Singapore Expats Forum

Setting up a company as a non-resident

Discuss your views about Singapore business & economy, current policies & issues, starting a business in Singapore.
charlie008
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed, 29 Sep 2010

Setting up a company as a non-resident

Postby charlie008 » Wed, 29 Sep 2010 8:18 pm

Hi Forum

I came across this extremely helpful site and have browsed it for days!
I have a more specific query that I haven't been able to find directly, so maybe one of you knowledgable people can help me out.

Singapore was recently brought to my attention as a great place to set up a company. It will be an online business, so it doesn't need a physical office space, which makes Singapore a great possibility. I have been very impressed with how straightforward it seems to do business through there.

I have hit a bit of a wall at the moment in my initial research. As far as I can determine, it is possible to have most of your income from 'abroad' (generated and kept outside of Singapore) left tax free.

I would be interested in setting up an Exempt Private Company, which seems very straightforward in relation to presenting the accounts every year, but I can't find details on if this structure will be good for a non-resident.

I understand I need to seek accountant advice, but I would like to know a bit first so that I have a clearer picture.

Also, I would appreciate contacts for good accountants. I will most likely go through an online incorporation company to get set up, as they offer the secretary/director package, but I would like to get sound/independent advice first.

Thanks for any comments!

Charlie

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10413
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 29 Sep 2010 8:47 pm

You need at least one locally resident director in order to set up a private limited. Once you have that, you can register as the main shareholder, etc.

You have to be careful of that 'tax free' status. If you are engaged in a business that generates profits from abroad, you may or may not be subject to tax. If you put the money in a Singapore bank account it is definitely taxable; if you put the money in a foreign account, you better have a company and will pay tax in the foreign country. If you do otherwise you are in violation of someone's tax laws. There is no free lunch.

That is to say... it is possible to be a tax scammer... and I know some people and how it works... but I don't like tax scammers... those who refuse to shoulder responsibilities like the rest of us.

You should also consider that any local director has the weight of the law on her/his shoulders. You might find it hard to find someone willing to participate in your tax avoidance scheme.

Finally, it might not work at all. If you've done a search, you know many people have found out that it takes an Entrepass to start a business. Given the fact that you don't intend to pay tax, and are establishing a company for convenience, the gahmen just might shoot you down.

Have you considered the Ilse of Mann?

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby ksl » Wed, 29 Sep 2010 9:09 pm

Finally, it might not work at all. If you've done a search, you know many people have found out that it takes an Entrepass to start a business. Given the fact that you don't intend to pay tax, and are establishing a company for convenience, the gahmen just might shoot you down.
Entrepass is not required if the foreigner lives abroad, this is another escape and evasion tactic of the applicant wanting to set up, business with intentions of moving here. A track record must be built up, by the registered company, with the local director, the shareholder will be allowed to visit his business on a business visa, but not allowed to be actively working in Singapore.

A few companies have been moved over this way and accepted because they have proved growth in the Companies, however Spring does look very closely at these applicants and evaluates them on a case by case scenario. It's highly unlikely a start up will be allowed to move here, unless aggressive growth results are proven, its all about employment opportunities here, and also the demand for the talent. I should imagine they will use entrepass criteria on the company when evaluating the application. Tax avoidance, would be a mistake.

Though after the changes in the Global Investor Program raising the revenue from 10m to 30m, which starts on Friday. The option for foreigners overseas setting up companies may now be very restricted.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Business in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests