Prior to the launch of the budget, the Ministry for Trade and Industry had announced that Singapore small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) would be at the center of the programs comprised in this year’s budget. The officials have kept their promise and put a great emphasis on how SMEs would benefit from support this year. There are two main areas the government will focus on: the digitization and the internationalization of these companies. Our lawyers in Singapore can assist foreign entrepreneurs interested in starting businesses in the city-state.
This idea is not new, as the government has been working on various support schemes for several years now in order to allow companies in Singapore to adopt digital technology in order to have a greater reach to their customers. In 2017, the government has proposed two new assistance programs for Singapore small and medium-sized companies seeking to explore digitization: the SME Go Digital Scheme and the SME Digital Tech Hub.
The first program implies companies buying programs or equipment to benefit from 70% refunds of the costs of the purchased solutions in the limit of 300,000 SGD. The second initiative is meant to offer consultancy to SMEs through workshops and trainings carried out by the Digital Tech Hub which will start running by September.
Another strong focus of the central authorities refers to SMEs seeking to tap into foreign markets. The programs proposed for these Singapore businesses are the International Partnership Fund, the Internationalization Finance Scheme and the Intellectual Property Development Incentive.
The Partnership Fund will help companies access Asian market through acquisitions, while the Finance Program will offer financial support to SMEs interested in joining in infrastructure projects.
The Intellectual Property Development Program was enabled for companies selling the rights over intellectual property which will benefit from tax incentives related to the corporate tax. Also, all SMEs will benefit from tax rebates from the corporate tax in 2017 and 2018.
For more information on the corporate tax in Singapore, please contact us. You can also rely on our Singapore law firm if you want to start a small business in the city-state.
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