Singapore is an international business hub with large prospects of success. It attracts investors from across the globe who try to get a piece of the pie. Its laws are friendly to business, and its infrastructure is stable and well developed. It also has a very reliable workforce. All these factors, among others, make this Asian island-state a lucrative business destination. Foreign investors intending to start businesses in Singapore can look at several options. They can open a subsidiary of their company, start a branch office, or create Private Limited Company. The latter is the best option because owners can only be held liable for up to the amount of assets they put in the business. The business is also deemed to be more safe and credible by most third parties.
What are the steps or necessities for a foreigner to kick off a business in Singapore? Read on for a discussion on the subject.
Application for EntrePass
If a foreigner decides to set up their business in Singapore, they must apply for an Entrepass from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). This must be done before any other business plans are started. However, if the investor has no plans of residing in Singapore to run the business, they need not apply for the Entrepass.
Qualification for Entrepass
To qualify for an Entrepass your business must be legal, have been registered as a private limited company, and cannot have been registered for more than six months by the time of the application. You need to be holding at least 30% of the business shares. The paid-up capital of the company must be more than S$50,000.
Directors of the company
A director of a company must be 18 years old or older. A company must have at least one director, who can also be a shareholder. At least one director must be a Singaporean or a permanent resident in Singapore. You need not worry how you will get a Singaporean director in case you are setting up a business in Singapore. The incorporation agencies offer nominee directors. These may be an added advantage as they may offer you invaluable advice on the best business niches and help you tweak your business strategies.
Visa for the staff
You should consider applying for a visa for each of the staff members if you intend to bring them to Singapore. After the company is incorporated, the various staff, managers, and executives (directors) can get into the country under an Employment Pass which is valid for 1-2 years. This pass can be renewed as many times as necessary, provided all requirements are met.
Licenses and permits
Operating some types of businesses in Singapore necessitates some compulsory licenses, although these will be necessary after the company is incorporated. It would be prudent to have an idea of all the permits and licenses that the business will require to avoid being in the bad books with the law. The licenses and permits are issued by different authorities depending on the sector your business is operating in.
Singapore offers a superb environment for foreign investors to start their businesses. The foreigners need to understand all that they are required to comply with and the steps of registering a business formally in this Asian economic hub.