A Quick Guide to UK Companies Looking to Set Up in Singapore

In a world where everything is becoming more and more globalised, having a presence in other countries can be an incredibly valuable asset for local and international markets.

One market which might attract UK businesses is Singapore–the sovereign city-state within Southeast Asia. Singapore is one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and the world. The Singaporean economy grew by 1.3% in the first quarter of 2021 compared with a year ago, as reported by the ministry of trade and industry said.

It’s an attractive destination for investors, international companies and skilled professionals alike. So, here’s a starting point for what UK companies need to consider when looking to establish their business in Singapore.

Why UK companies should consider Singapore

In the post-Brexit world that we currently inhabit, businesses within the UK are looking further afield for opportunities which could benefit them. Singapore presents many advantages for businesses operating within it which would suit companies looking to expand their international presence or establish themselves within Southeast Asia.

Looking at the Global Competitiveness Report 2019 on economies from around the world, Singapore placed at the top overtaking many other big global players. This success is built on coming first within areas such as infrastructure, health, and labour. Businesses looking to set up will find a strong labour market with minimal red tape to manage – both crucial factors.

Non-EU markets are being looked upon more favourably by many businesses, with experts predicting the UK government will support exporting outside of the EU in a way which it previously hasn’t. With a presence in Singapore, UK businesses would have a gateway into Southeast Asia and join a strong network of other international businesses with headquarters in Singapore.

Singapore is a hub of activity in some of the world’s most exciting sectors, including eCommerce and financial technologies (fintech). If your business is looking to capitalise in developments within these areas, moving into Singapore is an absolute must. Financial products are available for start-ups to experiment with, which could be an exciting prospect for some businesses.

There’s no need to worry about your ideas being infringed upon either, as Singapore has an intellectual property office (IPO) second only to the European Union.

Registering your company in Singapore

Wondering about how tricky it would be in practice to set up in Singapore? It might be easier than you’d first think. Foreigners are able to register a company with 100% shareholding a relatively negligible level of difficulty.

Any person over 18 years of age is able to do so, provided they do not have a history of bankruptcy or previous legal offences.

However, you will require a physical presence within Singapore at the time of your registration. This is where things can potentially take a more difficult turn. You will need to appoint a local/resident director for your businesses, which comes with a number of options.

UK residents will likely need to hire a local business registration provider and acquire Singapore work visas when looking to bring their business into Singapore. This is where having expert immigration assistance can pay off, as they will know the ins and outs required to get your business set up with the least amount of fuss.

With the right local knowledge to guide you through the process, setting your UK-based business up with an office in Singapore can reveal new opportunities. If you’re looking for a new location that would suit your business, then Singapore might just have what you’re looking for.c


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