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Guide When Starting a Company in Singapore

Author: John Smith
by John Smith
Posted: Mar 26, 2020

Ranked as the 2nd best nation in the world to do business, Singapore is a land of lucrative opportunities for investment. Let’s guide you, step by step, on how to incorporate your own business in Singapore.Who Can Incorporate a Company in Singapore?Provided you meet the required criteria, anyone can register a company in Singapore with relative ease. If you are a foreign investor however, you will need to use a registered Singapore company incorporation service to comply with the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

Don’t worry, this is a good thing! A good company incorporation service advisor will help make the process as quick and easy as possible, as it’s their job to advocate for you in this undertaking. Incorporating a Company in Singapore as a Foreign IndividualAs a foreign entrepreneur, you can set up your company yourself, but you must appoint a local Singapore resident as a director to comply with ACRA. However, after you’ve actually incorporated your business in Singapore, you can own 100% of the company shares, while being a foreign director.

You’ll need to provide your chosen Singapore company incorporation service provider the following:

  • Copy of your passport
  • Residential proof of overseas address
  • Business profile
  • Incorporating in Singapore as an Existing Foreign CorporationOur foreign company to have a presence in Singapore, you can incorporate as a subsidiary, representative office, or bank office.

    As well as the documents needed to incorporate a new company as above, you’ll need to provide your Singapore company incorporation service the following:

  • A Copy of Certificate of Incorporation of the Parent company
  • Extract from Registrar of Company or Register of Members and Directors
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association/Constitution/By-Laws
  • What are the Requirements for Incorporating a Company in Singapore?So now we know who can incorporate a company in Singapore, let's have a look at what you need to have to meet the requirements for Singapore incorporation.
  • At Least one Shareholders (Can be individual or corporation)
  • At least 1 Resident/Local Director
  • At least 1 Company Secretary
  • Initial paid-up share capital of at least S$1
  • A physical Singapore registered office address
  • As you can see, it's all pretty simple, and it’s that kind of accessibility that makes Singapore so attractive for starting a successful company.What are the steps for Registering a Singapore Company?We've covered who can incorporate in Singapore, and what requirements you need to meet to do so. Let’s get into exactly how to set up your company in Singapore with a simple step by step guide.

    There are only 3 simple steps required to register your business in Singapore:

  • Company Name Approval
  • Registration Documents
  • Company Registration with ACRA
  • Let’s go into those 3 steps in a bit more detail.Step 1. Company Name ApprovalYour first step is registering your company name with the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. Remember, all of these processes must be handled by a local Singapore company incorporation service provider.

    There are just a few rules to follow:

  • Your company name cannot be obscene.
  • Your company name cannot infringe on existing trademarks.
  • Your company name cannot be the same as any existing Singapore business.
  • Your company name cannot be reserved by another company.
  • Assuming you can follow that simple criterion, ACRA can approve your company name in less than an hour. If you have a business that deals in fields that require a license, for example, law, medicine, or finance, it make take a few weeks to approve the name. Once your company name has been approved, ACRA will hold it for you for 3 months days. If you let it lapse, however, it can be released for someone else to use.Step 2. Registration DocumentOnce your company name has been approved, you’ll need to prepare registration documents to enable the CSP to incorporate your company online.Company Registration Documents Required by ACRA:
  • Consent to Act form from each director.
  • Consent to Act form by the company secretary.
  • A Company Constitution (formerly known as Articles of Association). You can create your own constitution, or use the official template.
  • Identification and proof of residential address for all officers and shareholders of the corporation.
  • In the interests of anti-money laundering regulations, your company incorporation service provider will also need to do some due diligence on your company, which is called "Know Your Customer" (KYC).

    Your chosen Singapore company incorporation service will walk you through each of the registration documents, so it should be a very seamless process. These registration documents should be completed and approved within 1 day.

    Read more about starting a business in Singapore at

    About the Author

    A business writer since 1998. He holds a master's degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta.

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    Author: John Smith

    John Smith

    Member since: Aug 02, 2019
    Published articles: 9

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