Umbrella Company in Brunei
Independent contracting in Brunei isn’t always straightforward. You’ve got immigration issues, tax difficulties, and mountains of complex admin work. Even worse, missteps can cost you serious money, or even land you in legal trouble.
Before you consider taking a contract in Brunei, you should be aware of what you’re getting into – and how you can make it simpler
Difficulties of Contracting in Brunei
Generally, you need to have an employer sponsor in order to secure the appropriate work permit and work visa for Brunei.
If you’re working independently, it can be difficult to find clients willing to sponsor you. Moreover, even if your client can do this, you’ll need a new sponsor each time you decide to take on a new contract. Of course, every new sponsor will mean more paperwork.
Also, are you familiar with the intricacies of the tax system in Brunei, as well as your own country’s laws on overseas earnings? If so, good on you!
However, if you’re like the rest of us, figuring out (much less reducing) your tax liability in Brunei and your home country can seem like full-time work in itself.
How Umbrella Companies Work
Most freelance workers aren’t superheroes who successfully tackle these issues all on their own. There are companies who specialise in helping workers make the most out of their contracts.
They’re called Umbrella Companies (or, contractor management companies).
Basically, an Umbrella Company acts as your full-time employer, even though you maintain your independence as a contractor. They collect and filter payments from your clients, filtering out the necessary social security and fees. You send them your timesheets, and they send you payments.
Because they act as your “employer,’ they can sponsor you and provide a single work permit for multiple contracts in Brunei. Even better, most are experts in Brunei and expat tax law, meaning they’ll also help you optimise your earnings in Brunei.
Although the Umbrella Company is technically your “employer,” you’re essentially freeing yourself to work even more independently. You still dictate your contracts, your hours, your schedule. The Umbrella Company simply filters out the time-consuming admin and immigration issues, allowing you to focus on your new contract.
Why Use an Umbrella Company in Brunei
Most people want to do their work, earn their money and enjoy their spare time without taking on loads of admin in a new country. That is why an umbrella company can help.
When you’re working through an Umbrella Company, you’ll essentially be outsourcing the admin and tax issues to specialists.
While the umbrella company will charge a fee, you’ll likely end up saving more money in the long run: you’ll be able to focus on your work, expertly reduce your tax liability, and comply with all laws and regulations in Brunei (which means avoiding fees, fines, or even worse penalties).
How We Can Help You
There’s a huge variety of Umbrella Companies with different specialities and advantages in Brunei. How do you find the right one for your circumstances?
We work closely with Umbrella Companies all throughout Brunei and match contractors with the right company for them. If you’ve already secured a contract in Brunei, we can help you find your best match (for free). Or, we can simply give you feedback on your situation (for free).
A Contractor's Guide to Taxes in Brunei
One of the most consistently challenging aspects of contracting in Brunei is complying with the country’s tax system. As well as paying tax in Brunei, you might also still be eligible to pay some tax in your home country, and understanding the legislation behind this can be a challenge.
How do I calculate my taxable income in Brunei
If you’re working in Brunei under a permanent contract, many employers will handle your tax under the PAYE (pay-as-you-earn) system. This means that they calculate and process your taxes in Brunei for you and then send you a net wage. Your income tax, public health insurance, social security and other deductions will all be covered by this payment. This is the easiest way to handle your income tax in Brunei, but contractors may not be offered this service because of their short stay with each employer.
Anybody who can’t pay their tax in Brunei through PAYE is left with the prospect doing everything themselves.
Do you know much about Brunei Tax Law? Does Brunei have a tax treaty with your home country? You will need to find out or find someone who can help! Income tax in Brunei can range from 0 to 15 percent, and you need to be sure you are placed in the correct tax brackets.
Tax Filing in Brunei
|When Do You Need to Lodge Your Tax Return?||N/A|
|Tax Filing Deadline||N/A|
|Can you file it online?||Yes, https://www.stars.gov.bn/eServices/Public/Login.aspx|
How to File Taxes in Brunei
Individual income earners are not required to file taxes in Brunei.
Companies can declare taxes via the Ministry of Finance Revenue Division’s e-filing portal, STARS.
Tax Figures in Brunei
|Currency||Brunei Dollar (BND)|
|Tax-free Threshold in Brunei||N/A|
Employment income is exempt from tax for both residents and non-residents.
Mandatory Contributions: All citizens and permanent residents must contribute 5% of their salary to the Employees’ Trust Fund (Tabung Amanah Perkerja) and 3.5% of their salary to the Supplemental Contributory Pension fund. These contributions are withheld from employment income.
Tax Residency in Brunei
When do you become a tax resident in Brunei
You become a tax resident in Brunei when:
- You are physically present in Brunei for at least 183 days in the income tax year; or
You are employed in Brunei (other than as a director of a company) for at least 183 days in the income tax year.
Does the 183 day rule apply in Brunei
Am I taxed on my global income in Brunei
Employment income for both residents and non-residents, is not taxed in Brunei.
Can you set up your own Limited Company in Brunei
|How long does it take to set up||12-13 days|
|How much does it cost||BND185|
|Is it easy?||Starting a Business Rank: 58/190 (Source: World Bank)|
Tax Calculator in Brunei
If you are a contractor and want a calculation on your tax and net retention in Brunei, we can supply it to you free of charge.
Using an Umbrella Company for Income Tax in Brunei
Contractors in Brunei are faced with masses of paperwork and numerous wasted hours filing a tax return unless they find an alternative option. A Bruneian umbrella company can act as your employer during your stay in the country whilst still allowing you the freedom of a contractor. The only difference is that you submit your timesheets to them; they’ll calculate and pay your taxes as you earn, and then you receive a net wage (as well as documentation for your records).
The companies are experts in Bruneian taxation, and they’ll ensure that you keep the largest proportion of your earnings whilst complying with local laws. They can deal with any issues with the Bruneian tax office or tax department directly including processing your tax refund if you are eligible.
How We Can Help You with Tax in Brunei
We work with numerous umbrella companies in Brunei, many of whom are experts in tax and immigration laws. If you have any questions about tax in Brunei, we’ll get the answers from them directly so you can rest assured you’ll be getting accurate information. We have comprehensive knowledge of the different services they provide, and can help you find the right company to handle your income tax. We help oil and gas workers, software developers, IT project managers, testers, business analysts and telecommunications contractors get tax efficient payments and sponsorship for their Bruneian work permit.
Our advice is 100 percent free, and comes with no obligations. You will be paying taxes in Brunei but without the overhead of directly dealing with the Bruneian tax authorities. Get in touch with us today for some reliable advice on tax in Brunei!
A Contractor's Guide to Work Permits in Brunei
Immigration is one of the primary concerns for any contractor hoping to start working in Brunei. Permanent employees will find it easy to get their Bruneian work permit because they’ll receive “sponsorship” for their entire stay from their prospective employer.
The Bruneian work permit, known more commonly as the Employment Visa, is dependent on this sponsorship because it confirms that you’ll be earning money during your stay in the country. Contracting in Brunei is more difficult because the work permit is tied to one employer, so you have to change it to suit each new contract. Thankfully, umbrella companies provide a convenient and effective solution to this issue.
How Can Umbrella Companies Help You Get a Work Permit in Brunei ?
As your permanent employer, umbrella companies are able to sponsor you for your Bruneian work permit provided they’re on the register of approved sponsors. Many different companies offer this service, because it makes contracting in Brunei infinitely simpler and saves you the hassle of continuous paperwork. Instead of changing your work permit every time you get a new contract, you can just work how you ordinarily would under the same permit. They protect you from the bureaucratic “rain” of legal compliance with the Bruneian immigration authorities. They can even deal with the Brunei Embassy directly.
Through their service you may be able to use a business visa to get started quickly and then transition to a work visa in Brunei. It depends on your specific visa requirements. Be aware you may have to register for a residence permit in Brunei.