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Registering a Singapore company? Here’s the only company registration guide you’ll ever need.
*Refers to a Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident, or holders of Singapore work visas (EntrePass or Employment Pass)
Besides the general guidelines mentioned earlier, here’s some additional information that non-Singapore residents need to consider:
To register your company in Singapore, you’ll need to provide the following documents:
If you are engaging the services of a professional service firm, they will typically require these documents from you in order to prepare the necessary paperwork:
Do note that officially-endorsed translated versions must be provided for any non-English documents.
Now that you have your documents checklist, before setting up a company in Singapore, it is also good to know what are the different entity that you can register.Need guidance incorporating your company in Singapore? Learn more about our incorporation services or contact our experts.
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The company registration procedure in Singapore is fully computerised by Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and can be done within the same day under regular circumstances.
To register your Singapore company, you’ll need to go through two distinct steps:
In general, new company names are approved or rejected within an hour. The exception to this is if the proposed name has certain words (such as bank, finance, law, media, etc.) that might require the review and approval of a corresponding external government authority – in this case, the name approval may get delayed by a few days or weeks.
To get your proposed company name approved quickly, make sure that the name:
Once the name has been approved and any duly signed incorporation paperwork is in place, company registration can be completed in a couple of hours within the filing of the incorporation request. In some rare cases, authorities might request for additional information from shareholders or directors of certain nationalities.
When your Singapore company has been registered, ACRA will send an official email notification to confirm it. The email notification includes the company registration number and is treated as the official certificate of incorporation in Singapore.
A hard copy of the certification of incorporation is no longer issued by default. However, if you need one, you can make an online request to ACRA after registration for S$50 per copy. Hard copy certificates of incorporation can be collected the next day from the ACRA office.
Besides the certificate of incorporation, you will also be able to obtain a PDF version of your company business profile by making a request online and paying a nominal application fee. The company business profile is usually available for download within an hour of the request and contains the following key details:
The email notification of incorporation and company business profile are sufficient in Singapore for all legal and contractual purposes, including the opening of corporate bank accounts, signing of office leases, subscriptions to telephone/internet services, etc.
Some of the other items you will almost certainly need upon registration of your Singapore company include:
After successfully registering your Singapore company, you can open a corporate bank account in any of the major banks in Singapore such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citibank, DBS, OCBC, UOB, etc.
Many Singaporean banks require the physical presence of the company principals as part of the account opening procedure. If you are unable to visit Singapore, you should choose a bank that does not have this requirement. For more details, refer to our guide on opening a corporate bank account in Singapore.
You may also need to obtain one or more business licenses before you can commence your business operations. Business activities under this category include restaurants, educational institutes, travel agencies, financial services, import/export-related industries, etc. For more information on this, refer to our Singapore business licenses guide.
If the projected annual revenue of your company exceeds SGD 1 million, you need to register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is known as Value Added Tax (VAT) or Sales Tax in other countries. GST-registered companies need to charge this tax (currently 7%) to their clients on the goods and services provided, and remit this amount to the tax authorities. For further details on GST, refer to our Singapore GST guide.
Finally, the Singapore Companies Act mandates certain annual filing requirements and formalities for registered Singapore companies. For more details on this, see our guide on annual filing requirements for Singapore companies.
Singapore companies have plenty of options when it comes to opening a corporate bank account. You have to fulfil a list of account opening requirements as well as consider the different options offered by both local and international banks to determine which is the most suitable for you.
Read our guide to opening a corporate bank account here
Hawksford is a leading provider of company formation and administration services for companies of all sizes in Singapore. To support businesses in Singapore, we offer customized company formation solutions designed exclusively to meet the needs of Foreign Entrepreneurs, Foreign Companies and Singapore Residents.
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