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Company Registration Singapore

This guide to Singapore company incorporation will provide an overview of registration requirements, process, and timeline involved. As per the Singapore Jurisdiction, every business must meet a set of statutory obligations in order to start and operate a company in the city-state. Fulfilling the stringent rules of authorities could be challenging for both local and foreign entrepreneurs, and thus, the hiring of a professional service is recommended.

When you wish to make your business presence felt in Singapore either by incorporating a new company or shifting your existing base to Singapore, you are more likely to register it as private limited company. It is the most preferred business structure in the Republic given its manifold advantages. A private limited company is an independent legal entity that enjoys a higher degree of benefits in all aspects. The liability of shareholders is limited to the amount they have contributed to buying the company’ share capital. As per the Singapore jurisdiction, any person above the age of 18 years can register a company in Singapore.

If properly structured, a private limited company can be a highly tax-efficient entity. Even a company with 100% foreign shareholding is considered to be a local tax resident of Singapore and entitled to all incentives and benefits available for locals. Thereby, it is the most sought after business vehicle for the foreign entrepreneurs.

Key Facts of Company Registration Singapore

Requirements to be considered for registration

  • Company Name: Get proposed company name approved by the authority. It must be done before filing incorporation application.
  • Appointment of Directors: At least one Singapore local director must be appointed. He must be a Singapore citizen, PR (Permanent Resident) or Employment Pass (EP) or EnrePass holder. You can appoint as many directors as you want because there is no limit on the number of the additional director.
  • Shareholders: In a Singapore private limited company, the number of shareholders can range between 1 to 50. Any person or legal entity/trust can act as a shareholder of a Singapore company. Even a director can also be the shareholder. There is no mandatory requirement to meet any percentage of local shareholding. 100% foreign or local ownership is allowed. Raising the amount of share capital by issuing new shares and transfer of shares can be done at any point in time after company registration.
  • Paid-up Capital: The minimum amount required for registration of a company is S$1. The amount can be raised anytime after registering the company. There is no concept of authorized capital in Singapore.
  • Registered Address: You must have a local Singapore office address to incorporate a company in Singapore. Any commercial or residential address can be used. But, P.O. Box address is not allowed.
  • Appointment of Company Secretary: As per the law, you must appoint a company secretary within six months from the date of company incorporation. The secretary has to be a natural person who is a resident of Singapore. He/she must be highly qualified and has good knowledge of Singapore Companies Act.

Required Documents:

The applicant must submit a set of required documents along with the incorporation application form. The requirements may differ for local/ foreign individual and corporate entity.

For Foreign Individuals:

Copy of passport, residential address proof of native country, KYC documents (bank reference letter, personal/business profile).

For Singaporean:

Copy of Singapore identity card

For Business Entity:

Copy of Certificate of Incorporation of the overseas company and Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Process & Timeline of Singapore Company Incorporation

The process of company registration has been made fully online by the Singapore company registrar i.e. ACRA (Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority). The applicant can accomplish the process using an online filing system of the authority. And, thus, the process is fast, efficient and straightforward. The involvement of bureaucratic activities is very minimal. If all documents are ready and meet the statutory obligations, one can expect to complete the process in a very short time. However, applications forwarded to external referral authority may take 14 days to two months.

There are two simple steps involved in the process of Singapore company registration.

Step 1: Company Name Approval and Reservation

To incorporate a company in Singapore, the proposed name of the company must get approved first. The approval of company name can be obtained by filing the name application online with authority. The process is quick and does not take much time assuming application do not require any approval of referral authority.

You must ensure to pick a name that is simple, meaningful, unique and devoid of any obscenity. It should not infringe the copyright law or trademark of other companies.

Once the name is approved, it is reserved for 60 days. You can incorporate the company anytime in this period. In case you need more time to register the company, you many opt to extend the reservation of company name for another 60 days. You do not need to pay any fee for this reservation extension.

Step 2: Company Registration (Filing of Application)

The filing of incorporation application can be done once the proposed company name has been approved. The completion of registration of company can be made in a few days assuming authority is not delaying the process by referring the application to external approval authorities.

The applicant will receive mail from the ACRA notifying the successful incorporation of its company. It entails the certificate of incorporation and company registration number. The soft-copy of the certificate is treated as an official document. There is no hard and fast rule to have hard-copy of the same. Nevertheless, businesses preferring to keep one can file an application along with a fee to obtain the hard-copy.

Our Fees Structure

Service Prices Period
Incorporation of a Company in Singapore S$699 One Time Fee
Provision of company secretary (FREE for First Year) S$299 Per Year
Provision of Registered Office Address (Free for First Year) S$239 Per Year

Things to Consider after Company Incorporation

Get the Company Business Profile:

A business profile can be obtained from government authority by filing an online application. You can download the PDF file of the company business profile within an hour of filing the application. You must pay a nominal fee to Company Registrar to obtain it.

Opening a Corporate Bank Account:

As a part of post-incorporation requirement, every company must open a corporate bank account in Singapore. At the time of opening the account, the physical presence of the stakeholders is needed in most of the major banks in Singapore.

Apply for Business Licenses:

Depending on the company’s nature of business and industry type, you may need to apply for relevant business licenses right after company incorporation. You would be allowed to commence you business operation only after obtaining the licenses. Luckily, businesses from very few industry type such as restaurants, educational institutes, travel agencies, financial services, import/export of goods, etc., require obtaining business licenses in Singapore.

Register for Goods & Services Tax (GST):

If the projected annual revenue of your business exceeds the threshold of S$1 million, the registration for GST is mandatory for your business.

Apart from these, make sure to follow the guidelines of the authorities throughout your Singapore business journey. Do not afford to ignore the importance of annual filing requirements of the government authorities. Stay updated with the changes in laws and ensure to remain compliant to avoid the penalties of government.