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ASEAN Connected: Singapore Business Guide

ASEAN Connected: Singapore Business Guide

Singapore is the fifth largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the world, according to the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2015. FDI flows into Singapore amounted to USD65 billion in 2015.

Singapore ranked first in the World Bank's 2016 Doing Business rankings for the 10th year in a row. Singapore's strengths were highlighted in the following topics: Dealing with Construction Permits, Protecting Minority Investors and Enforcing Contracts. The report highlighted that resolving a commercial dispute through the Singapore District Court can take just 150 days, the shortest time recorded worldwide. Furthermore, efficient dispute resolution is paired with good institutions (such as specialised courts), effective case management and sophisticated court automation tools.

Key facts about starting a business in Singapore:

  • It takes three procedures and approximately 2.5 days to start a new business in Singapore; this process is detailed in the Doing Business in chapter
  • Obtaining an Employment Pass usually takes seven working days if applying online or five weeks if the application is submitted manually; employment regulations are discussed in detail in the Labour chapter
  • Obtaining written permission for a construction permit from the Urban Redevelopment Authority takes approximately 14 days and costs SGD2,680
  • All Singapore incorporated entities must prepare statutory financial statements in accordance with the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS); further details can be found in the Audit chapter
  • Companies that wish to list securities on the SGX must, amongst other conditions, have a minimum consolidated pre-tax profit of at least SGD30 million for the latest financial year and an operating track record of at least three years; this is discussed further in the Finance chapter
 
This HSBC guide has been developed to provide businesses with an overview of Singapore, its legal regime, start-up and market entry considerations, tax and customs requirements and a general summary of the factors that may affect the decision to do business in Singapore. However, the information contained in this document is generic in nature and you should not act or rely on it without obtaining specific professional advice.

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Dee-Ann Prather, Down Under Enterprises International
NSW Women in Global Business Award winner
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