How to Start Business in Singapore from Australia
Singapore stands as an attractive destination for Australian companies aiming to expand their presence into Asia and beyond. Renowned for its strategic location in Southeast Asia, Singapore offers a robust business environment, bolstered by its low tax rates, free trade agreements, strong intellectual property protection, and ease of doing business.
Below we have prepared some helpful information to consider if you are thinking of establishing business operations in Singapore.
Key Advantages of Singapore
Favorable Tax Environment
Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTA)
No Capital Gains Tax
Strategic Location in Southeast Asia
Free Trade Agreements and IP Protection
Ease of Doing Business
Access to Investment Opportunities
Ease of Incorporation
Labor Force and Infrastructure
Singapore-Australia Business Relations
Singapore and Australia maintain a robust and enduring relationship, grounded in historical ties and fortified by contemporary collaborations. Australia notably became the second nation to extend recognition to Singapore upon its independence in 1965. This relationship was further solidified in 2015 with the establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP), encompassing various facets of engagement spanning trade, defense, science, innovation, education, digital economy, and green economy initiatives.
Annual meetings between the Prime Ministers of Australia and Singapore underscore the strength and depth of bilateral ties. Recent interactions between Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Singapore’s Acting Prime Minister Lawrence Wong in June 2023 reiterated the robust cooperation under the CSP, notably emphasizing the progress achieved in key initiatives within the Green Economy Agreement (GEA).
Regular interactions among Singaporean and Australian cabinet ministers further cement bilateral relations. Ministerial visits, such as Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles’ attendance at the Shangri-La Dialogue in June 2023 and Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong’s discussions in Singapore in July 2022, highlight the ongoing collaboration between the countries.
Joint Ministerial Committee
The Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee (SAJMC) convenes biennially, bringing together Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Defence Ministers from both nations. The thirteenth SAJMC held in May 2023 centered discussions around the comprehensive cooperation within the CSP.
Trade and Investment
Singapore stands as Australia’s largest two-way trading partner and significant investor in Southeast Asia, contributing significantly to Australia's trade and economy. The countries maintain substantial investments in each other's economies, fostering a mutually beneficial economic relationship.
The Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), signed in 2003 and revised multiple times, underscores their commitment to bolstering trade ties. This agreement, along with their participation in various regional economic agreements such as AANZFTA, RCEP, and CPTPP, facilitates seamless trade collaboration.
Australia-Singapore Food Pact
The enduring food partnership between Singapore and Australia, bolstered during the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizes a shared commitment to food safety and innovation for bolstering resilience in their food systems. The 2022 Annual Leaders' Meeting saw countries’ Prime Ministers initiating efforts toward a bilateral Food Pact aimed at fortifying supply chain resilience and amplifying trade and investments in Australian and Singaporean food supplies. Supported by agreed-upon Guiding Principles to conclude negotiations by 2024, the Food Pact strives to augment trade in high-quality food products, establish Singapore as a transshipment hub, drive Singaporean investments into Australia, and foster collaboration on global food security.
What to Know about Launching a Business in Singapore from Australia
Foreigners are free to set up a new Singapore company or a subsidiary of their existing foreign company in Singapore with 100% share ownership.
While our guide setting up a Singaporean company provides comprehensive information on all aspects of incorporating a company in Singapore, here are the key requirements:
- A minimum share capital of one dollar
- Appointment of a company secretary to ensure ongoing compliance
- Appointment of a at least one local residency director
- Appointment of a local registered address for the company
As a leading provider of incorporation and compliance services in Singapore, we provide all necessary services to make your company registration and ongoing compliance a no-headache task for you.
Cost and Considerations
As the majority of our clients are foreign entrepreneurs, we have designed a special Foreigner Package that covers all necessary requirements including company registration, appointment of a company secretary, registered address, applying for employment pass or provision of a resident nominee director, and bank account opening assistance. The package costs SGD 3,100 including government fees.
Physical presence in Singapore isn’t mandatory for incorporation or for opening a corporate bank account. With our industry-leading online platform, all our communication, exchange and signing of documents can be handled electronically. Regardless, we will always be happy to see you in our office anytime you are in Singapore or talk to you over a zoom call if you have any questions.
Taxes to be Paid
Organizations Supporting Australian Business
Singapore hosts several organizations and initiatives that actively support Australian companies in Singapore seeking to establish themselves in the region. Here are some key entities and networks facilitating Australian business interests:
AustCham plays a pivotal role in connecting Australian businesses with opportunities in Singapore. It offers a platform for networking, knowledge-sharing, and advocacy, providing valuable resources and events to assist Australian companies in navigating the Singaporean business landscape.
Austrade operates in Singapore and offers comprehensive support to Australian companies aiming to expand into Singapore and broader Southeast Asia. It provides market intelligence, advice, and connections to assist businesses in their expansion endeavors.
The EDB is a Singaporean government agency that actively engages with foreign businesses, including Australian enterprises, to encourage investment and business development in Singapore. It offers various programs and incentives to attract and support companies seeking to establish a presence in Singapore.
ANZA operates as a social organization for Australians and New Zealanders residing in Singapore. It offers a supportive network of friends and contacts and organizes diverse sporting and social activities for various age groups and interests. ANZA also ensures the celebration of major Australian events such as the Melbourne Cup.
Next Steps for Starting Business in Singapore from Australia
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