Ease of Doing Business – The UK vs Singapore
For centuries, London has been an established economic powerhouse in Europe. Today the UK is still one of the premier destinations in the world for starting businesses.
Singapore, though younger and 339 times smaller than the UK, is also regarded as a formidable business destination on the global stage.
The following article sheds some light on the different processes and regulations of incorporating your businesses in the UK and Singapore.
Incorporating 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. Singapore ranks 2nd, behind New Zealand: its high ranking is attributed to favorable corporate tax rates and affordable setup costs.
The Singapore Government has business-friendly trade policies and limited set-up formalities, which attract a high level of foreign investment. Singapore boasts quality company incorporation service providers to help navigate these formalities, getting your business off the ground in as few as three working days.
The UK is an economic powerhouse. It is the 5th largest economy in the world and their services sector generates roughly 75% of the country’s GDP.
Similar to the UK, Singapore is also fuelled by a thriving services sector. The country’s geographic location, central to Oceania, South, Southeast, and East Asia, is a serious advantage, allowing entrepreneurs to easily expand their business in the eastern hemisphere.
You need to apply for a visa if you want to set up a business in the UK. You can read more about the Innovator visa at this site.
Similarly, Singapore requires entrepreneurs to obtain an EntrePass to start a new business.
Obtaining an EntrePass is a straightforward procedure, and can be initiated regardless of whether your company is incorporated in Singapore.
If your company is not incorporated:
- Complete EntrePass application form
- Write a business plan in the prescribed format
- Provide a passport-size photograph of the applicant
- Submit a copy of the particulars page in the passport
- Submit documentary evidence of previous enterprises and employment
- Submit a copy of educational certificates
If your company is already incorporated
- Submit a copy of the current business profile
- Provide copies of the company’s 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
More information on this process can be found here.
Singapore has the lowest income tax rates in the world. On the other hand, income tax can go up to as high as 45% in the UK. The UK’s corporate tax rate for the 2020-2021 financial year was 19%; in Singapore, it was only 17%.
There is no denying the fact that London is the epicentre of the international finance industry. Brexit aside, the UK still remains an 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 offers opportunities for growth to every business.
Whether the low corporate tax rates or affordable set-up costs, the Singaporean government has created a friendly environment for entrepreneurs and developed 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 your started in a few as three working days.