Singapore is one of the smaller counties globally and thus doesn’t have a lot of natural resources. Logically, the only path to the country’s economic success is to rely on trading networks and government initiatives. The latter has made the country extremely attractive for both budding business owners and multi-national corporations in the past decade.
As a result, Singapore is considered one of the best places for doing business in the world. It does not matter if its a sole proprietorship or a private limited company, whether you’re a foreigner or a local entrepreneur, incorporating in Singapore comes with specific requirements. Here’s detailed information about the laws and rules that you need to comply with to start a business:
Standard Requirements for Company Registration in Singapore
While there’s plenty of room for your firm to grow, Singapore has some strict guidelines that business owners must follow. Here are some of the most crucial factors to consider when registering a new company:
Your firm must have at least one shareholder – either a natural person or a corporate entity. The shareholding can be 100% foreign, but there’s a limit for a maximum of 50 shareholders.
Similar to other countries, there’s a minimum paid-up capital requirement. In Singapore, it’s 1 Singapore dollar. Of course, you can always increase the share capital by injecting additional funds.
Fortunately, the Singapore government allows both local and foreign resident persons to be directors in their company. However, you cannot appoint a corporate director in your firm. Any business must have at least one resident as its director. A resident is every Singapore citizen, permanent resident or Employment Pass holder.
Another essential rule requires new companies to appoint a qualified secretary. They must conduct the appointment within six months of the incorporation. As expected, the secretary must be a natural person and a resident of the country, too.
Undoubtedly, one of the crucial factors to consider is the company’s address. One of the guidelines requires new business corporations to have a local registered address in Singapore. Also, this location mustn’t be a PO box, as it will serve as the place for keeping all your statutory documents.
Last but not least, you must come up with an original name for your company. Before you launch your business venture, it has to go through approval.
How to Register a Company in Singapore
Typically, the registration is online, which makes the entire process quick and efficient. Of course, there are a few steps that you need to go through to complete it.
- Approval of your company’s name;
- Preparation of the registration documents;
- Finalise the company registration with the ACRA.
Bear in mind that there are some fees that you need to pay upon registration. For example, the initial government fee for a company name application is S$15. Also, you will have to pay S$300 government fee for the registration of your company. Here’s a thorough elaboration on all the steps for the registration:
Company Name Approval
First and foremost, every Singapore company has to apply for name approval with the ACRA. Usually, the procedure is simple, and business owners can do it online. Still, you need to make sure your company name complies with the following guidelines:
- The name must be unique and not identical with other existing businesses in the country;
- It mustn’t infringe other trademarks;
- It mustn’t contain obscene or vulgar words;
If your company name complies with all ACRA’s rules, you will get approval in less than an hour. However, you may have to wait for a few weeks if the name needs to go through reference to another government authority. Typically, the reason for such procedure is when the name contains specific business-related words like “finance”, “broker”, or “school”.
Once you get approval, you can reserve the company brand for up to 120 days. In turn, you must incorporate the name within the specified period. Otherwise, the name will become available for reservation by another person.
Registration Documents Preparation
After you finish the procedure for name approval, you need to make sure you’ve prepared your registration documents. In all cases, the ACRA asks for a Signed Consent to Act as a Director for each director. Moreover, you’ll need identical consent from the company secretary. Also, you’ll need to disclose each officer and shareholder’s identification and residential address details.
Furthermore, your Corporate Service Provider (CSP) must comply with the international AML regulations. In other words, the ACRA requires the CSP to conduct a Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure.
The due diligence will look into the verification of ID and address proof documents. What’s more, you’ll have to provide information about the professional background of the stakeholders in the company.
Registering with the ACRA
After you’ve met all the documentation requirements, it’s time for the actual registration. Thanks to the accessible online platform, you can register with the ACRA without an effort. Typically, the process takes less than an hour. Of course, there’s an exception for the cases where there’s a need for further reference to other government agencies for vetting.
To conclude, business incorporation is generally an easy and quick process. Still, it would help if you had proper preparation to ensure the process is smooth and hassle-free. If you’re new to the business, JL Accounts provides high-quality company incorporation services.
Whether you’re a foreign entrepreneur or a Singapore resident, our accounting experts will help you submit all the required documentation, and provide business and marketing solutions. In turn, you’ll save valuable time and energy to focus on building your dream business in Singapore.