Singapore is one of the best places in the world to start a new business. Before you begin the process of registering your company, you must decide on the type of company that you want to incorporate. It can be a Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), or a Private Limited Company (Pte. Ltd). Each of these has its own benefits and advantages.
Depending on the type and structure of your company, you may be eligible for receiving Singapore tax incentives and other benefits. It might even affect your business valuation in the future.
Pre-registration requirements for registering a company in Singapore
There are a few things that you have to keep in mind before you register a company in Singapore. These are listed below:
- You must appoint at least one director for your company who is a Singapore-resident.
- The company secretary must be appointed within 6 months from the date of the incorporation of the company
- The company must have a local registered address in Singapore
- Event though there is no minimum for paid up capital, the issued capital needs to be atleast $1.
- A private limited company in Singapore must have at least 1 shareholder and a maximum of 50 shareholders. The shareholders can be legal entities like a company, foreigners, or local individuals.
Singapore company registration process
To register a company in Singapore, you can hire the services of a registered filing agent. Normally, the Singapore company registration process can be completed in under 3 days.
Step 1 – Reserving the Company Name
The process of company registration in Singapore is supervised by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) as it acts as the Company Registrar of Singapore. Thus, the name of the company that you want to create should be first approved by ACRA before it can come into existence.
The Company Name should:
- Be unique and meaningful
- Not be obscene or vulgar
- Be free of copyright issues and not infringe on any trademark
- Not be already reserved
To speed up the process of company name approval, make sure it doesn’t include keywords such as ‘Finance’, ‘Bank’, ‘Media’, ‘Legal’, ‘Law’, etc. If the company name contains such keywords, the approval process can be handed over to another government authority which can slow down the process of approval.
Once the company name is approved, you would be allowed to reserve your company name for 120 days. The company should be incorporated within this period.
Step 2 – Getting the Company Registration Documents ready
After you reserve the name of your company, you have to prepare the necessary company registration documents that are required by the Singapore Company Registrar (ACRA).
Documents required for Singapore company registration:
- The company name that was approved by the ACRA
- Company address
- Description of business activities
- Particulars of the directors, shareholders, and company secretary
- Company Constitution or Memorandum and Articles of Associations
- Identification details and residential address details of each officer and shareholder of the company
Step 3 – Completing the Registration of the Company
Once you have prepared all the necessary legal documents, you can complete the Singapore company registration process by submitting them on the BizFile+ website. The approval process is usually done within an hour but in some cases, further vetting by another government agency may be required which can delay the process by a few weeks.
After you complete the Singapore company registration, you have to do the following things:
- Purchase the hard copy of Certificate of Incorporation as the ACRA only issue them upon request.
- Obtain the Company Business Profile (BizProfile) issued by ACRA
- Open a corporate bank account for the company in Singapore
- Apply for necessary business licenses and permits
- Register for Goods and Service Tax (GST) IF it’s applicable.
- Make sure the company maintain compliance
In a nutshell
Creating a company can be beneficial for many reasons. Compared to partnerships and sole-proprietors, company owners have limited liability as companies exist as separate legal entities. However, companies need to meet many more compliance requirements like holding annual general meetings, filing annual returns, etc. Fortunately, the start-up ecosystem in Singapore is very friendly and you can get funding assistance by tapping into many government schemes. Some of these include , Spring Seeds, ACE Startup Grant, ComCare Enterprise Fund, and more.