Company Registration in Singapore

Singapore is very welcoming to those wishing to establish a corporation there. Numerous business-related policies cater directly to foreign investors, and work visas are available for new company owners. Complete foreign ownership is allowed and company incorporation can be complete in just one day. For the first three years, Singapore does not charge taxes on the first $100,000 of taxable income a new company earns. For income above $300,000, the tax rate is a flat rate of 17%. Additionally, there are no restrictions on returning income to an individual’s home country.

In order to take advantage of this attractive business climate, there are a few simple steps involved in company formation. Numerous registering agents offer their services to those wanting assistance with company incorporation in Singapore. With slightly more effort, incorporation can be achieved without a third party. Registering a company from outside of Singapore, or offshore company formation, takes slightly longer due to the time it takes for signed documents to travel between countries. In either case, becoming familiar with the following steps will put prospective investors on the road to a successful future in Southeast Asia.

The first step towards registration is having the company’s name approved. The name must be checked against existing names to be sure it is original. It may not infringe on any trademarks or patents. In addition, names may not be obscene or specifically prohibited.

Anyone interested in company incorporation in Singapore will need to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). In order to register, non-residents will need to appoint two local agents who are residents. The government also requires the corporation to have a registered office located within Singapore. In addition, the ACRA requires the following documentation: a Memorandum and Articles of Association, information regarding company staffing, a Certificate of Identity, office hours, a Consent to Act as Director, a Statement of Non-disqualification to Act as Director and a Consent to Act as Secretary.

Certain types of companies require special licenses be obtained prior to registration. Investors should be familiar with any special documentation their particular type of business will require. Some examples of companies that will require licenses are those engaging in banking, insurance, stock trading, cigars and fireworks.

The Singapore Companies Act mandates that each company have a minimum of one director or nominee director. At least one company director must be over 18 years old and a Singapore citizen. The director may also be a permanent resident, employment pass holder, approval-in-principle employment pass holder or a dependent pass holder. An individual may not have any record of bankruptcy or dishonesty. There must be at least one shareholder and one director for company registration, though they may be the same person. It is wise to note that financial institutions are likely to require two separate signatures for their documentation. Finally, a corporation must have a company secretary with a principle residence in Singapore.

Singapore is wonderful place to form a company. The nation offers overseas business a very comfortable environment in which to operate. Corporations can register in as little as one day. After submitting all of the documents required by Singapore’s streamlined registration process, companies can begin capitalizing on the country’s favorable policies and tax laws. Company registration in Singapore is something every savvy investor should consider.


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