To protect the nation’s reputation as a regional and global business hub, and also the long-term interests of all businesses operating locally, the Singapore government and business governing agencies pay particular attention to the register company in Singapore processes in order to sustain a healthy business environment for the benefit of investors and consumers. Even though ACRA has streamlined the steps and procedures to register new company in Singapore, it still serves as an all-important gatekeeper to prevent, for different reasons, inadmissible business operations from entering Singapore’s business ecosystem.
In short, ACRA is endowed with the authority to reject the incorporation of any company in Singapore for any valid reason, among which are discrepancies related to company name, shareholders and registered address.
Register Company in Singapore
Company Name Approval
According to Singapore business regulations, an entity desiring to carry out business activities in Singapore has to register a business name that has not been already taken (by another business entity within the same industry sector). Before new company registration can be completed, one of the proposed business names for the business must be approved and reserved. Besides choosing a suitable name that defines your company’s image, you also need to apprise yourself with the kind of names that may raise a red flag with the relevant authorities.
Proposed Business Names ACRA will refuse to register include:
– Names that are considered obscene or religious in nature
– Names that are already approved and reserved
– Names that are identical to other registered business names
– Names that are prohibited by order of the Minister for Finance
An approved company name will be reserved for 120 days from the approval date. No further extension of name reservation period is allowed. Once a name has been approved by ACRA, procedures to register new company in Singapore can be followed up.
Required Number of Shareholders
As required by law, a private limited company, the most popular business entity for many reasons, has to have a minimum of 1 shareholder, while not exceeding 50. Shareholders can be real individuals or corporations, local or foreign. Also, Singapore is a country that allows for 100% company ownership by foreign shareholders. If this requirement is not adhered to, or discrepancies arise from its details, ACRA will deny an applicant the opportunity for a successful company incorporation.
Registered Address in Singapore
As mandated under Section 142(1) of Singapore’s Companies Act, a business looking to incorporate in Singapore is required to provide to ACRA a locally registered address. A registered office address has the following requirements to meet:
- It has to be a physical office in Singapore address, i.e. not a PO box
- It has to be a place where all correspondences and notices can be sent or mailed to, which is open and accessible to the public for not less than 3 hours during ordinary business hours on each business day.
The Home Office Scheme with URA or HDB allows a home address to serve also registered office address. However, there are certain requirements that need to be met.