Singapore has a reputation for ease in starting a business owing to startup grants and efficient tax administration. It is known as the “Silicon Valley of Asia.”
Most entrepreneurs find it easy to start their new venture in their home country. While with the integrating economies and easy cross-border movements, such an insular approach may not be a good option. It may seem like an obstacle to navigating unfamiliar regulations, cultures, and government norms. However, relocating the business can bring something better upon exploring the growth opportunities.
In a recent survey of around 100 startup founders from different countries, the participants were asked to list the vital characteristics to assess while selecting the country to build and grow the business. Below is the list of top identified factors considered during the survey.
These policies play a vital role in the success of a startup. A business-friendly country is one where the government ensures the placement of an attractive tax regime, well-functioning law systems, excellent transport facilities, a good quality workforce, and well-intact public safety measures.
Availability of Resources
Easy access to startup resources nurtures the growth of companies and entrepreneurs. A startup needs help from other participants like researchers, investors, financers, co-working space providers, and various service providers.
Anyone starting with a massive investment of time and money will be concerned about the safety of their invested capital. The laws and regulations of the country guarantee corruption-free governance and equality for all, which is not just limited to individuals.
Access to Skilled Workforce
No business can succeed without a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. With emerging innovative technology, there will always be a requirement for creative human minds with technical and problem-solving skills. Entrepreneurs and investors are therefore attracted to countries with highly competent human capital at the minimum cost.
Efficient Taxes Systems
Tax policies of a country are of primary concern for every business when selecting the jurisdiction. Tax rates associated with the establishment make a difference in income sources and payouts to the staff and investors. Before starting any business, it is significant to evaluate the taxation norms.
Easy Global Expansion
Most entrepreneurs and startups have a strategy of international expansion at the very beginning in their minds to drive growth. Businesses expand their functions to other countries to gather new customers, lower the cost of production, acquire a new venture or have a strategic collaboration. Many aspects like ease of travel, government assistance, tax systems, easy capital flow, and other factors are estimated while selecting the country with the best opportunities for expanding overseas.
How does Singapore fares on each of the mentioned factors?
Singapore is a small country with a population of less than 6 million, desiring to make the country the “Factory of startups” as it has an emerging culture of entrepreneurship. Thousands of startups are launched every year with enormous investment funds and investor networks.
Incorporating a new business in Singapore is uncomplicated, efficient, and faster. The country has straightforward compliances which are easy to follow. These relatively simple and easy-to-follow rules and regulations make corporate compliance significantly less burdensome than in most other countries.
Singapore’s Government is supportive and provides plenty of resources in the form of grants, incentives, and in-kind assistance for the new businesses. It is home to over 128 commercial banks, 31 merchant banks, and over 300 fund managers, which makes the country Asia’s primary hub for wealth management and investments. This eases access to private as well as commercial banking services for raising capital at low-interest rates.
The government has signed over 21 free trade agreements with 27 economies and 76 comprehensive avoidance of double tax agreements with the single-tier flat-rate corporate income tax system, making it smoother to start business across borders.
Although the workforce lack creativity, Singapore is ranked as the best country for developing human capital, according to the World Bank. Singaporeans are very efficient, follow protocol, listen to instructions, and are very organized and analytical. The government is implementing educational reforms to overcome the shortcoming of being creative.
Where the legal compliances are concerned, corruption has been limited because of the moral standards set and exemplified by the country’s founder right from the nation’s inception. The country’s civil service selects the best students and pays them very well to avoid motivation to take bribes or commit other misdeeds.
Singapore also provides a range of assistance programs to help startups expand globally. For any entrepreneur, it is substantial to have convenient access to other major markets. Therefore, Singapore has become an ideal place to set up a parent company that expands overseas through subsidiaries.
If anyone is thinking about scaling up faster in the region, Singapore’s strategic geographical location is a gateway to the high-growth markets of Southeast Asia, China, and India.
In the last few years, Singapore has become an entrepreneurial heartland in Asia which makes it the most attractive location for startups. The vital elements encourage foreign investments and create more opportunities for foreign players.