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.

Eligible SMEs will receive up to 70% of eligible costs, capped at S$100,000 per company per new market from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2023 that covers:

  • Overseas market promotion (capped at S$20,000)
  • Overseas business development (capped at S$50,000)
  • Overseas market setup (capped at S$30,000)

Each application is limited to one activity in a single overseas market (e.g. market entry, or participation in a trade fair)

Note:
1. The MRA Grant support level of up to 70% will be extended until 31 Mar 2023.
2. With effect from 1 April 2020, a new market refers to a target overseas country whereby the applicant company has not exceeded S$100,000 in overseas sales in each of the last three preceding years.

OVERSEAS MARKETING PROMOTION
Supportable Activities Deliverables
Overseas marketing and PR activities Third-party costs incurred for:
• Marketing and PR activities including launch of instore promotions, road shows, pop-up stores
• 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 LEAD International Fairs & Missions (LEAD) 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 limited to the following:
• Event write-up attached with corresponding materials, such as photographs and exhibitors’ listing which reflects the company’s name
• Invoices/receipts/bank statements for payment made to third-party vendor, such as proof of payment for the costs incurred
OVERSEAS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Supportable Activities Deliverables
Business matching Third-party costs incurred to identify potential partners and/or customers (B2B) including the following:
• Licensees/franchisees
• Agents and distributors
• Joint venture partners
Detailed profile report of potential customers/partners for the company in the selected market and business matching outcomes
OVERSEAS MARKET SETUP
Supportable 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 agree
Proof of completion includes but not limited to:
• Relevant filing documents submitted to authorities
• Copies of certificates, permits, licenses obtained
• Copies of franchise/JV agreements
• Report on assessment of financial and recommendation
In-depth FTA Consultancy Consultancy, advisory and legal expenses relating to:
• In-depth assessment to identify opportunities available in FTAs
• Analysis of company’s supply chain
• Application procedures for Customs rulings with issuing authority
• Consultancy for FTA compliance, including internal guidelines/checklist
Assessment/Analysis report
• Customised Manual, Guidelines, Standard
Operating Procedure (SOP), etc.
Consultant Website Contact
AC Trade Advisory www.actradeadvisory.com Angelia Chew
Managing Partner
Tel: 9822 5660
Email: angelia@actradeadvisory.com

Eugene Jang
Partner
Tel: 9646 6423
Email: eugene@actradeadvisory.com

EY Corporate Advisors www.ey.com/en_sg Tan Juan Fook
Trade Policy, FTA Lead
Indirect Tax – Global Trade
Tel: 6309 8061
Email: juan-fook.tan@sg.ey.com
K&L Gates Straits Law www.klgates.com/ Wong Chian Voen
Senior Trade Consultant, Asia Pacific
Tel: 6713 0226
Email: chianvoen.wong@klgates.com
PwC Worldtrade
Management Services
www.pwc.com/sg Frank Debets
Partner
Tel: 9750 7745
Email: frank.debets@pwc.com

Melissa Quek
Senior Manager
Tel: 9661 9158
Email: melissa.h.quek@pwc.com

Companies should meet the following criteria:

  • Business entity is registered/incorporated in Singapore
  • New market entry criteria, i.e. target overseas country whereby the applicant has not exceeded S$100,000 in overseas sales in each of the last three preceding years
  • At least 30% local shareholding
  • Group Annual Sales Turnover of not more than S$100 million; OR Company’s Group Employment Size of not more than 200 employees

Pre-application
Please note that 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:

  • Signed an engagement letter with the third-party consultant
  • Made the first payment to the third-party consultant
  • Commenced the project with the third-party consultant
  • Companies must submit your applications no earlier than six months of 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 qualifying project costs namely third-party consultancy fees, software and equipment, and internal manpower cost.

As announced at Supplementary Budget 2020, the maximum support level will be raised to 80% from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2020.

For enterprises that are most severely impacted by COVID-19, the maximum support level may be raised to 90% on a case-by-case basis.

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.

Note:

  1. From 1 April 2020, all EDG applications should include commitments to worker outcomes as part of the qualifying requirements. Worker outcomes include increase in wage increment, job creation, job re-design, or training for existing staff.
  2. In addition, unionised companies and e2i partners under the Labour Movement are eligible to receive an additional 10% funding, subject to NTUC-e2i’s endorsement.

LEAD International Fairs & Missions

LEAD International Fairs & Missions (LEAD IFM) has replaced International Marketing Activities Programme (iMAP) from 1 October 2019 onwards.

Overseas missions and trade fairs are useful platforms for Singapore companies to reach out to global customers, obtain feedback on products and services, and explore opportunities in overseas markets.

Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) organise overseas missions and facilitate local companies’ participation in trade fairs abroad. TACs can tap the LEAD International Fairs & Missions (LEAD IFM) programme to help participating SMEs defray part of the costs incurred when they join these overseas missions and trade fairs.

Companies participating in LEAD IFM approved activities will receive support of up to 50% or 70% of eligible expenses, depending on the number of times your company has participated in the event. Eligible expenses include exhibition rental space, booth construction, publicity and fair or mission consultancy costs.

Companies which have participated in the same trade fair no more than three times will receive support of up to 70% of eligible expenses. Companies which have participated in the same trade fair more than three times will receive support of up to 50% of eligible expenses. The counting of participation in trade fairs starts from 1 April 2018.

Companies do not apply for LEAD IFM funding directly from Enterprise Singapore. If you are interested in participating in LEAD IFM supported activities, check out Enterprise Singapore’s Events Calendar and contact the respective TAC organisers. TACs will seek reimbursement for eligible expenses from Enterprise Singapore on your behalf.

In addition to LEAD IFM support, eligible companies may apply for the Double Tax Deduction for Internationalisation Scheme (DTDi) to cover expenses incurred during your trade mission and/or fair participation. However, you may only apply for expenses NOT covered by the LEAD IFM programme (for example, travel and accommodation) for up to two representatives per company.

Please take note that LEAD IFM operates on a reimbursement basis. Funding will be disbursed through TACs to eligible companies, and companies should contact the TAC directly if there are any queries. Enterprise Singapore will not be held responsible to participating companies and vendors in the event of any default on payment by the TACs.

For TACs

LEAD IFM is open to TACs in Singapore. To qualify, your TAC must fulfil all the following criteria:

  • Registered with Registry of Societies (ROS) or Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
  • Defined as a non-profit organization. A TAC will not be eligible for LEAD IFM once it is privatised. Please inform Enterprise Singapore if there are changes to your organisation or status.
  • Has a secretariat with adequate staff, financial resources and experience to recruit and organise the proposed activities. TACs which outsource their secretariat service may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • The organising TAC is responsible for all expenses related to the activity. The TAC will seek reimbursement for eligible expenses from Enterprise Singapore on behalf of participating companies.

For Companies

Companies incorporated or registered in Singapore and have at least three of the following core business functions or activities operating within Singapore are eligible for the LEAD IFM support. Companies are entities registered as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, exempt private company, private company and public company.

  • 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

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, derivative trading income, and income from structured commodity financing activities, treasury activities and advisory services in relation to mergers and acquisitions.

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 in the adoption of pre-scoped IT solutions and equipment that enhances productivity.

Technology is not about fancy and expensive high-end solutions. You can kick start your technology journey by taking simple steps to automate existing processes and improve productivity. 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 (ESG), National Environment Agency (NEA) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

As announced at Supplementary Budget 2020, PSG will be enhanced to encourage enterprises to continue their digitalisation and productivity upgrading efforts.

The maximum funding support level will be raised to 80% from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2020.

The scope of Generic solutions will also be expanded to help enterprises implement COVID-19 business continuity measures:

  • Online collaboration tools
  • Virtual meeting and telephony tools
  • Queue management systems
  • Temperature screening solutions

Companies 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
  • (Selected solutions only) An SME with minimum 30% local shareholding; AND Company’s Group annual sales turnover less than S$100 million, OR less than 200 employees

Here are the steps you can take when applying for PSG:

  • Access the list of supportable solutions from below and identify relevant solutions that best suit your business needs.
  • For IT solutions: Get a quotation from the pre-approved vendor.
  • For equipment: Source for the equipment and get a quotation from the vendor.

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