Immigration Expert Shares Top Advice for Setting up Business in World’s Most Competitive Economy

Singapore recently bested top contenders, U.S. and Hong Kong, to claim the number one spot as the world’s most competitive economy. As more entrepreneurs look to expand their businesses in Asia’s global financial centre, an immigration consultant offers expert advice on how to do so successfully.

Singapore – June 4, 2019 – Swiss business school IMD recently named Singapore as the world’s most competitive economy, which means that Asia’s Lion City is the best place for sustainable growth, job stability and citizen welfare. The ranking was based on four categories—economic performance, infrastructure, government efficiency and business efficiency.

Among other factors such as technological infrastructure and highly skilled labour pool, the 2019 World Competitiveness Rankings noted Singapore’s immigration laws as one of the factors in securing the top spot.

In addition to strategic immigration policies, Asia’s economic powerhouse continues to attract entrepreneurs from around the globe because of its relative political stability, business-friendly tax systems and high quality of life, making it especially ideal for families.

And while open immigration is a major hook for entrepreneurs, it does not make the process any less complex, according to immigration consultant and One Visa Business Development Director Cheng King Heng.

“The government has put policies in place to ensure that we attract and retain deserving migrants who will truly add value to the country’s economy and society,” he said.

For entrepreneurs looking to set up business in Singapore, an EntrePass is required. A key requirement for this work pass is to have significant business network and a strong entrepreneurial track record to start and operate a business in the country.

Entrepreneurs must fulfil any of the following: founded and sold a technology company, raised significant funding (above 100,000 SGD) from investors for a current or past venture, has been or is currently being ‘incubated’ by an internationally renowned incubator or accelerator, demonstrate strong industry networks and business contacts, or have been recognised by a credible award-giving body for outstanding business-related achievements.

To qualify, an entrepreneur must have started or intend to start a private limited company registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

The Entrepass is also open to investors who are willing to fund a substantial amount to grow new or existing local businesses. Innovators—those who hold an intellectual property or are currently collaborating with a research institute in Singapore—may also qualify.

Applicants do not have to meet all the criteria but having more qualifications would certainly make for a stronger case.

Among the documents required for the application is a 10-page business plan which highlights the applicant’s profile and professional experience, business idea and implementation plan. Heng noted that the plan must present the business’ added value in terms of innovation, digitisation and local job creation.

Cheng added, “Gaining an EntrePass is just beginning of what could be a long process for entrepreneurs. Navigating the laws and ensuring the best possible set-up for the business can be a tedious task, especially for foreigners. Certain industries require specific business licenses. For instance, if you plan to be in regulated financial industries, you need the approval of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Based on our experience, local and on-ground support is invaluable to securing a favourable outcome.”

EntrePass holders who meet the additional requirements can bring their spouse, children or parents to Singapore.

For those who do not meet any of the EntrePass criteria, they can opt for Employment Pass instead.

“The recent IMD recognition confirms Singapore’s status as a top destination for global businesses and we expect that it will drive interest and inquiries,” he furthered. “The business landscape is definitely competitive, and for entrepreneurs, working with a professional consultant is the first crucial investment to gain a winning edge.”

For more information about applying for an EntrePass, visit www.one-visa.com.

One Visa is a Singapore-based global immigration agency specialising in visa solutions for corporate professionals, entrepreneurs and investors.

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