Do you have an Australian company and plan to expand into Singapore? 

With Singapore’s strategic location, business friendly economic policies and a long-standing reputation as a regional business hub, Singapore is an awesome location for Australian companies looking to expand into Asia.

Singapore is among the top three easiest countries to do business in the world by the World Bank Group and, at the same time, is one of the world’s most competitive economies. There’s only a couple of countries in Asia where as a foreigner you can set up another branch and conduct business without too many restrictions, and Singapore is one of them. If you’re running an Australian company and would like to set up a Singapore office, here are some things that you should know:

Doing business in Singapore

Singapore’s consistent high rankings in global business reports are substantiated by the country’s stable economy. Singapore stable economy can be attributed to a national focus on human capital,services, and innovation, which makes up for the country’s relative lack of natural resources and land. Singapore is a leading regional hub for established industries such as manufacturing, financial services, logistics, healthcare, aerospace and clean energy. 

Why Run Business in Singapore

Australia companies incorporating in Singapore will benefit from a variety of pro-business policies like lower personal and corporate taxes, the Global Investor Programme (GIP), as well as step-by step assistance offered by Singapore government agencies and local corporate service providers.

Singapore Work Visas

There are several types of Singapore work visas that you may qualify for. Those most relevant to Australian companies and employees are: 

  • Employment Pass (EP) – for professional employees in managerial, executive or specialist roles who are earning a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3,600. More experienced candidates need higher salaries.
  • Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) – meant for professionals who earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$18,000. PEP holders do not need to re-apply for a new pass if they change jobs; you only need to notify the ministry of manpower. 
  • EntrePass – the most relevant pass for company entrepreneurs/founders. There are no minimum salary requirements for this.

Register a Singapore Company

Once you decide on your Singapore work visas, the next step that you’d need to do is to incorporate your Australian company in Singapore with the assistance of a qualified corporate service provider. Here are some of the common Singapore company types that you can register:

  • Subsidiary company – a private limited company incorporated in Singapore which can be fully foreign-owned. Will require at least a local/PR director.
  • Branch office – a registered legal entity which is treated as an extension of the foreign parent company. 

Company incorporation in Singapore is a direct process and often can be done within a short period of time. The exception to this is companies that are in highly regulated industries such as finance, law and media companies.

Learn more about the company registration process.

Companies registering in Singapore are usually required to hire a minimum of one resident director and are encouraged to create job opportunities for locals. If you plan on hiring both foreign and local employees, you may choose to engage payroll services in Singapore that can help process payroll and other HR matters. It is at times complicated to do so in-house, hence choosing payroll outsourcing in Singapore can help maximise your productivity and allow you to focus on your business. Other benefits include informed and reliable advice from professionals, lower costs, and complying with regulations set by the Ministry of Manpower. Processing payroll is a vital part of any business, and many companies prefer payroll services singapore over doing so in-house.

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