Singapore is a recognised business hub regionally and globally, and is consistently ranked as one of the most business-friendly places in the world. A person 18 years of age and above, regardless of nationality, can incorporate a company in Singapore.
The Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), Singapore’s Company Registrar, has streamlined the processes for company registration for both local residents, as well as an international investors, and the government also offers a wide variety of support schemes and tax exemptions to startups.
There are not too many requirements to meet to open new company in Singapore, but adherence and compliance to each is enforced rigidly by the authorities, so it is best to be well-prepared and transparent in everything that is to be submitted.
Open New Company in Singapore
A Note on Foreign Ownership
First of all, please be informed that a foreigner can hold 100% equity in a Singapore-registered company, but the company must have a Local Director, who is either a Singaporean, Permanent Resident, or EntrePass Holder.
A foreign national cannot self-register and is required to hire Singapore Company Registration Services to incorporate a company locally. Many local startups, though permitted to self-register and open new company in Singapore without a service provider, actually prefer to engage one-stop professionals who have expert knowledge to do so on their behalf to save valuable time and effort.
Also, Singapore Company Registration Services more often than not offer Incorporation Packages that also take care of other legal requirements, saving clients time and hassle. Value-added free advice and guidance on post-incorporation tasks, such as Employment Visas, Taxes, Company Actions, and much more, are also usually there for the asking.
Registration Requirements for a Private Limited Company in Singapore
- Company name: Approved company name and registered with ACRA
- Director: At least one director who is either Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or EntrePass holder
- Shareholders: Minimum of 1 and a maximum of 50 shareholders
- Registered Local Address: For the company office
- Company Secretary: At least one company secretary appointed within 6 months from date of registration
- Initial Paid-Up Capital: Minimum of S$1
A Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd) is the business structure preferred by most startups, local and foreign, as it comes with many advantages in terms of financial liability, corporate taxation, scalability and image credibility. For more information, please read Reasons Why Most People Prefer Having a Private Limited Company in Singapore
Required Information for Making an Official Application to ACRA
- Company name approved and reserved by ACRA
- Brief description of business activities
- Registered Singapore address of the company
- Particulars of shareholders
- Particulars of directors
- Particulars of company secretary
Singapore Residents are to submit a copy of their Singapore identity card. Foreign Nationals are to submit a copy of their passport and proof of overseas residential address. Foreign Companies are to submit Memorandum & Articles of Associations.
What to Expect Upon Approval of Application
Certificate of Incorporation
An email from ACRA confirming the incorporation of your company accompanied with your company’s unique registration number is considered as an official certificate of incorporation in Singapore. A hard copy can be requested, if so desired, for a nominal fee.
Company Business Profile
Your company business profile will be available once incorporation has been successfully completed. It comes in PDF format and includes the below details:
- Company name and registration number
- Previous names for the company, if any.
- Registration date
- Principal Business Activities
- Paid-up capital
- Registered address
- Particulars of Shareholders/Directors /Company Secretary
The Certificate of Incorporation and Company Business Profile are mostly likely required for opening a corporate bank account, leasing an office and other contractual proceedings.
For more information regarding additional licences and permits your company may require, please visit Business Licences Guide by VentureHaven
For more information regarding GST registration in Singapore, please visit GST Guide by VentureHaven