How to Start Business in Singapore from Malaysia
Every year almost 5,000 Malaysians decide to start a business in Singapore. Singapore’s legislation allows foreigners to incorporate companies very quickly, even without the physical presence of the business owner. In this guide, we’ll answer the most common questions about starting a business in Singapore from Malaysia.
If you’re interested in launching a company in Singapore, click “Get Started” below. Otherwise, read more to learn about the benefits of incorporating business from Malaysia.
Why Do Malaysians Choose to Open a Company in Singapore?
Lower corporate tax rate than in Malaysia
Up-to-date corporate regulations and business laws that are business-oriented
Significantly lower level of corruption and higher level of transparency
Higher chances of external investment
No capital gains tax
Comprehensive Malaysia-Singapore Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement
Robust government incentives programs
What’s the Status of Singapore-Malaysia Business Relations?
Singapore and Malaysia have close bilateral ties due to their close geographical proximity and easy access between the countries. Thus, the economic links between those two countries are longstanding and far-reaching, spanning trade in goods and services, as well as foreign direct investment and migration of people.
In 2021, Singapore and Malaysia became each other’s second most important trading partners, in both cases surpassed only by mainland China and outranking traditional commercial allies such as the USA and the EU. Last year, the value of Singapore's import-export trade with Malaysia was S$128.7 billion. The main scope of goods traded between Malaysia and Singapore consists of specific components and parts of electronic microcircuits and consumer electronics, specialized machinery, and plastics. The two states are closely integrated into regional and global production networks.
Migration between the two countries is also considerable, as Singapore constitutes Malaysia’s largest source of visitors. In turn, Malaysia provides Singapore with a sizable number of skilled and semi-skilled workers, as almost 300,000 Malaysians travel to Singapore for work or study opportunities every working day.
Taking into account the depth, reach, and complexity of business relations between Singapore and Malaysia, it is clear that these relationships are resistant to short-term changes in policy and will only become more robust in the future.
What to Know about Launching a Business in Singapore from Malaysia
Requirements to Open a Company in Singapore from Malaysia
Cost to Open a Company in Singapore from Malaysia
The minimum paid-up capital required by law is S$1, which can be increased later. To open a Singapore company from Malaysia, you need to use the services of a local corporate services provider. For example, our cost for the first-year service bundle is S$3,100, inclusive of official government fees. The package covers all legal requirements to incorporate a new company from Malaysia. You can check the services included on our Foreigner Package service page.
If your company is involved in a field that is regulated in Singapore (such as import-export activity or tourism), you must obtain a license or permit. Getting the particular type of license or permit costs anywhere from S$50 to S$500, depending on the industry or business activity. This does not include the cost of services to assist you in preparing the license application.
If you consider moving to Singapore to operate your business, you are required to obtain a work pass such as Employment Pass (EP) or EntrePass. For example, an EP would cost you around S$1000-S$1500, but this would allow you to eliminate the cost of hiring a local director.
Where Can I Find a Local Director for my Company in Singapore from Malaysia?
If you do not have a person who can act as a local director for your Singapore-based company, that requirement is easily solved. You can sign up for our nominee director (or local director) services. Our nominee director does not have any decision-making authority, meaning he or she is appointed simply to ensure compliance and satisfy Singapore's ACRA requirements.
Alternatively, if you plan to relocate to Singapore, you can also apply for one of the work passes — such as an Employment Pass (EP) or an Entrepreneur Pass — for yourself, become a resident of Singapore, and then become a director of the company. In that case, you will only require the nominee director’s services for a period of up to 6 months while you apply for your pass.
What Taxes do I Have to Pay for My Singapore Company?
Does Singapore Have Organizations That Support Malaysian Business?
How Can We Help?
DINGLE KOOTHOOR SIMON, NUTCRACKER PTE. LTD.
Frequently Asked Questions