Research & Consulting
Singapore has one of the highest rates of literacy in the world and there is a continuous demand for high quality publications ranging from newspapers, magazines, periodicals, and books.
Moreover, factors such as a strong IP protection regime, ease of business set up, and availability of human resources makes it an ideal hub for the publishing industry. As a result, Singapore is a thriving hub for both international as well as home-grown publishing companies. Some notable industry players that have set up operations in Singapore include Reed Elsevier, McGraw-Hill Education, Cambridge University Press and local big wigs such as World Scientific Publishing, Marshall Cavendish, and SPH Magazines.
Singapore Tourism Board (STB) forecasts tourism receipts to be in the range of S$22.0 to $22.4 billion (0 – 2%) and international visitor arrivals in the range of 15.2 to 15.7 million (0 – 3%) for 2016.
Global economic growth may be hampered by the slower growth momentum of the Chinese and US economies as well as uncertainties such as ongoing reforms in China and the impact of the normalisation of the US monetary conditions. Increasing regional competition will also pose challenges to Singapore’s tourism sector.
Given the attractive and lucrative business potential this sector has to offer, increasing number of individuals and foreign institutions are striving to tap the market by setting up academic or non-academic private schools, kindergartens/nurseries, childcare centres and other related services.
With the aim of streamlining the education industry and its diverse players, the Singapore Government has laid down certain regulations and statutory requirements for entrants to this sector. Overall, Singapore schools offering private education are classified into the following broad groups
The import of certain “sensitive” goods into Singapore are subject to the control of Controlling Agencies and are known as controlled goods. This article provides an overview of the licensing requirements for importing controlled goods into Singapore.
The following goods are subject to control by relevant authorities in Singapore and require an import permit or authorization from the relevant government agencies. According to the Singapore Customs Department, a broad list of controlled goods includes the following
The construction industry is one of the key pillars of Singapore’s economy. The country has witnessed a strong construction demand over the last few years owing to large scale public sector projects such as the construction of MRT lines, public housing projects, building of business parks as well as private sector projects such as the construction of private residential property, shopping malls, hotels, etc.
According to official figures, there was a 20% y-o-y increase in Singapore’s construction demand from S$27.2 billion in 2016 to S$27-34 billion in 2016. The authorities anticipate a total construction demand in the range of S$27.2 billion to S$27-34 billion for the year 2016.
The spa industry is an important part of Singapore’s health and wellness sector and is one of the few businesses to have demonstrated resilience during the economic crisis. Singapore’s spa industry is reported to be valued at S$140 million a year and this figure is growing year-on-year. Record high tourist arrivals and the growing affluence of individuals has given an impetus to the spa industry in Singapore.
Spa-goers are loosening their purse strings and are spending thousands of dollars on exotic treatments and multiple-treatment packages. Singapore’s spa market not only caters to women but is also seeing a rise in the number of men who are willing to pamper themselves with luxurious treatments.
An employment agency in Singapore is a company that helps other companies with their recruitment and staffing needs, normally acting as the middle party between employer and potential employee.
An employment agency could be engaged in placement of local as well as foreign candidates starting from junior level positions to top-level executives. With Singapore encouraging foreigners from executive and middle-management levels to manual laborers to work in the country, there are numerous small and big placement agencies and head hunting firms to help Singapore companies meet their staffing needs.
Retail outlets are shops or stores where business owners sell merchandise directly to consumers. According to the latest retail sales index released by the Singapore Department of Statistics, Singapore’s retail sales excluding automobiles increased 0.3% year-on-year in December 2016.
According to EnterpriseOne, Singapore’s retail sector comprised of 20,300 retailers, 115,500 workers and grossed S$40.7 billion in 2008, the year of the Great Recession. This article provides information on how to setup a retail outlet in Singapore. Kindly note that the information provided here is for general guidance only and is not meant to replace professional advice.
With over 5000 shipping companies contributing about 7% of the GDP, Singapore is a leading International Maritime Centre, connected to more than 600 ports in over 120 countries. Given its reputation as a premier global port, Singapore is the preferred choice for many wanting to establish shipping or maritime business operations.
For most small to medium sized companies, uncertain of the legal requirements, setting up a shipping company is often viewed as a daunting process. This guide acts as a reference, providing you with a starting point on the minimum legal requirements that you need to be aware of while setting up your shipping/maritime business operations in Singapore.
In Singapore, event management is a large industry and it is growing rapidly in step with Singapore’s position as a global business city. Singapore’s reputation as a Top International Meeting City and Top Convention City positions it as a preferred destination for meetings, conventions, exhibitions and other events.
The recent launch of the Integrated Resorts in Singapore is poised to accelerate its attractiveness as a convention location, at par with cities such as Las Vegas. With the government’s vision of expanding its sports, arts and entertainment sectors and its commitment to appropriate infrastructure developments, Singapore’s event management industry is set to become an even larger component of its economy.
Do you wonder how the small city state, has such a dynamic restaurant industry? The avid patronage of the locals, the curious palates of the tourists and the drooling taste buds of expatriates together have made the culinary kaleidoscope all the more colorful.
The favorite hobby of the nation is eating, to be more specific eating out and most of the young Singaporeans do not cook at home hence, a strong market for the restaurant business in Singapore. The market being receptive to a variety of cuisines, enterprising restaurateurs aspiring to launch their food business in Singapore will find the going smooth and safe provided they have an exciting menu, enticing taste and the right price coupled with courteous service.
A Travel Agency is a person or a company that arranges and organizes services related to travel and tours. In Singapore, a Travel Agent is any entity that provides travel and tour packages involving travel by air, sea or land.
Companies that provide transport only (such as taxi firms or trucks that move goods) are not included in this definition. This article provides you with a guide on how to start a travel agency and obtain a travel agent’s licence in Singapore.
The real estate market in Singapore has witnessed unprecedented growth in recent times. As a result, the real estate agency sector is fast emerging as a lucrative business option.
Under the current legislation, all real estate agencies must obtain a license from the Council of Estate Agencies (CEA) prior to commencing estate agency work, either for local or foreign properties, in Singapore. Individuals carrying out estate agency work in Singapore must be registered with the CEA through the estate agency that they work for.
The island state of Singapore boasts of a vibrant Food and Beverage (F&B) sector which constitutes more than 4,500 establishments and employs more than 70,000 staff.
Needless to say that this is a crucial element of the economy which actively promotes the travel and tourism industry. Singapore has a vast variety of F&B establishments to suit every pocket and palate. As part of establishing the city-state as the gastronomic capital in the region by 2010, the government of Singapore and the agencies governing the food industry are keen on promoting a flourishing industry where the spirit of innovation, process, and safety standards are constantly improved while the quality of service exhilarates the customers.
This information provides a detailed overview of company registration requirements, procedure, and timeline for registering a company in Singapore.
As with most other jurisdictions, Singapore has a set of initial and ongoing regulatory compliance requirements for starting and operating a company. Therefore, both local as well as foreign entrepreneurs are advised to engage the services of a professional firm for this purpose. When considering the registration of a new company or relocation of your existing company to Singapore, note that most Singapore companies are registered as private limited liability companies (commonly known as private limited companies).
Factors such as free enterprise, minimal restrictions on the import and export of goods, clean governance, attractive tax incentives, robust infrastructure, extensive free trade agreements and sophisticated logistics have contributed to the nation’s success in emerging as a centre for international trade.
With a vision to transform international trading activities to new heights, Singapore launched the Global Trader Programme (GTP) in June 2001 – an initiative that encourages global trading companies to choose Singapore as their regional/global base of operations, by providing concessionary rates of tax.
Singapore has long been known as an important ‘port of call’ for traders, especially those dealing between the eastern and the western time zones. According to the latest statistics by the World Trade Organization, Singapore is the 14th largest merchandise exporter in the world and has a trade to GDP ratio of 404.9.
If you plan to incorporate a Singapore trading company and start an import/export business, this guide will serve as a good starting point. About 3000 international and local logistics and supply chain management companies operate in Singapore.
When considering the registration of a new company or relocation of your existing company to Singapore, note that most Singapore companies are registered as private limited liability companies (commonly known as private limited companies).
A private limited company in Singapore is a separate legal entity and shareholders are not liable for the company’s debts beyond the amount of share capital they have contributed (hence the term limited liability). According to the Singapore Companies Act, any person (foreign or local) above the age of 18 can register a Singapore company.
This article highlights the main options of using Singapore overseas companies in international trade, tax planning and asset management.
It should be noted that listing the whole range of aspects related to Singapore offshores can take much more than this single article. So we recommend studying other materials dedicated to Singapore companies that are widely available on this website. You may also regularly attend our weekly free webinars on company law, international taxes, trusts, and other related topics. Should you have any other questions, feel free to contact us via e-mail or personally.
Thousands of people have become Singapore permanent residents every year but not all go through the same application process. Permanent Residence (PR) application can be applied for the whole family i.e. the applicant himself plus the spouse and unmarried children under 21.
The lure of gaining Singapore permanent residence through a variety of schemes has convinced thousands of foreigners of diverse backgrounds to set up home in the island-state, one of Asia’s most stable and developed countries and a key financial hub.
The Work Permit is an official name of the working pass given to unskilled foreign manpower that seeks for employment in various niches of Singaporean economy (construction, babysitting, services, housekeeping, marine and so on).
Only employees from approved sources are eligible for this working permit provided that they meet certain criteria while their employers are ready to pay a levy and the security bond, meet the quota criterion, and provide the worker with a healthcare insurance.
This guide provides an overview of the general statutory compliance requirements that apply to Singapore private limited companies.
For details on how to incorporate a Singapore company, see Singapore Company Registration guide. Please note that there has been an amendment to the Companies Act which are not reflected on this page yet. To view the updated information, please visit this page: Overview of the Key Amendments to Companies Act - Phase One.
This guide highlights the annual filing requirements for Singapore private limited companies and apply to both active and inactive companies.
For an overview of the overall compliance requirements, see Compliance Requirements for Singapore Companies. Please note that there has been an amendment to the Companies Act which are not reflected on this page yet. To view the updated information, please visit this page: Overview of the Key Amendments to Companies Act.
Entrepreneurs who are starting a new business in Singapore and plan to lease an office space, often are not familiar with the process of drawing up a leasing agreement and all the protocol and paperwork associated with it.
The purpose of this guide is to help you become knowledgeable about the office lease process and tenancy agreement in Singapore so you can handle this task with more ease.
Quality financial information is crucial for strong and vibrant markets.
More than ever, investors, suppliers, financial institutions, customers, company directors, corporate executives and many more are asking for reliable and timely financial statements in order to obtain a more accurate picture of the business, whether in terms of generating value or understanding the risks involved.
The Employment Pass (EP) is the main type of work permit meant for company owners or skilled employees who will be working in Singapore.
Your fixed monthly salary must be more than S$3,600 . There is no official quota system limiting the number of EPs that can be issued. Validity: An EP is initially issued for 1-2 years (at the discretion of authorities) and renewable as long as the applicant continues to be employed by the company.
The second phase encompassing the rest of the legislative amendments is expected to come into effect in the first quarter of 2016.
The amendments seek to reduce the compliance burden for companies, to enhance business flexibility and ease the ways of raising capital and to improve the corporate governance landscape in the country. This article explores the key amendments that came into effect in the first phase.
As per Income Tax Act of Singapore, the corporate tax is imposed on the income of that is a) earned from Singapore; or b) received in Singapore from outside Singapore (subject to certain exemptions).
The first part deals with the income that has a source in Singapore. The second part is the income with a source outside Singapore but received or deemed received in Singapore.
Singapore is often cited as the leading example of countries that continues to reduce corporate income tax rates and introduce various tax incentives to attract and keep global investments.
Singapore has a single-tier territorial based flat-rate corporate income tax system. Effective tax rates as one of the lowest in the world and the general “business friendliness” of Singapore are the two important factors contributing to the economic growth and foreign investment into the city-state.
With a low headline corporate tax rate of 17%, generous tax exemptions for small-to-midsize companies, and industry-specific tax incentives, Singapore is well positioned to maintain its economic competitiveness in today’s global environment.
The Government of Singapore provides a comprehensive package of tax concessions and incentives to businesses whose business activities reflect the direction in which the state plans to steer economic development.
Singapore withholding tax (also known as tax deduction at source in many other countries) is applicable to certain types of payments to non-resident individuals and companies.
In general, withholding tax is the tax charged to a non-resident company or individual that derives income from a Singapore source for services provided or work done in Singapore.
Goods and Services Tax (GST) is similar to Valued Added Tax (VAT) in other countries and is a relatively new form of tax in Singapore.
GST was implemented on 1st April 1994 in Singapore. The GST Act is modeled on the UK VAT legislation and New Zealand GST legislation. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) acts as the agent of the Singapore government and administers, assesses, collects and enforces payment of GST.
Personal income tax rates in Singapore are one of the lowest in the world.
In order to determine the Singapore income tax liability of an individual, you need to first determine the tax residency and amount of chargeable income and then apply the progressive tax rate to it.
Singapore is rapidly gaining eminence as a trust jurisdiction internationally. With Asia driving the global economy, Singapore’s wealth management industry is witnessing a phenomenal boom; and along with that, the trust business market is also on the rise.
Singapore’s indigenous millionaires as well as foreign High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) are finding Singapore trusts as their preferred vehicle for managing their wealth, thanks to the compelling advantages of Singapore as a trust jurisdiction.
Non-resident Singapore companies include: Representative Offices (ROs) that are registered with International Enterprise Singapore. Companies that are incorporated outside Singapore such as Singapore branch office setups.
According to Singapore income tax law, employees will be liable to Singapore tax on all income earned during the employment period in Singapore, irrespective of the fact that the income is not paid in Singapore and that the employer is a non-resident Singapore company.
In Singapore, accounting standards are known as Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS) and are based on the IFRS.
All companies with financial period starting on or after 1 January 2003 have to comply with SFRS. Accrual-based accounting is one of the main principals of Singapore accounting standards.
To provide what is essential to ensure the highest quality of published reports and derivative works for the nation by providing research expertise, access to multi-disciplinary scholarly research, and information technology ; Lead knowledge-sharing and management of enterprise intellectual capital through deployment of information integration technologies across any institutional data hub or repository that leverages the creation and sharing of knowledge and fosters an environment of collaboration and partnerships. The SACM Research Center reports collection is not open to the public for browsing.
In-depth studies of artificial intelligence abilities in specific areas, such as: healthcare, medicine, personal development, education, finance, trade, security, are held in the Startup Center of the Singapore Academy of Corporate Management. Developers of the intellectual platforms of the Academy are focused on the key problems of artificial intelligence and develop scripts and models for algorithms of its learning based on supercomputers. One of the most important specializations of the future - industry content managers, responsible for the content of requests and the creation of scripts under the algorithms for the Artificial Intelligence training. On the basis of the Startup Center, the Academy is preparing an educational program for future neural network engineers.
AI-Communication Social Corrector / AI-CSC
Personal Communications Controller managed by Artificial Intelligence
problems of orphanhood | problems of overcoming dependencies | problems of learning and using foreign languages | problems of communication between cultures natives | problems of controlling unwanted emotions | psychological impacts of aging | problems of disability | problems of moderating social networks
Education and Personal Development
AI-Personal Development Controller / AI-PDC
Personal educational controller managed by Artificial Intelligence
mastering of personal skills development | ecology & comfort zone for consciousness expansion | problem of practical awareness | problem of creating a personal cultural code | gene diagnosis and optimization of personal capabilities | personal educational programs constructor | qualification examiner | improving competencies | personal brand designer
Profession and Employment
AI-Professional Growth Controller / AI-PGC
Personal controller of professional competences managed by Artificial Intelligence
professional skills moderator | personal creative laboratory | professional community's interaction system | professional skill-tests system | advanced training system | control of vocational guidance | personal employment system | career control system
AI-Personal Geolocation Moderator / AI-PGM
Personal geolocation controller managed by Artificial Intelligence
personal transport logistics and route optimization | personal traffic control | transport networks integration | travelers club | search by location | business and leisure guide
Medical Diagnosis and Treatment
AI-Personal Health Controller / AI-PMC
Personal Medical Controller managed by Artificial Intelligence
personal control and health monitoring | diagnostics of changes | first aid in case of disruption of life support systems | critical health states alarming | control of meal, water and air | disease prevention | training load control in sports | comfort zones at pregnancy | aging control system
AI-Personal Financial Manager / AI-PMC
Personal Financial Controller managed by Artificial Intelligence
personal finance control | personal budget constructor | personal worldwide accessible bank | tax controller | financial security system
AI-Personal Security System
Personal safety controller managed by Artificial Intelligence
social risk control | financial risk control | physical and psychological loads control | personal lawyer | personal security monitor | food and water control system | personal ecological system
SACM Science & Production Center implements the “World Business Atlas” project, which in the next few years will be a common service for the entire business community of the world and help entrepreneurs make the right decisions. The project involves the integration into a common cluster managed by Artificial Intelligence, multi-functional systems in Finance, Legal information, Transportation logistics, Foreign trade, and other relevant services, based on the most advanced technological solutions.
The Singapore Academy of Corporate Management offers doctoral candidates to participate in research in the framework of scientific, cultural and innovative programs, where doctoral students from all over the world take part. Cross cultural and cross-scientific component of ongoing research is the basis for the creation of graduate thesis of our doctoral students. For research or scientific work, doctoral candidates choose any interesting and close topic for them. The period of research and writing a dissertation work has no time limit. Choose your own theme for the academic research!
The WTO was born out of negotiations, and everything the WTO does is the result of negotiations. The bulk of the WTO’s current work comes from the 1986–94 negotiations called the Uruguay Round and earlier negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The WTO is currently the host to new negotiations, under the ‘Doha Development Agenda’ launched in 2001. Where countries have faced trade barriers and wanted them lowered, the negotiations have helped to open markets for trade. But the WTO is not just about opening markets, and in some circumstances its rules support maintaining trade barriers — for example, to protect consumers or prevent the spread of disease.
Corporate governance is the mechanisms, processes and relations by which corporations are controlled and directed. Governance structures and principles identify the distribution of rights and responsibilities among different participants in the corporation (such as the board of directors, managers, shareholders, creditors, auditors, regulators, and other stakeholders) and includes the rules and procedures for making decisions in corporate affairs.
The corporate governance framework should ensure the strategic guidance of the company, the effective monitoring of management by the board, and the board’s accountability to the company and the shareholders. Board structures and procedures vary both within and among countries. Some countries have two-tier boards that separate the supervisory function and the management function into different bodies. Such systems typically have a “supervisory board” composed of non-executive board members and a “management board” composed entirely of executives. Other countries have “unitary” boards, which bring together executive and non-executive board members. In some countries there is also an additional statutory body for audit purposes.
The corporate governance framework should ensure that timely and accurate disclosure is made on all material matters regarding the corporation, including the financial situation, performance, ownership, and governance of the company. In most countries a large amount of information, both mandatory and voluntary, is compiled on publicly traded and large unlisted enterprises, and subsequently disseminated to a broad range of users. Public disclosure is typically required, at a minimum, on an annual basis though some countries require periodic disclosure on a semi-annual or quarterly basis, or even more frequently in the case of material developments affecting the company. Companies often make voluntary disclosure that goes beyond minimum disclosure requirements in response to market demand.
The corporate governance framework should recognise the rights of stakeholders established by law or through mutual agreements and encourage active co-operation between corporations and stakeholders in creating wealth, jobs, and the sustainability of financially sound enterprises. A key aspect of corporate governance is concerned with ensuring the flow of external capital to companies both in the form of equity and credit. Corporate governance is also concerned with finding ways to encourage the various stakeholders in the firm to undertake economically optimal levels of investment in firm-specific human and physical capital. The competitiveness and ultimate success of a corporation is the result of teamwork that embodies contributions from a range of different resource providers including investors, employees, creditors, customers and suppliers, and other stakeholders.
The corporate governance framework should provide sound incentives throughout the investment chain and provide for stock markets to function in a way that contributes to good corporate governance. In order to be effective, the legal and regulatory framework for corporate governance must be developed with a view to the economic reality in which it is to be implemented. In many jurisdictions, the real world of corporate governance and ownership is no longer characterised by a straight and uncompromised relationship between the performance of the company and the income of the ultimate beneficiaries of shareholdings. In reality, the investment chain is often long and complex, with numerous intermediaries that stand between the ultimate beneficiary and the company.
The corporate governance framework should protect and facilitate the exercise of shareholders’ rights and ensure the equitable treatment of all shareholders, including minority and foreign shareholders. All shareholders should have the opportunity to obtain effective redress for violation of their rights. Equity investors have certain property rights. For example, an equity share in a publicly traded company can be bought, sold, or transferred. An equity share also entitles the investor to participate in the profits of the corporation, with liability limited to the amount of the investment. In addition, ownership of an equity share provides a right to information about the corporation and a right to influence the corporation, primarily by participation in general shareholder meetings and by voting.
The corporate governance framework should promote transparent and fair markets, and the efficient allocation of resources. It should be consistent with the rule of law and support effective supervision and enforcement. Effective corporate governance requires a sound legal, regulatory and institutional framework that market participants can rely on when they establish their private contractual relations. This corporate governance framework typically comprises elements of legislation, regulation, self-regulatory arrangements, voluntary commitments and business practices that are the result of a country’s specific circumstances, history and tradition. The desirable mix between legislation, regulation, self-regulation, voluntary standards, etc., will therefore vary from country to country.
Good corporate governance is not an end in itself. It is a means to support economic efficiency, sustainable growth and financial stability. It facilitates companies' access to capital for long-term investment and helps ensure that shareholders and other stakeholders who contribute to the success of the corporation are treated fairly. During the last decade, corporate governance rules and practices have improved in many countries and companies. But much remains to be done. And today, policy makers and regulators are faced with the important challenge to adapt corporate governance frameworks to rapid changes in both the corporate and financial landscape.
"Innovation is risky. Customers are not asking for it. We are already successful… Getting momentum behind significant innovation is difficult, and sometimes it’s easier for a business to stay in what they deem a safe spot. Let’s look at seven arguments that inhibit innovation as well as their counter arguments." - Paul Sloane is the author of The Leader’s Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills and The Innovative Leader. He writes, talks and runs workshops on lateral thinking, creativity and the leadership of innovation. According to servey made by Singapore Academy of Corporate Management Paul Sloane belongs to it's TOP 100 Innovation Authors.
"One of the greatest challenges facing innovation professionals is to find the right approach to a given innovation problem. Whether that’s instilling the innovation mojo in a large corporation or simply helping teams become more innovative, the ways to do this seem to be more of an art than a science" - Evan Shellshear is a creative applied researcher developing math based tools to solve difficult industrial problems. He has worked in many industries from automotive to medical and has published over a dozen scientific articles in peer reviewed journals. He has also published numerous articles on innovation and related areas. His specialty is on the translation of research tools into commercial products which he has done to create millions of dollars of value for companies such as Volvo Cars, GM, Ford. Co-Founder and director of AMFORCE, CEO of Simultek, Evan Shellshear has extensive international experiences in delivering high quality applied research results and innovation. He has delivered technical solutions to large multinationals around the globe. He is currently based in Australia. According to servey made by Singapore Academy of Corporate Management Evan Shellshear belongs to it's TOP 100 Innovation Authors.
"Does it feel like your efforts in innovation lately have been…lackluster? Are you finding that your team just isn’t coming up with the great ideas you know they can produce? If your business is feeling stale and stagnant, you obviously want to know why, so you can make changes. Innovation efforts aren’t always simple and easy—and there are definitely some roadblocks that can come up along the way. Don’t get discouraged if you run into any of these common problems—you just have to be determined to prevent and work through them whenever possible!" - Ryan Ayers has consulted a number of companies within multiple industries including information technology and big data. After earning his MBA in 2010, Ayers also began working with start-up companies and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a keen focus on data collection and analysis. According to servey made by Singapore Academy of Corporate Management Ryan Ayers belongs to it's TOP 100 Innovation Authors.
"Disruptive ideas don’t just happen - they must be championed. In doing so, intrapreneurs must address two fundamental truths when leading big idea innovation: that of value creation and that of persuasive communication. If you want to learn how to scale innovation across your enterprise and create a disciplined approach for creating market-changing ideas, One Hour Innovator is a great place to start." - Laszlo Gyorffy is President of the Enterprise Development Group. For over 20 years, Laszlo has worked with organizations around the globe to expand the possible; helping them refocus, redesign, and reenergize their business strategies and innovation practices to succeed in an increasingly dynamic and demanding market place.
In May 2009, Absolut Vodka launched a limited-edition line called "Absolut No Label". The company's global public relations manager, Kristina Hagbard, explained that "For the first time we dare to face the world completely naked. We launch a bottle with no label and no logo, to manifest the idea that no matter what's on the outside, it's the inside that really matters."
A few months later, Starbucks opened its first unbranded coffee shop in Seattle, called 15th Avenue E Coffee and Tea. This "stealth Starbucks" (as the anomalous outlet immediately became known) was decorated with "one-of-a-kind" fixtures and customers were invited to bring in their own music for the stereo system as well as their own pet social causes – all to help develop what the company called "a community personality." Customers had to look hard to find the small print on the menus: "inspired by Starbucks". Tim Pfeiffer, a Starbucks senior vice-president, explained that unlike the ordinary Starbucks outlet that used to occupy the same piece of retail space, "This one is definitely a little neighbourhood coffee shop." After spending two decades blasting its logo on to 16,000 stores worldwide, Starbucks was now trying to escape its own brand.
Open your business in Singapore
The result of the training at the Singapore Academy of Corporate Management can be the desire of doctoral students to open their own business in Singapore or to bring to the Asian markets products and services of existing companies. Legal partners and international consultants of the Academy provide following opportunities to doctoral students and graduates: opening their own business in Singapore - company or representative office of an offshore company, as well as unique professional advice on licensing, opening bank accounts, auditing and optimizing the costs of doing business. Also, it is possible to acquire a ready-made company in Singapore, with a successful history and a positive business reputation.
Singapore is one of the leading international financial centers in the region. Incorporating a company in Singapore can provide a tax efficient corporate structure in order to conduct international business. Singapore is a city state located at the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsular with a population of approximately 4.8 million. It is known as one of the four ‘Asian Tigers’ and is the major center for business and trade within the region.
The official business language in Singapore is English but Mandarin and Malay are also widely spoken. The work force is well educated and hard working with a high level of expertise. Singapore is one of the leading international financial centers in the region and offshore investors will find most of the major banks present along with numerous financial institutions, investment management companies and accounting and legal firms.
The single ruling party since independence in 1965 is the people’s action party. the government effectively plans and manages the social and economic development of the country resulting in Singapore becoming one of the most politically stable and corruption free countries in the world. In 2006 a study by KPMG rated Singapore as one of the most competitive business locations amongst industrialized countries in the world.
The World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2011′ study has also recently concluded that Singapore is the best country in which to run a business. The study rates 183 countries on the ease of which they allow firms to operate using criteria such as how easy it is to start a business, get credit etc. There are various benefits attached to incorporating a Limited Liability Singapore company. Some of these benefits are listed below:
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; The incorporation process for a Singapore company is quick and efficient; No minimum requirements for share capital.
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.
Company administration guidelines
There are no specific requirements about minimum share capital; it may be as small as S$1.00. The concept of par value of shares was abolished in January 2006. Shareholder must subscribe at least for one share. Different types of shares could be issued by a Singapore company, namely ordinary shares, preference shares of different types, or treasury shares. Proper share transfer instruments are required to register the transfer of shares in a Singapore company and stamp duties should be paid before this registration. 0.2% of stamp duty is charged for buying or acquiring shares, also on mortgaging shares.
The minimum number of Shareholders required is one and there are no restrictions on foreign individuals or corporate bodies. The number of Shareholders of a private company is limited to 50.
The minimum number of Directors is one. Corporate Directors are not permitted in Singapore. There are no restrictions for foreign nationals to act as a Director of a Singapore company however at least one of the Directors must be a Singapore citizen or resident. Eltoma Corporate Services can provide this service. The sole shareholder could be appointed as Director if the Secretary is separate individual; by other words in a company always should be two officers at the same time.
Singapore local Director
When incorporating a Singapore Limited Liability Company, it is obligatory to have a local Singaporean Director. Eltoma Corporate Services can supply a local Director to fulfill this statutory requirement.
Restrictions on name & activity
All business entities in Singapore must have an approved name prior to company registration. This can be done relatively quickly, within 1-2 working days. The general rules are that the business name must not be too similar to any already in existence, must not infringe any trademarks or patents and must not be offensive in any way.
Government approval is generally not required for companies to do business in Singapore with the exemption of the following: banks and financial institutions, certain activities which require a license such as the operation of a restaurant or clinics etc.
The company must appoint a secretary who should be a natural person residing at Singapore.
The sole Director cannot be appointed as a Secretary.
The Secretary shall be present at registered office.
Every company in Singapore is required to have a registered office where the registers of Directors, Shareholders, Secretary and minutes of General and Director meetings are kept. All changes have to be filed with ACRA within 14 days or a month of the date of change. Eltoma Corporate Services can provide this service through our Singapore Office.
It is obligatory to have a Secretary. This must be a natural person who is a resident of Singapore. The company Secretary is responsible for keeping and filing corporate documents with ACRA. An annual general meeting of Directors of a Singapore company must be held within 15 months of the previous one and the audited/unaudited financial statement should be present on it for approval and further filing with Annual return. As a compliance matter the Annual Return and Tax return should be filed by all companies in the necessary time.
Details of the Directors, Shareholders, and company Secretary are placed on public record. It is permitted to use nominees to maintain confidentiality. The financial statements should be filed with Annual returns, but the Exempt Private companies may file only Director’s Declaration of solvency instead.
Documents Needed from Clients for Book Keeping
Applicable for all Jurisdictions for Newly Incorporated Companies:
Detailed description of the company’s activities; Bank Statements for the financial year for all accounts that are under the company’s name; Sales Invoices issued from the company during the financial year; Purchases Invoices received from the suppliers of the company during the financial year; Any expense receipts issued under the company’s name; Any agreements and contracts signed by the company during the financial year.
Documents needed from companies that were transferred from another agent:
Singapore Jurisdiction: All the documents that are mentioned above in Part A. A set of the submitted financial statements of the previous financial year that were submitted to ACRA; A copy of the Annual Return by ACRA – proves the submission of the accounts; A copy of the Notice of Assessment – C Form; A copy of the Notice of Assessment – ECI Form.
This guide highlights the annual filing requirements for all Singapore Exempt Private Company (EPC) and private limited company. This is applied to both active and inactive private limited companies. Conversion of financial accounts into XBRL format (cont’d). Most of the companies need to file their financial statements in the format of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). This is a standard implemented by ACRA to present financial statements.
Filing of Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI)
All Singapore companies are required to declare annual revenue amount and Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) by filing ECI form with Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) within 3 months of the financial year end for the company. Under administrative concession of IRAS, for companies with financial year ending October 2012 or after, ECI will not need to be filed if:
Annual revenue is not more than S$1 million for the financial year, and ECI is NIL.
Filing of annual tax return
All Singapore companies must file its annual return with IRAS by 30 November. Singapore adopts the preceding year basis for taxation. The profits for the financial year ending in the preceding year will form the basis for filing the tax return in the current year. The responsibilities and accountabilities for complying with the annual tax filing requirements are with the directors of a company. Failure to comply with the statutory compliance requirements is an offence and may result in fines or prosecution.
Opening a bank account in Singapore
A bank account in Singapore may be opened as soon as a company has been officially incorporated. The Process is as follows:
We receive your questionnaire with details required for the bank account opening process. Once we receive your payment, the process will begin immediately.
We submit your initial applications to the relevant banks and wait for an invitation to arrange a meeting with the signatory. We coordinate a meeting time based on your availability.
We conduct a briefing with you for the bank meeting to review any potential questions which may be asked of you by the bank.
We organise and accompany you to the meeting with the bank, where all documentation is signed and all matters are discussed. Within three weeks, the bank will make a final decision on the approval of the account. Once approved, all funds may be transferred immediately.
Dependent upon the time of the documents' submission, the entire process takes from3 to 8 weekson average, however every case may differ depending on the complexity. Share capital of the company shall start from SGD $5000 in order to be accepted by the bank in Singapore and according to the OECD regulatory framework on international transparency, it is advisable to have a simple and clear shareholding structure. Please be advised that Singapore banks may require additional documentation from both Business Owners and signatories.
Tax and accounting regulations
A coherent offshore tax planning strategy is essential to maximize the effectiveness of offshore companies. We can assist by structuring the most tax efficient strategy to satisfy your requirements. We will guide you as to which jurisdictions offer the best tax structure by identifying the types of tax payable as well as applicable exemptions and incentives. We will provide tax planning advice that will identify which is the most favourable tax efficient jurisdiction in which to incorporate. All private limited companies must comply with the statutory regulations set out by ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) and the IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore).
Corporation tax: The corporate income tax rate in Singapore is 17% for 2013 & 2014 respectively.
Income tax: Singapore operates a territorial taxation principle therefore income derived in Singapore is subject to tax. Sales proceeds originating from outside Singapore but received in Singapore are subject to tax. Prior approval must be obtained by the Singapore Inland Revenue Authority before profit can be classified as non-Singapore Income (i.e. not derived from Singapore) and therefore be exempt from Singapore Income Tax.
Taxation of investment holding companies in Singapore
There are two types of investment companies, namely, investment dealing companies and investment holding companies.
Investment dealing company
The main activity of the above company is to make investments to then subsequently see it. The proceeds from the sale of investments are assessed under s10(1)(a). The deductibility of the expenses is also alike other companies whereby s14 and s15 apply and capital allowances can be claimed by the company.
Investment holding company
The main activity of an investment holding company is the passive holding of long-term investments. The company earns passive income in the form of rentals, dividends and interest. The income derived is assessed under s10(1)(d) or (f). Any subsequent sale of these long-term investments is considered to be capital gains.
XBRL filing services
Shelf companies areready made companieswhose primary purpose is to bypass the lengthy registration or incorporation process that can be required when forming a business.
Certain jurisdictions may take from 3 business days up to 3 weeks for the whole incorporation process to be completed. Shelf companies can be up and running within 4 business days. In some cases banks, government projects and investors will not provide credit ratings, projects or be interested to invest in newly formed companies. This is where shelf companies offer invaluable creditworthiness as they are able to show company history.
What is XBRL?
XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language, a language used in computers to present financial statements such that they can be retrieved from online records and transferred directly to users (for e.g. Auditors, Regulators & Financial Analysts) for various purposes. ACRA (Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority) implemented a new filing requirement for Singapore incorporated companies to file their financial statements in full XBRL format with effect from the 3rd of March 2014.
Applicable financial periods
The revised XBRL filing requirements are applicable for companies filing financial statements with periods ending on or after April 30th 2007. Companies filing financial statements relating to financial periods ending before April 30th 2007 will continue to file their financial statements in PDF format and their financial highlights in respect of the financial statements in their Annual Return.
Who is responsible for the correct representation and accuracy of information?
Directors of the companies will continue to be responsible for the correctness and accuracyof their financial statements in XBRL format filed with ACRA. Therefore Directors of the company have to check the information to be filed before authorising their company or authorised persons to submit the information on behalf of the company to ACRA.
Minimise your risk
Minimise your business’ risk of non-compliance with our XBRL filing service; our risk-based approach is highlighted to areas with the highest probability to receive attention from regulators. This not only reduces risks of having to submit amended filing as a result of any issues, it also keeps time spent to a minimum. We can provide explanations and feedback on any companies draft XBRL statements and assist with the internal processes & controls for continuing detail-tagging, enabling your management or compliance department to demonstrate to the audit committee and investors that the process is being conducted with precision and accuracy.
Singapore AML compliance
Singapore’s Anti Money Laundering/Counter Terrorist Financing coordination is a sophisticated system with a reasonable understanding of its Money Laundering risks and as a country has taken steps to mitigate them. Driven by the AML/CFT Steering Committee and the Inter-Agency Committee, the competent authorities ca be an extremely valuable tool in AML policy development for international companies. Singapore’s Financial Intelligence Unit, the Suspicious Transactions Reporting Office, uses well-functioning systems and coordination mechanisms to integrate FIU information into LEA processes. Singapore’s primary investigative agencies routinely make significant use of STRs at early stages of ML and predicate investigations.
For most Financial Institutions; Singapore’s AML/CFT supervision remains vigorous, with a variety of off-site factors examined and comprehensive on-site examinations/follow-up being conducted. Singapore has recently extended AML supervision to most types of Designated Non-Financial Businesses; however there remain differences in the supervision of AML requirements between relevant supervisory bodies. The country consistently provides constructive and high-quality information and assistance when requested for international cooperation. We have both knowledge and substantial number of years’ experience in the area of AML requirements. Our experience focuses on our international client base and ACRAs company guidelines. We can assist with the following services for fulfilling Singapore corporate compliance requirements:
Compliance checks at ACRA & MAS level: We can carry out an assessment of your Singapore Company’s current compliance provisions to identify any areas your company may be required to address to ensure compliance. A comprehensive report on the findings will be supplied, with an action plan.
Pre-acquisition Due Diligence & new license applications. Opening a subsidiary company is a big step for any business and the status of which may be the focus of MAS regulations that may affect your holding company’s good standing. Eltoma can assist by conducting a pre-acquisition compliance assessment and assist in obtaining the necessary permits in Singapore accordingly.
Drafting of risk mapping & risk management services: We can help to produce compliance and procedures manuals for data protection which are customized to your precise needs. We also provide training and competence schemes, compliance monitoring programmes, client letter templates, disclosure documents, business agreements and many other types of documentation you will need, in the form of risk mapping and risk management services.
New applications for MAS authorization: We can assist with the lengthy practice of applying for authorization by project managing your application. Our service ensures that the application is complete and accurate, in turn minimizing delays to the commencement of trading after being granted MAS authorization.
Continued compliance assistance: We provide ongoing assistance with compliance matters through any convenient method of communication, skype, email and telephone.
CDD, Politically Exposed Persons & Conflict of Interest resolution: We can help you to identify and satisfy any issues that may need to be addressed by creating an action plan and employing monitoring programmes.