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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Despite the fact that most companies had increased profit while doing business in China, there are some glaring challenges to counter when doing business there. This leads many prospective entrepreneurs probing on how to invest in China.  Top on the list is the lack of talent and skilled labor that has seen the need for capable workers remain much higher than what is available in China. This cuts across the board from the professionals to the factory workers. The situation has led to inflation of wages as a result of the government trying to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. Companies try to retain their current workforce against vicious competition. The turnover of employees is relatively high as workers leave for better working conditions and better pay. This definitely has an effect on the continuity of business as employers have to bring in fresh talent every now and then .The system of operation in China leans more towards a set way of doing things as opposed to the flexibility in operations that is commonplace in western firms.

The number two biggest challenge to doing business in China is the delay in business licensing which should essentially take a few weeks but often times take up to months for the process to be complete. This leads to a slow down of the pace of doing business and could cause discouragement in prospective entrepreneurs due to the bureaucracy that is involved. This goes for the rate of approvals for products as well. Even simple matters such as opening a bank account could drag on unnecessarily long due to irregularities in the application procedures. Instead of online applications manual procedures are still in use in China thus prolonging processes.

The increase in labor cost as well as materials and a rising inflation has an effect on doing business in China.  The elevation in the cost of operation caused by an increase in wages at various categories is also a contributing factor to the difficulty in doing business in China. This is because it is more expensive doing business in China because of the operating expenses that a foreigner has to incur in the process. Then there is the inflation of the cost of materials in China which is a major concern to most people. These factors among others have seen foreign companies move their businesses out of China to other places.

Anyone wishing to do business in China will have to contend with the competition that is offered by the state owned projects. There are reports of heavy corruption in the way of effecting procedures most of which do not favor a foreigner who is keen on doing business in China. This is a further discouragement for prospective investors since there is little fairness employed in the running of business in China. A competitive tender might be awarded a Chinese firm mainly because of individual interest of a government hand or even corruption thus denying a chance to one who is more qualified to do the job on the basis of ethnicity. Having to further compete with other Chinese companies that are keen on making their products much better in order to sell them outside China is also a challenge to most prospectors who are keen on investing in China. The government favors local companies so much so over those of outsiders and this could serve to discourage foreigners from investing there.  After all, there are no guarantees of merit in the way of getting business in China since the decision lies in the hands of the government representatives.

Language barrier has a role to play as well as most Chinese do not speak English even though there is a relative growth of English speakers of late. The Chinese are conservative and still follow the set way of doing things even among those who are learned. The language barrier has an effect of the person being unable to deal with fragile business negotiations. As a result of the cultural differences in running business there could be misunderstanding between the foreign company representatives and the Chinese side way down into the process of clinching a business deal. There needs to be an international team to bring understanding between the two sides otherwise business will be lost.

An Employment Pass in Singapore is given to outsiders who wish to conduct business in Singapore in the capacity of professionals or even company owners.  There is no limit to the number of Employment passes that can be issued to a company since this depends on the number of employees that are required to work there.

The pass is valid from one to two years after which it is liable for renewal.  It is issued out to be able to allow one to conduct business in Singapore while living there and also to enable one to go in and out of the country without the need of having to apply for Singapore Entry Visas. There is a possibility of getting permanent residence in Singapore eventually which is an attractive benefit to most people.

There are different qualifications that count for one to be able to qualify for the EP. Even with the recommended basic salary, consideration of the education level and job experience is considered by the Ministry of Manpower to be able to establish the EP category. While a college degree is favorable to be considered for the EP, experience and employment history also counts in the application.

Those who have a family can apply for a dependant’s pass which is processed as soon as the Employment pass is approved and the two then get to run concurrently. There are required documents when applying for the Employment Pass and these include an EP application form 8 which requires the endorsement of the Singapore employing company. Work experience detailed in the resume as well as copies of the educational certificates and past employment testimonials are also needed. The company profile in Singapore and also the particulars of a person’s passport are needed as well.

The role that a person wishes to take up also needs to be laid out accompanied with a recent color passport photograph. Details of the activities of the person while in Singapore and in the case of an entrepreneur their product of choice are also taken down.

The application can be done either online or even manually. The period of processing depends on the method used and with the online application could take about 10 days while for the manual application it could go up to a maximum of 6 weeks after submission. It is the discretion of the person on what method between the two that he should take up depending on what works best for him.

A notification requiring you to come to Singapore to collect your Employment Pass is issued on approval using the address that is provided on application. The invitation letter spells out the required documents to be able to collect your Employment Pass. The medical tests that are required can be performed either in your country or even in Singapore. An In-Principal-Approval letter comes with a onetime entry visa to enable you to enter Singapore in order to pick up your EP. You can pick any Dependants passes alongside the EP. Until you get the IPA no plans of relocation should be put in place as an application does not guarantee an EP.

In cases where an Employment permit is rejected, one can apply for an appeal after fulfilling any missing requirements for approval of the Employment Pass in Singapore. This calls for MOM to establish the reason of the rejection so that in case of unfulfilled requirements the person can be asked to fulfill them for a chance to have the application reviewed. This takes about 6 weeks for the appeal process to be complete.

Three months before the expiry of your EP you will receive an EP renewal form through the registered address which should be filled out and submitted to the MOM at least a month before expiry of a current EP. The notification of approval is then sent to your employer and you are required to go to the offices of MOM to be able to collect your new EP.

The successful approval of your EP depends on your qualification for the job that you wish to undertake and therefore you stand a better chance if you fulfill the necessary requirement both in education and also the years of experience on the job.

It is not too much of a hassle going about the registration of company in Singapore. The first step to setting up a business in Singapore is to have it registered with Accounting and corporate regulatory authorities in Singapore (ACRA) as soon as you have been able to settle on the business structure.  It could be a sole proprietorship or even a partnership and this you need to determine beforehand.

One is then required to submit an online request for registration and it takes just under 20 minutes for the processing of such on payment of a fee of $50  and a name fee of $15.You are then free to go ahead and sign up for services as soon as your business body  is fully registered.

It could take longer at times if the application needs the approval of other authorities such as the relevant government offices. If the business body is either a sole-proprietorship or a partnership there will be no referral required for its registration. There is also need to have the company registration number on all its letterheads and other company documentation.

The ease with which it is possible to register a company in Singapore is a major attraction to transact business there. A business plan is required to offer guidance for the business activities way before it can be incorporated. The Singapore Entrepreneur Visa is a necessity since it needs to be filled in so that the business can be present in the country for it to begin earning cash. The more innovative one is in introducing a whole new concept to the business community in Singapore the better the returns in money.

The company manager has to make a yearly declaration to ACRA stating whether the business is able or not to settle its debt unpaid since it becomes due in the usual way of business. The initial Annual Declaration has to be made within 15 months the company inception.

It is required that a company should appoint a company secretary in six months of inception. After that is then mandatory for the first Annual General Meeting of the company to take place in 18 months from the time it was registered. Within three months of integration an auditor should be chosen with the annual accounts being reviewed and file with ACRA a month after the AGM.

Any foreign company that requires setting up an enterprise in Singapore has the obligation to appoint two local agents that are Singapore residents to be able to act on its behalf. They should either be citizens or even permanent residents and if they are foreigners they require being in possession of employment or dependant passes. When it comes to some businesses such as banking and stock broking special licenses are required as well as for manufacturers of some products such as cigars.

Going by the Singapore Companies Act, a foreigner or even local person who has attained the age of 18 years and above is eligible to register a company in Singapore. However in the case of a foreigner to be able to register a company one needs to engage the services of a professional firm since Singapore law does not allow foreigners to register to self register a company. One is able to operate the company while outside the country and when need be to visit Singapore he can apply a visitor visa if you need to go there to attend to business for a short time. In which case it is important to have a local director as this is a requirement in Singapore.

In the event that a foreigner wishes to relocate to Singapore in order to be able to run the business more effectively, an employment or entrepreneur pass is required which enables him to act as a local resident. All the procedures of company incorporation and visa application can be done while one is outside Singapore with the exception of the application to open a bank account.

The whole process of registering a company in Singapore takes a short while and this is attractive to entrepreneurs wishing to join  business  in the Singapore marketplace as they are able to avoid the long hustles that are commonplace in most other business hubs all over the world.

The strategic location of Singapore has made it a business hub in Southeast Asia since it is an island that lies outside the Southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Most companies that seek global connectivity look to Singapore to be able to penetrate into the Asian market due to its location at the centre of Asia thus desire to register a company in Singapore.  It is considered the ultimate place for one to live in and also work in.  This has a lot to do with the attributes that are associated with this city which rank from dependence and knowledge as well as the connection that it has with the rest of the world.

Since it has an economy made of free enterprise and with powerful worldwide business relations, Singapore prides itself of being able to facilitate global trade as well as investment. The background that it provides to overseas investors to be able to do business is made easier due to the good infrastructure alongside a workforce that possesses necessary skills essential to offer the required employment. This comes alongside the healthy judicial system that is in existence as well. It is for this reason that Singapore is reputed as the easiest place to conduct business globally besides having the most suitable trade atmosphere in Asia Pacific. This has led to it’s becoming the global head in foreign trade along with investment, being the leader in a corruption free financial system in Asia and number five the world over.

The fact that Singapore relies on outside marketplaces and suppliers is what has enabled it to achieve economic directness as well as open trade and markets. It is through exports such as IT products and refined petroleum products that it gets its bigger chunk of revenue. The government has made it easier for the open flow of merchandise in and out of Singapore most of which is duty free.

All businesses whether registered or not should go by the competitive act that advocates for a healthy competition while leaving out those practices that might come in the way of competition in the market. This applies for overseas and domestic bodies as well as government run bodies.

The favorable atmosphere for business in Singapore stems from the absence of labor unrest that comes from the rules that are put in place to ensure tranquility in operations. Procedures that concern bargaining and negotiation are regulated by the industrial relations act with regular increase of wages been overseen by the National wages council made of representatives of employers, employee unions and government officials.

Any foreigner intending to invest or even work in Singapore earning a minimum of at least S$2,500 needs to get an employment pass which allows him to come and go at will and is renewable for as long as the business is running.

There are several Free trade Agreements that Singapore has entered into with those whom it is in business together which has affected the official environment of the country. Many touch on those who are willing to get into business in Singapore with the companies based there getting benefits in several areas of trade.

To open a business account in a bank in Singapore you need to register your company then go in search of the bank that will be able to address your business needs. Following that you need to explore insurance for the protection of your business. This depends on your general needs and legal responsibility. All in your individual bank will be able to customize a financial solution to be able to suit your business needs.

You need to submit a company name for approval upon which the merging information and credentials will be e-filed with ACRA. With the go ahead from ACRA the company can then go ahead to begin its operations. With at least one director who is an adult and a company secretary who resides in Singapore these grounds are then sufficient to be able to launch the company operations in Singapore. The company name should contain a distinctive element to it which is a description of the services that it offers primarily as well as a legal ending to it. This serves to prove the legality of the company registration.