A Comprehensive Guide on Singapore Company Registration for Foreign Investors
Are you planning to relocate and set up a company in Singapore? This is not surprising because
every investor wishing to expand their business abroad can gain easy access to the international market by incorporating a company in Singapore. Having been crowned as the 1st rank holder in ‘ease of doing business’ report of the World Bank for 10 straight years, Singapore has become the most sought after destination for global investors. Both locals and foreign alike preferred to incorporate their Singapore company in the form of private limited liability companies or private limited companies. In this blog, let us discuss the pre-registration and post-registration requirements of Singapore Company Incorporation.
Pre-Registration Requirements-What You Should Know Beforehand
Select a company name that is unique, meaningful, decent and easy to spell. It must not be identical with any existed company and infringed any copyright law. Choose the company name wisely as it will reflect the image of your company in the future.
Appointment of shareholders and directors prior to the Singapore company registration process would lessen the chaos that you might face during incorporation.
It is mandatory to have a registered company address which need to be furnished at the time of Singapore company incorporation. The registered address a must be a physical address of a commercial space or a residence. But, P.O. Box address is not accepted. You are advised to arrange a registered address beforehand in order to avoid hassles.
Paid up value required for starting a company in Singapore is S$1.
Appointing a company secretary within 6 months of business incorporation is a must.
As per the Singapore jurisdiction, a business entrepreneur must submit a set of required documents including copy of his/her passport, residential address proof of native country, bank reference letter, personal and business profile, particulars of directors and shareholders, copy of Singapore identity card, MAA (Memorandum and Articles of Association)
Process of the Singapore Company Incorporation:
Once your company name got approved by ACRA, it takes hardly a day or two to set up a company in Singapore. However, you would have to meet all the requirements as per the regulations laid down by ACRA under the Company Act, Cap 50. The days required to register Singapore company may extend to 14 days to 2 months if the application needs to be referred to other authorities for further approval or review.
The official of ACRA will send an email notification indicating confirmation of your Singapore company registration. This email is treated as the official certificate of registration of your company and it includes the company registration number.
Post-Registration Requirements- That You Must Follow
Opening a Corporate Bank Account:
The very next step after successful registration of your company in Singapore is to open a corporate bank account in any of the major banks in the Singapore such as DBS, HSBC, Citibank, Standard Chartered, etc. It is mandatory for the company officials to present physically at the time of opening of bank account in the majority of the Singapore banks.
Apply for Business License
A certain category of business in Singapore requires to have a business license before commencing their operation. This category includes restaurants, educational institutes, travel agencies, financial services, import/export of goods, etc. If you are planning to incorporate your company under this category, you are advised to apply for the business license or permit once your company got registered with ACRA.
If your estimated annual revenue is beyond SGD 1 million, you have to register for GST (Goods and Service Tax) under the Singapore Jurisdiction. The current GST rate is 7%.
Annual Tax filing requirements
Upon Singapore Company Registration, you are required to file tax annually in accordance with the regulation of IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore). The companies must file their tax return with IRAS by 30 November (in hard copies) and 15 December (online submission) of every year.
Even though, the process of company incorporation in Singapore is relatively easy and simple than most of other jurisdictions, it is highly recommended to take an assistance of a professional corporate firm as the foreign entrepreneurs likely to have very little knowledge about the Singapore company law and procedures.