Singapore Expansion Guide
Global Upside helps companies set up, hire, and operate in Singapore. Set up a legal entity quickly and easily with our solutions for branch, subsidiary, and rep office. Looking for an alternative to permanent establishment? Hire and pay employees in Singapore without a legal entity by using our PEO & employer of record services. Once your business is set up, our teams can support with recruitment and staffing, human resources, employee benefits, payroll, accounting, and tax.
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
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.
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.
It takes a minimum of 2 to 8 weeks to set up a legal establishment in Singapore.
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
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.