How to Set Up

Are you a foreign trading company thinking of setting up in Singapore? 

Singapore may be the easiest place to do business, but going to the right place to find the right information definitely goes a long way to help move you along. 

  1. setting-up-a-representative-office

    Setting up a Representative Office

    If you are keen to explore the viability of doing business in Singapore or are interested in using Singapore as a launch pad into the Asia Pacific, you may wish to set up a Representative Office (RO) to assess the business environment in Singapore before setting up a permanent establishment. Register here.

  2. Setting-up-a-permanent-establishment

    Setting up a permanent establishment

    You may wish to refer to these useful links: 

    EnterpriseOne – a comprehensive network providing general information on doing business in Singapore

    Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) – all businesses in Singapore must be registered with ACRA

  3. Visa-requirements

    VISA requirements

    If you’re a foreign entrepreneur keen to start a business in Singapore, you can apply for an EntrePass from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). If your employees are non-residents, they need to hold a valid work pass – an Employment Pass, S Pass or Work Permit, depending on their skills, qualifications, job and salary. Find out more from the Ministry of Manpower website.

  1. hiring-manpower

    Hiring manpower

    Singapore maintains an edge in human resource with a strong pool of local talent as well as a capable international workforce. You may wish to find out more about Singapore’s labour market, fair employment practices and sources to recruit employees at the EnterpriseOne and Ministry of Manpower websites.


  2. taxes


    Income tax is payable on both Singapore-sourced and foreign-sourced income received in Singapore, though exemptions may apply to certain foreign-sourced income. The corporate income tax rate is 17%, while the personal income tax rate ranges from 0% to 20%. Singapore tax resident companies and individuals can benefit from various tax reliefs, incentives and the extensive Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) network in place. Find out more at the IRAS website

  3. Global Trader Programme Icon

    Global Trader Programme

    IE Singapore’s Global Trader Programme provides a concessionary tax rate to trading companies on their qualifying trading income. 

    Well-established players engaged in international trading with a wide trading and distribution network are welcome to apply.

Living in Singapore

Singapore has consistently been named Asia’s most liveable city1, testament to its safe environment, quality housing, renowned educational institutions, established healthcare services and excellent transport network.

The government’s pro-business stance and low personal income tax rates make Singapore an attractive place to work in, while the flourishing arts and cultural scene, together with over 3,000 hectares of parks and reservoirs, defines Singapore as the ideal place to relax and unwind.


1 Quality of Living Index, Mercer, 2011

Cosmopolitan-City-Living Green-Parks Education-System Healthcare Immigration-Policies

Having progressed from a humble fishing village to a bustling cosmopolitan city, Singapore encompasses both old world charm and bright city lights. Populated by lofty structures and lush greenery, Singapore is a melting pot of languages, races, cultures, cuisines and lifestyles. Its strategic position at the crossroads of trading routes has transformed the city-state into a gateway between the East and the West.  

More information about living in Singapore

Singapore is known as the garden city, thanks to a balance between fast-paced urban living and the tranquillity of nature. Despite being one of the most densely populated countries in the world, green spaces are readily accessible, be it through the extensive network of park connectors linking the parks across the island or one of the many natural attractions such as the Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore Botanic Gardens or Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve.

More information on Singapore’s parks

Singapore has a strong educational system that ranks amongst the best in the world5 and boasts a high literacy rate. Schools use English as the medium of instruction, but a bilingual policy ensures that students also study a second language – usually their mother tongue. In addition to public schools, there are also private or international schools and a choice of quality higher learning institutions comprising of leading public and private universities as well as polytechnics.

More information on Singapore’s educational system

5World Competitiveness Yearbook, Institute for Management Development (IMD), 2011

Singapore has gained international prominence as Asia’s leading medical hub, providing a wide range of quality healthcare for patients both local and from across the globe. Internationally accredited medical personnel and highly advanced facilities form the backbone of public and private hospitals. The country’s well-established healthcare system is affordable and highly accessible: there are seven public hospitals, six public speciality centres, seven private hospitals, and numerous General Practitioners island-wide.

More information on Singapore's healthcare system

Singapore strives to enhance her pool of talent by welcoming and attracting the best personnel from all corners of the world. The city-state seeks to create a diverse and resilient workforce, which includes capable foreign professionals. Singapore’s receptiveness to foreign talent is reflected in its visa schemes catering to different needs and people: long-term or short-term, employment or family, and residency or citizenship.

More information on employment passes

News and Events

Back: Non-Financial Assistance