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The Advantages of Singapore’s Enhanced EntrePass Scheme for International Startups

With numerous startup grants and funding, Singapore is a boon for entrepreneurs from across the globe. The EntrePass allows the qualification of international entrepreneurs to launch and manage a venture-backed or innovative technology-based business in Singapore.

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The new EntrePass Scheme, which went into effect on August 3, 2017, reduces the conditions that previously made it impossible for global entrepreneurs in the exploratory stage to qualify for EntrePass. The modifications to the scheme provide new opportunities for serial entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and seasoned investors to relocate to Singapore and build a startup company. 

Paid-Up Capital Waived

Global entrepreneurs are no longer required to have at least S$50,000 in paid-up capital under the Enhanced EntrePass Scheme. The abolition of the paid-up capital requirement will welcome entrepreneurs with good ideas to come in at a much earlier stage and expand their firms from Singapore. For global entrepreneurs, this not only lowers the cost of starting a business in Singapore, but it also gives them greater leeway to evaluate the viability of their ideas without having to invest funds right away.

Past Experience Based Evaluation Criteria

In addition to the four preceding schemes, the Enhanced EntrePass programme offers three requirements that allow international talents with strong track records to enter Singapore’s startup scene:

1. Business Network and Entrepreneurial History

Global entrepreneurs can now qualify if, among other things, they have created and sold a tech company, participated in a world-renowned incubator, or have strong industry-related business ties. International early-stage entrepreneurs can now take advantage of government incentive programmes and low tax rates in Singapore, even if they have not yet secured funding, thanks to this criteria.

2. Outstanding Innovation

Global entrepreneurs that have extraordinary technical or domain competence in their sector are eligible for EntrePass under the new plan. This new criteria provides an opportunity for innovators who wish to develop new technologies while benefiting from Singapore’s strong intellectual property protection and advanced research ecosystem.

Photo by Rita Chou

3. Investment History

EntrePass is for investors that have a track record of investing in businesses and who wish to invest in new or existing firms. The new requirements demand that investors make a significant investment in a local business. Candidates must also have a solid track record of investing in and growing highly scalable firms, as well as extensive expertise as a senior management professional or executive in a multinational corporation, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Global investors can now develop and profit from Singapore’s startup ecosystem, which includes entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, and private equity companies, under this new criteria.

New Partners

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) are now part of the new developments of the new EntrePass. It will now be open to companies in new and emerging industries as a result of these two new additions. Furthermore, the IMDA and the NRF’s considerable sector understanding will allow for a more comprehensive evaluation of new startup value. The newly upgraded EntrePass system also allows multinational enterprises to focus on cutting costs and hiring the finest personnel rather than worrying about renewing their licences. 

Family Status

Candidates for the EntrePass can now bring specific family members to Singapore during the first year if they achieve the required company spending and job creation standards. Previously, international entrepreneurs had to wait a year under the former EntrePass scheme before bringing their family to Singapore. 

The Singaporean government recognizes the potential of international companies in adding to the vibrancy of Singapore’s startup environment. They complement the city state’s local entrepreneurs by allowing ideas to cross-fertilize, forming new collaborations, and providing decent jobs for its people. With the enhancements to the EntrePass scheme, experienced global entrepreneurs can find a home in Singapore’s booming startup ecosystem to cultivate and establish new firms.

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