How do I incorporate my business in Singapore?
Incorporating a company in Singapore is easy and straightforward. To begin your company formation, you are advised to choose your business structure, register your company with ACRA and set up your corporate bank account. Through Sleek, we can assist you when it comes to the requirement and regulations.
There are other factors that are involved in company formation such as – the company name, the number of directors, registered office address, number of shareholders, appointing a corporate secretary, resident director, auditor and more. To have an in-depth dive into the whole formation process, you can read our article: Ultimate guide: how to register a company in Singapore.
Can foreigners entrepreneurs start a business in Singapore?
Yes! With the amazing tax benefits, friendly government policies, centralised location and easy incorporation process, Singapore is one of the top countries in Asia when it comes to entrepreneurs and directors choosing it as their location to incorporate a company or expand their business.
Foreign entrepreneurs are welcomed to begin their Singapore company registration process with an employment pass. The Employment Pass allows foreign professionals, managers and executives to work in Singapore. You will complete your company registration before applying for the employment pass and your application is subject to approval by authorities.
To avoid any hassle or uncertainty, foreigners are advised to hire a corporate secretary firm like Sleek, who can help clients with the whole incorporation process. In addition to company formation services, Sleek also provides services like nominee director service and registered address.
How do I check if a company is registered in Singapore?
It is super easy to check whether or not a company is registered in Singapore. You would first have to go to ACRA’s search platform and type in the company name that you would like to check. Right after that, if the company is registered, you will get the company’s information that would include – company name, office address, Unique Entity Number (UEN) and more.
What does the ACRA do?
ACRA is The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority in Singapore. The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority regulates Singapore’s business entities, public accountants and corporate service providers. Their role is to generate synergies between the monitoring of corporate compliance with disclosure requirements and regulations of public accountants performing statutory audit.
The ACRA is responsible for administering the matters related to accountants, companies and business name registrations.
They are also responsible for representing the Singapore Government for international matters regarding the registration and regulation of business entities, public accounts and corporate service providers.
Why do we need the Unique Entity Number (UEN) for companies in Singapore?
Unique Entity Number (UEN) is an identification number issued by the Singapore government to all entities in Singapore. You will receive your UEN upon the completion of your Singapore company registration.
Entities that can get the UEN are local companies, LLPs, societies and representative offices.The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is responsible for issuing UEN to all the entities with limited partnership, limited liability partnerships, foreign companies and public accounting firms.
What are the required documents for Singapore Company Incorporation?
In order to incorporate your company in Singapore, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority in Singapore would require you to provide your company name for name registration, a brief description of your business activities and your, the details of your shareholders and directors, as well as their KYC (Know Your Customer) information. You will need a registered Singapore Business Address, share capital details and your company’s constitution.
Gathering all the right information for your company registration could be the trickiest part, get in touch with Sleek if you need any assistance.
Who can I appoint as the director of my company?
You can appoint 1 or more directors for your company. They have to be individuals and at least 18 years old. Every company also needs at least one local resident director, i.e. a Singapore citizen or a Singapore permanent resident. If he or she is not a Singapore resident, the director must be an Entrepreneur Pass or Employment Pass holder.
How many shareholders do I need?
To incorporate your company in Singapore, you will need 1-50 shareholders. A shareholder can either be a natural person or a corporate entity.The shareholder can be local Singapore residents or a foreigner.
How much share capital do I need?
You only need S$1 paid-up capital for your Singapore company registration. The share capital can be increased any time after your incorporation.
What is the requirement for company secretaries?
Every Singapore company must have a secretary within 6 months of incorporation in Singapore. A company secretary has to be a natural person and a local resident in Singapore.
What is the requirement for auditors?
Every registered company will also need an auditor for your company within 3 months of your incorporation date, unless your company is exempted from audit.
Where can my registered address be?
All Singapore companies must have a registered address in Singapore if they are registering for a local company business in Singapore. It must be a place with a physical local address. A P.O. box is not accepted.
What are the tax benefits for incorporating in Singapore?
Singapore has many business-friendly tax benefits as incentives to encourage Singapore company registration. Here are the tax advantages Singapore enjoys that makes Singapore company formation a good idea:
For new companies that are incorporated in Singapore, they get to enjoy 75% of their first S$100,000 corporate profits exempted for the first 3 tax filing years.
In addition, there’s 50% further tax exemption on up to S$100,000 taxable income. Newly registered Singapore companies can even enjoy further partial tax exemption for 8.5% tax rate on taxable income on up to S$100,000 per annum.
In terms of shareholding, shareholders of Singapore companies can enjoy 0% tax for both dividends and capital gains.
Singapore also signed the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTA) with over 50 countries including China, UK, Japan, Canada and France.
What types of business structures and companies can I choose for Singapore company incorporation?
Private Limited Company
Private limited companies have less than 50 shareholders and its shares should not be accessible to the public. A private limited company has the most flexible business structure. It is a separate legal entity from its shareholders and directors. It enjoys limited liability, shareholders are not liable to debts that are more than the agreed shared capital. You will need to open a corporate bank account for this reason. You can also freely transfer the ownership of the company.
Sole proprietorship essentially means there are no partners in the business. This means the owner can earn all the profits but also bear higher risk if anything happens. Sole proprietorship is not a separate legal entity from the business owner. The owner is personally responsible for all the debts of the business since it has unlimited liability.
You have to be Singapore citizens, Singapore permanent residents or Entrepreneur Pass holders in order to register a sole proprietorship in Singapore.
Limited liability partnerships(LLP)
LLP allows companies to operate as partnerships while enjoying the benefits of a private limited company. LLP are separate legal entities. Partners will not be held liable for any losses or debts from the business.
What happens after company incorporation?
You will receive a Certificate of Incorporation from the ACRA. They will send you an email to confirm your Singapore company registration. The incorporation certificate will have your Singapore business registration number as a soft copy. A hard copy can be requested for S$50.
You will receive your own Business Profile. This profile will be the identity card for your new company.
You can open a corporate bank account. After you have successfully completed the company registration process, you will be able to open a corporate bank account with any of the banks in Singapore. Be prepared for the passport, NRIC (National registration identity card) and residential address proof of directors, signatories and ultimate beneficial owners. Get in touch with Sleek if you need any help with your bank account opening.
Apply for a business license if your business requires one. You check whether you need a business license here.
Register for Goods and Services Tax if you expect the annual turnover of your business is likely to exceed S$1 million.
How long will the whole Singapore company registration process take?
Singapore company registration can take from just a few hours to days. It mostly depends on how quick your shareholders and director can send over their personal documentation to the company secretary to process. These personal documents include their identification and residential address. The formation of a company can be complex and stressful for entrepreneurs.
At Sleek, we provide one-stop Singapore company incorporation services as well as accounting services. Call us now or leave us your email from the form above to know more about the package prices of our company registration services. *contact us today for any questions