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What Are The Guidelines For Foreigners to Start a Business in Singapore?

Singapore is highly urbanised. Widely known as the whole world’s fourth leading financial centre, it’s no surprise that even foreigners are also keen in starting a business in Singapore. In addition, it doesn’t hurt that our country has the third highest per capital income in the world. What’s more, the little red dot is considered fairly corruption-free as compared to other developed countries. Entrepreneurs want to be successful in their careers, then again who doesn’t? And since our sunny island is currently ranked in the first place worldwide for the ease of doing business by the World Bank for 2012, consecutively for 7 years, Singapore is naturally one of the top choices.

How foreigner starts a business in Singapore?

Here are the necessary steps for foreigners to take in starting a business in Singapore.

Incorporate a Singapore Company – Pte Ltd Company

In order for foreigners to apply for an EntrePass, there are various requirements to be met. Some basic requirements include: the business must not be illegal, the company must be registered as a Private Limited Company, and it must not be registered for more than six months at the point of application, foreigner applicants need to hold at least 30% of shares in the business and the company needs to have at least SGD$50,000 of paid-up capital. Setting up of businesses like food courts, massage parlours, employment agencies for instance will be rejected for the application of an EntrePass.

P/S: If you want to incorporate a company as a sole proprietor or partnership entity, you will not be eligible for this visa.

Singapore Work Pass – Employment Pass

Before anything else, if foreigners would like to be present in Singapore to administer his/her business operations, one is required to apply for an Employment Pass from the Ministry of Manpower, also known to everyone as MOM.  Singapore Employment Pass (EP) is a work visa which allows foreign professionals, managers, executives, specialists and professionals to live and work in Singapore.

Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore

Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore is a simple and quick procedure. The important thing is that you have to choose the bank which offers corporate accounts features which can fulfill the banking needs of your company.

Generally, the majority of the banks require that the account signatories and majority directors be physically present in Singapore for signatures at the time of opening the company bank account. However, some banks will accept the signing of documents at one of their overseas branches or in front of a Notary Public.


Additional notes on EntrePass and about being a Company Director / shareholder

Another noteworthy point is that any person at the age of 18 years old can be a director of a company. If you would like to merge a business, you will be required to appoint the services of a professional like a lawyer or an accountant to submit the application via online on your behalf. This system applies if the shareholders or company officers do not have a SingPass. If one does own a SingPass, he/she can continue to submit any online transactions or carry out the required endorsements via BizFile. BizFile is ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority)‘s online filing system. The applicant will then be required to log in to BizFile using their NRIC or FIN number and SingPass.

On a slightly different note, if a foreigner does not have the intention to stay in Singapore to manage his/her company’s operations, then he/she need not apply for an EntrePass. Nevertheless, it is compulsory to have at least one locally resident director at the point of incorporation. To do this, one must again appoint the services of a professional to file the application online.

Once the application for an EntrePass has been approved, he/she may then continue to merge the company with ACRA. If a foreigner owns a company registered with ACRA for not more than six months at the point of his/her EntrePass application, he/she may apply for it. Do take note that the application for an EntrePass is subject to MOM’s approval.

Learn more about the overview of Singapore work visas

Starting a business in Singapore is often brought up by foreign entrepreneurs who believe that they can live in the country comfortably. In order to succeed, it is fundamental for them to realise that there is a cultural difference and boundaries that have to be taken note of before setting up a company. Likewise, it is extremely important to understand the positives and fallbacks of starting a business in Singapore. If entrepreneurs were to have partners, they must fully understand each other fiscally. If they know their business plan clearly, there is a high chance of success.


In Paul Hype Page & Co, we will help you to,

  • Get timely updates on the status of your documents and proposed suggestions
  • Simple, virtual services that meet industry standards
  • Electronic accessibility through our website
  • Find the best prices, required licenses, check on common practice and report any advantages
  • Help you make structured decisions about your company
  • Help you benefit from our years of business activities and compliance experience

Contact Paul and Hype Page Co. for a FREE consultation on how you can start up a company in Singapore.

At Paul Hype Page, you don’t pay us by the hour, you gain from the value we provide in that hour.

Paul Hype Page & Co. is an ACRA-certified business adviser. Our team of seasoned professional can help you set up a company in Singapore very quickly and easily following all legal entities, and offer you sound advice on how to make it successful too.

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Karl Davis says:

We are looking at setting up a new business (ship building ) in the region and would need to set up a company in Singapore to handle all the financial / payments and be our HQ. We have an issue that at the moment we do not reside in Singapore so unsure how that works.

Please provide a quote to set up a company & accounts in Sing.

Karl Davis

angela ng says:

Dear Karl
PHP is a one stop services provider for all business/ company incorporation and continuity needs, you can now customizes and pay for only the services you need using our online system to register with us (you dont have to e physical in Singapore at the start and we can start your company incorporation right away.
You can also go right to OUR FEE page to see which customize incorporation package is relevant to you and we have a step by step guide video to assist you in registration with us.


We have registered our company in Singapore in Dec, 2018
4 Foreign Directors (Indian)
1 Local Director.

I am one the foreign directors and would be working from Singapore. What would be the procedure to apply for an Entre Pass or any other pass that allows me to live in Singapore and work

angela ng says:

Dear Rajni
We highly recommend Employment Pass as it is one of the most suitable pass to enable foreign professional to work and live in Singapore.
Do register with us via our online platform to start your application today 🙂
or should you need more information, you can also set an appointment with our in house employment agent via our Contact Us page.


Amjad Awan says:

what can be minimum amount need to start a small business? If I have a 10000S$, can I start a business in this small amount?

angela ng says:

Dear Amjad,
You can start company in Singapore with just $1 as startup capital. However we do advise the invest the relevant amount from S$1000 to S$60,000 as startup capital depending on your business model and operation cost. Do use our online incorporation at to lock in your registration today, you can setuo your company with us now, at the convenience of your home, anytime, anywhere.

Sanjeev Krishnan says:

I am an Indian, holding S-Pass working in a MNC company in Singapore for the past 10 years. We are planning to start a company in Singapore (as local partner for a UK based company). I am the one, who coordinated very closely with the UK company to capture deal as their local partner for their business. My friends (3 Person’s) are Permanent Resident holder, they are going to register the company in Singapore. Since i am a S-Pass holder, legally i can’t be a partner but is there is anyway to be an investor for that company. After scale up of the operation (after one year), i have a plan to switch over to this business under an employment pass to oversee the operations. Please guide me, how do i proceed?

angela ng says:

Dear Sanjeev,
We will need more details of the business to understand the setup before we can advise. It will be the best if we can assist you from the beginning from incorporation to employment pass application to ensure smoother follow up and relevant supporting document required. Company profile and revenue also plays a big part in your EP application thus it is important to have it setup correctly.


I am indian. Have done mechanical engineering and currently doing stock trading. How much money needed to start my business in Singapore and what are other requirements

angela ng says:

Dear Vaibhav,
You can start a company in Singapore with just $1 as startup capital (although we do advise $1,000 to $60,000 as startup capital depending on your company scope).
If you are ready to start, you can consider our employment pass with incorporation package with our corporate specialist at $3,155