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Company startup: Philippines VS Singapore

Company startup:

Philippines VS Singapore

In global entrepreneurship, selecting the right location for a new company is pivotal. Entrepreneurs consider market potential, regulatory environment, and ease of operations. The Philippines and Singapore are noteworthy contenders for startups. The Philippines offers a vast consumer market and growing digital infrastructure, appealing for businesses targeting Southeast Asia. Singapore is celebrated for its solid legal framework, conducive business climate, and strategic position as a hub for Asia.

Choosing between the Philippines, with its large English-speaking population and significant consumer base, and Singapore’s efficiency, world-class infrastructure, and strong governmental support requires detailed examination. Fastcorp, a premier corporate services provider in Singapore, assists entrepreneurs in navigating Singapore’s business environment. This analysis highlights the essential factors of setting up a business in the Philippines versus Singapore, enabling entrepreneurs to make strategic decisions.

Regulatory and Legal Requirements for Company Registrations

In establishing a new business, understanding and navigating the regulatory landscapes of a chosen country is crucial. This is especially true when comparing the Philippines and Singapore. Both countries offer unique advantages and challenges that entrepreneurs must consider.


Singapore’s company registration process is lauded for its efficiency, thanks to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Entrepreneurs can expect a quick registration process through the online BizFile+ system, provided they have all necessary documentation ready. The requirements are clear and promote transparency and ease of doing business. Necessary documentation includes the company name, business activities description, details of shareholders and directors, and a registered office address in Singapore. Singapore’s solid corporate legal framework and the legal system based on English Common Law make the city-state attractive for business incorporation due to the protection it offers to investors and entrepreneurs.


The Philippines presents a different set of challenges and processes. While the country has been improving its business registration process, entrepreneurs may face a more layered approach compared to Singapore. The process can involve multiple governmental agencies and more steps, which might extend the time required to start a business. Despite these challenges, the Philippines offers a dynamic market with vast opportunities, especially for businesses looking to tap into the ASEAN region.

Comparative Analysis

The comparison between Singapore’s streamlined business registration and the more intricate process in the Philippines highlights the importance of understanding local regulatory environments. Singapore’s business-friendly policies and robust legal protections offer a straightforward pathway for entrepreneurs. In contrast, the Philippines’ growing market provides its own set of rewards amidst regulatory complexities. Fastcorp is equipped to guide businesses through Singapore’s corporate setup process, leveraging the city-state’s advantageous ecosystem for business success.

Tax Implications for Businesses

The tax regime of a country is a critical factor for businesses when choosing a location for their startup. The Philippines and Singapore present very different tax environments, each with its unique set of benefits and challenges.

Corporate Tax Rates

Singapore: Singapore’s corporate tax rate is capped at 17%, making it business-friendly. New startups enjoy full tax exemptions on the first S$100,000 for three years. Additional incentives for R&D encourage innovation and growth.

Philippines: The Philippines has a complex tax structure with a corporate income tax rate of 30%, decreasing to 25% and 20% by 2023 under the CREATE Act. The country offers several incentives for businesses in specific sectors or special economic zones. However, navigating the tax system can be challenging due to its complexity and bureaucracy.

Comparative Analysis

Singapore: Singapore’s low tax rates and extensive incentives create a conducive environment for businesses, emphasizing efficiency and growth. The streamlined tax system helps businesses focus on expansion and innovation.

Philippines: The Philippines offers significant tax savings opportunities, especially for qualified businesses, but has a more complex tax system. Availing incentives can be daunting for newcomers, requiring careful navigation and understanding of local regulations.

Tax Incentives

Singapore: Singapore offers extensive tax incentives and exemptions to reduce the effective tax rate for startups and SMEs. These include a full tax exemption on the first S$100,000 of chargeable income for three years. Additional incentives for research and development promote innovation and business growth.

Philippines: The Philippines provides several incentives for businesses, particularly in specific sectors or special economic zones. However, the process of availing these incentives can be complex and bureaucratic. The CREATE Act aims to reduce the corporate income tax rate and simplify the tax system, though challenges remain.

Strategic Considerations

Singapore: Entrepreneurs in Singapore benefit from a straightforward and favorable tax system. Low tax rates and extensive incentives support long-term growth and expansion.

Philippines: Entrepreneurs in the Philippines must weigh potential tax savings against the challenges of navigating its tax regime. Understanding the local tax system and availing incentives can be complex but rewarding for qualified businesses.

Ease of Doing Business

Navigating the Business Landscape

Understanding a country’s bureaucratic, administrative, and regulatory environment is crucial for setting up a business. The ease of doing business significantly impacts entrepreneurs’ decisions on where to start their ventures. Singapore and the Philippines offer varied experiences, reflecting their positions in global ease of doing business rankings.


Singapore is renowned for its efficient regulatory framework and administrative procedures, consistently ranking at the top in global ease of doing business. The city-state offers a streamlined company registration process through the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), allowing businesses to register within hours online. Singapore’s legal and regulatory framework minimizes bureaucracy, facilitating smooth operations for businesses. This makes Singapore an attractive destination for setting up a company in Asia.


The Philippines has made efforts to improve its business environment, but it still presents challenges with bureaucratic complexity. The processes for company registration, obtaining permits, and dealing with administrative tasks can be slower. The country has introduced reforms to enhance its business climate, yet businesses may face intricate procedures and varying regulatory standards across regions. Despite these challenges, the Philippines offers a vibrant market and strategic opportunities for businesses willing to navigate its regulatory landscape.

Comparative Analysis:

The contrast in ease of doing business between Singapore and the Philippines highlights the importance of considering regulatory environments. Singapore’s streamlined processes and supportive business ecosystem offer a clear advantage for quick and efficient company setup. In contrast, while the Philippines provides a dynamic market and potential opportunities, businesses must prepare to engage with its more complex bureaucratic environment.

Strategic Considerations:

Entrepreneurs weighing their options between the Philippines and Singapore should consider the impact of each country’s regulatory environment on their business operations and growth potential. Fastcorp, with its expertise in navigating Singapore’s corporate setup landscape, is ready to assist businesses in leveraging the city-state’s efficient, stable, and business-friendly ecosystem for their success.

Skilled Labour, Infrastructure, and Market Opportunities

Skilled Labour: Availability and Cost

Infrastructure Quality

Market Opportunities

digital bank account

Skilled Labour: Availability and Cost

Singapore: Singapore’s workforce is highly skilled and proficient in English and other languages, ideal for finance and technology sectors. The nation invests heavily in education and professional development. However, this high skill level comes with higher labour costs compared to many other countries, including the Philippines.

Philippines: The Philippines offers a vast labour supply with many graduates in engineering, IT, and other fields. Labour costs are generally lower than in Singapore. However, businesses may face challenges with skill mismatches and the need for additional training. The diverse and multilingual workforce can also present unique challenges.

open a digital bank account

Infrastructure Quality

Singapore: Known for its world-class infrastructure, Singapore has efficient transportation, advanced telecommunications, and cutting-edge facilities. This supports seamless business operations and global connectivity. The infrastructure quality adds to its appeal as a corporate setup destination.

Philippines: The Philippines is improving its infrastructure with investments in transportation and digital connectivity. However, variability in quality across regions can impact operations. Urban areas like Manila offer better infrastructure but may not match Singapore’s global standards.

digital bank account

Market Opportunities

Singapore: Singapore, a gateway to Asia, provides access to ASEAN, China, and beyond. Its strategic location, free trade agreements, and stable economic policies offer unparalleled market access.

Philippines: The Philippines offers a large and diverse market with significant opportunities across sectors. Its sizable consumer base is attractive for retail, e-commerce, and other consumer-driven markets, supported by a growing middle class and increasing digital penetration.

Accessing Funding, Capital Markets, and Investment Opportunities

Navigating the intricate world of funding, capital markets, and investment opportunities is crucial for establishing and scaling a business. Singapore and the Philippines offer contrasting landscapes that cater to the diverse financial needs and objectives of startups and established enterprises.

Access to Funding and Investment

Singapore: Singapore’s dynamic economic policies, transparent legal framework, and political stability attract investors. As a global financial hub, it provides access to venture capital, angel investments, and government grants. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) champions fintech and innovation, offering schemes like the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) to nurture new business ventures.

Malaysia: The Philippines is gaining momentum in its startup ecosystem, attracting venture capital and angel investments with its growing market potential. Government initiatives like the Innovative Startup Act aim to stimulate early-stage funding by offering incentives and simplifying business setup. Despite these efforts, startups may still face regulatory hurdles and a complex investment landscape that can slow funding.

Capital Markets and Financial Support

Singapore: The Singapore Exchange (SGX) offers a highly developed platform for companies to raise capital through public listings. Known for its efficiency, SGX is a preferred listing venue for businesses aiming to widen their investor reach in Asia and beyond. Singapore’s favorable tax regime and ease of listing present compelling opportunities for businesses considering an IPO.


In the Philippines, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) serves as the primary avenue for companies seeking public market access. While it supports many businesses, the regulatory requirements and IPO timeline can be daunting. However, the country’s market growth potential post-listing attracts investors looking to explore opportunities in an emerging market.

Strategic Considerations

Singapore: The decision to expand into Singapore involves balancing market potential, regulatory environment, and financial objectives. Singapore’s efficient, investor-friendly ecosystem offers a conducive environment for rapid growth and international market access.


The decision to expand into the Philippines involves balancing market potential, regulatory environment, and financial objectives. The Philippines presents a promising market with significant opportunities but requires navigating a more complex investment and regulatory framework.

Global Rankings at a Glance



Singapore’s Rank

Philippines’ Rank



Political Stability



World Population Review


World Competitiveness Ranking





World Competitiveness Ranking





Index of Economic Freedom



The Heritage Foundation


Global Talent Competitive Index





Corruption Perceptions Index



Transparency International


Corruption Perceptions Index



Transparency International


Ease of Doing Business Report



World Bank


Best Countries for Business





Trade Openness Country Ranking



The Global Economy

In comparing starting a company in the Philippines versus Singapore, we’ve identified key distinctions across various factors. These include regulatory and legal frameworks, tax systems, ease of doing business, availability of skilled labor and infrastructure, market opportunities, and funding access. Singapore’s position as a streamlined, business-friendly hub offers clear regulatory procedures, attractive tax benefits, and strong intellectual property protection. The Philippines, with its growing consumer base and burgeoning digital market, provides substantial scalability opportunities and a diverse talent pool at a competitive cost.

Entrepreneurs must consider factors like the business climate, sectoral prospects, and strategic growth plans. Singapore’s global connectivity and pro-business policies position it as a premier site for innovation and international business. Meanwhile, the Philippines offers a vibrant startup ecosystem and access to ASEAN markets, appealing to businesses aiming for broad market penetration. Fastcorp excels in guiding businesses through Singapore’s dynamic landscape. With a profound understanding of the region’s unique advantages and challenges, Fastcorp assists entrepreneurs in navigating the complexities of company establishment and expansion. Our expert team ensures businesses fully capitalize on the opportunities within Singapore’s thriving economy, providing strategic support at every step.

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