According to the Doing Business 2020 report by the World Bank, Singapore is the second easiest country in the world to do business. This is because Singapore offers foreign entrepreneurs a wide range of advantages, including a super-fast incorporation process, many tax benefits, and many business support schemes.
If you are looking for an ideal place to start your business, Singapore is the option to go for. You can register your own company in the Lion City by following these few simple steps:
Choose a service provider
It is regulated by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) that if you are a foreigner and you want to open a company in Singapore, you must:
- Use a Singapore company formation service from a trusted third party
- Appoint a director who is a local resident in Singapore
Furthermore, you also need to appoint a local-resident company secretary within 6 months and have a local address in Singapore. A service provider will also help you to fulfill these requirements.
Choose the company type
There are many business and company types that you can choose to register in Singapore. Some of the most common options are limited liability companies, sole proprietorships, and partnerships. The partnership is divided into 3 specific categories: general partnership, limited partnership, and limited liability partnership.
With that being said, you are recommended to open a private limited company in Singapore. It is the most chosen option by many foreign investors because of its safety and tax benefits. Particularly, a private company has its own legal status. This means that its shareholders will not hold liabilities beyond their shares toward any business debts. Moreover, this type of company is eligible for many tax schemes that can help you reduce a large amount of payable taxes.
On the other hand, sole proprietorship and partnership do not have a separate legal status. This means their owners will take full responsibility for all business debts. In addition, these businesses are only subject to very few beneficial schemes. You are not recommended to choose these business types.
Reserve the company name
The next step you need to do is choosing the name of your company. There are some notes that you should be aware of:
- The company name should not be the same as the existing ones.
- The company name should not violate any copyright regulation.
- The company name should not contain banned phrases or convey any bad meanings.
You will need to tell your service provider the name of your company since they will register it on your behalf. If registered successfully by ACRA, the name can be reserved for up to 120 days.
Register the company
Subsequently, you have to supply the service provider with the necessary documents to file the application for your company registration. Generally, a basic application file comprises the following information:
- The approved company name
- The description of your company’s business activities
- The company’s constitution (there will be a standard document provided by ACRA)
- The company’s local address
- Details of the local director and company secretary (if any)
- Details of the company’s shareholders (which can be either individual or corporate)
Upon the receipt of the above documents, the service provider will proceed to file and submit the application to register the company on your behalf. The process will be done completely online. You can expect to receive the result within 24 hours. However, the processing time may last longer in case ACRA needs more time to review your application.
The result will be informed via email. If your Singapore company establishment is approved, there will be a Unique Entity Number (UEN) and business profile attached in the email.
Complete a few more steps
At this point, your company is successfully registered. However, you need to complete a few more steps in order for the company to officially do business in Singapore. Particularly, you need to do the following things:
- Open a corporate account for your company (normally the service provider also assists you to apply for an account)
- Apply for further permits and licenses (if any, depending on your company’s business fields)
- Register for a CorpPass account (in order to transact with government agencies later)
- Register for Central Provident Fund (if you are going to hire local employees)
- Appoint a company secretary within 6 months (if you have not done this yet)
- Appoint an auditor within 3 months (unless your company is exempted from the auditing requirement)
And that is a complete guide to open your own company in Singapore. As you can see, the process is fast and simple. Your company can be established only in 24 hours within 5 simple steps. Now you are good to go!
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