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Setting up a Company in Singapore? Here’s All You Need to Know

Published On
November 4, 2022
Read Time
Shanti Mohan

If you are considering setting up a company in Singapore, you are not alone. There are more than 500,000 businesses registered in Singapore, according to the latest data. Companies choose to incorporate in Singapore due to tax benefits and the ease of operations. 

Though thousands of founders plan on setting up their businesses in Singapore, many don’t understand the process and the nuances involved. This article will take you through the initial steps of setting up a company in Singapore.

Steps to Register a Company in Singapore

Here’s an overview of the prerequisites to register your company in Singapore:

1. Choose a business structure – sole proprietor, partnership, or limited liability company.

2. Register your company name – the company name has to be unique to be approved.

3. Register your company’s physical address in Singapore.

4. Have an initial capital of at least 1 SGD.

5. At least one director and company secretary must be physically present in Singapore for the successful registration.

6. State the names of shareholders and how many shares they own.

These are the fundamentals of setting up a business in Singapore. As you can see, the process is quite straightforward. 

Setting up a Company in Singapore: Points to Consider

Following a systematic structure makes the process of incorporating your business in Singapore much simpler. Here’s what the roadmap typically looks like:

1. Decide the Business Structure

Determining the business structure before you begin the incorporation process for your company in Singapore is essential. The business structure you choose will determine the supporting documents you’d need to provide. For instance, if you register as a sole proprietor, you must file a notice of intention to conduct business with the Registry of Companies. For partnerships and limited liability companies, you must submit documents like Articles of Association and Memorandum. 

2. Determine the Number of Shareholders

A company registered in Singapore must have a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 50 shareholders. Shareholders can be individuals and corporations, and Singapore allows companies with 100% foreign shareholders. You will also have to furnish documents depending on the company's shareholding structure. 

Individual shareholders require the following documents:

1. Passport

2. Residential address proof

3. Background information (resume)

4. Singapore ID (if applicable)

Corporate shareholders must have the following documents:

1. Certificate of incorporation

2. Profile of parent company

3. Ownership structure chart detailing the parent company’s Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBO)

4. Authorisation from the parent company regarding registration of a subsidiary in Singapore

3. Register Your Businesses Name 

Registering the name of your business is the next step. The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) verifies and approves business name registrations in Singapore. Once ACRA approves your business name, you must apply for a unique Business Profile and Identifier with the ACRA. 

4. Register with the Registrar of Companies (RoC)

The next step is registering your business in Singapore with the Registrar of Companies (RoC). For this step, you must provide the necessary information, such as Singapore address, shareholding structure, contact details, and business structure. After successfully registering the company with the RoC, you will get a Company Registration Number (CRN). 

5. Register with the Singapore Companies Registry (SCR)

You must then register your company with the Singapore Companies Registry (SCR). To do this, you’ll have to furnish the following information with proper documentation:

1. Business name

2. List of directors (with address and ID card numbers)

3. Proof of registered address of the company

4. Proof of business type the company will be undertaking

5. List of company secretaries and shareholders (at least 1 of each)

Registering with the SCR takes between two to four weeks. After completing the registration process successfully, you’ll get two documents:

1. Certificate of Incorporation

2. Unique Entity Number

6. Register with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)

The last step of setting up a company in Singapore is registering it with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). The IRAS monitors all tax-related matters of companies incorporated in Singapore. You must provide basic information about your business, like business registration number, name, and Singapore address. 

After completing this process, you can log in to your online IRAS account and file taxes.

Things to Keep In Mind before Setting up a Company in Singapore

Setting up a business in Singapore might look easy, but avoiding mistakes in the registration process will save time and effort. Every step can take days or weeks, most of which you can do online. 

Singapore offers great tax benefits to companies incorporated in the country. Consult with an experienced tax expert to get the most out of it. 

Still have questions? Visit Scalix to interact with other founders and learn more about starting a business in Singapore or anywhere else.