Which is Your Next Business Destination? Singapore or the UK?

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Ease of Doing Business – The UK vs Singapore

James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, or Manchester United – these are some of the things that come to mind when we think of the UK. 

What about a business owner who doesn’t watch movies or sports? Well, the United Kingdom won’t disappoint them either. 

London has time and again been one of the leading economic powerhouses in Europe. Even after Brexit, the UK is still one of the leading destinations in the world for setting up a new business. 

On the other hand, Singapore, a commonwealth nation which is 339 times smaller than the UK is also regarded as one of the top business destinations in the world. 

So, as a business owner, you must have come across the fascinating idea of incorporating your business in either of these two countries. 

This blog will serve as a comprehensive guide. 

Setting Up a Business

The United Kingdom ranks 7th (World Bank Business Report, 2018) in the world when it comes to business transparency, set-up expenditures, and most importantly corporate tax rates. 

Just after New Zealand, Singapore ranks 2nd (World Bank Business Report, 2018)  when it comes to ease of doing business. It is mainly due to corporate tax rates and affordable setup expenditures. 

The Singapore Government has business-friendly trade policies and limited set-up formalities, which help attract a lot of foreign investments. 

The top company incorporation service providers in Singapore can get you started in just three working days. 

Economic Overview 

The UK is an economic powerhouse. It is the 5th largest economy in the world. You will be surprised to know that the services sector contributes around 75% towards the country’s GDP.  

Similar to the UK, Singapore is also fuelled by a thriving services sector. The countries geographic location is a big advantage. It allows entrepreneurs to penetrate into the densely populated South Asian market. 


You need to apply for a Tier-1 Entrepreneur Visa if you want to set up a business in the UK. This visa is valid for three years and four months. 

In Singapore, you can simply get an Entre Pass to start a new business. 

Obtaining an Entre Pass is a very simple procedure. 

This is what you need to do: 

  1. If your company is not incorporated 
  • Fill the Entre Pass application form
  • Write a business plan in the prescribed format
  • Provide a passport-size photograph of the entrepreneur 
  • Submit a copy of the particulars page in the passport 
  • Include documentary evidence of previous enterprises and employment
  • Include a copy of educational certificates
  1. If your company is already incorporated 
  • Submit a copy of current business profile 
  • Provide copies of licensing agreements
  • Include relevant certifications for the company’s products and services
  • Obtain endorsements by external parties
  • Attach a copy of the company’s latest bank statements 

Tax Rates 

Singapore has the lowest effective income tax rates in the world. On the other hand, income tax can go up to as high as 45% in the UK.

The corporate tax rate for A.Y. – 2020-21 is 19% in the UK. 

On the other hand, the corporate tax rate in Singapore is just 17%.

A Few Words Before Winding Up 

There is no denying the fact that London is the epicentre of the international finance industry. Brexit or not, the UK still remains the ideal entry point into the European market. 

Every business owner wants their product or services to reach out to the masses and this is where Singapore’s strategic location acts as a game-changer. The densely populated South Asian market is what every new business needs. 

Be it the low corporate tax rate or set-up cost, the Singaporean Government has also played a major part in transforming a small country like Singapore into a global business hotspot. 

If you want to expand your business in Singapore or want to incorporate a new business in Singapore, PikoHANA has got you covered. 

We can get you started in just THREE WORKING DAYS! 

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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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