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open a corporate bank account in Singapore

Is It Easy to Open a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore?

Table of Contents

Singapore is a famous country for a foreign-owned company that wants to do business in Singapore. A majority of proposed business activities are performed in Singapore. However, the main reason behind this valuable business is the internet banking facilities for foreign clients.

Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore is extremely important to pursue a business in Singapore. This corporate bank account will help foreign business owners to perform transactions efficiently. The anticipated banking transactional activity in Singapore is exceptional, making it beneficial for all foreign clients.

Every foreign client must make a separate Singapore bank account so that their personal and professional accounts don’t overlap. In addition, many Singapore bank accounts provide several offers to overseas business bank accounts, like credit cards, multi-currency accounts, trade financing, and many more. However, these currency accounts also require some opening fees and initial capital.

However, opening a bank account in Singapore is extremely easy. But, it can be a bit challenging for overseas branches. Also, 120 plus foreign banks are currently providing their wealth management services in Singapore. So, opening a corporate bank account in Singapore that provides foreign currency accounts becomes difficult.

This article will help you open a corporate bank in Singapore. We will also guide you about the additional documents you will require in this process.

Factors to choosing a corporate bank in Singapore

Opening a bank account in local banks is way easier than opening a corporate bank account in Singapore. A foreign company bank account is like a company’s business profile in Singapore. A corporate bank account should be a foreign currency account to make transactions quick and easy.

A corporate account should be easier to manage and provide all the services suitable for your business. Below we have mentioned some useful factors that should be noticed before opening a corporate bank account in Singapore.

Bank Reputation

Before considering a bank account in Singapore, it is highly important to know the reputation of that specific bank. A bank with a poor reputation can be a great risk for your financial transactions and business. Therefore, ensure that the offers and services they provide match your business structure.

Also, instead of coming in their sugar-coated talks, ask their existing customers about their experience. It is better to reach out to the people in your field to know about the reputation of the specific bank. An expert with a corporate bank account in their bank will help you more than anyone. So, taking reviews before opening a corporate bank account is an important factor.

Account opening fees

Opening a new bank account in Singapore can charge you hefty fees. Most banks have specific account opening fees at multiple criteria. However, as your business is at the initial stage, paying a hefty fee to a bank can be difficult.

So, check multiple banks’ fee structures before deciding on a specific bank. These banks also charge for telegraphic transfer, foreign currency remittance, inter-bank fund transfer, and transactions among international banks. So, proper research is important before choosing a bank account in Singapore.

Initial deposit and minimum balance

After fee structure, the next important factor is to check a corporate bank’s initial deposit and minimum balance requirement. Initial deposit is the amount a bank requires to open a corporate bank account. Different banks have different minimum account balance requirements. Usually, in Singapore, it ranges from SGD500 to USD100,000.

For opening a DBS account, which comes from the major banks and is a reliable bank account in Singapore, you need to have a minimum balance of SGD1,000 to SGD30,000. Although this amount can be a little expensive for some company owners, the DBS business account is considered the most authentic bank account in Singapore.

Moreover, the bank can charge you a heavy fine if your account balance falls from the minimum balance. So, in the end, it doesn’t depend on how low cost a bank is, but it should be beneficial for your business bank account and helps you boost your business in Singapore.

Services and facilities

The services and facilities provided to Singapore companies are different from overseas branches. For example, the bank where you want to open a bank account should offer some high-end services. However, most banks don’t have an internet banking system which can be a source of discomfort in the future.

It is mandatory to ask the bank about its services and facilities before opening a corporate bank account. Services should include integrated corporate bank accounts, foreign currency accounts, liquidity management services, foreign exchange, interest rate risk management products, and wealth management services, like insurance, superannuation, and investment.

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Kinds of business bank account

Choosing the right kind of business bank account in Singapore is extremely important. Mainly there are three types of bank accounts you can open to fulfill your business needs.

Singapore dollar account

A Singapore dollar account will only allow you to pay in SGD. Therefore, it will be more suitable for a Singapore company than an overseas company.

Foreign currency account

A foreign currency account is highly suitable for companies who are looking for international banks. Such bank accounts will help you transact with foreign banks in different currencies, depending on the bank currency they support.

Multi-currency account

Opening a multi-currency account is comparatively more suitable than both options; a Singapore dollar account and a foreign currency account. This is because it allows you to send payments in Singapore dollars and other foreign currencies in a single account. Such multi-currency accounts are mostly available in international banks with some bank international transfer fees.

Internet banking facilities

Internet banking is essential for opening a digital business account. This is because internet banking will allow the ultimate beneficial owners to do transactions more quickly and easily. Therefore, it is an important factor for bank account opening in Singapore.

Moreover, internet banking should be foolproof and have all the security protections. For example, the ID and password should be fully authentic and only accessed by the customer. Such security protections of any bank can be reviewed through their existing customers.

Necessities for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore

Different banks have different requirements for corporate bank opening. However, most banks in Singapore have almost the same account opening procedure. Mostly an account opening application needs to be submitted by the company secretary.

proper documentation

If you are working with a corporate services provider, CSP, you must provide the proper documents and registration certificates. Also, a corporate services provider ensures that you don’t have to provide any Unique Entity Number, an identification number to interconnect with the government agencies.

However, most banks in Singapore require several additional documents for opening a corporate bank. These documents will be attached with the opening account application. However, a list of required documents along with the account fee is as follows:

Filled corporate account opening forms with the signs of authorized account signatories according to the board resolution.

A genuine certified copy of the directors’ resolution sanctioning and account signatories according to the bank’s own format. This document also requires your signs.

A certificate of incorporation is truly certified by the company secretary or one of the company directors.

A true copy of the company’s business profile is issued by the company registrar and certified by the company secretary.

A copy of the company’s memorandum and articles of association. The company’s memorandum should be certified by the company secretary or one of the company shareholders.

Identification proof

Identification proof is again an important requirement for opening a corporate bank. Major banks require a passport or a true copy of your passport as proof of your identification. This identification proof document is compulsory for people from sanctioned countries.

Residential address proof

Major banks in Singapore require proof of the residential address of company shareholders, directors, and ultimate beneficial owners. The documents should display the address of the place they are living for some security reasons. However, these documents can be a national ID card, the latest invoices from utility or telecom firms, or the latest tax return fillings.

Ultimate beneficial owners’ background

Some corporate banks also require the background information of the beneficial owners. The information can be given by providing proof of employment or any employment letter, an official company website, a biography write-up, or an educational certificate from a verified and known institution. This information will help the bank to know more about the owners.

Companies detail information

Complete details of companies’ information are also required for opening a corporate bank in Singapore. This information includes the purpose of the entity, clients and suppliers, anticipated banking transactional activity, initial business plan, and illustrating sources of funds.

However, it is preferable to provide this information by the company representatives directly through video call or by physically present. However, if the company representatives are physically present at the time of discussion, then it is more impactful.

Steps for opening corporate bank accounts in Singapore

You need to follow a few steps to open bank accounts in Singapore.

After looking at the important factors, decide the bank in which you want to open a bank account. Then, ensure that the facilities and services of the bank meet your needs and requirements.

Then go to the bank physically and meet them. Ask all the questions that you have in your mind regarding the bank account. Once you are satisfied with the answers of the bank owner, fill in the corporate account opening forms. It is better if the director goes in person as he has to sign the form.

Now submit the certified copies of all the required documents and initial deposit.

Then the bank will check your documents and the client’s risk profile before opening a corporate bank account.

Once the bank finishes reviewing your documents, they will accept your bank opening application and will allow you to open an account in their bank.

How much time is required to open a corporate bank account in Singapore?

In Singapore, banks usually don’t take a lot of time to open an account. However, foreign banks can take longer than other standard banks. However, once you have submitted all the documents with the application, it will take 3-4 weeks to open an account.

If you are urgent and want a quick way to open an account, you can choose a DBS digital business account. A DBS business account will only require 5 minutes to sign up. However, the approval of account opening will take only 3-24 hours for foreign owners.

Popular banks in Singapore

Many popular banks in Singapore depend on the fees, initial capital, and time taken. However, a DBS digital business account is considered one of the top banks due to its digital banking facilities. Also, the DBS business account doesn’t require any minimum balance and has an average monthly balance of $10,000.

A standard chartered bank account is also considered preferable in Singapore, especially for foreign directors. This bank has an average monthly balance of $30,000. Moreover, a fixed deposit account and a current account are also available in standard chartered banks.

Another popular and preferable bank in Singapore is Citibank. Like standard chartered, it also has a current account and a fixed deposit account with all major currencies. It also supports credit cards such as corporate commercial cards. OCBC and Maybank are also prominent banks in Singapore.

Conclusion

In Singapore, multiple banks have worked great for the past few years. However, a corporate bank is considered more suitable for foreign company owners. However, the opening process takes a bit longer than other banks, which is still worth the hard work. However, if you open a corporate account, the transaction method will become easier.

But before choosing a corporate bank, searching is very important. The bank should have a good reputation and high-end services and facilities. The opening fees and minimum balance should also be low to continue the business easily.

Also, there are some requirements of each bank in Singapore that you need to fulfill. For example, one of the company directors must be physically present to sign the forms. Also, some banks in Singapore ask for residential and identification proof. However, the bank’s fees don’t matter until you make a successful account opening decision.

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