Southeast Asia Free Zones Comparison in 2023

Southeast Asia Free ZonesMalaysiaVietnamIndonesiaThailandSingapore
Our recommendation in order of preference12345
Summary at a Glance
Total year 1 engagement set up costs?US$20,050US$22,275US$18,100US$32,877US$13,340
Total year 2 costs (incl. audit and tax)?US$6,470US$2,455US$4,900US$2,300US$7,500
Minimum issued share capital required?US$1US$10,000US$300,000US$1US$1
Name of the most popular free zone?Port KlangVSIPBatamBangkok FTZChangi
Free zone mostly popular for:MaritimeManufacturingManufacturingManufacturingTrading
Total engagement period?14 weeks21 weeks23 weeks19 weeks2 months
Exempt from corporation tax and VAT?NoNoNoYesNo
Our Client must travel?NoNoNoNoNo
Average monthly warehouse rental (per sq.
Manufacturing allowed in the free zone?YesYesYesYesYes
Incorporation requirements
Branch office or LLC recommended?LLCLLCLLCLLCLLC
How long to secure a corporation number?4 weeks12 weeks12 weeks8 weeks1 week
Minimum number of shareholders?21231
Minimum number of directors?11111
Resident director required?YesYesNoNoYes
Resident representative or agent required?YesYesNoNoNo
Corporate directors allowed?NoNoYesYesYes
Public register of shareholders & directors?YesYesYesYesYes
Special permit or license required?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum amount of paid-up capital?US$1US$10,000US$100,000US$1US$1
Tax and accounting considerations
Global sales exempt from corporate tax?YesYesYesYesYes
Must register for GST or VAT?5-10%0-70%10%10%8%
Global sales exempt from GST/VAT?YesYesYesYesYes
Average customs tax on imports?8.1%10%10%0 - 45%0 – 30%
Social contributions payable to employees?YesYesYesYesYes
Corporation tax payable on local sales?Depends on
Annual audited financial statements?YesYesYesYesYes
Access to how many double tax treaties?6860605876
Bank account characteristics
Healy Consultants’ preferred bank?SCB KLHSBC HanoiSCB Jakarta HSBC
Do I travel to open the bank account?NoNoNoNoNo
Minimum deposit (USD)?1,6001,00012,0001,5001,000
Can open US$, €, £ corporate bank account?YesYesYesYesYes
US$, €, £ corporate visa debit cards?NoNoNoNoNo
Country currency controls in place?NoYesYesNoNo
Corporate ATM card available?YesYesYesYesYes
WEF bank rating out of 1443513260374
WEF ease of getting credit out of 14428815234
Logistics considerations
Can rent premises outside free zones?YesYesYesYesYes
Can make sales to overseas Clients?YesYesYesYesYes
Allowed to make sales to local Clients?YesYesYesYesYes
Average local monthly salary?US$2,500US$600US$800US$1,000US$4,000
Can the entity hire expatriate staff?YesYesYesYesYes
How long to get work permit approved?2 months2 months1 month1 month4 weeks
Allowed to import raw materials?YesYesYesYesYes
Allowed to export goods?YesYesYesYesYes
Proximity to large port?23.8 km36.6 km7.5 km23 km2.1 km
Proximity to international airport?71.1 km14.7 km12 km17 km2.1 km
Proximity to train network?55 km15.6 kmN/A268 km1.5 km
Quality of country infrastructure index?20/144112/14472/14476/1445/144
How long get expatriate work permit?2 months15 days1 month7 days1-10 days
Draft sales invoice attachedView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView 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