Why Entrepreneurs Like Singapore

Singapore is one of the most popular choices for setting up a business when entrepreneurs are deciding to venture overseas. The strong social, economic and legislative foundations supported Singapore’s position as a leading world class business hub. Many accolades and key statistics corroborated with the position of Singapore as a leading global player in the business environment.

According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2022 report, Singapore ranked #2 in the world and #1 in Asia in terms of ease of doing business. In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2021, Singapore ranked #3 in the world and #1 in Asia in terms of competitiveness of the economy.

In terms of digital competitiveness, Singapore ranked #2 in the world in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2021, just behind the United States. Singapore also ranked #1 in the world in the 2021 edition of the Waseda University World e-Government Rankings, which evaluates countries’ performance in providing online public services.

Regarding corruption perceptions, in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2021, Singapore was ranked #4 in the world and #1 in Asia.

From the results of the above indicators and studies, Singapore has excelled in most of the major macro factors entrepreneurs will most likely take into consideration when deciding on the choice of location to start a business.

In the last decade, the Singapore government has introduced a slew of incentives and pro-business policies to encourage business growth. New companies are granted a 3 year tax incentive period under the Tax Exemption Scheme for New Start Up Companies whereby qualifying companies are granted 75% tax exemption on the first $100,000 of chargeable income and 50% tax exemption on the next $100,000 earned in each of the first 3 tax years of the Company. This works out to an effective tax rate of 6.375% on the first $200,000 chargeable income for the first 3 years.

Various innovation and productivity schemes and grants are widely available to local Companies and businesses, These schemes and grants, administered by Spring Singapore, aim to encourage innovation via government subsidies. The scheme generally offers up to 70% cost subsidies or a fixed sum for low to moderate productivity investments.

Such pro-business measures, together with the increasingly positive entrepreneurial sentiments in the country, has resulted in a surge in company and business formation over the last 3 years.

YEAR 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Company Formation 34,976 38,484 34,243 35,227 37,394 43,240 43,920 42,361 45,178 46,419
LLP Formation 2,312 3,104 2,100 2,431 2,373 2,058 1,710 2,057 1,835 1,277
Business & Partnership Formation 22,891 35,774 28,546 27,262 22,337 16,497 15,932 19,048 18,121 16,291
Total Formation 60,179 77,362 64,889 64,920 62,104 61,795 61,562 63,466 65,134 63,987
Source: Department of Statistics Singapore