Expand Business in Singapore

Global Upside helps businesses expand into Singapore by providing talent acquisition, human resources, accounting, payroll, tax, incorporation, and professional employer organization (PEO)/employer of record (EOR) services. Our comprehensive offerings create an end-to-end solution that helps you establish your business and optimize your operations, all while maintaining compliance with Singapore laws and regulations.

The hiring and incorporation processes in Singapore are often complex, time-consuming, and involve numerous legal and compliance challenges. Global Upside simplifies these processes and lifts the compliance burden from your business. Our teams have the experience and expertise required to help you establish a legal entity in Singapore. We also offer PEO/EOR solutions to companies interested in hiring employees quickly, without setting up a legal entity in the country.

Capital City

Singapore

Currency

Singapore Dollar (SGD)

Language

English, Mandarin Chinese, Malay

Government

Republic

Country Overview

Singapore is a multi-cultural city-state in southeast Asia. The country has a population of over 5.6 million and is globally recognized as a financial and commercial business hub. Singapore is considered a thriving ground for multinational companies with foreign business investment encouraged by the national government.

  • Singapore is the richest economy in Southeast Asia in terms of GDP per capita
  • Singapore has very low corruption rates
  • Singapore has a pro-business government that supports foreign investment and trade
  • The workforce in Singapore is highly skilled

Legal Background

Singapore has a legal system that is based on the system of English common laws. The legal code in the country is outlined by the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore.

  1. Court procedures in Singapore are similar to legal proceedings in England
  2. Remote decisions from Commonwealth authorities are laterally enforceable in agreement with the Reciprocal Enforcement of Commonwealth Judgments Act
  3. The Reciprocal Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act has listed the Hong Kong SAR judgments under it
  4. Negotiation and settlement are available as modes to resolve any form of dispute that is applicable to both domestic and cross-border differences

In the past few years, Singapore has proven to be a prime location for international conciliation and is also reputed in the Asia-Pacific region. Alliances that are looking for legal resolutions can present their disputes to the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC).

Legal Entity Setup

There are various options for structuring a business entity in Singapore:

Branch Office

A branch office is registered as an extension of the parent company and not as an independent entity. The legal responsibilities are taken care of by the parent company.

Representative Office

A representative office is listed as an interim arrangement that conducts all marketing and R&D activities. There is no legal status and a representative office should not engage in any kind of profit yielding activities.

Company or Limited Liability Company (LLC)

The parent company is a shareholder in an LLC. This is the most favored choice when it comes to registration in the country.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is not an independently incorporated entity. Instead, the business and the owner are seen as the same entity under the law. As a result, the business owner legally owns all the assets and liabilities of the firm.

Partnership

A partnership allows a group of two or more individuals to form and co-own the business.

Human Resources

As per the Employment Act of Singapore, employees who have been hired after April 1, 2016 need to be provided with key employment terms (KETs) by the employers. The key employment terms must be issued to the employees within two weeks of their joining. This documentation includes the following details:

  • Name of the employer in full
  • Name of the employee in full
  • Date of joining
  • Job title and description along with the responsibilities
  • Extent of the employment agreement, if relevant
  • Remuneration and bonus
  • Working hours and overtime
  • Probation or training clause, if relevant
  • Perks and benefits for the employee
  • Leaves and public holidays
  • Insurance and medical benefits
  • Termination policy

Payroll

Employers in Singapore must pay employee salaries no less than once a month, or at lesser intervals as per company policies.

Accounting

The accounting standards are recognized as Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS) and are based on the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Taxation

Tax Rate

Singapore has a single-tier national tax rate of 17%.

Goods & Services Tax (GST)

A 7% GST is imposed on the supply of goods and services in Singapore.

Data Privacy

The Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) is important legislation that ensures the protection of personal and consumer data. As per the PDPA, an employer cannot collect, use, or disclose employee details without a valid reason (such as the termination of an employment contract as long as the employee is aware of the reason).

Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption Law

The Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) is the primary law for anti-corruption in Singapore. Corruption has been defined as a bribe that is offered in return for any kind of favor. Bribes have been classified into 2 forms, monetary and non-monetary, and are described as:

  • Any gifts, loans, rewards, commissions, fees, money, or any other property
  • Any form of office contract or employment
  • Any kind of release, liquidation, or discharge of loan, or payment of any other liability
  • Any favor, advantage, or service
  • Any promise, undertaking, or offer of gratification

Penalties can be issued if anyone is found guilty of any wrongdoing. Individuals found guilty can receive a fine of $100,000 as well as forcible detention of 5 years.