Payroll outsourcing services in Singapore

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Singapore has a large labor force, with nearly 4 million people in active employment. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) requires that salaries, social contributions, and statutory deductions be paid on time. In general, Singaporean law requires all locally registered companies to contribute to various funds for employees and to perform periodic filings. Our Singapore Payroll Services are designed to keep things simple. We make sure your company complies with all salaries and required payments.

Payroll outsourcing in Singapore is becoming increasingly popular as businesses seek to streamline their internal processes and improve efficiency. Payroll outsourcing works by allowing companies to outsource their payroll activities to an external service provider, enabling them to benefit from specialist expertise, access to advanced technology, cost savings, and time-saving efficiencies.

In Singapore, there are many providers of payroll outsourcing services offering a range of options including end-to-end solutions or specific functions such as payroll processing or tax filing. Payroll outsourcing can offer numerous advantages such as reduced operational costs, improved accuracy, and faster turnaround times for pay runs. Additionally, it reduces the burden on HR departments which can instead focus on strategic objectives that add value to the business. 

For businesses looking to outsource their payroll activities, it is important to choose the right provider. When considering a potential service provider, organizations should check for relevant certifications and accreditations as well as ask questions about the quality of their services and customer support. 

Overall, Payroll outsourcing in Singapore can be highly beneficial for businesses, freeing up resources and providing access to high-quality services. To get the most from Payroll outsourcing, companies must select an experienced partner with a proven track record of delivering excellent results.

Payroll Outsourcing

Singapore has become a popular hub for businesses to relocate, here is why

Singapore is a well-known global business hub. This is due to the many factors that make it an attractive destination for businesses, including political stability, open business policies, a skilled workforce, and advanced infrastructure. These key attributes give entrepreneurs and corporations confidence to achieve marketing targets that meet their shareholders’ standards. Located at the heart of Asia, Singapore is an ideal destination for businesses to grow with many using it as a springboard to enter other emerging markets across the pacific.

  1. Legal system and security

Singapore offers investors and entrepreneurs a sense of safety and security, given that it has one of the most stable political environments in Asia. It is recognized for its judicial system that upholds anti-corruption laws. This gives investors the confidence to choose Singapore as their business headquarters.

The lower crime rate in Singapore also provides a high degree of personal safety for its residents. In the event of cross-border disputes, businesses trust the Singapore government with its world-class arbitration facilities.

  1. Double tax agreement (DTA)

The double tax agreement (DTA) between Singapore and other countries helps companies by reducing the amount of taxes they have to pay. If a company has paid taxes in a foreign country, it will not have to pay taxes on the same income in Singapore. This agreement is beneficial for organizations as it keeps their tax burden to a minimum. Singapore has over 80 DTAs with countries all around the world.

  1. Strategically located

Singapore is a prime location for companies looking to expand their business into Asia. It has easy access to India and China’s sea routes, making it a convenient location for companies looking to reach these target markets. With proximity to other neighboring Asian countries, companies can also reach out to different regions effectively via air travel to carry out business operations with ease.

Since the signing of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) Agreement in 1993, Singapore has had an official network of 21 bilateral and regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) as well as 41 investment guarantee agreements. This has lowered the cost of business expansions and trade across international borders.

  1. Tax regime

Singapore’s tax system is advantageous for foreign investors as there are no foreign exchange controls or restrictions. Additionally, the corporate tax rate on taxable income is lower than in other countries, making it an attractive destination for investment. Furthermore, foreign-sourced income may be exempt from tax, providing certain requirements are met.

  1. The foreign income has been subject to tax in the foreign jurisdiction from which it is received, also known as the ‘subject to tax’ condition.
  1. The foreign jurisdiction’s highest corporate income tax rate is at least 15% when the foreign income is received in Singapore.
  1. The Comptroller of Income Tax must be satisfied that the exemption of tax on foreign income will benefit the Singapore tax resident company.
  1. Incentives for setting up headquarters in Singapore

The Economic Development Board (EDB) offers tax concessions to multinational corporations that relocate their regional headquarter (RHQ) and international headquarter (IHQ) offices to Singapore. Companies awarded the RHQ incentive can enjoy a tax rate of 15% on qualifying income from operations in Singapore. The IHQ incentive also offers companies tax rates from 0% to 10%. This makes Singapore an attractive destination for companies looking to establish or expand their operations in Asia.

  1. Multilingual talent pool

According to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) rankings, Singapore is known for its multi-racial society. The diverse backgrounds of its citizens make it attractive for businesses looking to cultivate multilingual and multicultural sensitivities into their workforces. This talent pool is one of the richest resources of Singapore, alongside its fast-paced innovative working environment.


Small business owners in Singapore often face the dilemma of whether to use payroll software or outsource their payroll. Both options have their pros and cons, but which is the better choice for your business? It ultimately depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Here are some key factors to consider when making this decision.

What is payroll software?

Payroll software is a program that helps businesses manage and process employee payroll and taxes. This can include calculating wages, withholding the correct amount of taxes, and submitting payments to the government on behalf of the company.

Using payroll software can simplify payroll processes for both HR departments and employees, as it streamlines all payroll-related tasks into one streamlined system. Additionally, payroll software often provides other HR features such as leave management or shift schedule, which helps to streamline and improve communication with employees.

What is payroll outsourcing?

Payroll outsourcing involves hiring a third-party provider to manage your company’s payroll tasks. This can include calculating wages, withholding taxes, and making payroll tax payments.

With constantly changing regulations, outsourcing your company’s payroll can provide peace of mind with improved compliance. Payroll specialists have the knowledge and expertise to stay updated on regulatory changes, reducing the risk of non-compliance and associated penalties.


Payroll outsourcing and payroll software have their own advantages and drawbacks. It is therefore important to consider the following factors before making a decision:

  1. Potential and size of the company

There is no one answer to the question of whether payroll software or outsourcing is better for a business. For smaller businesses with a stable employee count, payroll software can offer a more cost-effective and convenient solution. However, for larger businesses or ones with more complex payroll needs, outsourcing may offer the scalability and expertise needed to handle the increased workload.

  1. How much control in managing your payroll activities?

The ability to customize payroll software to meet the specific needs of your business is a major advantage. This flexibility can allow you to make changes as needed, ensuring that your payroll process runs smoothly.

However, when outsourcing payroll management to a third-party provider, you may have less flexibility. This is because the provider will likely have their own processes and procedures in place, which may be less flexible than what you are used to.

  1. Does your in-house team get enough time and experience?

If you have a dedicated HR and payroll team, using the software may be a more cost-effective solution. However, if your team lacks the experience or time to accurately handle payroll tasks, outsourcing may be a better option as these payroll specialists have the knowledge and expertise to stay updated on regulatory changes, reducing the risk of non-compliance and associated penalties. Outsourcing can also help to free up time and resources for businesses to focus on their core competencies.

  1. Is your company planning to expand or focus on local markets?

It is important to consider the specific needs and regulations of the region in which you operate when choosing a payroll solution. Payroll processes can vary greatly from country to country, and choosing a solution that does not comply with regional laws and regulations could result in penalties for your business.

For example, in some countries, there may be mandatory contributions to social security or pension funds that must be made on behalf of employees. In others, there may be specific rules regarding payroll taxes and deductions. An experienced payroll outsourcing provider will have an in-depth understanding of regional payroll needs and requirements, ensuring compliance and avoiding potential penalties.

After all, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for payroll management. It’s important to continuously reassess and adapt as your business grows and changes. Payroll management involves many complex tasks, such as calculating employee wages, ensuring tax compliance, and managing employee benefits. It’s critical to find a system that fits your specific needs in order to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible.


As Singapore is the largest player and contributor in the ASEAN, it is still of great importance to be aware of the latest changes in compliance. 

Despite the challenges, managing payroll in Singapore is a relatively less complex process than elsewhere in ASEAN. The city-state’s constantly evolving regulatory environment can make it difficult for companies to keep track of the country’s social security, tax, and regulatory norms when computing payroll for their employees. However, those with operations in the wider ASEAN region are likely to find the task even more daunting.

When a company operates in multiple countries, its internal HR teams often struggle to stay updated with changing payroll regulations. Indeed, it can be difficult for HR staff to keep track of payroll regulations in emerging markets, which can change quickly and without proper notification. Non-compliance with payroll regulations, even accidental, can invite unwanted scrutiny from authorities, heavy fines, and may negatively impact the morale of employees.

When a company expands its operations into new countries, it can be difficult to keep track of the changing regulations in each region. In order to ensure that payroll is managed correctly, it is advisable for Singapore-based companies to outsource their payroll management to a professional processor. This will allow individual HR employees to focus on monitoring regulatory changes in Singapore and across ASEAN states. However, if an employee leaves or switches jobs, the company will still have access to the necessary knowledge about payroll regulations in the country and across ASEAN.

Who should outsource payroll processing?

  • New market entrants who are unfamiliar with local labor regulations in Singapore and the wider ASEAN region;
  • SMEs with limited budgets for an independent internal HR department;
  • SMEs that desire access to advanced payroll automation software without incurring the related costs; and,
  • Rapidly expanding companies that need to manage limited time and resources while concentrating on core business goals.

Why outsource payroll processing?

Improved compliance: Outsourcing payroll processing can improve a firm’s compliance and oversight record by limiting associated risks. Professional payroll service providers have dedicated staff that specializes in monitoring the latest updates in rules and regulations at the local, state, national, regional, and industry levels, as well as changes in the withholding tax rates. They calculate social insurance deductions, manage filings and payments, and will undertake the cost of penalties due to incorrect calculations, under-reporting, or delayed payments so long as accurate personnel information and funds are provided on time.

Streamlined HR: When a company chooses to outsource its payroll, it can streamline its internal human resources department to focus on managing the company’s relationship with its employees and strategic issues. This can be beneficial, as it allows the department to focus on areas that are important to the company’s success. Additionally, it can free up resources within the department that can be used to improve other aspects of HR.

Confidentiality and transparency: The more employees are aware of salary details in an organization, the greater the risk that such information becomes public knowledge. Outsourcing payroll ensures that sensitive data stays secure, and only key decision-makers and senior personnel in the firm are aware of the payroll details. At the same time, outsourcing increases transparency in the payroll process – errors can be reported immediately and directly to management without the complications of inter-departmental reporting structures.

Mediate Cultural Issues: Cultural barriers can lead to miscommunication when collecting data from diverse workforces. Good payroll processing maintains confidentiality – even among a company’s own workforce – and cultural miscommunication can compromise that privacy. Multinational companies with operations in different countries in ASEAN can face work issues and incomplete data when internal HR staff overlooks nuanced cultural differences. Given Singapore’s unique history, the city-state is well suited to act as a cultural mediator between ASEAN states and foreign companies. When collecting, processing, and explaining payroll data, Singapore-based third-party operators can understand the nuances in cultural differences and act accordingly. By doing so, they can minimize the risk of miscommunications and ensure that all data is accurately collected, processed, and explained.

In conclusion:

Singapore is a preeminent business center of the modern global economy. The country’s economic and political stability, coupled with its double tax treaties, extensive connectivity, and talented resources create a favorable environment for innovative businesses to thrive. Such benefits create opportunities for business growth which is one of the many reasons why businesses may choose to relocate to this strategic location.

What Is The Role Of NNRoad

NNRoad is a global Employer of Record & PEO provider with a base in the USA. We are able to advise you and your dispatched or payroll employees in the USA on their individual income taxes. For more information on our HR and payroll related services in the United States, please visit our US services page or contact us directly.

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