Home / Company formation in Singapore

Updated on : 13-May-2022    IST | 4 min read

Company Registration Online

Singapore is now the best location to establish businesses if you wish to expand your global reach. Singapore is considered one of the best places in the world to do business due to its stringent yet favourable investment and trade rules. Owners of companies must register their businesses as incorporating a business in Singapore is straightforward and inexpensive.

Company registration in Singapore

Certain requirements must be met in order to register a business in Singapore. With the assistance of a skilled staff, we can assist you in incorporating a business in Singapore. Foreigners are not permitted to self-register a new company in Singapore.

To incorporate a company in Singapore or to establish a new business in Singapore, the most common method is to establish a private limited liability company. It is a distinct legal entity that protects shareholders from debts beyond the contribution of the amount of the capital. In Singapore, companies are incorporated in accordance with the provisions of the Singapore Companies Act. In terms of eligibility, anyone above the age of 18 can register a company in Singapore. This method of business incorporation provides the most efficient tax structure.

Documents required for registering a company in Singapore

The following documents are required for Singapore company incorporation –

  1. Name of the company
  2. A brief description of the business's operations.
  3. Details of the Directors
  4. Shareholder information
  5. Details of the Company Secretary
  6. Details of the registered address
  7. MOA and AOA
  8. Standard MAA document – It is provided by the Singapore Companies Registrar and is appropriate for the majority of situations.
  9. Generally, there are no limitations, with the exception of financial services and other politically sensitive businesses.

Types of business entities in Singapore

  1. Private Limited Company – In Singapore, a private limited company is legally distinct from its owners and directors, who bear limited liability for the debts and losses for the business. This business entity's owner is entitled to own property.

    Minimum set up requirements

    1. A single shareholder (Person or corporate)
    2. One resident director
    3. One company secretary
    4. One registration address
    5. One dollar paid-up capital
  2. Limited Liability Partnership – LLP combines the benefits of a private limited company and a partnership into a single entity. It offers you greater flexibility and keeps your legal entity independent from your partners.

    Minimum set up requirements

    1. At least 2 partners are required
    2. A single registered address
    3. A resident manager on a full time basis
  3. Subsidiary company – A private limited company owned by another business is known as a subsidiary company. A subsidiary company is a private limited liability company that is owned by another business. This external corporate body may own 10% of the business. A subsidiary company established in Singapore has the same advantages as a Singapore-based Private Limited company. you can avail from the 2 options given below:
    1. Apply for a work permit in Singapore and relocate
    2. Select a nominee director and manage your firm from overseas

    Minimum set up requirements

    1. A single shareholder (single/corporate)
    2. One resident director
    3. One company secretary
    4. One dollar paid up capital
    5. One registered address
  4. Branch office – A branch office is the expansion of a foreign corporate entity outside of Singapore. Due to the fact that it is a non-resident, it is not entitled to the same tax benefits as other Singapore private limited companies. If your company wants to relocate or send personnel to Singapore to conduct business,apply for a Singapore employment pass today.

    Minimum set up requirements

    1. A shareholder in a corporation
    2. A local agent
    3. A registered address
  5. Representative office – A Representative office is a short-term structure that cannot exceed three years in duration. This enables foreign firms to establish a temporary presence in Singapore in order to explore and communicate with local distributors, as well as conduct market research. To relocate to Singapore, you would require a Singapore employment pass.

    Minimum set up requirements

    1. The annual sales turnover must exceed $250,000
    2. You must be in business for a minimum of three years
    3. The proposed R.O. personnel must not exceed five individuals

What are the requirements for company registration in Singapore?

The following are the requirements for incorporating a company in Singapore:

  1. Name of the company – To register a company in Singapore, one must first get clearance for the proposed business name.
  2. Directors – At least one resident director is required, who may be a citizen, permanent resident, or holder of a valid employment or dependent pass. The number of locally and internationally appointed directors is not fixed. It must be established that they meet the qualifying requirements and have no criminal or bankruptcy history. A director does not have to be a shareholder in the company.
  3. Shareholders – In Singapore, a private limited company may have between one and fifty shareholders, who may be individuals or entities (local or foreign).After the incorporation of the company, shares may be issued and transferred to shareholders. If a private company has a minimum of 20 shareholders, it is designated as an Exempt Private Company (EPC). No corporation owns a beneficial stake (directly or indirectly) in such firms. EPC will qualify for audit exemption if the Company meets the requirements for a small business. A minimum of one shareholder is required and 100% foreign ownership is permitted.
  4. Company secretary – After registering your company in Singapore, section 171 of the Singapore Companies Act requires the appointment of a qualified company secretary within six months of formation. In Singapore, only a natural person who resides in the country is qualified to become a company secretary; whereas a sole director or shareholder is not eligible.
  5. Registration address – There is a scheme in Singapore named “Home office scheme”, which allows homeowners to operate small businesses from their homes. The same method is also applicable to house and development board (HDB) and private properties.
  6. Paid-up capital – When a company is registered in Singapore, a minimum paid-up capital of S$1 is required, which can be increased after formation of the company.
  7. Taxation – Singapore companies enjoy the most advantageous tax regimes and have the best business reputations.Pay no more than 8.5 percent tax on the first S$300,000 of annual profits and 17 percent thereafter. Dividends and capital gains are not taxed.

Procedure for company registration in Singapore

Incorporation in Singapore includes the following steps:

  1. Company name – The first and the most important step is to choose a company name. The ACRA must approve the Company's name prior to incorporation. ACRA may reject a name if it is identical to an existing company name, is undesirable, or creating confusion and making similarities to established names or trademarks.
  2. Online submission of information – Complete information has to be submitted online via the official website designated for this purpose.
  3. Name reservation – Upon name reservation and acceptance of approval, the complete list of required documents is generated. The name reservation process takes around one day. There are three possible outcomes: the name is authorised, refused, or referred. After approval, the name is retained for 60 days, during which time incorporation should be completed.
  4. Signing of the incorporation documents – The incorporation documents should be signed in the presence of notary public or a Singapore high commission.

Benefits of company formation in Singapore

The following are some of the benefits of Singapore company registration –

  1. Limited liability of member
  2. Only foreigners or local entrepreneurs aged 18 years or older are eligible to register for business registration in Singapore, and there is no age restriction for directors in private limited companies.
  3. Take benefit from Singapore’s double taxation agreements to enjoy tax resident status, schemes of tax exemption and tax incentives like innovation or productivity credit, which encourage companies to increase productivity through technological purchases.

Company formation FAQ’s

A Singaporean, a Permanent Resident of Singapore, or a holder of a Singapore Employment Pass may form a Singapore company. If a foreigner seeks to establish a business in Singapore, a resident director is required who possesses one of the above-mentioned Singapore resident statuses.

Yes, a foreign national may be a shareholder in a company. However, the company must have a resident director in Singapore.

It takes one day to incorporate a business in Singapore through ACRA.

  1. Copies of shareholders' passports
  2. Documentation proving the resident's director's address
  3. If a subsidiary firm is being incorporated, information about the parent company should beprovided.
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