Setting up an Offshore Company in Singapore 2019

The State of Singapore is acting as the gateway for ASEAN markets by offering attractive tax rates, robust financial sector, secure business ecosystem and world-class infrastructure. The tiny Asian country has been the focal point for trade and commerce for decades as goods on ships moved across the straits of Malacca to reach economic powers such as China, India, Arabia and Japan.

Positioned strategically on the world’s busiest shipping routes the State of Singapore after its independence followed a Free-trade policy allowing ships to anchor in the Port of Singapore free of customs duties. In the upcoming years, the state has developed infrastructure with a secure environment for trade and commerce in the country, this encouraged the vessels to berth conduct business and perform maintenance, refuelling and resupply activities on maritime vessels.

Since the early 1970s, Singapore has re-structured itself as a financial hub by allowing foreign direct investment allowing foreign owners, investors, businesspeople, organisation & companies to start their operations in Singapore. The country has shown tremendous growth in the later decades as foreign investment flowed into the country. Meanwhile, the country's infrastructure was purposefully designed to attract and accommodate companies. This encouraged more industries to move into Singapore due to its favourable tax laws, open business environment, and a robust legal system that protected businesses

What is an Offshore Company?

An offshore company is a corporation or LLC or similar class of legal business entity that is registered in a foreign country or a territory. The company is referred to as off-shore as it is registered in a location outside or away from the national boundaries of the owner or investor. However, the term “Off-Shore” is collectively used to describe foreign banks, corporations, investments and deposits maintained in offshore locations as a part of business.

An offshore company is a legal company structure that allows a business to be legally registered for achieving specific objectives such as

  • For expanding business operations internationally
  • Leverage the tax benefits such as zero or low tax rates
  • Enjoy relaxed business regulations
  • Structured laws regarding corporate registration

Many countries, territories and jurisdictions have Offshore Financial Centres (OFC's) that offer relaxed regulations, lower tax rates, strategic advantage, and extensive corporate services to businesses. In addition to this, an offshore company structure provides the following advantages

  • Low operating costs
  • Zero or low taxes
  • Ensured privacy of operations
  • Ensures the anonymity of owners, shareholders and investors
  • Lesser regulations on the transfer of wealth
  • Little to no red tape
  • High-Profit repatriation
  • Secure financial retention
  • Availability of flexible corporate structures
  • Business operations not bound by stringent policies
  • Availability of extensive corporate services for companies

Why Setup an Offshore Company in Singapore?

Setting up a company offshore is an important business decision that an owner/investor can take as registering the company overseas has its advantages and limitations.However, a business owner can expand the company's business operations internationally by registering their company in an offshore location allowing the business to enjoy lesser tax rates, and lower operating cost while taking account of the lenient regulations on fund transfer. In the broader sense, an offshore company structure offers you flexibility in handling and operating your business.

Furthermore, offshore company structures in Singapore offers numerous advantages combined with the world-class infrastructure, strong IP protection, robust legal system and large well-developed financial sector to support your offshore company registered in Singapore.

In the case of starting an offshore company in Asia, the Republic of Singapore is one of the best choices in the region. Singapore has a stable environment politically and economically, located strategically in Asia providing great connectivity options to various parts of the world. Similarly, registering your offshore company structure in Singapore is a relatively easy and effortless process that is streamlined.

Benefits of Setting up an Offshore Company in Singapore

Setting up an offshore company in Singapore offers various benefits to start-ups, businesses and organisations who are interested in expanding their operations internationally and leveraging the tactical advantages provided by a Singapore offshore company structure. Moreover, Singapore as a nation is geared to be effective in governance, while developing high-tech infrastructure, innovative and business-friendly policies which offers numerous benefits to entrepreneurs, business owners and investors encouraging them to start operations in the country.

As far as the taxes are concerned, the Singapore government follows a transparent and efficient tax system that is single-tier (i.e. GST) this system has low corporate taxes and personal taxes that are combined with customized tax rates for specialized businesses, and offers tax incentives for companies, including tax relief measures for personal taxes amounts less than specified value. Besides, Singapore has extensive double-tax treaties with a network of more than fifty countries thus reducing the double taxes paid by companies and individuals operating internationally from Singapore.

Looking into offshore companies in Singapore some of the advantages offered by an offshore company registered in Singapore are

  • Ranked consistently top in the Ease of Doing Business rankings worldwide
  • Strategic location in the Asia Pacific Region
  • State-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Extensive banking and financial services
  • Minimised tax liability
  • Enhanced business image
  • Effortless and streamlined procedures
  • Liberal laws regarding foreign ownership
  • Economically and politically stable
  • No capital tax and dividends

Checklist for Starting an Offshore Company in Singapore

  1. Designing Company name and getting approval
  2. Number of Directors
  3. Number of Shareholders
  4. Registered Company Secretary
  5. Total Paid-up Capital
  6. Registered Company Address or Office Space in Singapore
  7. Appointment of Incorporation agent (i.e., Business Setup Worldwide)
  8. Documents necessary for registration
    1. Passport Copies of the proposed Directors and Shareholders
    2. Residential Address Proof of the proposed Directors and Shareholders
    3. Information of the Parent Company if corporate is the shareholder
  9. Incorporating your Company
  10. Opening a Bank Account in Singapore
  11. Registering for GST
  12. Acquiring business licenses and permits for the company in Singapore

If you are interested in starting an offshore company in Singapore, contact us our expert team in Singapore shall guide you in the process of registering your business as offshore company according to the Singapore’s corporate laws, rules and regulations.

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About the Author

narayanan@bsworldwide.com's picture

Narayanan has been a ghostwriter for the past 4 years. As an undergrad in Electrical & Electronics Engineering, he has a well-founded interest in developing sustainable solutions with innovative technology. Intellectually curious, he has a wide range of interests ranging from Renewable Energy, Electronics, Technology, Military Science, Geopolitics, International Relations, and world history.