Singapore, often lauded as the second-best economy globally for ease of doing business by the World Bank, is a hotspot for entrepreneurs. However, despite its favorable business conditions, pitfalls await the unprepared. Let’s explore the three common mistakes entrepreneurs make when venturing into Singapore’s business landscape.

Mistake #1: Employing the Wrong People 🙅🏻‍♀️

Attracting and retaining top-tier talent in Singapore can be challenging. Entrepreneurs may struggle to assemble a team of high-performing individuals. Establishing a core team that aligns with the company’s vision and mission is crucial. Consider sending experienced employees from the head office to train and integrate the Singapore team effectively.

Mistake #2: Limited Understanding of Legislation and Obligations

Navigating Singapore’s incorporation process, distinct from many Western countries, can pose an initial hurdle. Entrepreneurs must comprehend the annual return filing process with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Filing taxes, although streamlined with Singapore’s business-friendly tax system, can be daunting for some.

Understanding employment-related laws, especially the Employment Act (EA), is pivotal. Compliance with obligations under the EA is mandatory. Additionally, entrepreneurs must adhere to data protection laws such as the Personal Data Protection Act and GDPR.

Mistake #3: Limited Awareness of the Tax System 🧾

Understanding the intricacies of Singapore’s tax system can be challenging for foreign entrepreneurs. Some mistakenly assume that low taxes mean no taxes at all. It’s crucial to pay taxes promptly, acknowledging that Singapore’s low taxes still require compliance. Additionally, entrepreneurs should explore available tax incentives, which can provide significant relief and boost their businesses.

For example:

  • Startups meeting specific requirements can claim tax relief on the first S$100,000 of chargeable income for the initial three consecutive years.
  • The Not Ordinarily Resident Scheme benefits jet-setting entrepreneurs, taxing only the income corresponding to the days spent in Singapore.

Do Not Go It Alone! 🤝

Embarking on a new business venture, especially in a foreign land, brings uncertainties. Attempting to navigate everything alone can lead to challenges. It’s advisable to seek expert assistance during these initial stages. Consulting or hiring professionals, especially agencies that specialize in incorporating businesses in Singapore, is a prudent choice. Their expertise streamlines the complex paperwork and ensures a smoother process.

Wrap Up: Ensure a Smooth Business Launch 🚀

While setting up a new business in Singapore is undoubtedly exciting, it can also be challenging. Not every entrepreneur possesses the capability to handle it alone. Seeking guidance from experienced agencies, such as AgileHRO, can be instrumental. Agile offers support in incorporation, payroll, visa/employment work pass, and other administrative tasks that might pose difficulties. To avoid common mistakes and ensure a seamless entry into the Singapore business landscape, feel free to reach out to us at Agile. Your success is our priority.