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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Starting a business regardless of its size, whether small or big, is not easy. There are a lot of things that require your attention such as scheduling a business meeting, marketing every brand and service, and selling a product. Not to mention the accounting and book keeping aspects of the business. With all of these responsibilities, it takes great courage to forge ahead with your dream of setting up a business. Another thing is it would seem daunting if you may not be quite knowledgeable about accounting and book keeping. However, this should not discourage you since there are always many top accounting services in Singapore to provide the accounting services that your company needs.

In every firm the presence of an accounting service provider is vital to its existence. Accounting functions are essential in your business as they guide you in knowing whether the business is gaining or losing. Its functions are not only limited to this however. The accounting service provider systematizes your employees’ payrolls, bank reporting and sales tax.  In matters related to bank reporting, the accounting service provider helps you with these; it checks any bank loans you have and makes sure that you possess base certificates. Doing every financial statement and filing income tax returns may also be performed by the accounting team on your behalf. Imagine the time you will save and you will be free from doing all the tedious accounting tasks when you hire the services of an accounting service provider.

It is indeed no joke to establish a company and it may even take time to make it a success, but it is always possible to reach your goals as well as objectives with the help of your accounting staff that can act as your partner in reaching your goals since it prepares financial statements to keep track of the progress of your business. By having all these organized by a certified public accountant (CPA), it is a big help for your business to move forward and with your books all organized, you can make better business decisions.

All accounting firms promise support as well as services to address your business issues but the truth of the matter is some of them may not be able to keep such promises and may fall short in some aspects. Thus, it is of great value to your company to do thorough research before choosing the accounting firm to provide your company with the best accounting service. It is a must to see their track record and credentials before hiring them. It is but wise to know the services the firm provides. By visiting the firm rapport can be established as well. It is vital that you trust the firm as it is in charge of the financial well being of your company.

How to choose accounting services that would click with your company then? How would you know the accounting firm is the right one for your company? Here is a list of the things to consider as your requirements while making your search:

It must provide most of the services mentioned below:

  • Competent and professional accounting services
  • Record keeping and accounting which involves income, track of assets, expenses and liabilities
  • Tax advice along with tax compliance and tax planning
  • Auditing that includes actual auditing, bank and account reconciliation and audit schedules, preparing business financial statements and management of financial statements
  • Business planning that involves tax situations advices, accounting system selection, review and implementation, establishing effective accounting system, internal control, financial plans as well as cash flow statements, inventory pricing, etc.
  • Payroll services
  • Complete set of accounts
  • Annual reports as well as group consolidation

It must consist and possess the following mentioned below:

  • Accounts manager: The accounting firm must have an Accounts Manager who handles your business accounting needs. He must have extensive experience to organize as well as review submitted information, thus being able to develop as well as maintain your business accounts ledger. He must have the skill to draft the business financial statements based on Financial Reporting Standards (FRS).
  • Registered auditors and accountants: Their office is essential in your company since your business needs professional auditing as well as accounting services. They must have the capacity to provide reports at the right time and the compilation of the yearly account data.
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Running your own business, enterprise or branch offices means either you fail or you succeed. However, when you decide to set up a business without much information just for the sake of having one is not right. It is important that you should know the business inside and out, what business ideas are successful, the product you are going to sell and the taxation involved, etc. The locale where you are setting up your business also should be taken into consideration but that is not all. For instance, it is true that Singapore is a good place for foreign investors to set up international companies for many reasons not only limited to a favorable corporate tax, but then that does not guarantee that the business will succeed and we cannot also exactly tell whether it will fail.

There is an old saying that says among the new businesses, 70 percent of which fail in the 1st year. So it goes without saying that some businesses win and some lose. Of course, neither any expert can tell 100% that a legal business in Singapore will fail or succeed but by knowing what businesses are predictably going to flop at present will help you in any way to avoid such business operations. Below then is the list of 5 business ideas that are not encouraged when you set up a company in Singapore today.

1. A Private Gym

It is true that private gyms also succeed but only some of them and not definitely because of the company’s dedication, hard work and the quality time they give to their customers but because of the capital they put into their fitness centre such as the top California Fitness or Fitness First. The capital they actually have is more than what small African nations invest. Without high maintenance marketing and strong funding, it is quite impossible to reach the level of success they have attained.

The cost of the rent for the private gyms is the primary reason that they are not a good business idea in Singapore since you cannot definitely charge more from your clients only because your rent was raised by your landlord. They are not a business idea considered viable any more not only because of the high cost of rent but also because gyms are also part of the facilities offered for free in many condos now.

2. A Small Cafe

It is the University students’ typical business idea to open a small café. Actually, this idea is not exclusive to University students alone but hipsters, amateur chefs and food bloggers have this idea in mind as well. However, Singapore is already filled with so many cafes and food establishments that your small café would have lots of competition such as Settlers, Café Del Mar, Café Cartel, etc.

You have to also bear in mind that Singapore commercial property requires high rents. Not to mention the mentality that once business is making progress, the landlord raises the rent. Unless owning the rights and buying the property is something that is affordable to you, starting a small café is risky.

3. A Small Tuition Agency

Based on Singapore employment rate, the job of private tutors can earn them more money but starting a small tuition agency is a different story. In the years back then, a small tuition agency would work with schools to give enrichment classes at a decent amount. Teaching a second language and Maths brought good profit to the educational entity until 2007 and since then the profit has decreased. At present, many agencies offering such educational services are struggling since the fee for every student has plummeted to $2. Now, parents try to find MOE-qualified teachers for their children, thus agencies formed by ex- MOE teachers are more preferred than the older ones.

4. Interior Decorating

In Singapore, interior decorating is not really the type of business to set up especially that the Singapore renovations market already have a great number of contractors and designers and both offer Fittings, Furnishings, & Fitting (FF&E). As opined by a sales designer, one cannot survive only on interior decorating since FF&E is very subjective and most Singaporean residents will not consider paying the designer on matters regarding good taste. For instance, the cost for painting walls can be justified but the cost for the choice of color. Sales designers can offer both for just a single price.

5. A General Bookstore

Niche bookstores may be successfully run provided there are target demographics. Setting up a general bookstore requires a great deal of inventory that can only be handled by huge companies with advanced logistics. Thus, for smaller bookstores, inventory is daunting work.

It is possible to succeed in selling books on topics like politics and history or gardening. However, when you plan to run a general bookstore where all topics are available is not a very promising investment. Simply put, customers of niche bookstores after their search will probably leave the store with something but those of general bookstores perhaps only 1 customer out of 10 will make a purchase for every visit.

Singapore is a global tenant city. In Southeast Asia, Singapore has become perfect to start businesses and allow people of other countries to work and make their future bright. This city offers work for foreigners and international people as well. People feel free to apply for job in this city. Like every other country, Singapore also require one to have a visa for working in Singapore. It is important to have employment pass if you are thinking to work in Singapore.

HOW TO APPLY FOR EMPLOYMENT PASS IN SINGAPORE:

To apply for Singapore work visa, you need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Eligible for applying employment pass in Singapore.
  • Application form
  • Documents that are needed

1. ELIGIBILITY FOR SINGAPORE WORK VISA:

The most important thing that is required for Singapore work visa is that you need to fulfill the eligibility to apply for employment pass in Singapore. The eligibility includes qualifications and pay that is good enough to get settled in Singapore. Qualification includes proper experience of work for almost two to three years so that he must be able to work properly. A person applying for employment pass in Singapore must have his salary more than $3000 per month or above. After this, employers need to pass employment self assessment test that will help to check whether the person is fraud or for immigration purpose.

Eligibility also includes your age to apply for visa in Singapore. You must be above 16 years to apply for employment pass in Singapore. This is the condition for both local and foreign people.

2. NEED FOR DOCUMENTS FOR THE EMPLOYMENT PASS:

In Singapore, foreigners need to apply several important documents for getting a Singapore work visa. These documents include educational certificate copy, application form,CV that tells about the work experience of the employer, copy of business profile of the company hiring, duties that are performed by the employer and a passport size photograph.

3. APPLICATION FORM FOR SINGAPORE WORK VISA:

Submit your application form along with documents to the Ministry of Manpower, visa for employment pass may take several days or even weeks to get notify as a huge number of applications are submitted daily so it will take time to approve the visa for the right person.

OVERVIEW OF SINGAPORE WORK VISA:

When you have decided to work in Singapore, there are many options to choose to work in Singapore. A work visa is compulsory for all the foreigners to apply and get started to work in Singapore.

There are different work pass that any employer can apply for that allows work permit for lower trained people till P1 and P2 category pass of employment. You should keep in mind there is no quota system for Singapore work visa, on the basis of eligibility and other requirements people get chance to permit work visa in Singapore.

Work pass is given to the foreigners that are the work permit who want to work in Singapore and they are from any well known country.

CRITERIA FOR AGE:

It is the requirement of Singapore work visa that the Malaysian applying for work pass must be below age 58. Other then Malaysian, non-Malaysian should be below age 50 to apply for work visa in Singapore.

VALIDITY OF EMPLOYMENT PASS:

The employments pass to work in Singapore, stays valid for 1 to 2 years but it can be easily renewed after employer fills the criteria.

It is easy to get employment pass in Singapore if you fulfill all the criteria that is required by the Singapore Minster Manpower law.

A modern territory where every intellectual property right is respected, English is used as the language in the workforce, there is an abundance of skilled workers, there is a liberal business policy, political stability and the presence of developed infrastructure, Singapore has become the locale for global businesses. Global businesses consider it beneficial to establish a Singapore company. With its strong investment and trade, Singapore among Asian countries is considered as the most competitive and the easiest country in the world for doing business.

A great number of multinational companies prefer to start their businesses in Singapore along with the 154,000 enterprises in small as well as medium scale. Singapore is viewed by business owners worldwide as a perfect location for growing their businesses. Singapore has made a name for itself as a distinguished regional and financial trading centre. Considered as the busiest port in the world, Singapore is a major investment location in the Asia Pacific belt.

As a non-resident, a multinational or a small and medium enterprise, starting a Singapore company will give you more opportunities to the other developing economies of the region. Aside from this, there is a lot to gain from the large network of Singapore’s trade agreements, “ease of doing business,” an appealing tax system and protection on intellectual property.

Singapore is a “country of both worlds” where the East meets the West. Its society consists of a blend of American, European and Asian cultures making it friendly and attractive to the global business community. Once a British colony, Singapore’s financial and legal structures are very similar to the UK and the US. Leading international banks, financial institutions and multinational organizations worldwide have branches in Singapore where their branch offices in Asia are located. Singapore is known as the “Lion City” as it possesses strong currency as well as infrastructure making it the perfect spot to launch overseas firms.

Geographically, Singapore is an ideal setting for international business and trade. It is fairly effective to reach other Asian countries from Singapore. Frequent air travel with daily outbound and inbound flights makes business operations more convenient and easier. Singapore maintains favorable international contact with some counties related to trade and industry. At present, it has 27 economic partners such as the US, Korea, China and Japan with 20 free trade agreements.

In Singapore, it is quicker and easier to set up a company since it only takes a day for the process to be completed provided that the application has been submitted after the appropriate requirements have been completed as compared to other international business hubs. Anyone can own a Singapore company including foreign persons. The incorporation has made a fast and easy procedure online where application forms are submitted.

In terms of business taxes, Singapore offers a friendly environment. Its corporate taxes are lower than in those countries which are more developed. Singapore together with some international jurisdictions entered into the avoidance of DTA (Double Taxation Agreements) to ensure its financial prosperity and success. By setting up their global headquarters in Singapore, companies are benefited by the country’s network of more than fifty “comprehensive Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements,” the Investment Guarantee Agreements and free trade agreements.

Singapore companies are registered under CAP 50 of the Companies Act. They can at least have 1 member which could either be an individual or a corporation and are expected to observe the regulations, rules and laws laid down by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, ACRA, etc. Generally, Singaporean companies are also formed under CAP 50 of the Companies Act mostly incorporated as the Private Limited Company type.

It is necessary for a company to be first incorporated in order to begin doing business in the country. It must register with ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority). After payment of registration fee is done and all documents are set, generally it only takes 15 minutes for a company to be incorporated. A branch office in Singapore should register with ACRA. A branch office however is not benefited by exemptions and tax incentives as local businesses are. A representative office should register with the Monetary Authority of Singapore or the International Enterprise Singapore. It is not authorized to trade in the country. It rather undertakes every marketing as well as oversight activity in the country for its parent company.