Grant Assistance for Singapore Companies
Singapore companies have the benefits of low corporate tax rates, a tight intellectual property rights regime, skilled man-power, the world’s best incubating infrastructure, and good connectivity to emerging markets of Asia. Additionally, there is a plethora of cash grants or financing schemes, propelling the nation towards a thriving start-up ecosystem. While we encourage you to do your initial due diligence, below is the exhaustive list of all the Singapore government grants you can receive if you are a Singapore-incorporated company (with at least 30% local shareholding).
Startup SG is the umbrella branding unifying all the support schemes for start-ups in Singapore. Essentially a launch pad for entrepreneurs by providing them a platform to access local support initiatives as well as connect to the global entrepreneurial network, Startup SG is your go-to one-stop source for loans, Singapore business grants, funding and capability-enhancement. The platform caters to every possible permutation of a start-up ecosystem, and is categorised under six different pillars:
Startup SG Founder
It provides mentorship and start-up capital grant to first-time entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas. Under this, SPRING, which matches $3 for every $1 raised by the entrepreneur, has appointed Accredited Mentor Partners (AMP) whose job is to identify qualifying applicants based on the uniqueness of business concept, feasibility of business model, strength of management team, and potential market value.
Startup SG Tech
It is aimed at providing early-stage funding to companies for the commercialisation of proprietary technology, and includes both Proof-of-Concept (POC) and Proof-of-Value (POV) grants depending on the technology’s developmental stage. Do note that this is a competitive grant, which tech start-ups can use to fast-track the development of their proprietary solutions and generate a scalable business model.
Startup SG Equity
This scheme – where the Singapore Government co-invests in a start-up along with third party investors – is aimed at encouraging and stimulating private-sector investments into innovative, Singapore-based technology start-ups with intellectual property and global market potential. With regard to the co-investment ratio with third party investors, it is 7:3 up to $250,000, and 1:1 thereafter up to the investment cap of $2 million for general tech companies. The figures for deep tech companies are 7:3 up to $500,000, and 1:1 thereafter up to the investment cap of $4 million. But the Government only co-invests if the interested third party individual or corporate investors are prepared to invest at least $50,000 each, and are able to contribute to the start-up’s growth via management experience, relevant business contacts and necessary technical expertise.
Importantly, this pillar of Startup SG is managed by SPRING SEEDS Capital (SSC), which is the investment arm of SPRING Singapore. Spring Singapore co-invests with independent investors in commercially-viable Singapore-based start-ups with innovative and strong intellectual content that are scalable across international markets.
SSC has already pledged up to $100 million to groom high potential Singapore-based deep technology start-ups and is calling for co-investment partners in the domain areas of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME), as well as Health and Biomedical Sciences.
Startup SG Accelerator
This scheme provides funding and non-financial support to incubators and accelerators working in strategic growth sectors to further enhance their programs and expertise in nurturing successful start-ups. The funding support includes partial operating expenses such as salaries of the incubation team, hiring of mentors and experts to guide start-ups, and expenses in developing programmes to help start-ups develop new products and services, obtain business financing, and improve market access.
Startup SG Talent
This pillar includes schemes such as EntrePass, T-UP and SME Talent Programme (STP) for Start-ups. EntrePass is a work pass scheme to facilitate the entry and stay of global entrepreneurial talent in Singapore, which can complement the country’s local skill-sets and contribute to a more vibrant high tech start-up ecosystem. T-UP or Technology for Enterprise Capability Upgrading – is aimed at helping businesses build in-house R&D capabilities by accessing the pool of talent from A*STAR’s Research Institutes. It subsidises up to 70 percent of the secondment costs of research scientists and engineers for a period of up to 2 years. SME Talent Programme (STP) for Start-ups is run by Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), where it provides 70 percent subsidy in stipends paid to interns, and in turn, assists start-ups in building their human capital development capabilities.
Startup SG Loan
While offered through participating financial institutions, these are Government-backed loans, which provide start-ups with much-needed working capital, equipment/factory financing and trade financing. These include:
- SME Micro Loans – for companies with 10 or less employees, which can access working capital financing of up to S$100,000 to support their day-to-day business operations;
- SME Venture Loan – for high-growth companies, which can access alternative financing of up to S$5,000,000 for the purpose of business expansion;
- SME Working Capital Loan – in place between June 1, 2016, to May 31, 2019, start-ups can access unsecured working capital financing of up to S$300,000 to support their day-to-day business operations;
- SME Equipment and Factory Loans – start-ups can access financing of up to S$15 million to purchase equipment, machines or selected factory properties
While Startup SG is the “umbrella” covering all-you-need-to-know about start-up incorporation advantages in Singapore, there are few additional not-widely-known SME grants in Singapore as well, which are listed below.
Related Read: 6 Startup SG Schemes You Can Tap On
Automation Support Package (ASP)
The Automation Support Package (ASP) was introduced in Budget 2016 to encourage companies to embark on full-scale deployment of automation solutions across existing operations. The aim is to reduce manpower reliance and improve productivity by embarking on large-scale automation projects. Companies can tap on a package of grant, tax and loan incentives to defray the cost of large-scale deployment of automation solutions across existing operations.
WorkPro provides funding support and assistance for employers to implement age management practices; redesign workplaces and processes to create easier, safer and smarter jobs for older workers; and implement flexible work arrangements for all workers.
Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme Plus (CITREP+)
The idea behind this scheme is to build a strong core of specialised Singaporean Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professionals with Smart Nation capabilities. Thus, CITREP+ is now expanded to support entry-level professionals to build specialised ICT skills through broad-based training and certifications. The funding support varies from up to 70 percent of the certification fees to 100 percent. Notably, the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) is working with training providers to develop and offer quality infocomm professional development technology courses and professional certifications that impart knowledge and skills in relevant areas.
Energy Efficiency Fund (E2F)
This grant supports industrial companies in their efforts to lower their facility’s operating costs through energy efficiency. It encourages companies operating industrial facilities to adopt energy efficiency through co-funding of resource efficient facility design, energy assessments and energy efficient equipment and technologies. The funding support varies from up to 50 percent of qualifying costs incurred in engaging a third-party professional to perform design workshop/conduct a level-3 energy assessment; to up to 30 percent of qualifying costs incurred for the implementation of energy efficient equipment or technologies that demonstrate measurable and verifiable energy savings.
Angel Investors Tax Deduction (AITD) scheme
The AITD is for suitable and approved angel investors who commit a minimum of $100,000 in a qualifying start-up. The angel enjoys a tax deduction of 50 percent of the investment at the end of a two-year holding period. Do note that for each year, the eligible investments will be subject to a cap of $500,000, and the corresponding maximum tax deduction will be $250,000.
Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) scheme
The FSTI scheme is launched by the Momentary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide support for the creation of a vibrant ecosystem for innovation, under which the Authority has committed S$225 million over a five-year period. The scheme is to attract financial institutions to set up their innovation labs in Singapore, support the building of industry-wide technology infrastructure, as well as catalyse the development of innovation solutions.
Under FSTI, there is a sub-scheme called FSTI-Proof of Concept (POC). Under this, MAS provides funding support of up to 50-70 percent of qualifying costs, up to a maximum of $200,000, for up to 18 months. This support is available to Singapore-based Financial Institutions (FIs), as well as technology or solution providers working with Singapore-based FIs for the early stage development of innovative solutions to financial industry problems.
Capabilities Development Grant (CDG)
This is a financial assistance programme designed to help start-ups/ support Singapore SMEs in building their capabilities across 10 key business areas. Companies can use the scheme to subsidise up to 70 percent of qualifying project costs including consultancy, training, certification, equipment and software costs. These initiatives must lead to increasing productivity, process improvement, product development, human capital development, business model transformation, and better market access.
*InCorp Group can assist you with the application procedure for CDG. Contact us today.
Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC)
PIC is an initiative under the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), which allows businesses to enjoy 400 percent tax deductions up to $400,000 or 60 percent cash pay-out up to $100,000, for investments in innovation and productivity improvements. The six activities covered under PIC include R&D, registration of IP, acquisition and in-licensing of IP, acquisition or leasing of prescribed automation equipment, training of employees, and approved design projects.
Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV)
This is a simple to apply, easy-to-use voucher valued at $5,000, to encourage start-ups/ SMEs to develop their business capabilities. Companies can use the voucher to upgrade and strengthen their core business operations through consultancy in the areas of innovation, productivity, human resources and financial management. Each start-up/ SME is entitled to a maximum of eight vouchers, and the duration for each project should not exceed six months.
Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF)
ESVF is an initiative under the National Framework for Innovation and Enterprise. Through ESVF, the National Research Foundation (NRF) invests $10 million on a matching basis, to seed corporate venture capital (VC) funds that invest in Singapore-based early stage high-tech companies. Notably, the VC has the option to buy out NRF’s share of the fund within five years by returning NRF’s capital with interest.
Business Improvement Fund (BIF)
The BIF is open to all Singapore-registered businesses/companies embarking on projects with a clear tourism focus, and is thus run by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). It aims to encourage technology innovation and adoption, redesign of business model and processes in the tourism sector to improve productivity and competitiveness. Funding support is awarded based on STB’s evaluation of the scope and merits of the project. While successful SME applicants receive funding support of up to 70 percent of qualifying costs, non-SME applicants receive funding support of up to 50 percent of qualifying costs.
Building Information Model (BIM) Fund
This fund, under which companies can apply for up to $30,000 funding, is to encourage wider adoption of BIM collaboration among the built environment industry firms by subsiding part of the cost incurred in training, consultancy, software or hardware.
Career Support Programme (CSP)
The CSP is a wage support programme offered by the Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to encourage employers to offer suitable job opportunities to eligible Singapore citizen PMETs and to tap on the wealth of experience they could bring to the workplace. The CSP is part of the Adapt and Grow initiative to encourage employers support Singaporeans in making career transitions. Under this, companies receive wage support of up to one year for every eligible Singapore citizen PMET employed.
Land Productivity Grant (LPG)
LPG provides companies with one-time assistance for relocation related costs arising from the domestic or overseas relocation of their business. They get up to 70% of funding support (qualifying costs) for relocating some of your operations domestically or overseas, freeing up industrial land in the process.
Productivity Innovation Project (PIP) Scheme
Under this scheme, businesses get co-funding (of up to 70 percent) when they re-engineer site processes or adopt labour-efficient construction technologies to reduce site workers or improve site productivity.
Finally, if you are a Singapore-registered company and are stepping into a new market or deepening your presence in an existing one, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore offers a suite of assistance programmes. These are listed below.
Double Tax Deduction for Internationalisation (DTDi)
Companies expanding overseas can enjoy tax savings with DTDi, which provides 200 percent tax deduction on eligible expenses for supported market expansion and investment development activities.
Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant
Also available is the MRA grant of up to 70 percent of eligible third-party costs, which cover activities such as overseas market set-up, identification of business partners, and overseas market promotion.
*InCorp Group can assist you with the application procedure for the MRA Grant. Contact us today.
Global Company Partnership (GCP) Grant
The GCP Grant helps companies defray eligible costs of their overseas expansion projects in capability building, market access and manpower development.
*InCorp Group can assist you with the application procedure for the GCP Grant. Contact us today.
International Marketing Activities Programme (iMAP)
iMAP supports overseas business missions and Singapore Pavilions at international trade fairs. Companies who are participating in iMAP-approved activities will receive support of up to 50 – 70 percent of eligible core expenses such as rental of exhibition space, booth construction cost and fair/mission consultancy expenses.
With so much support as regards to grants in Singapore, it makes sense to be a part of the city-state’s start-up eco-system. If you need help in forming a Singapore company, or want to know the procedure on how to apply for the Capability Development Grant (CDG), Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant or the Global Company Partnership (GCP) Grant in Singapore, please contact InCorp Group.
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