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Starting a Business in Singapore | Establish & Register a Singapore Company. 100% Free Setup Roadmap

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Why You Should Start Your Business in Singapore

- Learn how to Establish and Register Your Company

Singapore is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Its people and surroundings are an interesting mix of the new and old cultures. You get the best of both worlds. Additionally, because of its special geographic position and importance in Southeast Asia, Singapore plays an important role in international trade. In fact, a recent report by World Bank ranked Singapore as the best city in the world to start a business.

For foreigners wishing to start a business form partnerships in Singapore, the process and steps are quite easy and stress free than the case in most other countries (international).



Why Choose Singapore to Start Your Business?

Have you ever considered starting a company in Singapore, here are some concrete reasons as to why Singapore is one of the premier business centers in the Asia region:

1. Strategic Location
  • With Singapore located right in the heart of Asia, its position offers unlimited commercial business potential for start ups. This in essence and virtual means that business people setting up their operations and processes in Singapore have to meet an open market of more than 4 billion people living in Asia, including those living in aggressive economies such as Hong Kong, China and India.
  • The transport structures to the outside world are also very much developed. Projects such as the Port of Singapore and the Changi international airport have helped to set Singapore as a transportation hub. Thus, Singapore is consistently ranked as the best in the world for over twenty years.
2. Flexible Immigration Laws
  • Immigration laws and terms are most flexible in Singapore and obtaining a visa, popularly known as an entrepass into Singapore is not as cumbersome as in most other countries. This makes Singapore a global choice of many investors, shareholders and expat workers around the world.
  • If as an entrepreneur, you wish to relocate to Singapore, the government has made the necessary permits easy to obtain. The governance of such laws is straightforward and easy to follow. The support of the government in this sense means that foreign investors have relatively nothing to worry about when conducting their business in Singapore.
3. Minimal Bureaucracy
  • From the immigration laws to business registration policies, Singapore remains one of the very least bureaucratic countries in Asia. In fact, it only takes 3 days to fully register a business in Singapore, get it incorporated and start trading! These events do give Singapore an edge over other countries globally.
  • The government of Singapore is also largely pro-business, a fact that is seen in the country’s flexible immigration laws. Getting a work pass for a foreigner into the country is as easy as getting an incorporation license for your business.
  • This all-time low level of bureaucracy has made Singapore a favorite of many investors from different nationalities thereby making the city-state of Singapore a melting-pot for people of different cultures.
  • One benefit for foreigners who want to register companies in Singapore is that they do not physically need to be in Singapore to do so. It is also common that the owner of the foreign organization does not hold an employment pass or entrepass. This occurs because he or she will not be operating business on-site. Instead, it is allowed for the owner to move around via holding a visitor visa if only going to be in Singapore on a few occasions for business meetings. Thus it means you need to appoint a qualifying local director once registered.
4. Favorable Tax Rates
  • Singapore remains one of the Asian countries in the region with the most favorable tax rates and tax incentives that attract and keep diverse global investments. The corporate tax rate in the city-state is a lowly 17%. This low taxation rate has made Singapore consistently listed as the number one destination for global investors and business executives and facilitated competitive business practices which are a pillar to successful economic development. This means that business owners have consistent reserved funding due to such low rates.
  • The tax rates which have been falling over the years have accelerated the economic development of Singapore, and led the World bank to rate it as the world’s number one country with ease of doing business activity. The government has also been able to provide tax payers with numerous incentives, programmes, rebates and schemes which greatly help their tax payments.
5. Skilled Human Resources
  • Singapore has some of the very best and highly skilled pool of human resource anywhere in the world. This is in line with the government’s high quality education and certification system. Singapore students and graduates from local schools are among the brightest in the world. This assures potential investors and individuals that in no way will their business ever suffer from lack of a workforce. The government has also emphasized on continuous training of employees to ensure that there is constant output of skilled workers. On top of that, hiring talents is a breeze because of the relatively comparable pay.
  • For investors wishing to invest in Business Process Outsourcing, the skilled workforce of Singapore gives them a necessary incentive and consultation to invest in call centers and other BPO-related ventures in the country. This attraction to investors and the skilled human resource ensures that jobs are readily available in the country. Such a venture has certainly clicked with certain parties and enhances Singapore’s image as a skilled employee hub.
6. Protection of Intellectual Property Rights
  • Singapore is marketing itself as the next Silicon Valley, and as such the protection of intellectual property rights and privacy is held very seriously. Not only can IP holders register their patents in the country, but Singapore is also a signatory to most Intellectual property patents including the Agreement on Trade-related aspects of IP rights and World Intellectual Property Organization. The technology contained within the country will thus be secure. These reports are a good omen towards Singapore being at the forefront of intellectual property protection both in the region and worldwide.
7. Higher Quality of Life
  • Many people who relocate to Singapore do so together with their families. This is essentially because the country offers the best living conditions with potentially higher income levels and relatively moderate costs of living. With such activities as an extensive healthcare system, banking facilities, good internet structure, developed transport, food, supply of goods and other high quality products as well as the communication industry and other social amenities, Singapore not only offers the best place to do business but also to develop the social life. There is a high level of customers-orientated standards which continue to entrance guests from all over the world.


General Information when Applying For a Company

Though it does not seem to be difficult to form a private limited company, many times, the application fails simply because requirements are not met and guidelines are not adhered to. This is partly due to the inability of business owners to understand the requirements and procedures of company formation.

In order for applicants not be charged with failure to comply with the processes, here are some more information and detailed tips for company incorporation.

  • Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is the national regulator of business entities and public accountants in Singapore. Generally, its role is to achieve synergies between the monitoring of corporate compliance with disclosure requirements and regulation of public accountants and finance performing statutory audit. Since there are many cultures living together in Singapore as mentioned earlier, it limits the company name that cannot be something that is vulgar or offensive to any of them. This important step needs to be sorted out before the start of the registration process from the registrar.
  • However, in Singapore, a foreigner is not allowed to register a company by himself. The policy is, at least that one officer – namely the company director – should be a local resident. A resident is defined as someone who is a Singapore citizen or who holds valid residency passes such as Permanent Residency or other legal passes like Entrepass, Employment Pass or Dependent Pass. It is free to nominate as many directors as you like.

    Additionally, at least one shareholder is required. The person holding the positions of shareholder and director can be the same and the shareholder does not need to be a local. There are also other shareholding requirements to be met. Another thing to be aware of is that a valid local Singapore address which cannot be a PO Box is mandatory. Otherwise, it may get stuck when proceeding with the incorporation process.

    Business entrepreneurs frequently need to travel. The Singapore’s pro-business policies let investors as well as entrepreneurs running companies within the nation to enter and exit relatively easy from the country via special passes and visas. If applications are submitted online, foreigners from India and China can get approval within 1 day. For foreign nationals from other countries, you may want to visit to the ICA website where it is stated about the visa details. You can also get details about other exemptions and updated regulations.

  • Once the company is established, the owner has to open a corporate bank account which can be with any of the local or international banks in Singapore. In essence, it is important to ensure that proper documents are submitted in keeping with the requirements. It is also required to appoint at least one local company secretary for the company to handle ongoing statutory compliance matters under the section of The Singapore Companies Act. This is an important position and does not just include filing and typing out notes.

    Banking Facilities

    In addition to setting up a business in company, you may also like to open up a personal bank account. This certainly helps with official payments. Setting aside work money from personal money is extremely crucial when “working out tax” time comes along.

    In order to open up a bank account, you must bring along passports and personal signatures of al directors, secretaries, and staffs that needs to access the account. Although the form could be complex, but the staff behind the counter are usually helpful.

  • You can find the general requirements and procedures needed for incorporating a Singapore Company below to get more information:

    Company Incorporation Requirements
    Company Secretary Requirements

    If you have not known the licenses required for different industries, you can click here to see Singapore business licenses and how to apply them.


Singapore – Lucrative Place for Expats

Singapore is considered to be the best country for expat entrepreneurs. Recently, a study revealed that 7 out of 10 expat entrepreneurs are definitely receiving a lot from their startup in Singapore. They say that one of the benefits of starting up a business in Singapore is the ability (time / investment / stock) to grow very fast. Thus, it is obvious that initial capital laid out would definitely receive returns.

So, if you’re thinking about starting up a business in Singapore, the first place you should check out is the primary Singapore government (trade / tax) website.

Entrepreneurs wishing to register their company/companies in Singapore need not be Singaporeans themselves. The solution would be to send an application to receive an Employment Pass if they wish to be actively involved in running their business in Singapore on a daily basis. There are multiple agents and consultants who can provide more information on this endeavor.

For assistance, Paul and Hype Page Co. is a leading consultancy offering several different corporate services / requirements to foreign entrepreneurs to incorporate their business in Singapore.

Need to seek Professional Help for formation of a company in Singapore?
If you are looking to set up a company in Singapore, click here for Types of Company Formation.
For Registration of Business, click here for more information on your Business License Guide.

For Further Questions , please email us or call us +65 62214711



    February 14, 2013 at 3:22 AM · Reply





  2. Nayan
    November 18, 2013 at 8:40 AM · Reply

    Dear concerned,

    I run an Information Technology business in Australia.
    I am an Australian Citizen and would like to expand my business in Singapore.

    Can you please provide with insights and requirements for this.
    Any help would be highly appreciated.



    • paulhypepage
      November 18, 2013 at 1:43 PM · Reply

      Dear Nayan

      Currently, there are many incentives for Singapore companies to spend on IT software and Hardware under the Tax scheme call PIC.

      It mean that a local Singapore Company is about to claim back 60% of their IT spending , capped at $100,000 per year.

      For details you can refer to our blog articles on these subjects

      Please contact us at +65 62214723 for further discussion, my colleague will email you more information on company formation.


  3. Vicky
    March 25, 2014 at 6:27 PM · Reply

    First of all I am a foreigner here. I hope can start to a business in Singapore and thus I have some queries as below, 1. What is the differences between local company and subsidiary company in Singapore? Tax beneficial or etc. Hope you can clarify the differences and which is more suitable for a foreigner to start up business.

    2. If a foreigner buy over a Singapore local company, can the foreigner wholly 100% share in this Pte Ltd? The foreigner will stay in Singapore. Do the company still need a Singaporean or PR to be a shareholder or director of this Pte Ltd company?

    Greatly appreciated to receive your favor reply. Thanks and regards, Vicky

    • paulhypepage
      June 7, 2014 at 6:02 PM · Reply

      Dear Vicky

      Answer to your queries

      1) Different btw is that a subsidiary the shareholder is a corporate while another is an individual. Once there is a corporate shareholder , it is required to perform annual audit hence more costly to maintain.

      2) A foreigner can be 100% owner. However, there must be a local resident director unless the foreigner has a employment pass visa and stay in Singapore.

  4. Sheikh Istiaque Ahmed
    June 1, 2014 at 7:38 AM · Reply

    hi there
    im a businessman from bangladesh would like to open an amrecian fast food chain restaurants in singapore so how do we do it? Also need to do my investor visa including my family.

    pls let me know

    many thanks!

    • paulhypepage
      June 7, 2014 at 4:24 PM · Reply

      Dear Sheikh

      To set up a fast food restaurant, it would mean that you need to set up a Singapore Company. After then you will apply for specific food license from NEA department.
      Food license details can be found at:

      Firstly, let start with some basic information for Company Incorporation:

      Many foreigner who wants to incorporate company faces 2 main issues:-

      1) Local Resident Director Requirement
      2) Company Registered Address not PO Box Address

      Paul Hype Page Solution

      •Incorporate a Singapore company using our local resident nominee director
      •Apply for Employment Pass
      •Upon successful application, you can come to Singapore to start the business
      •Apply for dependent visa for your family members

      For details, please refer to link below:

  5. Ben
    June 11, 2014 at 7:46 AM · Reply

    Hello, I am wanting to expand my business and set up both a Foreign exchange company and a bank account in Singapore. I am a profitable safe trader. Please let me know what your fees to set up this service would be. Thank you, Ben Thorns

    • paulhypepage
      June 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM · Reply

      Dear Ben

      My colleague will email you more information about Foreign Exchange License for your business. You need to incorporate a company and apply for employment pass for you to work in Singapore. Please give our office a call at +65 2214723 for further discussion.


  6. Luke
    June 27, 2014 at 4:45 PM · Reply


    I am from Malaysia and am looking to set up a IT firm in Singapore
    Kindly advise what do I require before I can set up a business?


    • paulhypepage
      June 28, 2014 at 4:34 PM · Reply

      Dear Luke

      To set up a Singapore company, you need a local resident (PR/Singapore Citizen) director and the process can be done within 3 days using our Nominee Director Services.

      Documents required :
      •Fill up the Incorporation details here:
      •Copy of your Passport
      •Documents such as telephone or utilities bills that show your current residential address
      •Signed Form 45

      For more details, please contact our office +65 6221 4723

    July 7, 2014 at 12:12 AM · Reply

    I would like to open a corporation based in Singapore

    Please advise on document and how much USD it would cost

    Thank you

    • paulhypepage
      July 9, 2014 at 8:22 AM · Reply

      Dear Leonard

      For Singapore company formation, you need a local resident (PR/Singapore Citizen) director.

      You will need a Copy of your Passport and Documents such as telephone or utilities bills to show your current residential address.
      Please fill up the company Incorporation details from this link for us to contact you :

      For more details, please contact Paul Hype Page office +65 6221 4723

  8. john lim
    July 29, 2014 at 10:47 PM · Reply

    Hi, im a malaysian, would like to run an online printing business in Singapore. Pls advice.

    • paulhypepage
      August 5, 2014 at 4:54 PM · Reply

      Dear John,

      Having a Malaysia passport holder I believe it is much easier to get a working visa in Singapore if you choose to relocate to Singapore. Further, you can use Singapore company to host your online business where it will give clients more trust and you can enjoy a lower tax bracket. Further, you can place your production facilities in Malaysia where the cost of labor is lower.

      I will suggest to take up our package on Incorporation with Employment Pass Visa.

      Please feel free to call us (+65 6221 4723) for a detail discussion.

      Thank you

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