Business setting in singapore

Singapore’s robust financial mechanisms set in motion by the many workable government initiatives and widespread trade networks have attracted multiple stakeholders and corporations. The only problem is that many multinational corporations and individual entrepreneurs taking advantage of Singapore’s business-friendly environment don’t understand the company incorporation process.

Tips for Business Incorporation in Singapore

The World Bank has already confirmed Singapore as the world’s best economy, known for supporting budding businesses and multi-corporations alike. Doing business in Singapore provides less tax burden, a friendly working environment, and fewer complicated procedures for obtaining needed rudiments

What’s Needed to Incorporate a Company in Singapore? 

Setting up a company in Singapore requires you to know and actualize the core business rudiments, which are:

  • Constitutional certifications and documents  
  • Office registration 
  • Company name 
  • Shareholders and directors  
  • The core business activities {you’re allowed to choose up to two activities}
  • Directors and secretary 
  • ACRA Registration Pre-Incorporation Criteria 
  • Share capital 
  • Singpass 

ACRA Registration Pre-Incorporation Requirements 

In applying for Company Registrar of Singapore {ACRA}, entrepreneurs and multi-corporations must meet all these requirements.

  • Have a unique company name 
  • Have names of at least one shareholder 
  • Names of at least one resident or local director 
  • Names of one company secretary 
  • Have a minimum paid-up capital of at least S$1 
  • Have a locally registered company office address 

Preferred Business Names Selection Criteria

The name you give to your potential business must meet these essential criteria.

  • The name should be free of vulgar and unfitting words 
  • The names should include easily identifiable national symbols.

Businesses such as medical care centers may need referrals or even approvals from responsible government bodies or corporate societies.

The Principal Business Activities 

It would be needed if you also decide on what activities your business will carry out. The activities you settle for must comply with the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification guidelines. Consult SSIC before selecting a company name to get more suitable and realistic solutions. Once you’ve settled for regulated business activities, your company name may be submitted to the responsible governing bodies for consideration.

The Shareholders and Directors 

In submitting your company shareholders and directors’ details, it’s mandatory one of the directors being locally based in Singapore. The company’s registered office should be based in Singapore, as well. The chosen candidate for the local director must meet the below criteria as required in Singapore’s Companies Act:

  • Above 18 female or man of a sound mind 
  • Should not have been pronounced bankrupt either by foreign or Singapore court 
  • Not unfit director of a company on the verge of exiting the business due to bankruptcy 
  • Not a director of a company with national security threat issues 
  • The person should not have been convicted of either dishonesty or fraud
  • He or she should not have been convicted of crimes involving management or formation of corporations 
  • He or she has not been confirmed guilty of more than three offenses under the Companies Act requirements in the last five years
  • Is not at risk of being disqualified as per the Limited Liability Partnerships Act under Section 34, 35, and 36.

Directors and shareholders have previously been required to share their residential address. In efforts to ensure privacy, ACRA has offered an alternative address solution, but it must meet the below criteria:

  • It should never be a P.O. Box. 
  • It should be in the jurisdiction of the director’s residential address. 

Business owners may still be required to provide ACRA with their residential address for confirmation reasons.

ACRA advocates for candidness, and so you’re subject to being barred from using an alternative address for three years if they discover you shared a fake address, so only provide valid and genuine addresses. Always ensure the address you supply meets the below criteria.

  • It should be of a registered office 
  • It shouldn’t be a P.O Box address type 
  • It should be a Singapore-based physical office address 
  • The business attached to the address should be in operation for at least five hours on every business day 

Companies looking to establish a registered Singapore office can do the following:

  1. Use a virtual office 
  2. Get rental office space
  3. Secure home office licensing

Whichever company size or type, option {1} will save you money and time. However, option {2} is more suitable, considering it provides superior administration benefits.

The Company Secretary 

The Companies’ Act requires every company to hire a secretary within six months after being incorporated. A company secretary’s indispensable roles include updating shareholders and directors about statutory obligations, holding annual general meetings, and filing audited accounts.

The Shared Capital 

Singapore is considered the most conducive country for conducting businesses because of its low paid-up and issued share capital. Set at only S$1.00, Singapore’s low minimal shared capital requirement, which isn’t attached to stringent demands, makes things easier for startups.

Constitution Documents 

The constitution documents are simply your company’s memorandum and articles of association, which tell everything about your company’s operations. Entrepreneurs must be extra keen when signing or approving their business M & AA as mistakes could later complicate company operations.

Your company must as well provide an employee’s share option scheme or shareholder’s agreement. Company owners must seek professional opinion and legal advice before signing these legal documents.

Singpass 

Singpass is an electronic identity provided to Singapore citizens and foreigners with qualifying FINs. Businesses can use the Bizfile electronic portal to submit their company’s incorporation application to ACCRA.

Quick Singapore Company Registration FAQs 

What do I need to register a company in Singapore as a Foreigner?

If you’re a foreigner intending to set up a company in Singapore, you must meet the requirements set in place, which are:

  • Have at least one shareholder. Foreign shareholding with a corporate entity or individuals is allowed.
  • Must have at least S$1.00 paid-up share capital. 
  • Must have one Singapore-based director. They can be Singapore or foreign residents, who are citizens, on Employment Pass Holder or Singapore permanent resident, but should not be corporate directors.
  • Must have a Singapore-based secretary 
  • Must have a valid registered local address

Final Words 

Considering the many administrative procedures required, businesses should consider working with certified corporate service providers when incorporating their Singapore companies. Experienced and licensed corporate service providers know the ins-and-outs of company incorporation, and so they can help businesses avoid making costly mistakes that could complicate the entire process. They also have links with different government bodies, and so they can help companies liaise with government bodies when necessary.

By sohaw