A company is a legal entity organised to earn a profit from business activities. It must have a Singapore registered office address and a local secretary. It also must provide a company constitution and a shareholder agreement.
It is a good idea for foreign entrepreneurs to incorporate their companies in Singapore because it offers low taxes, a stable economy and access to the Asia-Pacific market. This guide will explain how to incorporate a company in Singapore.
Choosing a company name
Choosing a company name is an important step in incorporating a business in Singapore. A well-chosen company name can help a business stand out from competitors and attract potential customers. A good choice will also reflect the nature of the business and its scope.
When choosing a name, it is important to check with the government agency that regulates businesses in Singapore. The agency will reject names that are similar or identical to existing ones, and may prohibit the use of certain words, such as those related to banking, insurance, universities, and education, which are controlled and regulated by government authorities.
You can check for available company names using the BizFile portal or a professional company name checking tool. You should also ensure that the company name is not already registered in another jurisdiction.
Obtaining a registered address
When you register a company in Singapore, you must have a local registered address. It is mandatory under the Companies Act of Singapore. The registered address is where government entities and banks can send you mail related to annual filings and other requirements. It can be a business address or private residence.
A reputable Singapore company incorporation service will handle all of these processes for you. They will also help you submit documents like a company constitution and proof of identity for directors and shareholders. This is required in order to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.
Once your company has been incorporated, you will receive an official notification email from ACRA. This will contain your company business profile and a unique Singapore Company Registration Number (CRN). You can then request for a hard copy of this document by paying a nominal fee.
Getting a company bank account
After completing the company incorporation process, you can apply for a bank account. Singapore has an established banking system and most banks will be happy to work with you. However, there are a few requirements that you should be aware of.
The most important is that the bank must be able to verify the identity of the ultimate beneficial owner. This is an individual or entity that owns more than 25 percent of the shares or has significant control over the company.
In addition to this, the bank will want to know about your company’s planned activities and potential clients. It will also ask for a copy of your corporate profile and certified copies of the company’s documents. This is required for legal and contractual purposes.
Obtaining a business license
Getting the proper licenses and permits will help your business run smoothly. This is especially true if you are planning to trade goods in Singapore. You will need a permit to import and export items like vegetables, films, pharmaceuticals, and video games. You may also need a licence for certain types of massage services.
Incorporating a company in Singapore is a great way to gain access to the lucrative Asia-Pacific market. You should register with ACRA to get your company name approved, and use Corppass to log in to GovTech’s single login system for Government-to-Business transactions.
The ACRA is Singapore’s government agency that looks after corporate compliance. However, you should not have to interact with them much, as your chosen company incorporation service provider will take care of most of the work.
Registering for GST
Setting up a business in Singapore may seem like a complicated process, but it is actually more straightforward than many people think. A company incorporation service provider will walk you through the process and handle all of the registration documents. Some of the basic requirements include a proposed company name that does not conflict with existing trademarks, a company constitution, and identification documents for directors and officers.
The company must also register for Goods and Services Tax (GST), a value-added tax that is similar to VAT in Europe. This is required if the company’s projected turnover exceeds $1 million. The company must also appoint a qualified company secretary within six months of its incorporation. The company can have up to 50 shareholders, which can be local individuals or foreign corporations.