Southeast Asia Free Zones Comparison in 2024

Southeast Asia Free Zones Malaysia Vietnam Indonesia Thailand Singapore
Our recommendation in order of preference 1 2 3 4 5
Summary at a Glance
Total year 1 engagement set up costs? US$20,050 US$22,275 US$18,100 US$32,877 US$13,340
Total year 2 costs (incl. audit and tax)? US$6,470 US$2,455 US$4,900 US$2,300 US$7,500
Minimum issued share capital required? US$1 US$10,000 US$300,000 US$1 US$1
Name of the most popular free zone? Port Klang VSIP Batam Bangkok FTZ Changi
Free zone mostly popular for: Maritime Manufacturing Manufacturing Manufacturing Trading
Total engagement period? 14 weeks 21 weeks 23 weeks 19 weeks 2 months
Exempt from corporation tax and VAT? No No No Yes No
Our Client must travel? No No No No No
Average monthly warehouse rental (per sq.
US$8 US$5 US$5 US$4 US$25
Manufacturing allowed in the free zone? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Incorporation requirements
Branch office or LLC recommended? LLC LLC LLC LLC LLC
How long to secure a corporation number? 4 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks 8 weeks 1 week
Minimum number of shareholders? 2 1 2 3 1
Minimum number of directors? 1 1 1 1 1
Resident director required? Yes Yes No No Yes
Resident representative or agent required? Yes Yes No No No
Corporate directors allowed? No No Yes Yes Yes
Public register of shareholders & directors? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Special permit or license required? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Minimum amount of paid-up capital? US$1 US$10,000 US$100,000 US$1 US$1
Tax and accounting considerations
Global sales exempt from corporate tax? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Must register for GST or VAT? 5-10% 0-70% 10% 10% 8%
Global sales exempt from GST/VAT? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Average customs tax on imports? 8.1% 10% 10% 0 - 45% 0 – 30%
Social contributions payable to employees? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporation tax payable on local sales? Depends on
10% 25% 0% 17%
Annual audited financial statements? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Access to how many double tax treaties? 68 60 60 58 76
Bank account characteristics
Healy Consultants’ preferred bank? SCB KL HSBC Hanoi SCB Jakarta HSBC
Do I travel to open the bank account? No No No No No
Minimum deposit (USD)? 1,600 1,000 12,000 1,500 1,000
Can open US$, €, £ corporate bank account? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
US$, €, £ corporate visa debit cards? No No No No No
Country currency controls in place? No Yes Yes No No
Corporate ATM card available? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
WEF bank rating out of 144 35 132 60 37 4
WEF ease of getting credit out of 144 2 88 15 23 4
Logistics considerations
Can rent premises outside free zones? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can make sales to overseas Clients? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to make sales to local Clients? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Average local monthly salary? US$2,500 US$600 US$800 US$1,000 US$4,000
Can the entity hire expatriate staff? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
How long to get work permit approved? 2 months 2 months 1 month 1 month 4 weeks
Allowed to import raw materials? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to export goods? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Proximity to large port? 23.8 km 36.6 km 7.5 km 23 km 2.1 km
Proximity to international airport? 71.1 km 14.7 km 12 km 17 km 2.1 km
Proximity to train network? 55 km 15.6 km N/A 268 km 1.5 km
Quality of country infrastructure index? 20/144 112/144 72/144 76/144 5/144
How long get expatriate work permit? 2 months 15 days 1 month 7 days 1-10 days
Draft sales invoice attached View invoice PDF View invoice PDF View invoice PDF View invoice PDF View invoice PDF

Contact us

For additional information on our incorporation services, please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Simon Guidecoq, directly:
client relationship officer - Simon