Company Directors in Singapore
One of the requirements of a company to be incorporated in Singapore is that a company director has to be appointed. There are certain criteria which must be fulfilled by one who is to be appointed to this important position. According to Singapore’s Companies Act, a minimum of one of the company’s directors is required to be a Singapore resident. ACRA defines this to mean that the director’s primary location of residence is somewhere in Singapore. This does not mean that the director has to be a Singaporean citizen. Permanent residents, EP holders, and Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) holders are also regarded as residents if they have a residential address in Singapore.
Another point to note is that the minimum age for one to be a director of a company is 18, while the maximum age is 70 unless the director is reappointed during the company’s annual general meeting. Certain people are also ineligible to become company directors in Singapore. These people include the following: those convicted of crimes linked to fraud or dishonesty, those who have officially been disqualified by a court, those deemed to be mentally or physically unfit to carry out the duties of a director, undischarged bankrupts, those who have a minimum of three High Court orders compelling compliance under the Companies Act within a five-year span, and those who have been convicted for three or more years due to violations of the Companies Act. Those who are ineligible must inform the company of this fact. The company will subsequently let ACRA know about it.
A Singapore company director is tasked with some extremely important duties. Two of these are statutory requirements. They are the organizing and holding of the company’s annual general meetings, as well as the filing of the company’s annual returns by the specified due dates. During these meetings, other directors are elected, auditors’ remuneration is calculated, dividends are declared, and the company’s balance sheets and accounts are analyzed. Private limited companies in Singapore do not necessarily have to hold annual general meetings if their members agree to such a decision through a resolution. However, such a company is nevertheless required to file annual returns.
Shareholders in Singapore
Every company in Singapore must have shareholders. Shareholders are those deemed to own the company. Shareholders invest in a company with a view to profit from their investment through dividends or the company’s financial success.
At the incorporation of the company, the person who starts the company has to decide how many shares are to be issued, who will receive them, and how many shares each shareholder will receive. The percentage of total shares owned by a shareholder is equivalent to the percentage of the company owned by the shareholder. Share ownership can be tracked by the use of share certificates. Share certificates are issued to shareholders. The larger the company, the more shares it is able to issue.
In a Singapore company, shareholders are granted certain powers and rights. Shareholders are allowed to attend general meetings and vote to elect members of the board of directors. They may also propose resolutions and vote on them. Shareholders may also share in a company’s profits, which they receive through a dividend. The company will pay the dividend in a manner proportional to the number of shares which each shareholder holds. Should the company be closed, the shareholders will receive any assets left over after all of the company’s costs and debts have been paid.
According to the law, shareholders may also approve auditors for or remove directors of the company, make decisions regarding provisions in the company’s constitution, and veto certain forms of capital reduction if the company is a public one. Minority shareholders are also legally protected. They have the right to information about the company’s affairs, the right to fair treatment, the right to take active roles in the company’s general meetings, and any others rights they are granted in the company’s constitution.
Many foreign entrepreneurs who believe that they can live and work in Singapore comfortably will start a business in the country. In order to succeed, it is essential for them to understand the cultural differences that cannot go unnoticed of before setting up a company. They must also understand the advantages and disadvantages of starting a business in Singapore. Most importantly, they must be aware of the business laws which govern Singapore companies and how they can achieve the most success within the limits of the law. Entrepreneurs who have a clear business plan and execute this plan correctly will discover that the financial rewards and personal satisfaction that come from successfully running a Singapore company are immense.
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