• June 13, 2020

This article contains all you need to know about company registration and information in Singapore. Singapore doesn’t pass for a nation with abundant natural resources, yet with viable trade networks that are extensive and efficient government regulations and initiatives the nation is a very attractive site for companies to set up, from multinational corporations (MNCs) to emerging entrepreneurs. In this article, we will try to cover all areas that have to do with Singapore business incorporation.
A total of 189 economies was reviewed by world bank on the ease of doing business considering factors such as

• the number of procedures to be completed (hence the stress) before a company can be set up
• the ease of securing utilities, and
• The administrative burden of the tax system of each economy.

After the survey, the Singapore economy ranked top as the easiest environment to do business.

Requirements for Setting up a Business in Singapore

Before you can incorporate a business in Singapore you must ensure that certain requirements are in place before you proceed to a Singapore incorporation service provider which is the easiest route to setting up a company in Singapore. Below are the items you must prepare:

• Company’s desired name
• The company’s principal activities
• Company’s directors
• Company’s shareholders
• Registered office
• Company secretary
• Share capital
• Constitution Documents
• Singpass
Let’s explore some of these requirements in detail.

Company’s Desired Name

Before you select a name for your company, there are guidelines you must keep in mind in order to pass the relevant regulations. Two of the prominent guidelines include.

• Avoid usage of national symbols such as Merlion
• Avoid usage of vulgar or inappropriate words in your company name

Some Industries are presided over by governing bodies due to the nature of their business. Businesses that fall under this category, like those concerned with the provision of medical services, may need approval or referral from their governing society or authority before they can proceed with setting up the company.

Below is a comprehensive list of governing bodies and what may be required extracted from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) list of referral activities.

Company’s Principal Activities

The company’s principal activities which are an important aspect of the Singapore company incorporation must be determined for the business to be registered. The company’s principal activities which are also referred to as the company’s SSIC code may be chosen from the list in the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC). Like the company’s business name, if the business activities outlined are regulated, the application will be sent to the relevant governing authority or society for consideration.

Company’s Directors and Shareholders

Certain recommendations must be you in terms of the company’s directors, in order to proceed with your registration successful.
To carry out your business set up or registration successfully, it is required that at least one director must reside in Singapore. Also, the company’s registered office must be located in Singapore.
The local director (who resides in Singapore) must fulfill the criteria that are outlined the Singaporean companies act, namely that he or she:

• Must be over 18 years and has to be sensible enough
• Is not charged of bankruptcy in a Singapore Court or a foreign court
• Has not directed an insolvent company
• Is not part of any company which was a threat to national security and interest
• Has not been involved in any crime or fraud
• Has not been accused of any offense while forming or managing the corporation
• Has not offended the requirements of Companies Act twice or thrice in the period of five years
• Does not disqualify under the Limited Liability Partnerships Actsection 34, 35, 36

Initially, the norm was that the shareholder or director would provide personal details as part of the incorporation process, which would then be made public when they secure their BusinessProfile from Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

Due to arising privacy concerns, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) introduced the substitute for usage of an alternate address for the said director or shareholders. However, the use of such an option is limited by the following criteria:

• The alternate address cannot be a P.O. Box
• Should be in the same category as the individual’s residential address
• Individuals must still provide his or her residential address to ACRA but this will no longer be made public on securing the Business Profile.

ACRA takes any falsification of information seriously. If you fail to meet with the conditions for use of alternative addresses, ACRA will forbid you from the use of an alternate address for the next three years.

Registered Office

Requirements to be met in terms of the company’s registered office include:

• That the office should be open for at least 3-5 hours on a weekday
• It should be a physical office address located in Singapore
• The office cannot be a P.O. Box

However, there are options companies can consider when selecting a registered office in Singapore. The options include:

• Renting an office space
• Opting for a virtual office
• Applying for a license to have a home office

Company Secretary

In line with the Companies’ Act, all companies are required to appoint a company secretary within six months from the date of incorporation. If the company had a sole director, he or she may also fill the role of the secretary.


Lastly, before the company or business can submit the incorporation application to ACRA for approval, they must present a Singpass. A Singpass is an electronic identity that is given to all Singapore citizens, while foreigners who meet certain requirements can also qualify for a Singpass. With the Singpass, the company can then send the incorporation application to ACRA through its electronic portal known as Bizfile. It is recommended that you seek out a Singapore professional service provider to take care of your registration as they have years of experience under their belt and will most likely deliver efficiently.