Guide to Working in Singapore |

Guide to Working in Singapore

If you’re planning on moving to Singapore for work or you’re new to the job market, here’s some useful information to help you.

Posted on

28 March 2017

Last updated on 3 April 2017
Guide to Working in Singapore

Singapore has one of the fastest growing economies and a high standard of living, which makes it attractive for many expats.

There are many benefits of working in Singapore as expat, including open recruitment policies, low personal taxation and an English speaking environment.

Where to look for jobs

There are a number of ways to search for a job in Singapore. The most commons one are the following:

Online job portals
Make use of the many popular job portals out there as they are commonly used in the country. Alternatively there are also sites specific to Singapore. The government has a directory that lists several public service and other government jobs. If you have a specific company in mind, make sure to check their website as they might have a career section.

Job fairs
There are several job fairs that take place throughout the year and they’re a great opportunity to find specific jobs. One of the largest ones is hosted by the Singapore Professional Centre (SPC) on a yearly basis.

SEE ALSO: 25 signs you’ve adapted to being an expat in Singapore

Print isn’t completely dead! Sift through some of the newspapers as some of them have a classifieds section for jobs. For instance, the Straits Times, an English newspaper, has this section every weekend.

Recruitment companies
Using a recruitment company can be a great way of getting help in finding the right job for you. Make sure it’s a reputable agency and remember that they will never ask cash as they work for the employer and get paid by them only.

Just like many other parts of the word, networking remains one of the best ways to land a job. Knowing the right people can go a long way. Even if you’re new, simply attending many of the expats events or networking events that take place can be useful.


Working hours and holidays

The normal work week in Singapore is from Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm. Depending on your line of work, there can be a half day on Saturday from 1 am to 1 pm. The maximum required hours are 44 hours per week.

There are 11 public holidays, including Easter and Christmas. Expecting mothers are entitled to four weeks before and eight weeks immediately after birth, totalling twelve weeks of maternity leave.

SEE ALSO: 10 things to love about Singapore


If you have been in the country for at least 183 days (6 months), you are considered a resident for tax purposes. Resident income tax rates are based on income. The rates start at 0% for an income of SG$20,000 and the maximum is 22% if you’re earning in excess of SG$320,000. Tax rebates and reliefs are given.

If you are a non-resident, as in you’ve been there for less than 6 months, the employment income is taxed at flat rate of 15% or the progressive resident tax rates, whichever is higher. Non-residents are not eligible to apply for personal relief.

Singapore currency

Setting up your own business

Many expats go to Singapore to become entrepreneurs and make their business ideas a reality. If you’re thinking of opening you own business, here’s what you’ll need:

1. Before anything, make sure your business meets the requirements.

2. Register your business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) as a private limited company. You will need to provide a bank statement of proof that your company has SG$50,000 in paid-up capital. You can register here.

3. Pay the registration fee of SG$15 for the name and SG$200 to incorporate the company. You should get the approval within 15 minutes of doing it online.

4. Within max 6 months of registration, apply for an EntrePass from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). This will include a detailed business plan and financial projections.

5. Pay the application fee of SG$70.

6. If successful, you will receive an Approval-in-Principle letter within six weeks.