Blogging platform Ghost moving to Singapore

Blogging platform Ghost moving to Singapore

SINGAPORE - Being a "progressive country with a fast-growing startup scene" is one of the reasons why free blogging platfrom Ghost has chosen to shift its operations from the United Kingdom to Singapore.

In a blog post titled "Moving to Singapore" on Monday (Feb 15), co-founder John O'Nolan said that the company will be closing down all operations in the UK and re-incorporating in Singapore.

"This is easily the biggest business change we've made to Ghost since it started, and will hopefully give us a much easier time trading internationally," he wrote.

The platform is an open source software project, allowing users to freely use, modify and share the software. It is organised and run by a non-profit organisation called the Ghost Foundation.

Explaining the decision, Mr O'Nolan revealed that the organisation had been frustrated by the UK's tax regime, as well as the introduction of the new European Value-Added Tax system. "We had to rewrite our entire billing system twice, charge many of our customers more money, and submit to woefully complex and inadequate new accounting requirements."

He said Singapore was chosen because it covered all of the organisations' needs, namely support for payment platform Stripe, being outside the European Union and allowing simple incorporation by non-residents.

Singapore also has many other benefits that make it the second most efficient economy in the world, he added, citing several lists that rank the city-state as the top in the world for ease of doing business, economic investment potential, best business environment, transparency of government policymaking and public trust in politicians.

"Not bad for a country which is, geographically, smaller than New York City."

On a more light-hearted note, Mr O'Nolan also shared his favourite Singapore facts. These include being one of only three-surviving city-states, the ban on selling chewing gum, its original name (Singapura) that means "Lion City", and having the world's highest percentage of millionaires.

Ghost was started in 2013 after a campaign on online fund-raising platform Kickstarter raised over £196,000 (S$396,864).

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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