If you’re reading this, you would know by now that to incorporate in Singapore, you need at least 1 local director who is a Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or holds a valid and relevant work visa like an Employment Pass (EP).
Chances are, you need a nominee director in Singapore.
In the short term, because you’re getting an EP in the meantime.
In the long term, because you’re looking to remotely operate an offshore company.
If you’re getting an EP, let me introduce you to the handbook of success. Click here.
If you’ll be operating an offshore company with a long term nominee director, let’s touch on that for a bit.
Difficulties in bank account opening with a nominee director
2020 and 2021 (let’s hope not any more than that), a sequence of events has landed us in one of the most difficult times to open corporate bank accounts.
Even pre-COVID, anti-money laundering (AML) laws were already facing scrutiny after a series of high-profile fraud cases.
COVID hit, no more travels. Banks were forced to conduct remote corporate account openings.
The use of nominee directors was at an all-time high. Banks are fully aware who are nominees and who are real directors.
It became difficult for foreign entrepreneurs to conduct business in Singapore, thus not being able to prove a tax substance here.
If you can’t justify a tax substance, or the need for a bank account in Singapore, you’re not going to get that bank account!
This rollercoaster ride taught us a few things. Times have changed and what used to be an administrative effort successful in a few days, is now a full team effort with weeks of strategic planning. We now know that tax substance is what banks are looking for- and we’ve prepared solutions for our clients. After all, without a bank account, how will your business run?