Registering a company in Singapore is not a complicated process, and it is fast. Especially if you have all the required documents handy. Singapore is considered one of the best places in the world to do business.
With a strong trade and investment policy, Singapore is the most competitive Asian country and the most comfortable place to do business.
This blog post will list and explain all the requirements to legally register a company in Singapore.
What are the requirements to register a company in Singapore?
For your company to be registered, you must have a minimum of one person and a maximum of 50 shareholders – who can be local or foreign. The shareholders can be either individuals or corporate entities.
2. Share capital
The minimum issued capital must be at least $1. However, there is no minimum paid up capital required. The company can increase its share capital at any point in time by the injection of more capital.
The directors of a Singapore-registered company can be both a resident of Singapore and someone who’s resident in another country. However, corporate directors are not allowed.
Also, the company must have at least one Singapore-resident director. He/she could be someone who lives here permanently or someone with an employment pass.
3. The secretary
Within six months of incorporation, a company must appoint a qualified company secretary. Also, the secretary must be a natural person and a Singapore resident.
4. Registered address
The company’s address must be in Singapore, where all its statutory documents are expected to be. The company’s address cannot be a P. O. Box.
5. Company address
The company name must be approved before the other registration process can begin.
Steps for Registering a company in Singapore
Registration is done online, and it includes three stages.
- Name approval
- Document preparation
- Company preparation
Also, there are two compulsory government fees.
- S$15 Name approval fee
- S$300 Company Registration fee
Getting the Company Name Approved
Before commencing any registration process, every Singapore company must have its name approved by ACRA. It’s a simple online process.
- Company name must not be identical to an existing business in Singapore
- Company name must not infringe on any trademarks
- Company name must not be obscene or vulgar
- Ensure that another company has not reserved the name
Name approval can be done in less than an hour if a company name follows ACRA’s rules.
If the name contains certain regulated business words such as “finance,” “legal,” “law,” “broker,” or “school,” it may be referred to another government authority for further approval. It can delay the name approval process by a few weeks.
When the name is approved, a company can reserve the name for up to 4 months (120 days). If the company does not incorporate the business name within a period of 120 days, the name will be released and another person can use the name for their own business.
Getting the Company Registration documents ready
The following documents (required by ACRA) must be made available:
- Company Constitution (previously known as Articles of Association).
- Signed Consent to act as a Director for each director
- Signed Consent to act as Company Secretary. It must be signed by company secretary
- Identification and residential address details for each shareholder and officer of the company
At this stage, your Corporate Service Provider (CSP) will be required to conduct a Know Your Customer (KYC) due-diligence and will typically require at least the following supporting information. This is in compliance with the international AML regulations.
- Verification of identification and address proof documents
- The professional background of stakeholders and officers of the proposed company
- The exact list of required documents may vary depending on the CSP you choose to work with, based on their internal procedures.
It is important to note that all documents must be in English or officially translated into English.
Register with Singapore company registrar, ACRA
When the incorporation documents are ready, the company can proceed to register with ACRA, officially. The registration process is done online and typically takes less than one hour.
However, there are cases where if the company registration has to be referred to another government agency for further review, the process may take a couple of weeks.
After successful registration, ACRA will issue the following documents to the company:
Notice of incorporation: An official email stating that the company has been registered successfully; and a Unique Entity Number (UEN). Certificate of incorporation can be purchased from ACRA, which cost $50.
Company business profile, BizProfile: It’s a PDF file containing the following information.
- Company identification details such as company name, registration number (known as Unique Entity Number or UEN), and incorporation date.
- The company’s principal activities
- Share capital
- Directors’ details
- Secretary details
- Shareholders details
- Company address
- Compliance status
After you have successfully registered and incorporated the company, you can do business under its name. Just like the local entrepreneurs, foreigners looking to register a company in Singapore are also advised to use the service of a corporate service provider because you may not be thoroughly familiar with Singapore company laws and compliance requirements.