Which is an ideal jurisdiction for company incorporation in Asia? Singapore and Hong Kong have been dominant players in the Asian region, vying for the position of “the best place to do business.” But the crucial questions are, which of these jurisdictions have an edge over the other? Is incorporating a business easier in Singapore or in Hong Kong?
Strategic location and attractive tax benefits make Singapore the most preferred location for the overseas companies to set up their business. Various options are – opening up a Branch Office, a Representative Office or a Subsidiary in Kovan . The country also has liberal immigration policies. If the company wants to set up their regional head quarters in Singapore they are also provided with Financial Assistance.
Best Business Registration In North-East, SG
A key determinant for setting up a business in Kovan is the tax regime in force. In this regard Singapore boast of being one of the lowest tax jurisdictions in the world. Detailed below is an overview of the tax system and Business Registration in Singapore.
Tax jurisdiction Singapore: Taxes are levied on a territorial principle i.e. companies and individuals are taxed on Singapore sourced income. In addition, the Foreign sourced income (branch profits, dividends, service income, etc.) are taxed when it is remitted or deemed remitted into Singapore unless the income was already subjected to taxes in a jurisdiction with headline tax rates of at least 15%.
IRAS PIC Grant scheme, a Huge Boost for Small Logistics Companies
The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore regulate the businesses, public accountants, and the accounting services in Singapore. ACRA, unlike other government regulators, also facilitates for the promotion of these entities.
As a national regulator, ACRA demands strict statutory compliance from these entities. For this reason, Singapore businesses are better off with the assistance of accounting services in Singapore.
Compared to other countries, it is easier, seamless and effortless to open a company in Singapore. Although it depends on individual choices, ACRA advises foreigners to take assistance from external firms offering Singapore company registration services. There are many firms in Singapore offering incorporation services along with many other corporate business services like, accounting, auditing and taxation to different national and international clients.
Accounting Services for Small and Medium Enterprises in Singapore
Singapore's taxation year or the Year of Assessment (YA), starts on 1 January and ends on 31 December. However, in case of many Singapore companies, the end of their financial year does not coincide with stipulated date, i.e., 31 December.
These business entities still have to complete their financial reporting and tax filing, as per the due dates issued by ACRA and IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore). They need to host an annual general meeting and table their financial statements for the review and approval of their shareholders.
Genuine and accredited accounting firms in Singapore assist its clients to maintain their books of accounts, by offering their flawless and punctual bookkeeping services. These firms ensure that each and every financial transaction is entered and accounted for. These firms also offer preparation of bank reconciliation, XBRL, and directors' reports, along with the financial analysis on weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
The well-known CPA firms, while preparing the financial statements of clients prepare a balance sheet, profit and loss statement and cash flow statement. The 'books of account' maintained by the client, plays a major role in preparing these statements. Most of the entries and inputs in these statements are retrieved from what is found in the client's books of accounts. These financial documents are prepared in compliance with the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS). In addition to that, different types of transactions are treated as per the set principles and governing practices of the governing bodies.
In order to offer unmatched and high-quality accounting and auditing services to the clients, firms offering accounting services employ only experienced and certified auditors. These professionals are trained to structure their auditing reports on the data contained in the books of accounts, submitted by clients for inspection. After the auditing reports are prepared and authenticated by the prime service provider, these reports are submitted to shareholders, investors, employees, management and the government regulators for analysis and approval. A comprehensive auditing report serves as a definitive medium for the client, to take speculative decisions about the future course of their business. Therefore, preparing such report, from a well-known and qualified audit firm in Singapore is much more necessary.
After understanding the importance and necessity of well-structured audit report, business management proceeds to hire an external auditing firm for conducting internal audits of their company. The reports generated, allow them an insight into the effectiveness of processes, internal checks and methods that are in place in the organization. On the other hand, the shareholders of the company are also empowered to hire audit services in Singapore, for conducting parallel external audits for them.
The meticulously prepared financial reports are essential for gauging the financial health of a company. These reports also reveal its weaknesses and help the management in taking preventive measures against them. Remember, apart from exempted companies, every single Singapore business must file their financial statements with the ACRA.
It is the duty of the corporate business services firms based in Singapore to advise and help their clients with accurate Singapore tax filing. ACRA specifically mandates; that it is a duty of the business service-providing firm to educate and advise its clients on GST registration in Singapore, GST filing, ECI filing, Withholding tax and other taxes. Most importantly, it assists the client in the careful preparation of its corporate income tax.
The CPA's working at these firms usually takes into account the tax rebates, incentives, deductions and exemptions that client qualifies for, to incorporate those relevant details in the financial statements. The firm also assists Singapore businesses in complying with the ACRA's XBRL filing requirements, by converting their business data into the XBRL format.
Corporate Taxation - Singapore Vs Hong Kong
The extent of your business financial transparency and the level of expertise of the people responsible for such transparency will influence the growth and expansion of your business as well as its survival. This is why accounting and bookkeeping are some of the most crucial aspects of any business and should only be taken care of by licensed professionals with wealth of experience.
Regardless of the size of your business and niche, as it grows, the need for keeping accurate and transparent financial records also grows with it. This is a good reason why such aspect of your business must never be treated with levity. Considering the relationship between in-house accountants and other employees under the same roof, outsourcing your accounting functions is often the most appropriate option in ensuring financial transparency in every facet of your business.
But what exactly is outsourcing? It is the practice of giving out some job functions or responsibilities to a company or an individual that specializes in providing services for such functions or responsibilities, rather than have an in-house employee or department handle such jobs.
Here are the key benefits of outsourcing your accounting functions to a professional accounting firm:
Gives you enough time to focus on business growth
Outsourcing your accounting functions will give you all the time you need to direct your attention on other crucial aspects of your business. Once your accounting responsibilities are outsourced, you can focus on delivering high-quality services or products to your customers and prospects.
Also, you can develop strategies to break into new markets and expand on existing market etc. focusing on these core business competencies and less on the burdens of accounting accuracy and transparency will translate into business growth and profitability that will outweigh the costs of outsourcing.
Your payments will always be on time
Once you outsource your accounting functions you no longer have to worry about missing payments such as unpaid bills or invoices not going out on time. If your invoices are delayed, payments get delayed too and your business cash flow ultimately suffers.
Also, if your bills are not paid when they are due, you will receive collection calls, vendors will limit or stop their discounts, and you may even spend more time trying to resolve shut-off notices, unhappy vendors and grumbling collectors. But with a professional accounting firm handling your accounting, you can seat back, relax and watch your entire business accounting functions run smoothly.
You don't have to bother about turnover or absence
With your accounting functions outsourced, your business accounting will be done every day, every week and every month and you wouldn't have to bother about things like vacation, illness or turnover. The company you outsourced your functions to will be working for you round the clock ensuring professionalism in every facet of your job without excuses such as vacations, illness, absences, etc.
Maintaining your cash flow during growth
The survival of almost any business is tied to its cash flow. Once a business begins to grow, it gradually sucks cash. During periods of major growth, accounting functions are often relegated to the bottom of administrative responsibilities list. During such moment, you may not have the time to review your business report, manage collections and invoices, and your bookkeeping may end up in a very bad shape.
At such periods you will easily notice that while your business is thriving, you have no cash in the bank to show for it. Digging yourself out of such hole may require twice of the effort it took to get into it and you can easily lose sight of your business core competence while trying to dig yourself out.
Outsourcing saves money! When you outsource your accounting functions you don't have to bother about things like health insurance, vacation, sick time, payroll taxes, retirement benefits etc. The company you outsource your accounting functions to will bill you for its professional services and workers time depending on the agreement you signed.
The money you should have spent on an in-house accountant can be re-invested into other crucial areas of your business. Also, in the long run, you get to save a whole lot of money by outsourcing your accounting services.
Your business accounting will be done by top-notch professionals
Accounting companies that perform outsourcing services are often made up of top class accounting professionals with several years of experience and education to survive without being hired by just one client. They have skills, experience and expertise to deliver with speed and accuracy.
You don't have to bother about the level of competence of their workers or if they have the required experience to do your job as expected. Once you outsource your accounting services, be assured that your business accounting functions are in good hands. Also, you don't have to go through the rigor of screening accountants, conducting tests, interviews etc. before hiring. You can skip all that once you outsource your accounting functions.
You're still in charge
It is easy to assume that once you outsource your business accounting functions you will lose control of your money. That is a pure fallacy. Outsourcing gives you greater power to control your money and puts you in the driver's seat of your business financial matters. Every payment will require your approval before it is done. You will be involved in every relevant communication chain with your clients and prospects and your accounting reports will be consistent and up to date.
Without a strong bookkeeping and accounting services, it will be difficult for any business to thrive and compete in its niche. Outsourcing your accounting services will give your business the edge it requires to be at the forefront of financial transparency, recording and absolute accuracy in all its transactions and accounting related matters.