City-state Singapore is an independent nation in the waters of Southeast Asia. Its official name is the Republic of Singapore. The World Economic Forum recently produced a poll finding that Singapore’s economy is more competitive than the United States.
Setting up a holding company in Singapore seems relatively simple, given the city-position states as the world’s runner-up in business friendliness. The city-startup state’s tax exemptions, robust economy, sophisticated capital markets, financial system, and advantageous location all help to make it a top contender among global business hubs.
This ranking has been maintained year after year. It is recommended that investors and organizations who want to expand their footprint in Asia incorporate their businesses in Singapore since Singapore is a hub for international business.
This article will provide a full overview of registering a business in Singapore. This review will include the necessary paperwork, the cost of setting up a company in Singapore, and the many types of company structures.
In the city-state of Singapore, the business can be conducted by one of three categories of corporations. Every business has certain requirements which are distinct from those of other companies.
An LLP is a hybrid business structure with elements of both corporations and partnerships while maintaining participants’ liability protection. Any one partner’s exposure is often minimized under this business structure.
A limited liability partnership is held by at least two partners, who might be either people or corporations. It is often formed by members of the same profession, such as attorneys or architects, who seek to pool their resources and work together.
Suppose one of the partners of a limited liability company is an individual. In that case, that person will be subject to tax the partnership’s profits at their marginal tax rate. If, on the other hand, the partner is a legal entity, the earnings will be subject to corporate taxation.
Only Singaporean nationals, Singapore permanent residents, or foreigners with an EntrePass can form a limited liability partnership in Singapore. It is optimal for businesses with two to twenty partners (those above 20 must register as a Pte Ltd).
In Singapore, the most prevalent corporation is a private limited company, abbreviated as Pte Ltd. A private limited company is the most complex entity that can be founded in Singapore compared to the numerous other types of corporations established there.
It is also more adaptable and scalable than other company structures. Identifying a private limited business is possible because it has less than fifty shareholders and does not make its shares available to the general public. Shareholders in this kind of corporation might come in the form of either individuals or companies.
Although this type of business organization is not complicated, it does include a higher degree of danger. It is because the firm’s owner is personally accountable for any debts incurred by the business. According to the laws of Singapore, a sole proprietorship does not qualify as a separate entity.
As a result, the proprietor and the company are regarded as single entities. The owner of an EntrePass must be a Singaporean citizen, a permanent resident of Singapore, or a holder of an EntrePass; however, the owner can be either an individual or a legal company.
In this corporate structure, an owner’s assets are not shielded from the commercial risks of running a firm. Consequently, it is strongly suggested that aspiring business owners steer clear of the practice of establishing their firm as a single proprietorship. A sole proprietorship is subject to the same tax rates as an individual’s income and is not eligible for tax breaks.
Registering a company in Singapore is handled primarily by ACRA. Before giving the green light, it will make sure you’re following all the rules in your area.
Your first step should be to select a name for your firm that is unlike any other company in Singapore. To do so, submit your application online using the ACRA’s firm search function. Once the application has been granted, you may move on with forming the firm.
The ACRA must approve the company name before officially registering the business in Singapore. Your selection of a name should avoid being offensive or vulgar, and it must not contain any trademarks.
In addition, additional processing time may be required if your organization’s name contains industry-specific words or phrases, such as “broker” or “finance.” Generally, if everything is in order, then the procedure of name approval shouldn’t take more than a few hours to complete.
Once the application has been processed and accepted, the applicant has up to one hundred twenty days to establish a corporation using that name. Should they fail to do so, it will be possible for another person to reserve the name.
Once a business name has been approved, the following paperwork must be prepared. For submission to ACRA, you’ll need the following papers in either English or an authorized translation into English.
Corporate Service Providers must perform Know Your Customer (KYC) due diligence for their clients to comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws. The following evidence is usually necessary: The proposed company’s officials and stakeholders will have their identities and contact information confirmed, and their professional histories will be investigated.
When all the necessary paperwork for incorporating a business has been prepared, the next step is to submit the firm’s application for registration with the ACRA. It is an entirely online process that should not take more than an hour to complete.
If, on the other hand, the paperwork for the business registration needs to be forwarded to a different government body for additional approval, the conclusion of this procedure might take several weeks.
It is necessary to fulfill several prerequisites before a company may be incorporated in Singapore. The following are some of the prerequisites for establishing a business in Singapore:
For a business to legally operate in Singapore, there must be at least one shareholder and no more than fifty. Shareholders can be either citizens or permanent residents of Singapore, although they can also be nationals of other countries. There is no limit placed on the percentage of foreign ownership, and corporate organizations are allowed to participate as shareholders.
Companies in Singapore can have directors who are either citizens of Singapore or citizens of another country. Each company must have at least one individual who resides in Singapore who can act as a director, as corporate directors are not authorized. Anyone who is a citizen of Singapore, a permanent resident of Singapore, or possesses an Employment Pass is considered a “Singapore resident.”
The minimum amount of paid-up capital required is one Singapore dollar to register a business in Singapore. The total share capital can be increased at any time after the company has been registered.
It is necessary for businesses in Singapore to have a local registered address, and this address cannot be a post office box. A company’s local registration address must be where all its statutory papers are stored.
In Singapore, a company secretary must ensure that the firm complies with all relevant requirements and regulations. Within the first six months after their incorporation, companies must select a company secretary.
The person has to be a legal resident of Singapore. The company secretary’s job is to maintain all statutory records, such as the register of important shareholders, and make sure the board of directors does its part to run the firm.
Companies can register a corporate bank account after registration is finished and processed. Any of the main banks in Singapore can assist you in setting up an account with them.
The ACRA will send a confirmation email to the companies when their business registration has been completed. The document in front of you is their official Singapore Company Incorporation Certificate, which features a one-of-a-kind business registration number.
Businesses that believe they will have an annual turnover of more than one million Singapore dollars must register for the GST( Goods and Services Tax).
Enterprises can be required to apply for business licenses in addition to registering their businesses before they begin operations. It is something that will be determined by the kind of business that is being done.
A free business profile is another benefit provided by the ACRA to companies. This profile serves the same purpose as the company’s online business card.
You now have a good notion of the components that go into the price of registering a corporation. The annual breakeven cost per company for a competent corporate secretarial agency will likely be in the $600-$700 area.
We are confident that if you have done sufficient research, you have seen rates ranging from $300 to $3,000. Multinational, specialized companies exist, and their higher prices might be justified. One example is a Singapore-based subsidiary of a US-listed law firm.
On the other end of the spectrum is the myriad of smaller, less well-oiled businesses that save on service, customer support, and perhaps even international legal formalities by sending your work to Malaysia or India. Ultimately, it all comes down to your goals and your trust in the company you choose to work with.
To find a happy medium between the quality of service and price for the client, we think a starting point of $800–$1,500 is fair. This price range is just beyond the breakeven point of $700.00; on the one hand, it won’t break the bank, and on the other, it provides a higher level of certainty regarding the quality of the job that will be completed.
There are multiple advantages of setting up a company in Singapore, some of which are outlined here.
Establishing risk-free offshore corporations in Singapore is easy because the country is not regarded as a tax haven. However, it has a relatively low taxation structure.
One of the primary reasons is the low taxes, or even their complete absence in some cases, that are associated with the corporation’s operations. For instance, a property’s value increase is not subject to taxation, nor are dividends or interest payments.
Because the registration process may be completed online, there is very little need for cumbersome paperwork, as it is a fairly straightforward operation.
Owning the same rights as the firm to propose various adjustments to the business is a significant benefit to setting up an offshore company in Singapore. Among these are that the business can alter its registration address, the shareholders and directors, and the amount of share capital. These alterations must be documented in the Articles of Association for the firm and the records kept in the Commercial Register.
The money derived from overseas sources not delivered in Singapore is free from fees levied in Singapore. Additionally, if a foreign source of income received in Singapore satisfies specific requirements, that income may qualify for an exemption from these taxes.
Setting up offshore company in Singapore is attractive for several reasons, one of which is that foreign ownership of the company is permitted at a rate of 100 percent across the board and that the authorities of Singapore are not required to provide authorization before the registration process.
If a business is started by fewer than twenty shareholders (of which one retains 10% of the shares), then during the first three years of the firm’s existence. In that case, the company is eligible for a tax rate of 0% on the first one hundred thousand Singapore dollars worth of taxable revenue. A flat rate of 17% is applied to earnings that are more than $300,000 Singapore dollars, in contrast to the 8.5% corporate income tax that applies to profits up to $300,000 Singapore dollars.
Those interested in starting a business in Singapore and registering a company must consider several factors. We have outlined some important considerations you need to remember in the following paragraphs.
The financial sector in Singapore is well developed. Foreign investors may take advantage of several features, including tax rates among the lowest area and incentive programs in various sectors.
Individuals from other countries are permitted to form a business in Singapore at no cost and are entitled to possess an unlimited number of shares in that firm. A foreign corporation owner in the United States can operate the business abroad or within the country. If they want to move to Singapore, they will need to apply for a visa that allows them to work there first.
Incorporating a business in Singapore is a straightforward process. It includes selecting the appropriate entity type, deciding on a name for the company and reserving it with the Singapore Commercial Register, and finally drafting the Articles of Association by a notary and submitting them to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. Incorporating a business in Singapore is a quick and easy process.
The CSP can register the business electronically when all necessary paperwork for forming a company has been completed and submitted to ACRA. Less than an hour is needed to finish the digitally-only registration process. Rarely, during the incorporation procedure, the business registration may need to be forwarded to another government body for additional scrutiny, which might take several weeks.
Non-Singaporeans can’t establish a business in Singapore unless they use the assistance of a local corporate service provider. This type of provider is more often known as a registered filling Agent. A Filling Agent is a member of the company’s secretarial staff who lives in Singapore and is knowledgeable about Singapore’s corporate law.
As a result of increased Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws, banks are taking much more time to process applications for creating new bank accounts. Many of our customers opt to register a digital bank account first (since it can be done quickly) and then pursue a conventional bank account in parallel. It expedites the process of gaining access to banking services.
Although Singapore has a long history of being praised as one of the finest places in the world to do business, it continues to be a popular option for those thinking about where to invest money. Set up new company in Singapore is one of the easiest and quickest in the world, attracting new business owners to locate their operations there.
Whether you are a native Singaporean or a visitor from another country, with the assistance of this detailed guidebook, you will be able to learn the ins and outs of forming a business in Singapore. To set up company Singapore online and operate a business there, you must fulfill several requirements comparable to those in any other developed nation.