makes it easier than ever for foreign nationals to become Permanent Residents of Singapore. Singapore’s workforce, since it is primarily a knowledge-based economy, is professionally qualified and highly educated with a culture of high-productivity and efficiency baked in. Singapore’s dedicated workforce was recently entitled “Best Labour Force in the World” in global rankings.
Exceptional quality of life
Attracting the world’s best workforce means Singapore needs a way to keep them occupied in their off-hours, and it delivers. With excellent health and sanitation, schools and education, public services and transportation as well as a positive and open political and social environment and a gorgeous natural environment, Singapore could be considered a haven for hard-working, hard-playing young professionals. Young professionals are solitary in pressuring themselves and their peers to excel at a very young age, yet is still considered one of the happiest countries in Asia in a study reported by ABC news. The vast majority of Singapore resident appreciate the family-first atmosphere and the focus on an efficient, safe and clean society.
About the Author:
Morris Edwards is a content writer at A1 Business Pte Ltd, he writes different topics like Why should Entrepreneurs expand their business in Singapore, and all topics related to Doing Business in Singapore.