What Are the Requirements for PIC?

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Feb 062015

The government of Singapore is offering Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) that is specifically designed to help all business owners improve their business performance. The idea is that you can get tax deductions or cash pay-outs for your business. This is ideal to reduce the cost of business processes or improve your profit at certain times of the year. While on the paper this is certainly ideal and self-explanatory, there are certain requirements of the scheme and important things to follow to ensure you get your grant quickly and efficiently.

1. Your business activity must qualify
The first and most obvious requirement is that your business activities must fall within the PIC categories. These are Information Technology system development, employees’ training, patent registration, Intellectual property Rights Registration, Research and Development Activities, and also Design Projects that have specifically been approved by the Design Singapore Council. If your business activity is covered, you are simply eligible to get the grant.

2. If you are looking to get the grant for design projects, you must have approval from the Design Singapore Council.
As such, it is important to hold discussions with professionals from the IRAS when deciding how to classify your business activities. The IRAS website has detailed information about the technicalities of classification and qualifying activities that are covered.

3. Only Singapore based activities can quality
The aim of this is simple; as the PIC system was created to help Singapore citizens to promote their products or services. The business must be located in Singapore as the aim of the grant is to improve the economic condition of the country. As such, this is one of the most important requirements. The grants were created in Singapore, for Singaporeans, and it will always be this way. As any business owner, or if you plan to start a new company you should already know the requirements of registration within Singapore. By registering in Singapore you are confirming you activities are done in-country and can therefore speed up the process of applying for your grant.

4. You must have 3 or more Singaporeans as your employees
The reason behind this is simple – it will help Singaporeans getting jobs in their home country. At least 3 Singaporeans is the requirement to therefore successfully apply for a grant. This is not a difficult criteria. You should note that this does not mean you are limited to hiring only Singaporeans, in fact it is encouraged to have a good combination of origins to contribute to the success of your company.

5. Actually submit your application on time!
Downloadable from the IRAS website, you need to complete and return the application form. Remember the application process normally takes a few weeks before you can receive your tax deductions or pay-outs so bare this in mind in terms of your cash flow.

 Posted by at 4:28 am

How PIC grants can help you start a business in Singapore

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Jan 282015
It is clear from various studies that Singapore ranks highly worldwide for countries where it is easy to do business. This is because of the government opportunities available and encouragements there are for small businesses. It is a ready market for new ideas and initiatives, and there are very little red tapes in starting a business. Investing in the region is common and growing simply due to Singapore’s long history of business success. Once you decide to invest, there are a lot of decisions to be made. This will involve fully understanding the governmental opportunities available. Externally of this, you need to do several elements of research to fully understand Singapore’s business opportunities. It is not wise to start a business in Singapore without fully surveying your potential market and understanding the nature of the people you will be selling goods and products to. While important to everyone, this is particularly important for foreigners as Singapore’s market is broad, but has certain distinct characteristics that are unique worldwide. Appealing to the wrong market can be dire for your business. Singapore has distinct a culture and traditions and it would be easy to come up with a marketing campaign that would actually be offensive to the population. The complications of this may even extend from you having to stop carrying out any more business within Singapore, although this of course is the extreme example. To avoid any complexities or complications, have a thorough understanding of Singapore’s market and the needs of your particular audience. In classic Singapore style, permits are necessary for many types of business to ensure you are regulated by the appropriate body. Once you have identified a market you will be involved in and have correctly sorted any technical details of doing so, you will ultimately need a registration and permit for your business. You might be surprised that it is not as complicated in Singapore to do this as it is worldwide. Singapore has correctly identified that having this process as simple can encourage foreign investment. Bare in mind that each type of industry will require different permits from different bodies. For each industry there are varying degrees of permits and complexities and the time taken to identify what you need should not be underestimated. Singapore has very strict rules on manpower and the nationality of people you can hire. As such, it is often beneficial for you to hire Singaporeans not only because of these rules, but because they will have experience of the market already. Singapore is a very educated society so you will not be disappointed by the skills available. Because Singapore is such a business-orientated society, there is much help available should you so require it. For example, the complexities surrounding tax can be dealt with by hiring private consultants or by depending on a government agency for advice. Singapore’s bureaucracy is known to be highly effective, so you will be able to get all the help should you so need it. Setting up a business in Singapore is much easier than people think, and with the PIC grants available there is now even more incentive to do so.
 Posted by at 2:51 am