• July 21, 2020

If you’re looking to register a new company in Singapore there are a number of tasks you need to complete before you can begin your operations. Compared to many other countries around the globe, registering a company in Singapore is relatively easy and free of any red-tape. The government also offers a number of tax exemptions for startups and even offers a variety of schemes throughout their first year.

Companies must begin by co-operating with the Company Registrar known as the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). They supervise all business registrations in Singapore and all compliance requirements must be met to proceed. Both local and foreign business owners can enjoy a number of benefits of setting up in Singapore, especially if foreign companies are coming from countries with high corporate taxes.

If you want to register as a foreign company, you are required to hire a local business registration provider and acquire a Singapore work visa. Hiring a professional can ensure a smooth solution for the Singapore registration process which will reduce downtime and loss of money throughout the process.

What Requirements Will You Need?

Here are the key requirements stated by the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) when it comes to registering a new company in Singapore.

  • Company name: Approved company name and registered with ACRA
  • Director: Need at least one director who is either Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or EntrePass holder
  • Shareholders: Minimum of 1 and a maximum of 50 shareholders
  • Registered Local Address: You need a local registered address in Singapore for a company office
  • Company Secretary: Appoint at least one company secretary in Singapore within six months from the registration date of the company
  • Initial Paid-Up Capital: Minimum of S$1 in initial paid-up capital

For a foreign business, a local director will also be required. This can be any Singaporean, permanent resident, or EntrePass holder. A filing agent will also be needed (such as a law firm, accountancy firm) to complete the process for your business.

How To Complete Registration in 3 Simple Steps

Registering a Company in Singapore in 3 Steps

Step 1: Getting ACRA’s Approval for The Business Name

The first step of your process is to register your new company and have the name approved by the ACRA. To ensure smooth and fast approval you should make the following considerations:

  • The company name must be easy to read, unique, and meaningful.
  • No copyright issue or infringement of any trademark.
  • If your name contains the words “Bank,” “Finance,” “Educational,” or “Media,” you may require approval from a higher authority.
  • You can visit BizFile+ to register online

After your new name has been approved, it will be reserved in the database for 60 days from your initial application. If it’s impossible to incorporate your business within this period, you have the option to request an additional 60 days.

Step 2: Prepare Your Documents to Set Up Your Singapore Company

Here are key things you must have documentation for before you can proceed. This is listed on the ACRA website.

  • Company name registered with ACRA
  • A brief description of business activities
  • Details of Singapore registered address of the company
  • Particulars of shareholders
  • Particulars of directors
  • Particulars of company secretary
  • Foreign Entrepreneurs must submit a copy of their passport and residential address proof (overseas)
  • Foreign Companies must submit Memorandum & Articles of Associations
  • Singapore Residents must submit a copy of their Singapore identity card

Step 3: Submit Your Application to the ACRA

Once your business name has been approved, you can begin applying for your company to be registered. In general, this process should not take much time if all of your documents are in order. Visit the BizFile+ website and begin filling in any online forms. These may include

  • Complete Post Business-registration Formalities
  • Certificate of Incorporation

The ACRA will then send you an email directly if your application has been successful. This will include the company registration number and will be treated as the official certificate of incorporation in Singapore.

Creating Your Company Business Profile

Once you have been incorporated, you can obtain your company’s business profile. This is a PDF document which can be downloaded upon request. It will contain information about your company for a small fee. This information will include the following details:

  • Company name and registration number
  • Previous names for the company, if any
  • Registration date
  • Principal Business Activities
  • Paid-up capital
  • Registered address
  • Particulars of Shareholders/Directors /Company Secretary

What To Do Following Registration

You will require your soft copies of your Certificate of Incorporation and Company Business Profile in order to open your corporate bank account, signing an office lease, and making any additional subscriptions. You may also need to acquire a number of business licenses and permits. This will depend on the nature of your business activities. Examples of businesses that will require permits are:

Restaurants, cleaning businesses, educational institutes, travel agencies, financial services, import/export of goods need business licenses.

If you are unsure as to whether or not this applies to your business, contact the ACRA for additional support.

Goods and Service Tax (GST) Registration

If your annual predicted turnover is higher than S$1 million you will be required to register for GST. It will then be your responsibility to collect 7% GST from each client. (GST is known as Value Added Tax, or VAT is many other countries).