Singapore

Payroll Outsourcing in Singapore: Allowing Companies to Focus on Regional Expansion in ASEAN

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

Although managing payroll in Singapore is a relatively less complex process than elsewhere in ASEAN, it is not without its inherent challenges given the city-state’s constantly evolving regulatory environment. While Singapore-based companies may find it challenging to keep track of the country’s changing social security, tax, and regulatory norms when computing payroll for its employees, those with operations in the wider ASEAN region are likely to find the task even more daunting.

When a company operates in multiple countries, its internal HR teams often struggle to stay updated with changing payroll regulations. Indeed, payroll regulations in emerging markets can change quickly and without proper notification. HR staff doing payroll without up-to-date information may, inadvertently, lead to issues of non-compliance. Non-compliance, even accidental, can invite unwanted scrutiny from authorities, heavy fines, and may negatively impact the morale of employees adversely affected. 

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Singapore’s Inward Re-Domiciliation Regime: What You Need to Know

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

One of the key amendments to the Singapore Companies Act, the inward re-domiciliation regime came into effect on October 11, 2017. The amendment allows foreign companies to relocate their business headquarters to Singapore instead of setting up subsidiaries, without losing their corporate history or brand identity. This means that a foreign company located outside of Singapore may become a registered Singapore private company limited by shares, domiciled in Singapore and continue its operations under the laws of Singapore; the company need not wind up its business activities and set up a new company in Singapore. Re-domiciliation in Singapore does not create a new legal entity. It also does not affect the property, rights or obligations of the foreign company, or affect any legal proceedings by or against the foreign company.

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Singapore’s Free Trade Agreement with Turkey Comes into Force

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

The much-awaited Turkey-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (TRSFTA) went into effect on October 1, this year. The agreement paves the way for freer movement of goods and services, and further investment opportunities between the two countries. The TRSFTA was first signed in November 2015 and covers a wide range of areas including goods and services, e-commerce, intellectual property rights, competition, and transparency.

According to the official press notification, tariffs for Singapore’s exports to Turkey on 80 percent of all tariff lines will be eliminated under the TRSFTA. The coverage will increase to more than 95 percent of all tariff lines over a period of 10 years.

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Singapore as a Payroll Processing Center for Companies in ASEAN

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

Editor: Bradley Dunseith

Located in the heart of South East Asia, Singapore is an attractive destination for centralizing payroll processing and wider regional HR functions for companies either entering ASEAN markets, or expanding their current operations. Singapore is well connected with all ASEAN member states and offers digital and communication infrastructure at global standards.

The high volume of regional headquarters already operating in Singapore makes the city-state an even more attractive destination for centralizing payroll.  Additionally, Singapore’s unique history makes the city-state well equipped to maneuver the cultural worlds of South East Asia, Europe, and North America – an important skill when collecting information from offices in Asia and communicating the information to regional and overseas headquarters.

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Singapore Set to Sign Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union by Year-End

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By: Dezan Shira & Associates

Russia-SingaporeSingapore Deputy PM Tharman Shanmugaratnam (right) with Russian Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov (left) 

Singapore is set to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), a free trade bloc that includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, and Russia. Commenting on the incoming trade deal, which is expected to be signed by the end of this year, Singapore’s deputy prime minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam reiterated his country’s interest in economic and trade cooperation with Russia, noting that the two states have not been using the existing potential in full. Led by Russia, the EAEU essentially extends from the borders of China to the borders of the European Union.

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Singapore’s Start-up Ecosystem – Part III: The Role of Venture Capital Funds

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By Andrea Bottega and Erasmo Indolino

In the first and second parts of this three-part series on Singapore’s start-up ecosystem, we discussed how the city-state has emerged as a preferred base for international entrepreneurs and the opportunities it offered young overseas talent. In this concluding part, we look at the role of venture capital (VC) funds in nurturing entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore.

Venture Capital in Singapore

VC funds will soon be regulated under a slimmer framework, as regulators seek to ease start-up firms’ access to funding. Indeed, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) published in February 2017 a consultation paper lining out its proposals for a simplified authorisation process and regulatory framework for these VC managers, which are now subject to the same rules as other fund managers.  MAS hopes the simplified regime will attract more VC managers to Singapore and spur them to play a greater role in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.

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Singapore’s Start-up Ecosystem – Part II: Opportunities for Overseas Entrepreneurs

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By Andrea Bottega and Erasmo Indolino

In the first article of this three-part series on Singapore’s start-up ecosystem, we discussed the factors behind the city-state emerging as a preferred base for international entrepreneurs. In this second article, we look at the opportunities that Singapore offer young overseas entrepreneurs.

The city-state as a start-up hub

With the Singapore government regularly rolling out new initiatives to attract start-ups, the reasons for establishing a base in the city-state are many. No wonder, the country has the sixth-highest percentage of immigrant founders in the world, with immigrants making up 35 percent of start-up founders compared to a global average of 19 percent.

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Singapore’s Start-up Ecosystem – Part I: The City-State as a Favored Destination for Overseas Entrepreneurs

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By Andrea Bottega

Editor: Erasmo Indolino

While pro-business policies and a strategic geographical location has made Singapore a favored destination in Asia for global corporations, the city-state has also created a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem over the past five years that has lured some of the most prominent global entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to the country. In this article, the first of a three-part series on Singapore’s start-up ecosystem, we look at the factors that have made the city-state a preferred base for international entrepreneurs.

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The Guide to Employment Permits for Foreign Workers in Singapore

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

ASB- Singapore Employment Permits (002)

For expatriate workers and their employers in Singapore, understanding the process to obtain a valid employment permit is vital. The Singapore government’s Ministry of Manpower (MoM) issues a wide range of work passes and permits to expatriates planning to work in Singapore. Each of these employment permits is designed for a specific purpose and differs across various categories of employees, based on their professional skills and monthly salaries.

Some of the most common employment permits issued by the government of Singapore are discussed below:

Employment Pass

The Employment Pass (EP) is issued to expatriates employed as foreign managers, executives, and skilled professionals in Singapore, for an initial period of 2 years; thereafter, the pass can be renewed for up to three years at a time. The EP is generally issued to individuals with a job offer that includes a minimum monthly salary of SG$3,600. However, more experienced candidates are required to be offered a higher salary to qualify for the same.

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Salary, Individual Income Tax, and Social Security in Singapore

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

It is important for companies operating and hiring employees in Singapore to understand the key elements of the country’s payroll process and stay updated on the latest regulatory changes when computing salary and social security contributions.

Salary

Salary Definition

The Employment Act of Singapore defines ‘salary’ as all remuneration including allowances, base salary, bonuses, commissions and incentives, payable to an employee for work done under the contract of service. Salary does not include:

  • Any reimbursement made for expenses incurred by the employee during work;
  • Allowances for travelling, food, housing, medical and other amenities;
  • Goodwill payment or gratuity payable on retirement;
  • Retrenchment benefits payable; or
  • Pension or provident fund contributions paid by the employer.

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Dezan Shira & Associates

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