All you need to know about requirements for company formation in Singapore

by Business Development 19 February 2021

Company Formation

Incorporating a business in Singapore is one of the smartest decisions you can make. The country is a top destination for investors because of its favorable environment for businesses. Both local and foreign investors receive invaluable support from the government. The pro-business tax regime and the ease of doing business here have seen the country rank highly in most investment indices.

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACCRA) empowered by the Companies Act, Chapter 50 governs all business registrations. The entire process is online with clearly outlined steps, requirements, and fees.

This guide explains everything you need to know about company formation in the country.

Types of Business in Singapore

There are different business structures you can choose from:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnerships
  • Private Limited Companies (Pte Ltd
  • Public limited company

Other business structures for foreign companies are:

  • Subsidiary company
  • branch office
  • Representative office

The private limited company is the most popular form of business structure over sole proprietorships and partnerships. The company is a separate entity from the shareholders and you’re not personally liable for liabilities.

Your new company also enjoys tax incentives and tax exemptions. As a more formal business recognized by financial institutions, you’ll find it easier to raise capital. Transfer of ownership is also easier in a private limited company and there’s guaranteed business continuity even if management or shareholders leave.

If you want to consider company formation in Singapore, the best choice is a private limited company (Pte Ltd).

Requirements for Company Formation

Before you apply to ACRA to start the company formation process, here are some requirements for company formation:

  • Minimum initial paid-up capital of S$1
  • At least one shareholder and a maximum of 50
  • At least one local resident director (Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or EntrePass holder)
  • At least one (1) Company Secretary within six months from the registration date of the company
  • Registered local office address (a residential or commercial address, but not a P.O. Box.)

For foreigners, the additional requirements are:

  • Appoint a registered filing agent to help you through the company registration process. (Under Singaporean law, non-resident individuals or entities can’t self-register a company)
  • Appoint a local director (a resident of Singapore. Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and EntrePass holders)

For the company formation process, there are two fees required ACRA:

  • Name approval fee- S$15
  • Company Registration fee- S$300

The Company Registration Process

Now that you appreciate the initial requirements for a company formation in the country, here’s a step-by-step review of the process:

1. Name Reservation

Start with an inline business name application through Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Name reservation is a simple process that takes less than an hour unless the name includes industries such as banks, law, media, or finance. In such a case, the process might take longer as another government body will have to check the name.

ACRA can reject the company name if it’s not unique if it’s vulgar or contains copyrighted material. The authority reserves the name for 120 days and then releases it to other investors.

2. Documents for Company Incorporation

Once you have the business name, you can now apply for the business incorporation. The documents required at this point include:

  • Approved company name and registered with ACRA
  • Business description
  • Registered local address
  • Signed Consent to Act as a Director for each director
  • Signed Consent to Act as Company Secretary by the company secretary
  • Shareholders, directors, and company secretary particulars (Residential address proof, Brief professional background
  • Memorandum & Articles of Associations, Certificate of Incorporation (for foreign companies
  • Singapore identity card for Singapore residents
  • A copy of passport & proof of residential address (overseas) for foreign individuals

3. Submission of Application to ACRA

Once you confirm all documents are in order, the last step is the actual application through BizFile+, ACRA’s online portal. Your filing agent will be in charge of the process and will guide you through every step until you receive confirmation about the business registration.

ACRA emails confirming a successful application and in it is the registration number of the company, and date. You can use this as your certificate of incorporation in Singapore for all official transactions. You can also request a hard copy of the certificate from ACRA at a fee.

Using a Professional Agent for Company Formation

The company formation process in Singapore is easy but also detailed. You need multiple documents and this is where the input of a company incorporation service comes in handy.

For a foreigner, the professional services offered by these filing agents save you a lot of trouble. You don’t have to travel regularly to complete the process. Also, the companies offer a comprehensive range of custom company formation solutions.

Wrapping Up

Registering a company in Singapore promises great rewards for entrepreneurs. There are many MNCs and other foreign-owned businesses thriving in the country and you can join them too. With this insight on how to register your business, you’re now ready to get started on an exciting investment journey.

Read Also:

Ariana Smith is a blogger who loves to write about anything that is related to business and marketing, She also has interest in entrepreneurship & Digital marketing world including social media & advertising.

View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *