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How to Register a Company in Singapore: A Complete Guide

Introduction

Since its establishment, Singapore has been a central point of trade and commerce in Asia, especially for Indians. The main thing is its business-friendly environment, which makes Singapore a great place to work. If you want to register a company in Singapore, then it is very important to know about the entire process. In this article, we will give you detailed information about what aspects you should pay special attention to while registering a company in Singapore, the complete process of registering a company, the cost of registering a company, and the importance of registering a company in Singapore. Establishing good financial practices is essential if you want the long-term success of your business. We will cover aspects related to this in this article.

Understanding Business Structures in Singapore

Types of Business Entities:

There are five types of companies that you can own in Singapore, such as:

  • Sole Proprietorship: This is usually a small business owned by one person, who is primarily responsible and liable for the profits and debts of the business. It is open to Singapore citizens, permanent residents, Entrepass holders, or foreign nationals with a local resident authorized representative. An owner who is non-resident but a Singapore citizen is required to have an authorized representative in Singapore.
  • Partnership: It is a business that is fundamentally owned by two or more people, and the liability of the partners is unlimited. An owner who is a Singapore citizen but not a resident must have an authorized representative in Singapore.
  • Limited Partnership: A limited partnership is a business owned fundamentally by two or more partners—at least one general partner and one limited partner. Responsibility basically depends on the status of the partnership. If the partner resides overseas, the partner must appoint a local manager who must be a resident of Singapore.
  • Limited Liability Partnership: This is a business where there are at least two partners, and there is no limit on the number of partners. Registration must be completed by two partners, and a local manager is required to be appointed if the partners reside overseas.
  • Company: A company can be private or public, which serves to limit how many people can own it. At least one director must be a resident of Singapore, and if a non-Singapore citizen wishes to become a local director, they can apply for Entrepass through the Ministry of Manpower.

Documents required to register a company in Singapore

If you want to register a company in Singapore, then you need to prepare and submit the following documents:

  • Directors' and Shareholders' Identification Documents: To register a company, you must submit the identification documents of all directors and shareholders. For Indian citizens, this includes a copy of their passport, proof of address, and any other identity document issued by the Government of India. Documents must be attested by a notary public, attorney, solicitor, or certified public accountant.
  • Company Name Approval: Business owners must choose a unique company name that is not already in use. Entrepreneurs must also ensure that the company name is not objectionable, prohibited, or similar to an existing business name.
  • Company Registration Form: When any new company is registered in Singapore, the work of issuing the certificate of incorporation is done by the Singapore Company Registrar. The certificate basically serves to show that all the legal conditions for company formation have been met.
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association: A Memorandum and Articles of Association is a legal document that outlines the objectives, rules, and regulations of the company. Entrepreneurs must essentially ensure that the M&AA is in compliance with Singapore's company law and that all shareholders sign off on it.
  • Appointment of Company Secretary: Singapore law requires every company to mandatorily appoint a company secretary within 6 months of incorporation. Any secretary you appoint must be a resident of Singapore.
  • Business Licenses and Permits: If you want to run a business in Singapore, there are certain businesses that require specific licenses and permits. Entrepreneurs must essentially ensure that they obtain this before starting to operate the company.
  • Bank Account Details: Entrepreneurs must provide company bank account details as part of the registration process. The bank account should be opened at a local Singapore bank and in the name of the company.

Costs for Setting Up the Company in Singapore

The starting costs for setting up a business in Singapore depend on the type of structure:

Business Types Application Fee Registration Fee Total Total in INR*
Sole-Proprietorship $15 SGD $100 SGD $115 SGD ₹ 7,014
Partnership $15 SGD $100 SGD $115 SGD ₹ 7,014
Limited Liability Partnership $15 SGD $100 SGD $115 SGD ₹ 7,014
Company $15 SGD $300 SGD $315 SGD ₹ 19,210

Fee for Annual Filing

Here are the expected annual fees for businesses in Singapore:

Business Type Type of Fee Amount in SGD Amount in INR*
Sole-Proprietorship Annual renewal fee $30 ₹ 1,830
Partnership Annual renewal fee $30 ₹ 1,830
Limited Liability Partnership Annual renewal fee $30 ₹ 1,830
Company Annual filing $60 ₹ 3,659
Foreign companies Annual filing $200 ₹ 12,201

Steps to Register a Company in Singapore

Step 1: Reserve Your Business Name

The first step to setting up a company in Singapore is to decide on a company name. Whatever name you choose, it must be meaningful, unique, and free from offensive language. After that, you have to reserve the company name with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). ACRA usually approves the name reservation within 1 hour if the company name you choose does not contain any words that require review by other authorities.

Step 2: Prepare the necessary documents

The next step in company incorporation in Singapore is to prepare the necessary documents, such as articles and memoranda of association, business address information, stockholder information, etc.

Step 3: Proceed with business registration

Once the company name is approved and the required documents are completely prepared, you have to register the company with ACRA. This process is done online through the BizFile+ portal. You must provide complete details regarding the company's business activities, shareholders, directors, and company secretary.

Step 4: Pay the registration fee

The next step in registering is to pay the registration fee to ACRA. The fee for company registration is S$300, and the fee for name approval is S$15.

Step 5: Acquire a Certificate of Incorporation

Once the registration process is complete and the registration fee has been paid by you, ACRA will send you an email notification confirming the incorporation of the company. You can request a physical copy of the Certificate of Incorporation in its original form for a fee.

Step 6: Register for GST

In Singapore, businesses with annual revenues of more than S$1 million are required to register for GST. It is a consumption tax levied on the supply of goods and services and the import of goods into Singapore.

Step 7: Open a Business Account

Once the company is established in Singapore, it will be mandatory for you to open a business bank account. Requirements for opening a bank account may vary from bank to bank, so it is advisable that you check with the specific bank.

Step 8: Fully understand ongoing compliance requirements

Once your company is fully registered, there are continuing compliance requirements that you must fulfill. These include filing annual returns with ACRA, preparing financial statements, and filing tax returns with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), etc.

Financial Considerations

Establishing good financial practices is essential if you want to ensure the long-term success of your business.

  • Choosing the Right Business Structure: It is important to determine whether a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited partnership is appropriate for your business goals and the risks you can assume.
  • Capital Requirements: Before starting your operations, it is very important to estimate the initial capital required, which basically includes the cost of registration, office space, and working capital.
  • Banking and Accounting: To separate business and personal finances, you must essentially open a corporate bank account. Consider engaging professional accounting services to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and maintain accurate financial records.

Benefits of Registering a Company in Singapore

  • Strategic Location: Singapore is strategically located in the center of Southeast Asia and is fundamentally the center of global trade. Singapore has excellent connectivity with the rest of the world. Singapore is an ideal location for all businesses looking to expand on an individual level.
  • Business-Friendly Environment: The reason for doing business in Singapore is that it is considered one of the most accessible places to do business globally.
  • Protection of Intellectual Property: Singapore has very strong laws protecting its intellectual property. There are very strict laws in force against piracy and trademarks in the country.
  • Skilled Workforce: Singapore has a highly skilled and educated workforce, with a strong focus on education and training. It has a large group of experienced professionals in various fields.

Conclusion

You can easily register a company in Singapore if you follow the necessary steps and requirements. Singapore offers many benefits to all businesses that want to reach a global level, such as strategic location, a business-friendly environment, etc. In this article, we have told you in detail about the types of companies you can set up in Singapore and those How much money it costs to register companies and many other aspects have also been discussed in detail.

FAQs

Q.1) What is the cost of incorporating a company in Singapore?

Ans. To register a company in Singapore, there will be two types of government fees: the name reservation fee and the company reservation fee, which are: Company name reservation fee: $15.00. Company registration (incorporation) fee: $300.00.

Q.2) Can foreigners own 100% of a Singapore company?

Ans. Yes, a foreigner can own 100% of a business in Singapore, just like a local Singaporean.

Q.3) How long does the incorporation process take?

Ans. In India, registering a Private Limited Company typically takes 10–18 working days.

Q.4) What are the tax advantages of Singapore?

Ans. The country offers several tax breaks, boasts a relatively low corporate tax rate and top personal tax bracket, and does not levy taxes on capital gains.

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