• A Guide to

    Company Registration in Singapore

    A.1 Business offers you guidance on the process of registering a private limited company in Singapore – the requirements, the procedures needed and the time frame needed. We ensure you that the process will go on smoothly.

    We would usually advise our clients to register private limited companies in Singapore to take advantage of the benefits below:

    • Enjoy Singapore tax resident status to take advantage of Singapore Double Tax Agreements, tax exemption schemes and tax incentives.
    • Limited liability for members.
    • Any foreigner or local entrepreneurs 18 years old or above are allowed to register a Singapore company and there is no age cap for directors of private limited companies.

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    Important Information Required for

    Singapore Company Formation

    • Provide at least 3 company name: it should be approved by ACRA (a government body) before the process for company incorporation can begin.
    • Appointed Directors*: They should be at least 18 years of age. One of the directors has to be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident. It is not necessary for the local directors to hold any shares in the company.
    • Shareholders*: The shareholder and the director can be the same person or different.
    • Company Secretary: It is compulsory to elect a company secretary within 6 months of company incorporation as per section 171 of the Singapore Companies Act (Chapter 50). If the enterprise is a single director company, he/she cannot be appointed as the secretary.
    • Address: We can provide our office address for you to use as your company’s registered address.
    • Tax: There is a $100,000 corporate tax exemption for 1st 3 years from the commencement date of the business. No dividend taxes or capital yield are imposed on Singapore companies.
    • Shares percentage breakdown.
    • Paid up capital: Incorporate with S$1 to S$100. Thereafter, you may increase the paid up capital.
    • Bank account opening is subjected to banks’ approval.

    Documents need to provide By

    Foreign Directors and Shareholders

    • Authenticated passport copy.
    • Proof of foreign address such as utility bills, telephone bills, insurance, or credit card bills issued within 2 months from the date you want to incorporate your company.
    • Singaporean / Singapore PR will need to bring along their NRIC and be present for the signing of the incorporation documents.

    We will be able to assist you in online application for a DBS business account, or arrange for OCBC and UOB Bankers to assist in the opening of corporate bank accounts upon request.

    Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore

    Corporate Bank

    There are many reputable corporate banks that are located in Singapore, some bank branches would also help to facilitate the process of opening a business or corporate account without you having to be physically there for the process too. We are the preferred valued partner with several corporate banks in Singapore.

    Generally, to open a corporate account in Singapore, the banks would need the following documents listed below. Do note that additional documents may be required on a case-by-case basis:

    • Corporate account opening forms that are signed by authroized signatoria resolution by company’s board of directors
    • A copy of the company business profile
    • A copy of the company certificate of incorporation
    • A copy of company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA)
    • The passports or Singapore national identification cards (NRIC) and proof of residential addresses of the company directors, signatories and ultimate beneficial owners of the company

    All the above documentation must be “Certified True Copy” by either the company secretary or one of the company directors. Please note that the bank may request for original documents or/and additional documents for added verification.

    The account signatories and directors may need to be physically present to sign the official documents at the time of corporate account opening, as required by some banks in Singapore. Other banks in Singapore may accept documents that are signed in front of a notary or in person at one of their overseas branches. Whatever the case may be, all banks in Singapore comply with stringent laws and regulations in Singapore. Therefore, comprehensive series of checks and investigations may be carried out on their potential clients before opening a new company account.

    Notes to be Taken into Consideration

    Guidelines For Foreigners

    • As foreigners do not have Singpass account to do transactions on Bizfile so it is mandatory to hire the services of a professional firm like us.
    • If you do not have a local to act as your director, we can provide a local nominee director at $2500/year and $2500 security deposit. Companies with at least 1 Singaporean / Singapore PR director can ignore this requirement.
    • Locals & foreigners needs to be in Singapore physically to register the private limited company and to open a business bank account (depending on which bank you choose).
    • Foreign investors do not need to apply for a work visa if he/she does not intend to station himself/herself in Singapore to run the operations. They may want to hire experienced managers to manage the local operations on their behalf.

    How to Improve Your Business Presence in Singapore

    Now that full approval is received for carrying out your business activities, it is time to improve your business presence in Singapore. One of the most effective methods is to set up your own company website. Firstly, you will need to get your own domain name and it can be done through the services of hosting providers, where you can check the availability of the website domain you want or receive suggestions on the website domains you can buy. Secondly, with their help, you are able to register for website domain names like .com, .sg and more. Thirdly, after successfully registering for a website domain, you can also consider purchasing hosting providers to house your website or emails and then you can design your business website and secure it with confidence. With the help of this guide, you are able to better prepare yourself before Singapore business registration and after registration. We wish you all the best of luck in creating and sustaining a thriving and prosperous business.

    Leasing or Acquiring an Office Space

    Acquiring Office Space

    Having an office space will greatly improve a potential customer’s likelihood to trust more in the services offered by your corporation. Business owners can choose to lease an office space themselves in business districts and start operations. However, for entrepreneurs who want an office space but are unable to be present in Singapore or if they find that the rent is too expensive for them, there are also alternative options like virtual offices.

    Having virtual offices is a solution for both small businesses and foreign entrepreneurs alike.

    The buying or renting of offices spaces can rack up quite a large amount of costs, as you would not only have to pay for space but also need to invest in the equipment needed to carry out running your business. As a start-up company, the total expenditure can take up quite a lot of budgeting. Instead of doing so, you can better manage your budget by signing up for virtual office services. Service providers usually charge by a monthly basis, which you are able to choose to continue or discontinue whenever necessary. A lot of essential business administration tasks are also handled by the virtual office teams so you gain both experience and also the reduction of costs all at once.

    Business owners or foreign entrepreneurs that have to travel frequently and can’t be physically present in Singapore are also recommended to consider virtual offices as an option since they can entrust important tasks like call forwarding, package/mail forwarding, email management and more to professionals without having to waste time and money in training new staff themselves. They can also make use of the address provided by the virtual offices so that all their important documents can be safely kept for later collection in their free time.

    Steps to Register Company in Singapore and Timeframe

    The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) will take time to approve the company registration details, therefore the process of incorporating a company can take 3 hours to 2 days.

    • Company Name Approval and Reservation
    • Company Registration

    Company Name Approval and Reservation

    The ACRA application form must be filled up and ready for approval. Usually, it will take about one hour for this process to be completed. ACRA will inform you if your application is successful. Do take note that the proposed name should not have words containing law, Singapore, etc in order for a quicker name approval.

    These keywords will lead the proposed name to be referred to another government body for approval of the use the specific keyword. Therefore, there will be an increase in time needed when incorporating a company.

    Points to Note for

    Getting Name Approved Quickly

    • A unique name which should not have any resemblance to other company names.
    • It should not violate any trademarks.
    • It should not be offensive.
    • You should not use the name that you have previously used.
    • It should not contain any words that will get referred to another government agency.

    From the application date, your company name will be reserved for 60 days. If you wish to extend the reservation for 60 more days, you will need to fill up a form of extension before it is expires.

    Applying for Business Licensing

    For certain business types, additional registration for business licenses might be needed in order to carry out the needed activities. Thankfully, these licenses can be easily applied in Singapore; and if you are uncertain as to whether or not you require special licensing, you may want to check to see if your business falls under these certain categories.

    If your company provides activities that are related to:

    • Travelling Agencies
    • Restaurants
    • Employment Agencies
    • Educational Institutes
    • Importation or exportation of goods

    What to expect for Post-Registration

    Post Registration

    After tending to everything that is required for company incorporation, let us look at what you need to expect next for your entrepreneurship journey.

    Upon approval of your Singapore business registration, you will receive the following:

    A Certificate of Incorporation: Do check your email for any emails from the Company Registrar. The email should state that your business has been successfully incorporated. A company registration number should also be included in this email as well. Be sure not to delete or lose it as it is considered as your official certificate of incorporation. If you wish to get a physical copy, you will need to pay $50 fee to the Company Registrar to receive it and will take an additional 3 to 5 working day to process.

    A Corporate or Company Business Profile: A company business profile will also be created once your registration process is completed and approved. It will be available in your Biz File account. If you do not have an account yet, the service provider that you have engaged with will take it upon themselves to retrieve your business profile for you. It is usually in PDF format and you will need to download the file and check it through.

    A complete company business profile should have:

    1. Key information about the Company name with its registration number
    2. Previous name versions of your established company (if applicable)
    3. Date of the successful incorporation
    4. Descriptive account on the company’s principal activities
    5. Details of the company secretary
    6. Details of the shareholders and directors
    7. Full working registered business address of your company
    8. Total amount of paid-up capital

    Get both the email notification and your company business profile ready before you are able to properly proceed with all the legal or contractual tasks planned. Additionally, you might want to acquire an official company rubber stamp and common seal. You can also start to prepare the share certificates for each your shareholders so that you can update your share register with the shares that are allotted to each of these entities or individuals. After that, you might also want to consider opening up a business bank account or leasing an office space for your company.

    Company Registration

    After the name has been approved, the incorporation documents will be prepared. Thereafter, the director(s) and the shareholder(s) will sign the documents. There will be a registration fee of S$303 which will be paid to ACRA for the incorporation of the private limited company. This process will usually take about 1 hour.

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