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Short and useful reads for entrepreneurs

Is your company required 
to register for GST?

 5 min read

How much to set up a company in Singapore?

 2 min read

Legal requirements for a company secretary in Singapore

 3 min read

5 things to avoid when opening a company in Singapore

 2 min read

Short and useful reads for entrepreneurs

Is your company required to register for GST?

 5 min read

How much to set up a company in Singapore?

 2 min read

Legal requirements for a company secretary in Singapore

 3 min read

5 things to avoid when opening a company in Singapore

 2 min read

VentureHaven Blog

 5 min read

Is your company required to register for GST?

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a consumption tax levied on nearly all supplies of goods and services in Singapore, as well as goods imported into Singapore. 

GST is currently charged at 7% in Singapore. Companies registered in Singapore is not automatically registered for GST. GST registration in Singapore is also not compulsory.

Registering for GST is only compulsory when a company’s Total Taxable Turnover exceeds or is expected to exceed S$1 million over a 12-month period. This is based on signed contracts and orders. The company must make a GST application to IRAS within 30 days from the time it is deemed liable to avoid a late submission penalty. 

Your company is exempted from GST registration if:

- your taxable turnover is obtained from zero-rated supply of goods and services;
- your annual turnover is not expected to exceed 1 million SGD;

Your bookkeeper and accountant will take note of your financial statements, and provide timely advice when it is time for your company to register for GST.


To apply for GST, you can submit your applications online via myTax Portal using your CorpPass. You will also need your ACRA Business Profile.

Depending on your industry, you may or may not require additional supporting documents for the application. IRAS will take about 10 working days to process your application. During the review process, IRAS may request for documents such as invoices and contracts.

Upon approval, IRAS will send a letter of notification, including your GST registration number and the effective date of GST registration.

Once you are a GST registered business, you will need to charge and account for 7% GST when doing business transactions. GST returns must be submitted within 1 month from the end of each accounting period. 

GST returns will comprise both output tax (the GST collected from customers) and input tax (the GST paid to suppliers). If output tax is higher than input tax, the difference will have to be paid to IRAS. If vice versa, IRAS will refund the difference.

VentureHaven Blog

 2 min read

How much to set up a company in Singapore?

Singapore has consistently been ranked among the best and easiest places to set up business in the world. You may be wondering, how much does it cost to set up a company in Singapore?

Before we go into that, we need to first know there are many types of businesses and companies in Singapore. The cost of setting up a company depends on the type.

The Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd) is by far the most popular business structure of entrepreneurs. To set up a Pte Ltd company, you need:

- 1 Shareholder (individual or corporate entity)
- 1 Local Director
- 1 Company Secretary
- Initial paid-up share capital of at least S$1
- A physical Singapore registered office address

You will need to collate and furnish ACRA with the information above. 

ACRA will then proceed to ask you a specific set of questions pertaining to the setup of your company, and for anti-money laundering purposes. 

Depending on your answers, ACRA may require more details or request your answers in specific formats. ACRA will also charge you a registration fee of S$315.

Generally, the registration process can be quite arduous and time consuming. This is why most entrepreneurs prefer to hire someone experienced to help them do the registration. 

If you are looking to set up a company in Singapore and would like to avoid unnecessary hassles, why not consider VentureHaven? For just S$35*, we can help register your company. Your time is better spent growing your business rather than handling admin work.

*Not inclusive of S$315 governmental filing fees.

VentureHaven Blog

 3 min read

What are the legal requirements for a company secretary in Singapore?

According to the law, newly incorporated companies must appoint a company secretary. The company must fulfil the criteria:

- Company secretary must be appointed within 6 months after the incorporation date.
- Position of company secretary cannot be vacant for more than 6 months.
- Sole director of the company and the company secretary cannot be the same person.
- Company secretary must be a natural person and living in Singapore. 


The company secretary's role and duties include:


Facilitate Company Meetings

It is the duty of the company secretary to send out memos and notices to individuals such as business partners and shareholders on upcoming meetings. He or she should also prepare a comprehensive meeting agenda and other essential details.


Ensure Adherence to the Constitution

After the company has been set up, the company secretary need to come up with a company constitution. This constitution is to allow him or her to monitor and regulate all business operations, ensuring that it abides by the set laws and regulations. He or she need to make sure your company complies with all laws to avoid court cases and fines,


Bookkeeping and Accounts Management

The company secretary needs to ensure all required reports are prepared on time. He or she also need to file these reports in the Singapore Company Registrar. The company secretary also needs to make sure that all company transactions especially those related to disposal and acquisition of assets are well documented.


Company Identity, Insurance, and Seal

The company secretary need to make sure all official documents has the correct company name, address, and official entity number. He or she also need to ensure all relevant documents are embossed by the company seal to prove its authenticity. The seal should be kept in safe custody by the company secretary. More importantly, he or she is required to make sure that the required insurance policies cover all employees, directors, officers, and the office premises.


Other event based duties include:

Amending of the registered company constitution
Facilitating change of company name
Decreasing or increasing share capital
Be involved in the process of appointing a new company director
All other duties stipulated in the signed employment contract

VentureHaven Blog

 5 min read

5 things to avoid when opening a 
company in Singapore

Starting something new is always challenging, and the success rate will be higher if you have prior knowledge over what can be costly mistakes. Here are 5 things to take note of when opening a company in Singapore.


1. Registering your company without guidance

It is possible to self-incorporate your company in Singapore. Although the procedure seem easy and straightforward, you may encounter issues without professional guidance. There may be documents you don't know how to prepare, or you may have inadvertently submitted incorrect information that may lead to delays or cancellation of your application.

That is why we have company incorporation and secretarial services in Singapore. These service providers handle the entire application to avoid any hiccups. Experienced consultants will scrutinise every document to be submitted and provide advice for a smooth and successful incorporation.


2. No market, poor timing

It is no big secret that more than half of business startups do not make into the second or third year. Market and Timing are two important factors that contributes to the success of a business.

Testing the marketing and estimating demands in relation to market size can help you make more informed decisions for your business. A market too small does not provide much prospect for scaling. On the other hand, a large market might be too exhausting for a startup to effectively tap into. A niche market may not have enough market value or the competition is already overwhelming in relation to its size.

It is recommended to consider these factors regarding the timing of business entry:

- The local economy and current market forces
- The competition in the industry
- Market trends and future potential growth


3. Working with incompatible partners or distributors

Collaborations with local partners or distributors is a good strategy to gain market share and generate new ideas. As partnerships involves time and finance commitments, it would be good to check on the partners' and distributors' reputation or reliability. This would help you avoid suffering losses or getting into trouble with unreliable or crooked business partners.


4. Failure to properly control costs

Although it is easy to set up a business in Singapore, the rent and labour costs here are very high. A startup may not turn in any profit until much later and has to survive on its startup capital. Monitoring expenditure and planning business development is extremely important so that you will not encounter cash flow issues in the future.


5. Not finding suitable staff

Manpower is one of the most powerful asset of a company. Attracting and retaining performers with the right skills and mindset can make a difference between success and failure. For key posts, it may be a good idea, if viable, to transfer staff from a parent company or head office to train and guide new hire in Singapore. This would save you time and resources. Alternatively, you can consider engaging the services of a professional recruiting firm to headhunt for quality hires.

VentureHaven Blog

 5 min read

Is your company required to register for GST?

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a consumption tax levied on nearly all supplies of goods and services in Singapore, as well as goods imported into Singapore. 

GST is currently charged at 7% in Singapore. Companies registered in Singapore is not automatically registered for GST. GST registration in Singapore is also not compulsory.

Registering for GST is only compulsory when a company’s Total Taxable Turnover exceeds or is expected to exceed S$1 million over a 12-month period. This is based on signed contracts and orders. The company must make a GST application to IRAS within 30 days from the time it is deemed liable to avoid a late submission penalty. 

Your company is exempted from GST registration if:

- your taxable turnover is obtained from zero-rated supply of goods and services;
- your annual turnover is not expected to exceed 1 million SGD;

Your bookkeeper and accountant will take note of your financial statements, and provide timely advice when it is time for your company to register for GST.


To apply for GST, you can submit your applications online via myTax Portal using your CorpPass. You will also need your ACRA Business Profile.

Depending on your industry, you may or may not require additional supporting documents for the application. IRAS will take about 10 working days to process your application. During the review process, IRAS may request for documents such as invoices and contracts.

Upon approval, IRAS will send a letter of notification, including your GST registration number and the effective date of GST registration.

Once you are a GST registered business, you will need to charge and account for 7% GST when doing business transactions. GST returns must be submitted within 1 month from the end of each accounting period. 

GST returns will comprise both output tax (the GST collected from customers) and input tax (the GST paid to suppliers). If output tax is higher than input tax, the difference will have to be paid to IRAS. If vice versa, IRAS will refund the difference.

VentureHaven Blog

 2 min read

How much to set up a company in Singapore?

Singapore has consistently been ranked among the best and easiest places to set up business in the world. You may be wondering, how much does it cost to set up a company in Singapore?

Before we go into that, we need to first know there are many types of businesses and companies in Singapore. The cost of setting up a company depends on the type.

The Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd) is by far the most popular business structure of entrepreneurs. To set up a Pte Ltd company, you need:

- 1 Shareholder (individual or corporate entity)
- 1 Local Director
- 1 Company Secretary
- Initial paid-up share capital of at least S$1
- A physical Singapore registered office address

You will need to collate and furnish ACRA with the information above. 

ACRA will then proceed to ask you a specific set of questions pertaining to the setup of your company, and for anti-money laundering purposes. 

Depending on your answers, ACRA may require more details or request your answers in specific formats. ACRA will also charge you a registration fee of S$315.

Generally, the registration process can be quite arduous and time consuming. This is why most entrepreneurs prefer to hire someone experienced to help them do the registration. 

If you are looking to set up a company in Singapore and would like to avoid unnecessary hassles, why not consider VentureHaven? For just S$35*, we can help register your company. Your time is better spent growing your business rather than handling admin work.

*Not inclusive of S$315 governmental filing fees.

VentureHaven Blog

 3 min read

What are the legal requirements for a company secretary in Singapore?

According to the law, newly incorporated companies must appoint a company secretary. The company must fulfil the criteria:

- Company secretary must be appointed within 6 months after the incorporation date.
- Position of company secretary cannot be vacant for more than 6 months.
- Sole director of the company and the company secretary cannot be the same person.
- Company secretary must be a natural person and living in Singapore. 


The company secretary's role and duties include:


Facilitate Company Meetings

It is the duty of the company secretary to send out memos and notices to individuals such as business partners and shareholders on upcoming meetings. He or she should also prepare a comprehensive meeting agenda and other essential details.


Ensure Adherence to the Constitution

After the company has been set up, the company secretary need to come up with a company constitution. This constitution is to allow him or her to monitor and regulate all business operations, ensuring that it abides by the set laws and regulations. He or she need to make sure your company complies with all laws to avoid court cases and fines,


Bookkeeping and Accounts Management

The company secretary needs to ensure all required reports are prepared on time. He or she also need to file these reports in the Singapore Company Registrar. The company secretary also needs to make sure that all company transactions especially those related to disposal and acquisition of assets are well documented.


Company Identity, Insurance, and Seal

The company secretary need to make sure all official documents has the correct company name, address, and official entity number. He or she also need to ensure all relevant documents are embossed by the company seal to prove its authenticity. The seal should be kept in safe custody by the company secretary. More importantly, he or she is required to make sure that the required insurance policies cover all employees, directors, officers, and the office premises.


Other event based duties include:

Amending of the registered company constitution
Facilitating change of company name
Decreasing or increasing share capital
Be involved in the process of appointing a new company director
All other duties stipulated in the signed employment contract

VentureHaven Blog

 5 min read

5 things to avoid when opening a company in Singapore

Starting something new is always challenging, and the success rate will be higher if you have prior knowledge over what can be costly mistakes. Here are 5 things to take note of when opening a company in Singapore.


1. Registering your company without guidance

It is possible to self-incorporate your company in Singapore. Although the procedure seem easy and straightforward, you may encounter issues without professional guidance. There may be documents you don't know how to prepare, or you may have inadvertently submitted incorrect information that may lead to delays or cancellation of your application.

That is why we have company incorporation and secretarial services in Singapore. These service providers handle the entire application to avoid any hiccups. Experienced consultants will scrutinise every document to be submitted and provide advice for a smooth and successful incorporation.


2. No market, poor timing

It is no big secret that more than half of business startups do not make into the second or third year. Market and Timing are two important factors that contributes to the success of a business.

Testing the marketing and estimating demands in relation to market size can help you make more informed decisions for your business. A market too small does not provide much prospect for scaling. On the other hand, a large market might be too exhausting for a startup to effectively tap into. A niche market may not have enough market value or the competition is already overwhelming in relation to its size.

It is recommended to consider these factors regarding the timing of business entry:

- The local economy and current market forces
- The competition in the industry
- Market trends and future potential growth


3. Working with incompatible partners or distributors

Collaborations with local partners or distributors is a good strategy to gain market share and generate new ideas. As partnerships involves time and finance commitments, it would be good to check on the partners' and distributors' reputation or reliability. This would help you avoid suffering losses or getting into trouble with unreliable or crooked business partners.


4. Failure to properly control costs

Although it is easy to set up a business in Singapore, the rent and labour costs here are very high. A startup may not turn in any profit until much later and has to survive on its startup capital. Monitoring expenditure and planning business development is extremely important so that you will not encounter cash flow issues in the future.


5. Not finding suitable staff

Manpower is one of the most powerful asset of a company. Attracting and retaining performers with the right skills and mindset can make a difference between success and failure. For key posts, it may be a good idea, if viable, to transfer staff from a parent company or head office to train and guide new hire in Singapore. This would save you time and resources. Alternatively, you can consider engaging the services of a professional recruiting firm to headhunt for quality hires.

Corporate Tax Guide

Singapore adopts a single tier tax system and has a fixed corporate income tax of 17%. This means you are safe from double taxation and helps to reduce cost for your business.

Final tax submission is due on the 30th November every year. For newly incorporated companies, your first final tax submission will be due on the first November after your Financial Year End (FYE).

For instance, if you incorporated your company on 31st January 2020 and your FYE is 31st December 2020, your first final tax submission will be due on 30th November 2021.


Exclusive Tax Rates

For newly incorporated companies in Singapore, they can enjoy lower tax for the first three years and the rates are as follows:

- 0% tax on the first S$100,000 taxable income


Do I need to submit my tax returns if my company has no income?

Yes. Companies with no business activities and income are classified as dormant companies. Dormant companies must submit their Income Tax Returns unless it has been granted waiver.

Corporate Tax Guide

Singapore adopts a single tier tax system and has a fixed corporate income tax of 17%. This means you are safe from double taxation and helps to reduce cost for your business.

Final tax submission is due on the 30th November every year. For newly incorporated companies, your first final tax submission will be due on the first November after your Financial Year End (FYE).

For instance, if you incorporated your company on 31st January 2020 and your FYE is 31st December 2020, your first final tax submission will be due on 30th November 2021.


Exclusive Tax Rates

For newly incorporated companies in Singapore, they can enjoy lower tax for the first three years and the rates are as follows:

- 0% tax on the first S$100,000 taxable income


Do I need to submit my tax returns if my company has no income?

Yes. Companies with no business activities and income are classified as dormant companies. Dormant companies must submit their Income Tax Returns unless it has been granted waiver.

GST Guide

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax used in India on the supply of goods and services. Singapore's current GST rate is at 7%. Companies registered in Singapore is not automatically registered for GST.


Do I need to register my company for GST?

GST registration in Singapore is not compulsory. However, you must register your company for GST if your company's Total Taxable Turnover exceeds or is expected to exceed S$1 million over a 12-month period.

The turnover amount is based on signed contracts and orders. The company must make a GST application to IRAS within 30 days from the time it is deemed liable to avoid a late submission penalty. 

Businesses need to continually assess the need to be registered for GST. Your bookkeeper and/or accountant will be able to help you do the assessment, and provide you timely advice when it is time to register for GST.


Can I volunteer to register my company for GST?

Yes you can. Once approved, you need to remain registered for 2 years and adhere to record keeping, accounting and filing obligations stipulated by IRAS.


What benefits do I get if I register my company for GST?

Being GST-registered would benefit companies whose suppliers are also GST-registered. You will reduce the cost of your supplies by 7%. Below is a table showing an example of your gross profit before and after GST registration.

Before GST Registration


Cost of supplies: $100 + $7 (GST) = $107

Retail price: $200

GST to IRAS: $0

Gross Profit: $200 - $107 = $93
After GST Registration


Cost of supplies: $100 + $7 (GST) = $107

Retail price: $200 + $14 (GST) = $214

GST to IRAS: $7

Gross Profit: $214 - $107 - $7 = $100
As mentioned, all businesses registering for GST has to remain registered for 2 years. If you are voluntarily registering your company for GST, you should assess the cost and benefits carefully before coming to a decision. The costs of being GST-registered may sometimes outweigh its benefits.

If you are unsure on whether you should register for GST, you can contact us and we can conduct an assessment for you.

GST Guide

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax used in India on the supply of goods and services. Singapore's current GST rate is at 7%. Companies registered in Singapore is not automatically registered for GST.


Do I need to register my company for GST?

GST registration in Singapore is not compulsory. However, you must register your company for GST if your company's Total Taxable Turnover exceeds or is expected to exceed S$1 million over a 12-month period.

The turnover amount is based on signed contracts and orders. The company must make a GST application to IRAS within 30 days from the time it is deemed liable to avoid a late submission penalty. 

Businesses need to continually assess the need to be registered for GST. Your bookkeeper and/or accountant will be able to help you do the assessment, and provide you timely advice when it is time to register for GST.


Can I volunteer to register my company for GST?

Yes you can. Once approved, you need to remain registered for 2 years and adhere to record keeping, accounting and filing obligations stipulated by IRAS.


What benefits do I get if I register my company for GST?

Being GST-registered would benefit companies whose suppliers are also GST-registered. You will reduce the cost of your supplies by 7%. Below is a table showing an example of your gross profit before and after GST registration.

Before GST Registration

Cost of supplies: $100 + $7 (GST) = $107

Retail price: $200

GST to IRAS: $0

Gross Profit: $200 - $107 = $93

After GST Registration

Cost of supplies: $100 + $7 (GST) = $107

Retail price: $200 + $14 (GST) = $214

GST to IRAS: $7

Gross Profit: $214 - $107 - $7 = $100
As mentioned, all businesses registering for GST has to remain registered for 2 years. If you are voluntarily registering your company for GST, you should assess the cost and benefits carefully before coming to a decision. The costs of being GST-registered may sometimes outweigh its benefits.

If you are unsure on whether you should register for GST, you can contact us and we can conduct an assessment for you.

CorpPass Guide

CorpPass is the corporate digital identity of a business. You require your CorpPass to perform any corporate transaction. 


How do I register for CorpPass?

First, you have to ensure you are eligible for CorpPass registration. Only locally registered organisations that has been issued with a Unique Entity Number (UEN) and overseas organisations without a local UEN can register for a CorpPass.

Next, you need to determine your CorpPass role in the company. Your CorpPass role is based on your appointment in the company, and will affect the registration process.

You can refer to the chart below to identify your CorpPass role.

There are 3 ways you can register for a CorpPass.

1. Local Singapore residents with valid SingPass accounts and are RO(s) of the entity can register for the CorpPass via www.corppass.gov.sg

2. Local Singapore residents with valid SingPass accounts but are not RO(s) will need the authorisation from ROs via the main CorpPass account after the first activation is done. You can get the letter of authorisation here. (hyperlink)

3. Individuals who are not local Singapore residents and do not have valid SingPass accounts will have to register separately. Companies with our Nominee Director service may appoint your current Company Secretary from VentureHaven as the CorpPass Admin. Please contact our Renewals Team for further assistance.

Below is an illustration of how local Singapore residents with valid SingPass accounts can register for a CorpPass.

I am a RO. What are the digital services and roles I can assign for my staff?

You can check out the list of digital services and roles on CorpPass here.

CorpPass Guide

CorpPass is the corporate digital identity of a business. You require your CorpPass to perform any corporate transaction. 


How do I register for CorpPass?

First, you have to ensure you are eligible for CorpPass registration. Only locally registered organisations that has been issued with a Unique Entity Number (UEN) and overseas organisations without a local UEN can register for a CorpPass.

Next, you need to determine your CorpPass role in the company. Your CorpPass role is based on your appointment in the company, and will affect the registration process.

You can refer to the chart below to identify your CorpPass role.

There are 3 ways you can register for a CorpPass.

1. Local Singapore residents with valid SingPass accounts and are RO(s) of the entity can register for the CorpPass via www.corppass.gov.sg

2. Local Singapore residents with valid SingPass accounts but are not RO(s) will need the authorisation from ROs via the main CorpPass account after the first activation is done. You can get the letter of authorisation here. (hyperlink)

3. Individuals who are not local Singapore residents and do not have valid SingPass accounts will have to register separately. Companies with our Nominee Director service may appoint your current Company Secretary from VentureHaven as the CorpPass Admin. Please contact our Renewals Team for further assistance.

Below is an illustration of how local Singapore residents with valid SingPass accounts can register for a CorpPass.

I am a RO. What are the digital services and roles I can assign for my staff?

You can check out the list of digital services and roles on CorpPass here.

VENTUREHAVEN – SINGAPORE

Address: 531A Upper Cross Street #04-95, Hong Lim Complex 
Singapore 051531
Phone: +65 6444 3130
WhatsApp: +65 8122 3888
Email: contactus@venturehaven.com.sg
Operations Hours: Monday – Friday / 9:00am – 7:00pm, except Public Holidays
VENTUREHAVEN – MALAYSIA (JB)

Address: H-03-03, H-04-03, Komersial Southkey Mozek, Persiaran Southkey 1, Kota Southkey, 80150 Johor Bahru, Johor
Phone: +60 7-336 4545
WhatsApp: +60 11-1617 8668
Email: contactus@venturehaven.com.my
Operations Hours: Monday – Friday / 9:00am – 6:00pm, except Public Holidays
VENTUREHAVEN – MALAYSIA (KL)

Address: D-11-05, Menara Suezcap 1, KL Gateway, Gerbang Kerinchi Lestari, No 2, Jalan Kerinchi, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +60 3-2732 7628
WhatsApp: +60 11-1617 8668
Email: contactus@venturehaven.com.my
Operations Hours: Monday – Friday / 9:00am – 6:00pm, except Public Holidays
VENTUREHAVEN – SINGAPORE

Address: 531A Upper Cross Street #04-95, Hong Lim Complex 
Singapore 051531
Phone: +65 6444 3130
WhatsApp: +65 8122 3888
Email: contactus@venturehaven.com.sg
Operations Hours: Monday – Friday /9:00am – 7:00pm, except Public Holidays
VENTUREHAVEN – MALAYSIA (JB)

Address: H-03-03, H-04-03, Komersial Southkey Mozek, Persiaran Southkey 1, Kota Southkey, 80150 Johor Bahru, Johor
Phone: +60 7-336 4545
WhatsApp: +60 11-1617 8668
Email: contactus@venturehaven.com.my
Operations Hours: Monday – Friday /9:00am – 6:00pm, except Public Holidays
VENTUREHAVEN – MALAYSIA (KL)

Address: D-11-05, Menara Suezcap 1, KL Gateway, Gerbang Kerinchi Lestari, No 2, Jalan Kerinchi, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +60 3-2732 7628
WhatsApp: +60 11-1617 8668
Email: contactus@venturehaven.com.my
Operations Hours: Monday – Friday /9:00am – 6:00pm, except Public Holidays
ACRA REGISTERED FILING AGENT FA20133266
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