Preparation for company registration in Singapore


You can enjoy a wide range of business advantages in Singapore, from tax benefits to many support grants backed up by the government. The process of registering a company in Singapore is very quick and easy, normally in only 24 hours. Not to mention the fact that the registration can be done completely online.

Let’s find out what you need to prepare to establish your own company in Singapore!

Getting a service provide

As a foreigner wishing to register a local company, you must engage an incorporation service from a trustworthy service provider in Singapore. This is a requirement from ACRA, which is the governmental agency overseeing business registration in the country.

Furthermore, there are some other basic requirements for a company establishment in Singapore. Those are:

  • o   Having a director who locally resides in Singapore
  • o   Having a local registered office address in Singapore
  • o   Appointing a company secretary within 6 months from the date of incorporation
  • o   Appointing an auditor within 3 months from the date of incorporation

Don’t worry if you cannot satisfy these requirements. A service provider will help you do so. They usually provide a service package to help you cover all the basic needs to form a company in Singapore.

With a service provider, the Singapore company formation cost will include the fees for a nominee director, a company secretary, and a registered address in Singapore. If your company is a small company, then it is exempted from the auditor appointment requirement.

Picking the company types and name

There are many types of business entities in Singapore. However, the most chosen company type is private limited company. It is a company privately held by no more than 50 shareholders, who can be individuals or organizations.

The reason why you should choose this type of company is that all of its members have limited liability. They will not hold any liability beyond their owned shares in the company.
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Furthermore, a private limited company in Singapore is liable for many exclusive tax-cut schemes. For example, it can be entitled to a tax exemption of 75%.

Next is the company name. When naming your company in Singapore, you should follow the following tips to get a higher chance of approval:

  • o   The name should not be the same or identical to the existing or reserved ones.
  • o   The name should not violate copyright law.
  • o   The name should not contain any prohibited words or convey any negative meaning.

A little note for you: once the name is approved by ACRA, it can be reserved for up to 120 days.

You need to tell your service provider what the type and name of your company will be, since they are the one who is going to register the company on your behalf.

Preparing the required documents for incorporation

As aforementioned, the service provider is going to register a company in Singapore on your behalf, via the online portal BizFile. They will ask you to provide some necessary papers so that they can proceed to file the application and send it to ACRA. To form a basic application, you need to prepare the following:

  • o   The approved name of the company
  • o   A description of the main business activity
  • o   The registered address in Singapore
  • o   The company’s constitution
  • o   Particulars of directors
  • o   Particulars of a company secretary (if any)
  • o   Particulars of shareholders: copies of passports for foreign shareholders, identity cards for Singaporean shareholders, and registration proof for corporate shareholders.

The service provider may ask you for further documents according to the situation. After the application has been submitted, it will usually take around 24 hours for ACRA to process. However, if your application needs to be further reviewed by other government departments, the processing time may be extended to a couple of weeks.

The result will be informed to you via email. If the application is approved, you will receive the Unique Entity Number (UEN) and an URL to download the business profile, attached in the email. The email can act as an electronic registration certificate of your company in Singapore.

Applying for a corporate bank account

In order for your company to receive money and transact with business partners, it needs a bank account. The incorporation service provider can further assist you to open a corporate bank account for an additional fee. If you are aiming to open an account with local banks, you can consider DBS, UOB, or OCBC.

The documents for application, and the criteria for approval, vary from bank to bank. So, you are recommended to consult the service provider to help you with the application process. In general, you need to prepare the following documents to open a bank account for your company:

  • o   A fill-in application form
  • o   Your company’s certificate of incorporation
  • o   Your company’s business profile issued by ACRA
  • o   The resolution of the company’s board of directors
  • o   The passports or residential address proof of your company’s directors and other related people

The service provider may ask you to provide further documents upon request from the chosen bank. To increase the chance of approval, you may be asked to supply the company’s trading proof. It can be an invoice, a contract, or an agreement between the company and another business partner or customer.

In conclusion

You need a service provider to incorporate in Singapore. All you need to do is to supply the provider with the company’s types, name, and other required documents. They will file and submit the application to ACRA on your behalf.

The process of registering for your company in Singapore will be done completely online. The result will then be sent to you via email, normally within 24 hours.

After the incorporation, you will need to prepare other things as well. The first one is applying for a corporate bank account for your company. Then, you will need to appoint a company secretary, who will proceed to handle other tasks for the company, such as registering the company’s CorpPass account, registering for GST (if necessary), and keeping the company’s statutory registers.