If you’re looking for a healthy environment which is especially good for nourishing a start-up business, then Singapore is your one-stop destination. In Singapore, you can turn your ideas into businesses with ease, and achieve substantial profits with the government providing assistance along the way. It also takes comparatively less time to register a company in Singapore than many other countries in the world. Singapore also offers an extremely business-friendly environment to foreign investors. In fact, it has recently been adjudged the best-value city for foreign businesses.
Singapore has a set of initial and ongoing regulatory compliance requirements for launching a company. As company registrations rules of Singapore, enterprises have to have register with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and abide by the Companies Act. Note that most Singapore companies are registered as private limited liability companies (commonly known as private limited companies). A private limited company is limited by shares and is a separate legal entity from its shareholders. It is recognized as a taxable entity in its own right. As a result, shareholders of a Singapore private limited company are not liable for its debts and losses beyond their amount of share capital.
Certain requirements are to be fulfilled if you are planning to register a Company in Singapore. This guide provides a detailed overview of company registration requirements, procedure, and timeline for registering a company in Singapore.
Let’s start the registration procedure:
Requirements of new company registration
- Company name: The name of the company must be decided for registration. It is better to think more than one name to remain in safe side.
- Nature of business: What kinds of business it is going to be?
- Location of the company: You must provide a local Singapore address as the registered address of the company.
- Directors: There can be more than one director but it is mandatory to appoint at least one resident director for the company. Directors must be at least 18 years of age and must not be bankrupt or convicted for any misconduct in the past. There is no requirement for the directors to also be shareholders.
- Company Secretary: Company Secretary shall be appointed by 1st 6 months of registration and he/ she (Company Secretary) shall be residing of Singapore only.
- Share Capital Amount: It is required to have at least S$ 1 to get the registration. However, it is not a problem to have more than that and also the companies can increase their share amount later on if required.
- Checklist for the Foreigners: In Singapore, foreigners cannot register their company at their own. They have to engage a professional firm to have done the work. They do not need a visa up to the time they have a local director. They can just visit Singapore sometimes with their visitor visa. But once the foreigners want to settle in Singapore and handled the responsibilities at their own, they will be needing a work permit known as employment pass. The good thing of collecting a work permit is it will allow the foreigners to act as the local resident director of the company.
- Required Documents:
- For Singapore residents: Copy of Singapore identity card
- For each non-resident individual shareholder and director:
Copy of passport; and Copy of residential address proof such as a recent utility bill, residential phone bill, tax bill, or cable TV bill, bank reference letter etc.
- For each corporate shareholder:
Foreign Corporate Company Certificate and
Special Director Resolution to resolve becoming newly incorporated company subsidiary’s shareholder.
Beside these there are some basic documents to submit such as-
- Company Name
- Brief Description of Business Activities
- Shareholders Particulars
- Directors Particulars
- Registered Address
- Company Secretary Particulars
Please note that all documents must be in English or officially translated in English.
Requirements to satisfy during registration phase:
Company registration in Singapore is easy and quick as it is fully computerized by the ACRA. You have to fill up an application for that. There are two steps for it. Firstly you have to ensure the approval of your proposed name for the company and finally complete the procedures by paying a certain amount of fees for the registration. The suggested name will not be rejected unless it possess some contradictory letters or have following characteristics:
- Is already reserved
- Has striking similarity with any existing company
- Breaches any trademark
- Possess any offensive word
The approved name can be reserved for 60 days. After 60 days, if you still want to reserve the name, you will need to form up an extension form.
Now as the name has been approved it can be assumed that the registration procedure will be completed within few hours. Need not to mention, it will only be possible if all the due documents are submitted, signed properly by the proposed directors and shareholders and the fees is duly paid.
Post registration responsibilities:
There can be many liabilities, among them following are the noteworthy-
- The ACRA will send an official email notification confirming the incorporation of the company. The email notification includes the company registration number and is treated as the official certificate of incorporation in Singapore. The company should print the registration number on all letterheads, invoices, bills or other documents used for the purposes of the business.
- Once registration is confirmed, it is a good idea to open a corporate bank account as soon as possible.
- Registration should be renewed on time.
- The manager must make an Annual Declaration to ACRA stating whether the business is able or unable to pay its debts (applicable for limited liability partnerships). The first Annual Declaration must be made within 15 months of the date of registration.
Beside these you might need to fulfill some other steps such as applying for license, Goods and Service Tax(GST) registration etc. So it is always a good idea to remain up to date with the rules and regulations of ACRA.
Have a pleasant experience conducting business in Singapore!