Basic requirements for an ASEAN expansion
SEA’s GDP is growing at an estimated 5% and is expected to be the 3rd or 4th largest economy by 2030. With a 641 million population the market potential is pretty obvious. But of course, it is a challenge to expand a business into this emerging market.
Last week I attended to a pretty interesting session by In Corp Enterprise Services about what’s needed to open a company in different SEA countries. Singapore is definitely the easier option with very low minimum requirements:
But unfortunately that’s not so common in the rest of the SEA countries. So let’s check the situation for Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam:
Processing time for a new entity
Goes from a few days and steps in Singapore, to 3 months and a long process in Philippines. Interesting to check the World Bank’s ranking for a difficulty estimation.
Restrictions of foreign ownership and negative list
Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and to a certain extent Malaysia, maintain a foreign negative list that restricts foreign ownerships of entities formed locally. Depends on the industry of your business.
Local resident directors and secretaries
In Singapore is at least 1 local resident director that can be Singapore citizen, PR or employment pass holder. And at least 1 local resident company secretary.
Paid up capital requirements
As I mentioned earlier in Singapore the minimum capital is just 1$.
Take all of this from my ignorance, but considering an expansion into SEA I believe it’s a great business opportunity for many. So I hope this can give some initial light to know what would require. Recommended to check these resources: Enterprise Singapore, SME portaland Startup portal.