Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant
The government of Singapore encourages local companies to expand globally. International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), a government agency has been set up to help Singapore incorporated companies establish a global presence. The government launched the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant in 2015 to provide funding to companies who wish to internationalise and grow.
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The primary purpose of the MRA grant is to help Singapore companies (learn how to incorporate a Singapore company) meet their marketing expenses when they enter a new foreign market. These expenses include marketing expenses, expenses for identifying business partners, etc. This article will highlight the necessary requirements a company must fulfill to qualify for the MRA grant, the benefits of the grant and the activities for which a company can claim the funding support.
What is the MRA Grant ?
The Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant is a program offered by International Enterprise Singapore to local companies who wish to expand their business globally. The grant extends government funds to companies that incur costs on qualifying activities when they venture overseas.
A company has to fulfill the following criteria to be eligible for the MRA grant:
- The company must have its global headquarters in Singapore and
- The annual turnover of the company must be less than S$100 million annually (according to the latest audit report for the company)
Benefits of the Grant
The MRA grant offers funding equal to 70% of the third-party costs that companies incur on qualifying activities when they venture overseas. The funding is capped at S$20,000 per company per fiscal year.
NoteCompanies can apply for the MRA grant twice every fiscal year (April 1st to March 31st).
The activities for which a company can claim the MRA grant include the following:
Overseas market set-up
- Market assessment (market research, market feasibility, legal and tax advisory, etc)
- Market entry (name search, Intellectual Property (IP) search, import-export licenses, etc)
Overseas business partners
- Business matching (identifying business partners, joint venture partners, agents and distributors, etc)
Overseas market promotion
- Overseas marketing and PR activities (promotions, road shows, trade conferences, etc)
- Online marketing activities (SEO optimisation, online campaigns, etc)
- Participation in overseas trade fairs (space rental, booth design, etc)
IE Singapore provides additional guidelines on these qualifying activities. The entire list can be found here.
MRA Grant Calculation (Example)
If a company’s overseas marketing set-up cost is $12,000, according to the MRA grant the company will be eligible for funding support of $8,400 (70% of $12,000). Thus, the company will have to pay only $3,600 ($12,000-$8,400) out of its own pocket the rest being covered by the grant.
How to Apply?
IE Singapore outlines the following steps for applying for the MRA grant:
1 Request For Cost Quotation
Request your third-party professional (who you choose to appoint for the qualifying activities) for a quotation.
2 Apply Through Business Grants Portal
3 Letter of Offer
Wait for IE Singapore’s letter of offer.
4 Submit the Claim
Once you receive the letter of offer, complete the project within a period of 6 months and send your claim for disbursement to IE Singapore.
IE Singapore will not consider any retrospective applications. This implies that a company must:
- Not make any initial payment or deposit;
- Sign any legally binding agreement; or
- Commence any project
before applying for the MRA grant.
You can find additional details of the application process and the MRA grant on IE Singapore’s website.
Venturing into a new market is a tough challenge for every business. The initial process of setting up and funding the expenses is risky and costly. This is where the government of Singapore extends its support to companies. If you are a local company in Singapore looking to expand overseas, the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant administered by IE Singapore is ideal for your business. Once you identify a potential market for your business, it is best to engage a corporate services provider who can help you understand the step-by-step application process for the MRA grant as well as the several other tax incentives applicable to your company.