Singapore Software Scene!

After exploring why entrepreneurs, tech firms, and founders are moving to Singapore, here’s why engineering talents want to be in the heart of Asia.

Over the past few years, some of the biggest technology companies have made Singapore a key node in its operations. Social media giant Facebook is opening its first S$1.38 billion (US$1 billion) Asian data centre while Google’s third data centre for their next billion users is on the cards.

Southeast Asia’s own unicorns have also made Singapore their staging ground to grow their operations. Grab, the region’s largest ride-hailing platform, decided to relocate its headquarters to Singapore in 2014. E-commerce giant Lazada also chose Singapore as its group’s headquarters.

The common reason why the tech giants are turning to Singapore? Great talent, says Mr Lionel Wong, senior tech recruiter at Indeed.com, one of the largest job portals in the world. “If you look at Indonesian startups, you’ll realise they’re building their engineering centres in Singapore. Big Indonesia unicorns base their tech teams here. The senior software engineers are being hired here. They see the talent here.”

As one of the world’s easiest places to do business, setting up in Singapore is seamless and efficient. Whether you are a corporate or individual investor, here are some key processes to know as you start your investment journey with Singapore.Incorporating Your BusinessConnections Concierge

Incorporating Your Business

01

Choose your business structure

Business entities in Singapore are licensed and regulated by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). There are several types of business structures that can be set up in Singapore. The ACRA website will provide you with more information about which business structure is most suitable for your needs.

Visit ACRA

02

Register your business

Registering your business can be done online at Bizfile, ACRA’s online portal.View Bizfile

or

Open a representative office

A representative office can be registered in Singapore as a temporary arrangement for conducting market testing and/or research activities. To open a representative office, please approach the following government agencies:

Banking, finance and insurance – Monetary Authority of Singapore

Legal – Legal Services Regulatory Authority

All other industries (Manufacturing, international trading, wholesale, trade and trade-related business sectors) – Enterprise Singapore

03

Address key business needs

Before any business can commence operations in Singapore, it is important for business owners to be aware of any regulatory compliance requirements. Subsequently, you may proceed with recruitment, financing, and property acquisition. For more details and guidelines, visit our wide range of Resources.

New businesses in Singapore may also leverage EDB’s network of partners in the private sector, who provide a full range of business support services. For our full list of partners, visit our Connections Concierge.

04

Incentives & Schemes

To better facilitate and speed up the discussion with Singapore Government, it is recommended to prepare a business plan.Business Plan Guide 

Foreign businesses with plans to grow through conducting high value and substantive activities in Singapore may be eligible to apply for various incentive programmes.Learn More 

05

Visas & Immigration

Individual foreign entrepreneurs and investors who are interested in setting up a long-term base in Singapore can either apply for the EntrePass, or consider applying for Singapore Permanent Residence (PR) under the Global Investor Programme.

EntrePass
The EntrePass is designed to facilitate the entry and stay of entrepreneurs who intend to start and operate a new business in Singapore. Successful applicants will be awarded a one-year pass. Visit the Ministry of Manpower for more information.

Global Investor Programme (GIP)
The GlP accords PR status to investors with a substantial business track record who intend to drive the growth of their investments from Singapore. To qualify for the GIP, the applicant must either (a) invest at least S$2.5 million in a new business entity or in the expansion of an existing business operation in Singapore, or (b) invest at least S$2.5 million in a GIP fund that invests in Singapore-based companies, or (c) invest at least S$2.5 million in a new or existing Singapore-based single family office having Assets-Under-Management (AUM*) of at least S$200 million. 

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