Incentives and Grants by the Singapore Government

Incentives and Grants by the Singapore Government

Did you know that your company may be eligible for some grants?

The Singapore government has been providing relevant grants to support companies through their agencies.
These grants support various groups of companies because of the internationalization efforts made by the companies.

Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant

Enterprise Singapore (ESG) is the government agency that promotes international trade and partners Singapore companies to go global.

One of the grants they provide is the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant which supports Singapore SMEs taking their business overseas for the first time. Enterprise Singapore (ESG) supports pre-determined activities to help you set up overseas, identify business partners, and promote your products overseas.

The Grant defrays up to 70% of the eligible costs for MRA Grant activities, capped at S$20,000 per company per fiscal year (whichever is lower).

There is a maximum of two applications per fiscal year, starting 1 April and ending 31 March the following year. (Any application submitted after 10 March will be regarded as application for the new financial year).

This grant is also limited to one activity (eg. Business matching, market entry, or participation in a trade fair) per application.

Overseas Market Setup
Supported Activities
Deliverables
Market Entry
Advisory, legal and documentation expenses relating to:

  • Name search
  • Intellectual Property (IP) search and application
  • Filing and registration for sales/ representative offices or equity entity
  • Implementation of recommended tax structures
  • Import and Export licences
  • Drafting of franchising, licensing, agency, distributorship and joint venture agreements (limited to only the first set of such agreements)

Proof of completion includes but not limited to:

  • Relevant filing documents submitted to authorities
  • Copies of certificates, permits and licenses obtained
Overseas Business Partners
Supported Activities
Deliverables
Business Matching
Third-party costs incurred to identify potential business partners and/ or customers (B2B) including the following:

  • Licensees/ Franchisees
  • Agents and Distributors
  • Joint Venture Partners

Detailed profile report of the potential customers/ partners for the company in the selected market and business matching outcomes

Overseas Market Promotion
Supported Activities
Deliverables
Overseas marketing and PR activitiesThird-party costs incurred for

  • Marketing and PR activities including launch of in-store promotions, road shows, pop-up stores executed using an appointed Marketing and/ or PR agency
  • Pitching fees at overseas business/ trade conferences

Proof of completion should include but not be limited to the following:

  • Event write-up attached with corresponding materials such as photographs and publicity materials
  • Invoices/ receipts/ bank statements for payment made to third-party vendor such as proof of payment for costs incurred.
 Participation in overseas trade fairs NOT supported under International Marketing Activities Programme (iMAP)Third-party costs incurred for

  • Space Rental (Capped at 36 square metres)
  • Booth design and Construction (Capped at 36 square metres)

Proof of completion should include but not be limited to the following:

  • Event write-up attached with corresponding materials such as exhibitor listing, photographs and publicity materials
  • Invoices/ receipts/ bank statements for payment made to third-party vendor such as proof of payment for costs incurred.
  1. Global HQ anchored in Singapore
  2. SME with annual turnover of less than S$100 million per annum based on the most recent audited report.

Approval

Retrospective applications will not be accepted*. An application will be deemed retrospective only if any of the following events took place before the application date:

  • Making a payment including initial deposit to the 3rd party consultant
  • Signing contractual agreement or purchase order with the 3rd party consultant
  • Commencement of the project with the 3rd party consultant

*Exception: Trade Fair applications may be made retrospectively (E.g applicants may sign agreements, begin preparations). However, trade fair applications must be submitted at least one working day before the actual event day.

Companies may submit their applications no earlier than 6 months before project start date.

Overseas Marketing Presence (OMP)

To help your company expand into new markets by setting up an overseas presence to begin marketing and/ or business development activities.

All projects are subjected to:

  • A grant cap of S$100,000 per project
  • Maximum support duration of 12 months per project
  • Support level: SMEs up to 70%; non-SMEs up to 50% of qualified costs.
  • Eligible expenses:
    1. Salary of maximum two business development staff stationed at the market (of which, one has to be a Singaporean or Permanent Resident)
    2. Rental expenses of the specified location.

To qualify, you need to:

  • Be registered and operating in Singapore
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding
  • Be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project
  • You must:
    1. Use the grant for marketing and/ or business development.
    2. Meet the New Market Criteria (NMC), which is defined as a new city where the company has not had sales in excess of S$100,000 in any one year for the past three years.
    3. Post at least one Singaporean or Permanent Resident to be based in the market to conduct marketing and/ or business development work.

Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)

*The EDG has replaced both grants – Capability Development Grant (CDG) and Global Company Partnership (GCP) Grant which have ended on 24 October 2018.

The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) helps Singapore companies grow and transform. This grant supports projects that help you upgrade your business, innovate or venture overseas, under three pillars:

  • Core Capabilities – Projects under Core Capabilities help businesses prepare for growth and transformation by strengthening their business foundations. These should go beyond basic functions such as sales and accounting.
  • Innovation and Productivity – Projects under Innovation and Productivity support companies that explore new areas of growth, or look for ways to enhance efficiency. These could include reviewing and redesigning workflow and processes. Companies could also tap into automation and technologies to make routine tasks more efficient.
  • Market Access – Projects under Market Access support Singapore companies that are willing and ready to venture overseas. You may tap into the EDG to help defray some of the costs of expanding into overseas markets.

The grant funds up to 70% of qualifying project costs namely third-party consultancy fees, software and equipment, and internal manpower cost.

To qualify for the EDG, you need to:

  • Be registered and operating in Singapore
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding
  • Be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project
  • Applications will be assessed by Enterprise Singapore based on project scope, project outcomes and competency of service provider.

International Marketing Activities Programme (iMAP)

Enterprise Singapore (ESG) is the government agency that promotes international trade and partners Singapore companies to go global.

Tradeshows and Missions are great way for your company to learn more about your competition, make valuable contacts, get feedback on your products and services, learn more and reach out to your overseas market.

iMap supports companies participating in iMAP approved activities, at international trade fairs organized by a TA/C, with up to 50% to 70% of eligible core expenses (depending on country where the event is held), such as rental of exhibition space, booth construction cost and fair/ mission consultancy expenses.

iMAP operates on a reimbursement basis. Funding will be disbursed through TA/Cs to the eligible companies.

To be eligible to organize iMAP activities, TA/Cs must fulfil all the following criteria:

  1. Headquarters must be incorporated and based in Singapore
  2. Registered with Registry of Societies (ROSES) or Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
  3. Defined as non-profit organization
  4. Activities must be in line with IE Singapore’s mission
  5. A thrust towards internationalization
  6. Secretariat with adequate staff, financial resources and experience to recruit and organize the proposed activities.
 
Note:
  1. TA/Cs will not be eligible for iMAP once the TA/Cs are privatised. TA/Cs are required to notify IE Singapore if there are any changes in their organization or status.
  2. TA/Cs that engage outsourced secretariat service can be considered on case by case basis.
  3. The organizing TA/Cs is responsible for all expenses related to the activity. The TA/C will seek reimbursement for eligible expenses from IE Singapore on behalf of participating companies.
 
Eligibility (Companies)

Companies that are incorporated/ registered in Singapore and have at least 3 of the following core business functions/ activities operating in Singapore are eligible for iMAP support

  • Market development and planning
  • Logistics and Shipping Management
  • Research, Development and Design Functions
  • Manufacturing and other value-added activity
  • Business and Investment Planning
  • Banking, Financial and Treasury Functions
 
Important Notes for Companies:
  • Eligible companies participating in iMAP supported business missions or international trade fairs may also apply for Double Tax Deduction for Internationalisation Scheme (DTD) according to the existing terms and conditions under the DTD scheme. Participating companies are however only allowed to apply for expenses NOT covered by the iMAP grant, e.g. travel and accommodation for up to 2 representatives per company.  
  • IE Singapore will not be responsible to participating companies and vendors if the organising TA/C defaults in making payment to them.

Global Trader Programme (GTP)

The Global Trader Programme (GTP) provides a reduced corporate tax rate of 5% or 10% on qualifying trading income for three or five years. Qualifying trading income includes income from physical trading, brokering of physical trades and derivative trading income.

Singapore welcomes companies which are well-established players engaged in international physical trading on a principal basis to establish their trading base in Singapore. International physical principal trading involves having control over key decisions with regards to entering trades, exercising optionality and flexibility across the value chain to match demand and supply, manage trade flows, bear principle title and commercial risks; and employ sufficient number of employees with the necessary skills. Companies should also carry out risk management activities, have a wide trading and distribution network, and a good track record. The scheme is available to players trading a broad range of products in Singapore, including energy and chemicals, metals and minerals, agricultural commodities, consumer goods, industrial products and electronics.

To qualify for the GTP, companies must have substantial operations in Singapore and meet stringent quantitative criteria (including employment and local expenditure). Larger players with more established operations in Singapore should also perform strategic functions, such as compliance and risk management , financial, derivatives and logistics management. Companies must also be committed to make significant use of the banking, financial infrastructure, logistics, arbitration and other supporting services in Singapore as well as contribute to manpower development in Singapore.

Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)

The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) supports companies keen on adopting IT solutions and equipment to enhance business processes.

For a start, PSG covers sector-specific solutions including the retail, food, logistics, precision engineering, construction and landscaping industries. Other than sector-specific solutions, PSG also supports adoption of solutions that cut across industries, such as in areas of customer management, data analytics, financial management and inventory tracking. These solutions have been pre-scoped by various government agencies such as Enterprise Singapore, National Environmental Agency (NEA) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB). With up to 70% funding support, PSG serves as an avenue for companies to make long-term technology investments. The list of readily adoptable solutions can be found on Tech Depot.

SMEs can apply for PSG if they meet the following criteria :

  • Registered and operating in Singapore
  • Purchase/lease/subscription of the IT solutions or equipment must be used in Singapore
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding (for selected solutions only)

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