Are offshore companies in Singapore above board?

An offshore company is one which is incorporated in a country different from the jurisdiction of its main place of operations, or the country where its main investors or beneficial owners are residents. Simply speaking, offshore simply means a jurisdiction other than your own.

Singapore has a number of benefits with regard to offshore company incorporation:

1. Taxes

Singapore is an attractive location in terms of taxes, for both individuals and businesses. There aren’t any ‘hidden’ taxes. This is not to say the tax procedure is lax; it is well regimented due to the strong rule of law in Singapore. It should not be confused with a tax haven, just a country with straight-forward, relatively inexpensive tax rates.

2. Credibility

Building on the idea of Singapore’s strong rule of law, it is a very credible location to incorporate your business. Singapore has a strong international reputation, and within the country, especially with shrewd back-office support, you are unlikely to fall victim to any fraudulent schemes. 

3. Incorporation with ease

The World Bank Group ranked Singapore as the 2nd easiest place to incorporate a company. This can be done entirely remotely, and is boiled down to two steps: confirming availability of company name, and submitting incorporation documents. Entrepreneurs don’t need to jump through too many hoops to get incorporated in Singapore. 

4. Tolerance of foreign shareholders

Singapore is fairly tolerant of companies with entirely foreign ownership and shareholders. Though most local banks do require a local director, this person does not need to own any shares in the company. Local director presence is a service that PikoHANA provides. It may be difficult to secure grants from your Singapore bank if you don’t have any local ownership, but otherwise, you should be able to operate with ease even if you have no local shareholders.

5. Political stability and advanced infrastructure

Singapore is very well developed, with a remarkably stable government, and strong infrastructure – from transportation to phone and internet coverage. This advanced characteristic of the Little Red Dot makes it an attractive location for business. There should never be any fear of political risks or prolonged service outages in Singapore.

Matt Foley

Matt Foley

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About PikoHANA

Matt Foley started PikoHANA because… well, because he was tired of the crap level of service offered by corporate services providers in Asia!

After 20 years as a CFO in stock listed companies in the US, HK and Singapore, Matt is now helping small and medium businesses. 

Unsurprisingly, what most people love about PikoHANA is the fast response time (try us!) and precision. 

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