Many business owners may feel pressurised when moving their operations to another country. All the regulations, laws, and compliance issues, such as accounting, need to be met in order to move the business entirely to the new country. This is where most businesses face trouble – international compliance.
Compared to other countries, Singapore has a great ease of doing business rating, thanks to the flexible government regulations. What some may see as challenging compliance issues here, some might see as the easiest and the most convenient.
Here are some compliance requirements that all businesses need to adhere to if they plan to expand their operations to Singapore:
FUN FACT: Singapore ranks 2nd out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ list.
What are the Challenges of International Compliance in Singapore
Some of the challenges commonly faced when dealing with international compliance in Singapore are:
Hiring a secretary
Having a local resident director
Getting an address
Registering for GST
Applying for business licenses
Keeping track of accounting records
Filing annual taxes
1. Hiring a Corporate Secretary in Singapore
After incorporating a company in Singapore, you must hire a locally resident company secretary within 6 months from the date of incorporation.
A company secretary in Singapore must be appointed within 6 months from the date of incorporation. The company secretary must be trained and qualified to handle all the functions and must have enough local business experience to help the business comply with other requirements.
They are responsible for:
Administration of the company
Ensuring that all the directors and shareholders are informed of their statutory obligations such as the filing of annual returns
Maintain and update the company’s registers and minutes books
Administer, attend and prepare minutes of meetings of directors and shareholders
Update directors and shareholders on relevant changes in corporate regulations
2. Having a Local Resident Director
A foreign corporation setting foot in Singapore can have any number of directors. However, at least one director should be one who is ‘ordinarily resident in Singapore’.
The requirements for a local company director are:
At least 18 years old
Singaporean citizen, Permanent Resident, Entrepass or Employment Pass holder
Of full legal capacity
Not disqualified from acting as a director of a company
They are responsible for:
Managing the affairs of the company
Setting the company’s strategic director
Ensuring accurate and timely record keeping
Preparing Financial statements
Complying with corporate filings and other disclosures
3. Getting an Physical Office Address
The next step for compliance is obtaining a registered office address. Foreign companies planning to set up operations in Singapore must have a registered office, which should be open and accessible to public in normal working hours.
This is required according to Singapore Companies Act and must mention its name and the place of incorporation on all its business correspondence ad also outside its place of business in Singapore