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 (e.g. IE Singapore and SPRING Singapore). These grants support various groups of companies because of the internationalization efforts made by the companies.

Click on a grant to find out more.

Capability Development Grant (CDG)

SPRING Singapore is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry responsible for helping Singapore enterprises grow.

The Capability Development Grant (CDG) programme encourages companies to build capabilities across 10 key business areas to grow locally and globally. This grant aims to supports SMEs to scale their business capabilities and ensure business sustainability.

The grant defrays up to 70%* of qualifying project costs. Qualifying project costs is inclusive of Consultancy, Training, Certification, and Equipment Costs.

With effect from 2017, SPRING has expanded the scope of the support for product development under the CDG. With the enhancement, product owners can apply for grant support of up to 70% of qualify costs for product design, development and manufacturing processes when manufacturing new products in small volumes, prior to mass production.

Additionally, to encourage more SMEs to build more capabilities, the application process for grant support of S$30,000 or less has been simplified.

The CDG Development Areas:

    • Branding and Marketing
    • Business Excellence
    • Business Model Transformation
    • Standards Adoption
    • Financial Management
    • Human Capital Development
    • Intellectual Property
    • Enhancing Business Processes for Productivity
    • Service Excellence
    • Product Development
  1. Registered and Operating in Singapore
  2. At least 30% local shareholding
  3. Group annual sales turn over S$100m or group employment of 200 employees

* All applications are subjected to SPRING’s approval. SPRING will assess application by taking into consideration on the needs of the company, the project scope and the competency of the service provider in improving your company’s capabilities.

Global Company Partnership Grant (GCP)

IE Singapore is the government agency that promotes international trade and partners Singapore companies to go global.

The Company Partnership Grant to support the internationalization efforts of willing and able Singapore companies. This grant aims to help companies defray eligible costs for overseas expansion projects in capability building, market access and manpower development (Refer to the next tab for more information).

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)*
Non-SME
Up to 70% of eligible costs incurred.
Valid until 31 March 2018.
For non-SMEs: Up to 50% of eligible costs incurred

*SME is defined as a company whose turnover does not exceed S$100 million based on the most recent audited report.

 
 
Supported Activities

Capability Building
Breaking into new markets can be made easier with the right business capabilities. Recommendations for the right clinics, seminars or third-party consultants will be provided by IE Singapore, according to your company’s level of readiness, to support the relevant capabilities.

Supportable Activities
Eligible Expenses
  • Branding
  • E-Commerce Development
  • Financial Management
  • Internationalisation Strategy
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Management and Franchising
Costs of engaging a third-party professional

 

Market Access
Support is provided by IE Singapore to enter a new market or enhance market presence in existing markets.

Supportable Activities
Eligible Expenses

Enhance market presence in ALL MARKETS

  • Feasibility study and market research
  • M&A due diligence
  • Pilot & test bedding**
 
Costs of engaging a third-party professional

Entry into NEW MARKETS

  • Setting up overseas marketing presence. For the project to qualify:
    • The new overseas marketing presence must be in a new city, where the company has not had sales >S$100,000 for the past three years (Non-cumulative). The three years refer to the current and previous two financial years.
    • Minimally a Singaporean/ PR must be posted to the new overseas market presence.
 
Office rental and basic salary for up to 2 business development staff based in the new market for up to 12 months. Support is capped at S$100,000 per year.

** A pilot and test bedding project should help a company demonstrate the viability of their solution, establish a track record to scale the solution in overseas markets, and be non-revenue generating. Eligible expenses for qualifying projects include costs of hardware, software, manpower and third-party costs for up to 6 months.

 

Manpower Development
As your company expands beyond domestic boundaries, your company may face HR challenges such as attracting fresh talent or labour challenges in the overseas market. IE Singapore can support your company and strengthen your talent strategy.

Develop international Human Resource strategies. For example:

  • HR research and HR compliance for market entry
  • Cross-border HR management (e.g. global talent management strategy, employees’ international deployment and repatriation, global reward strategy)
 
Costs of engaging a third-party professional
Talent Recruitment
 Costs of engaging a third-party recruitment professional to hire C-suites and key talents 

Overseas market attachments for employees who are Singaporean or PR to conduct:

  • Pre-market entry feasibility study
  • Pre-posting induction
  • Business capability or technical knowledge acquisition

Basic Salary, including employers’ CPF contribution of nominated Singaporean and PR during the training period, capped at 6 months.
  1. Global HQ anchored in Singapore***
  2. A turnover of at least S$500,000 per annum based on the most recent audited report
  3. A minimum paid-up capital of S$50,000

Each application will be evaluated and subjected to approval on case-by-case basis. IE Singapore will co-fund eligible costs.

*** Global HQ refers to the global management control and decision-making functions of applicant companies being in Singapore. (Indicators could include global CXOs being based in Singapore, board meetings held in Singapore, etc.). The decision-making functions of the ultimate parent shareholder should be exercised in Singapore in order to qualify for the GCP Grant.

Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant

IE Singapore 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. IE Singapore 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
Market Entry

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 activities

Third-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.

International Marketing Activities Programme (iMAP)

IE Singapore 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.