• Company Incorporation in Singapore

If you’re considering incorporating in Singapore, you would have most likely heard of our favourable tax regime, ease of doing business, our strong government support, top IP framework, regional hub status or many other perks.

We’ll go back to basics here with a special feature of a checklist including all the humans you need involved, and the documents you need.

2021 Business opportunities in Singapore

Truth is, business anywhere is hard but having the right infrastructure, a supportive community and good financial and tax framework and planning definitely helps. Highlighting some business opportunities:

  • The tech industry is a given and Singapore is no exception. If you’re founding a startup, launchpads, accelerators, incubators, sandboxes, mentorship, venture capitalists- you name it, we have it. Read on about all things Startup Singapore.

  • Some popular businesses in consulting, lifestyle and services include home tutoring services, digital marketing, copywriting, cleaning service, and babysitting service.
  • Anything import-export, trading, shipping, logistics and supply chain management, Singapore is the “port of call” for you. Our dominance in the region is thanks to the elaborate infrastructure we have in place, and results in detailed and comprehensive procedures for businesses. To mention notable benefits, our network of over 50 comprehensive Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements and many free trade agreements and the Investment Guarantee Agreements.

If you have assets, ideas or innovations to protect, Singapore’s strict enforcement of its strong intellectual property laws would be beneficial to you. Not to mention under the Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence patent scheme, what would usually take 2 to 4 years for others to procure, Singapore can do 3 months.

We have a whole article on business opportunities in Singapore.

Eric
Tip: All companies can enjoy partial tax exemption scheme, where the maximum exemption for each YA is $102,500 ($7,500 + $95,000).

  • 75% exemption on the first $10,000 of normal chargeable income; and
  • A further 50% exemption on the next $190,000 of normal chargeable income.

Who can incorporate a Singapore company?

  • Foreign individuals,

  • Foreign companies,

  • Local nominee director and

  • Local residents

Different types of entities you can set up

The rest of the article will focus on setting up a private company limited by shares. It’s the go to company type for entrepreneurs. But here’s a brief table on other company types available:

Private Limited Company
(Recommended)
E.g. foreign subsidiary or related company
Limited by shares and is a separate legal entity from its shareholders. It is recognized as a taxable entity.
Foreign branchIf you do not want to incorporate a local company in Singapore, you can still carry out your business activities by registering as a foreign branch. This entity is an extension of the parent company and is not considered a legal entity that is separate from the parent company. This entity does not have a board of directors or shares.
Foreign representative officeAn RO does not have a legal status but is merely an administrative arrangement. It is primarily designed for non-commercial activities. An RO is unable to carry out any profit-generating business activities in Singapore.
Sole ProprietorshipA business entity owned by one person.
PartnershipTwo or more individuals carrying out a business. Assets and returns are typically shared internally, although the amount may differ.
Limited Partnership>A business owned by two or more individuals. At least one must be a General Partner, and one a Limited Partner.
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)Each partner’s own liability is generally limited.

Requirements to set up a Singapore company

No frills, straightforward requirements: 

  • At least one local director (Singapore citizen, a Singapore permanent resident, an EntrePass/Employment Pass/Dependent’s Pass’s holder with LOC, or a nominee director)

  • At least 1 shareholder (full flexibility here, can be corporate or individual, 100% foreign owned is acceptable too!)

  • At least S$1 paid-up capital

  • A physical local registered address

  • A company secretary

Steps to incorporate a Singapore company

The exact know how’s of the entire operation could take days to illustrate- all inclusive of the right paperwork like the (throwing out just a few key ones) constitution, consent to act, register of charges, register of secretaries etc.

Instead, you have registered filing agents like Paul Hype Page that simplify the 100-page manual to a simple 3 step process (all digital too!). Your incorporation can take 3 to 5 business days upon submission of documents.

Consider our popular packages:

PackageIncroporation with 1 Year Nominee DirectorIncorporation with Employment Pass
Suitable for foreign entrepreneurs who are looking to…1) Operate overseas

2) Start the business immediately

3) Not relocate to Singapore to run the business

4) Open a corporate bank account immediately

1) Start a business and relocate to Singapore within the next two months

Step 1: Register an account on our iBizFile platform and fill up our 5 minute incorporation form.

Eric
Tip: iBizFile has an integrated name checking system to see if a company name is taken. ACRA may also reject a proposed company name if

  • It is undesirable or
  • It is similar to an established name or trademark

If your name has regulated words like “legal”, “school” or “money”, expect a delay in the name approval process.

Step 2: Make payment on our platform.

Step 3: In 15 minutes, you can finish uploading supporting documents, fill up our Know Your Client (KYC) form and sign registration documents.

Here’s what our clients have to say about our 3 step online process:

The incorporation system you established for online administration and monitoring keeps everyone in the loop on the status, open tasks, and documentation requirements. Really perfect job! ”

Invisible steps because we take care of all the paperwork:

  • Reserving your company name with ACRA

  • Preparation of company registration documents including the company constitution, consent to act as directors for each directors, consent to act as company secretary etc.

  • Conduct due-diligence as according to AML regulations where we verify identities of stakeholders

  • Incorporate the company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)

  • Open a corporate bank account in Singapore
  • Submit an electronic Certificate of Incorporation
  • Obtain a company/branch office Business Profile extract from ACRA
  • Create minutes of the first board meeting
  • Create and keep in safe custody the company seal or company/branch office rubber stamp and pay the relevant government and professional fees

A whole checklist to get you ready for your incorporation

Get these things ready before you proceed. This list includes humans and documents. We recognise that sometimes, human collaboration might be the very source of delay so make sure the people involved are well informed of their roles!

  • Company name

  • Company business activity

  • One local director and their particulars

  • One shareholder and their particulars

  • One company secretary (a registered filing if you’re a foreigner) and their particulars

  • If you’re engaging an agent, identification documents for ALL stakeholders include a scanned copy of identification card or passport, proof of residential address, and a picture of the individual holding their identification document.

  • $1 paid up capital
  • One local registered address

  • One company constitution, if you don’t have an agent doing it for you

  • All stakeholders ready to sign documents to avoid delay

Post incorporation, you or your company secretary should have these:

  • Free business profile (BizFile)

  • Constitution

  • Company registers

  • Set up your CorpPass

  • Set up a corporate bank account

Challenges you might face as a foreign entrepreneur in Singapore

1. Obtaining work passes

If you’re not relocating to Singapore, you don’t have to worry about this. If you are looking to relocate to Singapore, you still don’t have to worry about this if you’re with Paul Hype Page.

First off, you need to decide between an Employment Pass (EP), EntrePass or Tech.Pass for your relocation. You can apply yourself as an employer or you can engage an employment agency. In all honesty, the Ministry Of Manpower (MOM) is reasonable in their approvals for work passes. By no means does it make your application easy. You should have insight to what they look out for, and the only way is to engage industry experts like us.

Employment PassApplicable to foreigners who are equipped with years of management skills and formal tertiary education while also having met the minimum salary requirement. An EP can be applied with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
EntrePassAlso known as an Entrepreneur Pass, this is for foreign entrepreneurs who are actively involved in business operations and who do not have a formal tertiary education. Applications can be made with MOM. Approval of this visa is on a case-by-case basis.
Those who want to incorporate a company as a sole proprietor or partnership entity are not eligible for this visa.

2. Corporate bank account opening

Corporate bank account openings used to be a breeze back in 2018. 3 years and a pandemic later, most account openings can be done remotely but AML regulations are stricter than ever. What used to be a form filling administrative task is now a presentation of whether your business has viable tax substance.
Your best-case scenario is if you are physically in Singapore for your account opening, or if you have an EP. If not, be ready to provide an executive summary of your business nexus in Singapore. We drill into this in our article here.

At this point, you would have covered all the bases to your Singapore Company Incorporation. There is still a lot more to know for what comes after your incorporation: running your business, accounting, tax, annual returns, annual general meetings and more. If you’re a foreigner relocating, you’ll have to think about living arrangements, tax implications, healthcare and so much more. You can either read more about these from our guides, or you can drop us a call to talk about all of these.

FAQs

How long will it take me to incorporate a company in Singapore?2021-03-30T12:15:06+08:00

Incorporation of a company in Singapore usually takes one day. However, it might take 14 days

Can a director of My Singapore Company be a foreigner?2021-03-30T12:14:01+08:00

All Singapore companies should have at least one director who is a Singapore Citizen or one who holds a Singapore permanent resident or an employment pass holder. However, a foreign director can be appointed alongside the local director.

How can I register a Company in Singapore?2021-05-06T10:05:02+08:00

After getting your company name and it approved, you can then prepare the registration documents and then finalize them by registering the ACRA. You will also need Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Which type of business structure should I start in Singapore?2021-03-30T12:12:40+08:00

The private limited company is the best business entity in Singapore as it has numerous benefits like the ability to access loans, limited liability on the shareholders

Can a foreigner start a company in Singapore?2021-03-30T12:12:37+08:00

Yes, a foreigner is permitted to incorporate a company in Singapore. A foreigner intending to relocate to Singapore or those who have employment pass can incorporate a Singapore company.

For more information regarding work permits for foreigners who want to start a company in Singapore, do check out

How long is the validity of my Employment Pass?2021-03-30T12:11:05+08:00

The validity of an employment pass is 2 years in general.

How long the registered company name is being reserved before my company is being incorporated.2021-03-30T12:10:35+08:00

Your registered company name will be reserved for 60 days before incorporation. You can apply for another 60 days extension if you need it.

What is the corporate rate in Singapore?2021-03-30T12:06:33+08:00

17%.

How do I know if my company is successfully incorporated in Singapore before my relocation?2021-05-06T10:07:32+08:00

After your company has been successfully incorporated, you will receive the Certificate of Good Standing from ACRA and a Company Business Profile. Once you have these documents in hand, you will be assured that your company has been successfully incorporated.

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60 Discussions

  1. M H Rashid August 29, 2018 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Hello there.
    I want open a sole proprietorship company in Singapore with a bank account.My business nature will be trading.but I don’t have any local partners . I want to know the procedure as well as the cost and time duration for registering a sole proprietorship business in Singapore. I do have a business in Bangladeshi of supplying rice.

    • eric eric August 30, 2018 at 10:00 am - Reply

      Dear Rashid

      Singapore is a good place to start a Singapore trading company. Our Singapore incorporation services allows you to set up the trading business within 5 working days and without you coming to Singapore. If you are interested to relocate to Singapore we can also apply employment pass visa for you and dependent pass visa for your immediate family members.

      There are 2 packages as below:

      Package A:

      The incorporation package is Incorporation with Nominee director

      See link for details: https://www.paulhypepage.com/solutions/foreign-company-foreigner-located-overseas-operating-a-singapore-company/

      Please note that there will be a refundable deposit of $5,000

      Package B:

      f you wants to business and relocate to Singapore in 2 months’ time then Incorporation with employment pass is the package for $3,155

      See link for details :https://www.paulhypepage.com/solutions/foreign-entrepreneurs-relocating-to-singapore/

      With more than 8 years of specialized experience on incorporation and accounting, we are confident that we can provide you the best service for your needs.

      Please use online platform ibizfile (click link below) to register and fill in your incorporation details.

      https://my.ibizfile.com/auth/signup

      Regards

      Paul

  2. Nandkishor Nishad October 3, 2017 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Hello Team,
    Pls, share your email id for me to connect with you further. We are planning to incorporate an offshore company in Singapore.

    Regards,
    NK

    • Paul Hype Page October 5, 2017 at 9:33 am - Reply

      Hi Nandkishor,

      Welcome! You will find our all-in-one Incorporation with Employment Pass package solution the ideal choice. Do drop us an email at paulhypepage@php-cpa.com.sg to set up an appointment, we would be happy to assist.

      Cheers,
      Paul

  3. Ku Khan Shen September 17, 2017 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Dear PAUL HYPE,

    For your information, i am a Singapore PR whose is currently plan to set up a company involving in:
    1. Offshore Marine Trading material supply
    2. Offshore Marine subcontracting work
    3. International Toy trading
    4. Others international trading

    Appreciate your advice and guide to move forward for above set up with suitable business structure.
    Also suitable additional course available from your end to strengthen my know on above business concept.
    Hundred Thanks.

    Best regards,
    Ku Khan Shen

    • Paul Hype Page September 26, 2017 at 9:16 am - Reply

      Dear Ku Khan Shen,

      We would be happy to assist. However, we would need more details about the company you plan to set up in order to better advise you on the next move. Do drop us an email at paulhypepage@php-cpa.com.sg for more details. Looking forward to hearing from you.

      Best Regards,
      Paul

  4. Chan chy September 12, 2017 at 7:57 am - Reply

    Hi ,
    I am singaporean , how can I open a small barbershop in Singapore ? What should I need to prepare ? Can I contact to anyone for ask clearly … because I am not very well in English .

    • Paul Hype Page September 14, 2017 at 8:27 am - Reply

      Dear Chan,

      You can give us a call at 62214723 for our mandarin speaking corporate specialist to assist you. We will be able to assist you in setting up your company as private limited so you can start your barbershop thereafter.

      Cheers
      Paul

  5. Joe Woodward September 10, 2017 at 2:17 am - Reply

    Hi
    I would like to set up a company in Singapore. I have a product that is manufactured in Korea and I want to ship it to customers around the world. I would like to incorporate a company in Singapore and have payments made to this company for tax purposes. I live in Australia and do not intend to locate any personnel in Singapore. I would appreciate your initial advice please.
    Thanks
    Joe

    • Paul Hype Page September 12, 2017 at 7:05 am - Reply

      Dear Joe,

      You’ve made a great choice! Singapore is one of the easiest places in the world to do business, and our all-in-one Incorporation with Employment Pass package is designed to help entrepreneurs just like you establish a company quickly and efficiently, taking care of everything you need.

      Do drop us an email at paulhypepage@php-cpa.com.sg and let’s talk more. Looking forward to hearing from you.

      Cheers,
      Paul

  6. Raza July 15, 2017 at 2:43 am - Reply

    I want to open a company in Singapore, please guide me, i from Pakistan but doing business in Malaysia and i have 2 years multiple visa of Business ,

    So kindly tell me about this,

    Thanks
    Raza

    • Paul Hype Page July 21, 2017 at 7:46 am - Reply

      Dear Raza,

      It will be good to use your Malaysia company as a reference and expand to Singapore. With that, you can incorporate a company in Singapore and apply for the employment pass should you need to work in Singapore as well.

      We would recommend our Incorporation with Employment Pass all in one package.

      Cheers,
      Paul

  7. Pao July 11, 2017 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Hi PHP,

    I would like inquire about setting up a company in SG. We’re a Korean company but the one to handle SG office is a Filipino. Kindly contact me through my email given.

    Thanks!

    Pao

    • Paul Hype Page July 21, 2017 at 7:33 am - Reply

      Dear Pao,

      Welcome to Singapore! We would recommend our Incorporation with Employment Pass package as your best option to establishing a company in Singapore.

      My colleague will email you shortly with more information. We look forward to working with you!

      Cheers,
      Paul

  8. Joseph June 12, 2017 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Hello- im planning to have my own vehicle transport as freelance/ and im a foreigner and want to have a business of my own and a valid working pass. My pass will end up this coming friday. Im thinking to continue with my own business. And continue my long stay in sg. With almost here for 7years with my employment pass. I hope for your soonest advice or guidance. And fast processing and help about my situation- and currently my family here with me since 2011. Thank you very much for your assistance about my matter.

    • Paul Hype Page June 16, 2017 at 1:40 am - Reply

      Dear Joseph,

      Setting up a company in Singapore is no problem. We would be happy to email you with the details. We would also recommend our all-in-one Incorporation With Employment Pass package, as we have the expertise to assist foreign entrepreneurs like yourself to set up a business efficiently in Singapore.

      My colleague will contact you soon.

      Cheers,
      Paul

  9. Sk nur Mohammad April 30, 2017 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Hi
    I’m from Dhaka. I want to open an import- export company in sg. Plz suggest me how to open company and get credit from bank.
    I also need to know ur tax policy.

    Tnx

    • Paul Hype Page May 2, 2017 at 4:05 am - Reply

      Dear Nur,

      Will you be relocating in Singapore as well and need a work visa? We will drop you an email with more information about Incorporation with Employment pass for your consideration. Do reply on the email so we can further assist you.

      Cheers
      Paul

  10. Chau Ka Wing March 16, 2017 at 7:17 am - Reply

    Hi, I’m from Singapore. I would like to open a small restaurant. Is it better to have a partner or not? Pls guide me from the very first step.

    Thank you’
    Ka Wing

    • Paul Hype Page March 23, 2017 at 7:14 am - Reply

      Dear Ka Wing,

      Its depends what’s the reason for the partner. The best setup will still be Pte Ltd.

      Should you like to know more about setting up a private limited company, do drop us a note at contact us and our corporate specialist will contact you shortly.

      Paul

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