Moving to Singapore is a big change, no matter which country you’re moving from. It is one of the most modern cities in the world, but the culture can be challenging for new expats. Nonetheless, Singapore is quickly becoming one of the most exciting places to move to for expats who consider relocating to Singapore or moving their business to Singapore.
Simply put, moving to Singapore for work will grant you one of the highest living standards in the world. Singapore consistently ranks at the top of most lists for personal safety, political stability, economic growth, and amenities. Economic growth is consistent, and the city enjoys a pro-business environment with attractive tax structures for expats moving their businesses to Singapore.
Aside from business potential, expats moving from US to Singapore should expect warm relaxing weather and plenty of recreational activities. ECA International ranks Singapore as the best Asian city for work-life balance, recreational and leisure options, sports events, arts and theater spots, tourist destinations, and multicultural restaurants.
Before moving business to Singapore it’s essential for expat entrepreneurs to be aware of taxes for expats in Singapore.
Singapore’s corporate tax rate is just 17 percent, making it one of the lowest in the world. This is the major reason expat entrepreneurs move their businesses to Singapore in increasing numbers.
Taxes in Singapore for expats work on a progressive scale. There is no capital gains tax or taxes on inheritance. Taxes on incomes are only for money earned in Singapore, change depending on where the income was made in Singapore, and taxes do not apply to individuals working overseas. The progressive tax rates are:
The best expat banks account in Singapore are ones that have reasonably good interest rates which include savings accounts from CIMB FastSaver, DBS Multiplier, UOB One, OCBC 360, Maybank Save Up, SCB Bonus Saver, and BOC Smart Saver. Some of these account types have interest rates of up to 2.75% and best fit a wide variety of goals and customers.
Check our “Moving to Expatland: The Journey to Singapore” podcast and get an overview of the tax considerations in moving to Singapore as well as get professional tips on relocating business to Singapore, living and doing business in Singapore, taxation nuances and cultural differences shared by our Singapore E-Team leader.
When moving to Singapore keep in mind that affordable residences are usually unfurnished, so, while moving your business to Singapore, moving your furniture is recommended. If you find the prices of shipping furniture untenable, know that popular furnishing outlets like IKEA operate in the city-state. Leave the heavy winter clothing behind when you move to Singapore, as the temperature rarely drops below 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
The land border is busy so shipping by sea is preferable and usually quicker. Air freight is also possible, but not recommended as costs quickly mount when moving heavier items like furniture.
Be sure to investigate any hidden costs from cheaper relocators, as shipping companies often surprise Singapore expats with these fees after documentation is finalized.
Finally, your goods will face a Goods and Services Tax (GST) though expats moving to Singapore can apply for GST Relief to mitigate this cost.
Before relocating to Singapore be sure you are aware of some things that are prohibited in Singapore or restricted for import.
Most vaccinations are not required for Singapore, but when traveling to Asia some are recommended, including:
Expats need to apply for visas to move to Singapore or to move a business to Singapore.
There are three main entry routes for expats trying to figure out how to move to Singapore; Employment passes, Entrepreneur Passes, and Student Passes.
Expats in Singapore typically apply for Employment and Entrepreneur passes before relocating to Singapore.
Singapore’s housing market is largely owned by the Housing and Development Board with around 80% of residences sold by the government agency. There are four types of general housing.
Singapore is a contemporary and modern Asian city with influences from South Asian, East Asian, and Eurasian communities. The primary language is Singaporean English, though most people in Singapore are bilingual and speak Mandarin Chinese, Malay, or Tamil.
The city has its fair share of popular culture including music, media, and creative writing, but in recent years the government has made efforts to increase the number of murals in the city. Parks are common, and the performing arts are encouraged, including a growing stand-up comedy scene. Festivals are common, and cuisine is traditionally seafood centric.
Singapore does maintain a tight grasp on cultural performances however, and the Singapore government must vet most work in advance or face a penalty.
Singapore’s average life expectancy is among the best in the world sitting between 81 and nearly 86 years old on average.
Sport Singapore sponsors an all inclusive movement for sports for all residences of the city-state. They claim to have more than 1,600 free workout sessions for nearly 150,000 residents, Move It programs, virtual exercise programs, a national steps challenge, and a well networked health service through their HealthHub service.
Singapore has universal healthcare in the form of their MediShield Life insurance system. Residents pay premiums and deductibles but large bills from hospital care are covered via this system.
E-Team Group Leader
CST Tax Advisors provides international tax advice and compliance services for individuals, family groups and businesses based in Singapore.
E-Team Group Leader
Sir Move is an expert at providing relocation services to expats moving to Singapore and are proud of their professionalism and integrity. Their emphasis on quality and great service make them a stand out relocation experts for any expat looking to move to Singapore.
Being one of the leading companies in Singapore, Prime & Section Car Rental has many awards to its name; notably, Prime & Section Car Rental recently awarded the Expat Living’s Reader’s Choice Awards for 2 years in a row as the best company in car rental services.
Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers offers comprehensive, personalised service for your insurance needs, including medical and general insurance.
Whether it’s maintaining a healthy set of pearly whites or attaining your dream smile, a reputable dental clinic will be your trustful partner by providing holistic dental care services for you and your family.
With Expat Dental, the perfect smile is within reach.
Zenith is a boutique real estate brokerage firm founded in 2014. Today, Zenith has more than 25 real estate agents ready to assist expats moving to Singapore.
To seamlessly navigate the complex regulations of acquiring a mortgage and owning a property in Singapore it’s best to consult with a reputable advisor to help you secure the most suitable type of mortgage.
Aussie Expat Home Loans guarantees competitive deals for expats living in Singapore.
BTPLaw LLC is a boutique Corporate Law firm founded by Brandon Tee and Diana Chan. BTPLaw’s key competitive advantage is its ability to deliver big-firm quality legal advice and solutions in a cost-effective manner to expats moving to Singapore.
Ascenta Wealth was founded to focus on helping expats move to Singapore. They propose financial options with a fresh approach called Lifestyle Financial Planning and the focus at Ascenta is very much on their clients.
ED-SG is driven by helping expat families find the right international school in Singapore with their team of a dedicated group of admissions managers, consultants, and teachers.
The average cost for a single person living in Singapore is about S$1,350 a month without rent. A family of four can expect this to quadruple to about S$5000 without rent after relocating to Singapore. Rent price can range from just above S$2,000 to as much as S$35,000 or more.
Singapore claims to be the second safest city in the world, while occupying the first spot for quality of living. Nearly 95% of people living in Singapore feel safe walking alone at night which is supported by a transparent legal system and active police force.
While many languages are spoken in Singapore, the most common are English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Technically Malay is the city’s native tongue, but Singapore English, which is similar in many ways to British English, is the de facto language.
Yes, but the applications for academic school years are competitive. 2022 applications were closed by January 7 for non-permanent residences.
For those with a good enough income, expat life in Singapore is considered some of the best. Expats that secure a residence, health care options, and an income before moving to Sinagpore can expect a vibrant cultural scene, diverse food, and rich economic opportunity.