The Process of Registering a New Business in Singapore
When running a small business, incorporating is a huge step towards future success. It can have a significant impact, with lenders, investors, vendors, and customers being more likely to take your business seriously. The value of “Inc.” on the end of your business name provides confidence for your customers and will also provide you with a number of tax advantages as well as liability protection.
When looking for company incorporation services in Singapore, your process will differ depending on a wide number of different factors. This will include the niche that you operate in, whether or not you’re launching a new brand or if you are converting another business entity to become a corporation. In order to ensure that your process is nothing less than seamless, we have created a Singapore business incorporation guide. This guide will show you that the process is not as complex as it sounds. By following the steps, you could be running a corporation in only a few weeks!
How to Define Incorporation
Incorporation is the process of registering your business as a corporation. Corporations are controlled by three different parties, all of which have a role within the corporation. These are shareholders, directors, and officers. Shareholders will own the corporation through the purchase of stocks and will elect a board of directors who will manage the business and policy. This board will then appoint their officers, which will include CEO, CFO, secretary, and many others. These officers will run the corporation, ensuring the success of daily operations.
There are two main types of corporations, S-corps and C-corps. The main difference between the two is the way in which they are taxed. C-corps are taxed once at the company level as well as on shareholders personal tax returns. S-corps profits and losses pass through to the owner’s personal tax return and they are taxed through income tax rates. Whilst there are a number of other differences between the two, the main difference is the taxing method. It is possible to change between the two throughout your businesses life. However, you should know which structure you are looking for when incorporating.
How You Can Incorporate a Business
Although the process may appear complex and somewhat daunting at first, incorporating a business is not actually as complicated as it first appears. There are many boxes that are required to be ticked off, which will require some time and resources to do so. A general incorporation can take anything between one and six weeks and will range from $100 to $500 depending on where your company is located and the size of your business. All incorporation are regulated at the state and city level and therefore it is always important to be fully aware of any local requirements. If you have any doubts, we suggest that you contact a business lawyer or if you need more generic advice, you can receive state secretary support.
Here are the steps that you can follow to incorporate your business.
Stage 1: Comply With All Licensing and Zoning Laws
Before you actually begin to incorporate your business, make sure that you understand all of the local business licensing as well as zoning authorities. Although many businesses will not require any licenses to operate, certain industries will. These industries include food service such as restaurants as well as child care. Make sure that you are operating in compliance with all local laws as this will avoid you significant hassle once you establish yourself as a corporation and begin running your business.
Stage 2: Conduct a Thorough Name Search
Your second step is to choose a unique name that can be used to identify your business. The local secretary of state will not allow you to use the exact same name as any other corporation within the local area, as this can easily confuse the customers. In addition to this, if you were to choose a name that is the same as another business then it likely that you be dealing with a trademark infringement and with that, many additional legal costs. As a corporation, it is important to keep in mind that you will have the option to add a signifier to the end of your name. These will include Inc., Co., or Corp.
Most secretary of state offices will have a wide number of search directories in which you can type the intended name of your business, allowing you to check it is available. If your name is available it may be possible to reserve the name for up to 120 days whilst your incorporation process is completed.
Stage 3 Names a Registered Agent
The next step is to name your registered agent. This is a person or company who will be responsible for accepting official mail on behalf of the business. This will be required so that someone can receive service of process (if the business is sued) as well as any other generic paperwork for your business.
If you already have a business attorney, they will be able to service as your registered agent as long as they have an office within the state. In addition to this, a director, officer, or employee of the corporation can also serve as registered agent if they reside in the state of incorporation. Should they move out of the state, you will be required to choose a new agent?