Follow the Wealth: Try a Singapore Startup

The third wealthiest nation in the world. Number one for ease of doing business. Number one in Asia for quality of life. Singapore certainly has a lot going for it.

The Merlion in Singapore
photo credit: William Cho

A towering tax haven for high-rollers and millionaires-in-waiting, this city state is a boon for large businesses, with zero capital gains or dividend tax luring in foreign companies like a profiteering pied piper.

And following these huge multinationals are a host of entrepreneurs hoping for a slice of that Singapore success-cake. Armed with nothing but a startup idea, some capital and a willful optimism, these young bucks are looking to reap the rewards of this hub of profit.

So if you’re aiming to be one of Singapore’s finest, here are a few facts you need to know.

Make your office virtual

When you’re a budding startup, the biggest headache is having to shell out for a premises that can impress people while still remaining in your price range.

The Central Business District (CBD) is the happening place to be for any business in Singapore, but an office in these skyscrapers can cost towering sums of cash.

But the solution is at hand – invest in a virtual office to give you an impressive address without having to shell out for an actual location. The cream of these facilities will even give you temporary business suites where you can hold meetings and wow your clients.

It’s an ideal way to balance the books and still look like a swish multinational.

Know your visa needs

Having a work visa (known as an Entrepass) is a must if you want to start a business in Singapore – and you’ll have to meet a few special criteria if you want to gain one.

  • First off, your business structure will have to be registered as a private limited company.
  • You aren’t allowed to own more than 30 per cent of its shares.
  • You’ll need at least SGD50,000 paid-up capital.
  • You cannot have been registered as a business for more than six months before you apply.

For more details on gaining your Entrepass, contact Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower.

Business as Usual in Orchard Road, Singapore
photo credit: mario_opal

Stay friendly with the locals

The reception to expats has been frosty in recent years, with numerous protests against foreigners taking place in the central park.

That’s why, especially if you want your startup to be a hit, it’s necessary to keep the locals on your side. Give Singaporeans the chance for employment instead of vying for outside help, and consider helping out in your local community.

Do this and you’ll be in Singapore’s good books in no time.

Network to success

The population of Singapore consists of 38 per cent foreigners, and many will be in the same field as you.

Because of this, a number of networking events for expats have sprung up across the city-state, allowing people to meet, get to know each other and maybe even spark up a business partnership. Take advantage of these connections and you’ll strike success in no time.