Singapore, for many reasons, has been a popular venture venue for foreign business owners and corporations looking to start a new company, or expand or relocate their business overseas. Regardless of their long-term business goals, type of industry and company size, foreign investors have always found the most suitable options they need to register new company in Singapore, thanks to the nation’s business-friendly policies.
To begin, the setup requirements to register company in Singapore for foreigner are easy to fulfil and the assistance of registered incorporation agents makes getting the job done even easier:
- An ACRA-approved Company Name
- Minimum of 1 Shareholder
- At least 1 local resident Director
- At least 1 local resident Company Secretary
- At least S$1 Paid-up Capital
- A physical registered Office Address
If setting up a new company in Singapore is not your intention, you can also choose between the foreign company registration options of Subsidiary Company, Branch Office and Representative Office.
Register Company in Singapore for Foreigner
Subsidiary Company: Based on the current interpretation of the company incorporation policy, a subsidiary company is a private limited company that is locally incorporated and a large number of its shares are held by foreign or local company. The Singapore government permits 100% foreign shareholding in companies, and this makes it possible for international companies to have a 100% shareholding in a locally registered private company.
This registration company option is ideal for medium and small foreign businesses that are keen on establishing a niche market and presence in the country. It is also important to note that this type of company is interpreted by law as an independent from the original company. This means that liabilities such as debts cannot be extended or transferred to the main company.
Branch Office: A foreign company is liable for debts and other liabilities of the branch office. In the context of taxation, the branch office is treated as a non-Singapore entity and so it does not qualify for incentives such as tax exemptions. Only revenue generated from its activities in Singapore is subject to local corporate tax rates.
The branch office name should be exactly the same as the main brand name. This name has to be approved by Singapore company registrar before the office starts to operate. According to Singapore Companies Act, the branch office is required to have a physical address in the country and appoint one or more authorized representatives who are citizens of Singapore.
Representative Office: Businesses that exist in other countries but do not wish to register new company in Singapore and company incorporation processes outright can decide to put up a representative office here. Concisely, the office is not recognized as a legal entity, and so it cannot engage in any form of business activity that will generate revenue for the foreign company.
However, it is allowed to conduct market research on behalf of the primary company. Just like the branch office, all liabilities of the representative office are covered by the foreign company. It should be headed by a chosen representative of the parent company and should not hire more than five Singaporeans to work as support staff.