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Tax Haven

Singapore is ace when it comes to business friendly countries. According to Santa Ana Charles Hart City Council Ward 3 website, business friendly refers to low taxes, low fees, few and fair regulations, educational and training opportunities and a safe working environment for the business and its customers. Now that we know that Singapore is ranked first, this all means that business opportunities in Singapore are extremely high. Reason being, just by the fact that Singapore has managed to stay at the top for seven consecutive years. Many people are still admiring the country’s efficiency.

The ranking was determined by exploring the eleven areas of business regulation. This involved- just to name a few- the ease of starting a business, getting construction permits, electricity and credit, paying taxes, enforcing contracts, getting support from the government and employing workers.

When it concerns business opportunities in Singapore, there are a few things to take note if you want the recipe to success and to blow away the competition. First up, it is important for a business to have a friendly and efficient way to dealing with contacts. By the time you exceed all expectations and achieve  exponential success, your company will get the competitive advantage and be the best in the business.

The Business Times has stated that while it would be tough for Singapore to make convincing advancement, the country has the opportunity to seek for improvement in the area of property registration.

Singapore, among other countries- 23 economies in East Asia and the Pacific to be exact- have made their administrative background more business friendly since 2005. Additional countries include San Antonio and other Texas sites. There are even several countries sending up their representatives to Singapore to learn its business system.

To cater to the high demand of business opportunities in Singapore, the country made sure that there are plenty of business hotels for clients. There are over 50 hotels ranging from Swissotel Merchant Court, The Ritz-Carlton Millenia, Pan Pacific Orchard Hotel to Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa. These are mainly four/five stars hotels located at the central business and shopping district and the airport.

In terms of ease of doing business and trading across borders, Singapore is also ranked first. The country’s export goods include machinery and equipment, pharmaceutical and refined petroleum products. Some of the most common import goods is comprised of mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs and consumer goods. The country still stands among the top three when it comes to dealing with construction permits, protecting investors and resolving insolvency.

Numerous sites have reported that Singapore’s economy has been ranked as the most open in the world, the least corrupt, most pro-business, with low tax rates (14.2% of GDP) and one of the highest per-capita gross domestic products in the world. These reports include the World Economic Forum and the Transparency International 2012.

In addition, the country has several international trade agreements with other countries. As you’re reading this, you might recall the Agreement between New Zealand and Singapore on a Closer Economic Partnership (ANZSCEP) and the Agreement between Japan and the Republic of Singapore for a New-Age Economic Partnership (JSEPA). Both agreements concluded on 2000 and 2001 respectively.

To conclude, we can all agree that while the costs of living in Singapore is high, the economic viability of country has established it as an attractive business location. Because of the huge number of business opportunities in Singapore, the little red dot has proven it as an accomplished and diversified country.

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In the globalised economic arena today, there is quite a big number of tax havens that are situated all around the globe. Such examples include the British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Panama. So how does one pick out the best tax haven there is and reap an optimum benefit? Here are some features of what good tax havens are, and how different characteristics across the different areas can be suited to your individual needs.

Obviously, the best tax havens for individuals will feature the best no-tax policy for international incorporations. For most or all of these tax havens, international incorporations need not pay for local taxes on the profits earned internationally in these territories. Different territories will offer different tax-free policies for international businesses. For one, the tax havens in the Caribbean will have no tax on capital gains, estate, gifts and inheritance and there is no withholding tax. Meanwhile, there are other good tax havens may also exercise a minimal or very low tax regime, with a low rate of maybe 10% on annual profits. One such example will be the tax haven Cyprus.

What is common across all good tax havens is that international companies will still have to be yearly license fees to the government of that territory. However, the rates of these license fees may vary. Some areas may proportionate the fee to the size of one’s authorized shareholding of the company, and others may fix the fee at a fixed rate.

Best tax havens will definitely also feature a significantly high level of privacy for the company’s business processes. Yearly tax reports needn’t be submitted for the best tax havens, and information of the company need not be publicly recorded. Best tax havens will provide incredibly substantial efforts to protect the privacy of offshore companies. The best areas will include in the legislative jurisdiction regulatory rules and laws that will protect the company’s privacy from being threatened through improper and unauthorized disclosure by any sort of third party.

The best tax havens will also feature good international or offshore banking services. These areas will provide tax-free banking. That is, companies do not have to pay taxes on their interests. Also, good international banking in the best tax havens will feature banking characteristics and services that will provide high levels of secrecy pertaining to banking information.

Most importantly, best tax havens will have a government that will cooperate with authorities to ensure that the economic environment of the area is still stable. Best tax havens will have legislation that keep the territories free from any potentially induced criminal acts that may result from tax-free environments.

The best tax havens will suit individual needs the most. One can find out which tax havens are best for them by comparing tax havens across various characteristics. Such features will include the extent of service that is offered by the tax haven, the ability and availability of complex transactions, KYC complexity, ease of communication and of course, costs. In choosing and determining the best tax haven for an individual, one would have to question how these features are ranked according to importance and needs.

A corporate tax haven is a territory that provides favorable tax circumstances and a liberal tax environment for corporations to set up their businesses. More often than not, corporate tax havens are offshore territories. Such include the British Virgin Islands, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Bahamas.

In corporate havens, tax regimes are designed to attract corporations to the territory to set up businesses within the territory and most corporate tax havens provide a zero-taxation regime that is available for international businesses, known as International Business Companies (IBCs) that set up their businesses in the territory from other parts of the world. For companies that derive profits and incomes from outside of the territory need not carry any taxation burdens on their incomes and profits at all. Most corporate havens will impose a zero-taxation scheme, while some others will impose a very minimum tax rate that amounts only about 1 and 2.5% on the corporations’ annual earnings. Such territories are known as low-tax territories or jurisdictions. One example of such a low tax jurisdiction is Barbados.

Corporate tax havens do not only protect corporations from taxation. They also protect the privacy of the corporations as well. In most of the corporate tax havens, it is lawful that the corporations’ financial records and statements will not and need not be exposed to government authorities or publicly filed. As such, the corporations will retain and maintain financial privacy for their companies set up in corporate tax havens. Even though some low-tax jurisdictions require some registered filing of annual returns and accounting records, many international companies are still able to take advantage of corporate tax havens in such that these territories do not have any treaties signed with government authorities, including the home government of the international corporation. As such, corporations have the advantage of not disclosing financial progress and statements to the government authorities of their home countries, which may very well impose a tax on their profits and incomes if such financial information were otherwise disclosed.

On top of all that were mentioned, corporate tax havens often offer offshore banking and allow corporations to set up international bank accounts. The privacy of corporations are also taken care of with the respect of banking as well, as various laws are in place in corporate tax havens to ensure that banks keep information about bank account holders private. As such, corporations still enjoy banking secrecy with their banking processes and need not worry about any disclosure of their bank accounts or banking information.

Overall, corporate tax havens protect companies from improper disclosure of information and threat to company privacies and maintain such characteristics in the name of the law within the jurisdiction. Corporations that set up businesses and companies in corporate tax havens almost certainly enjoy strong asset protection and confidentiality and privacy protection in such territories, which therefore allow international corporations in such territories to be able to thrive and grow without worry or unnecessary burdens.