Singapore ranks 2nd in Asia and 18th worldwide for ease of doing business. We are seeing tech giants like Dell and Huawei choosing to establish regional headquarters here, with close to 25,000 new companies established each year.
How to incorporate a business in Singapore
Incorporating a company in Singapore is pretty straightforward. But there are many operational matters to look into before your company is ready to operate, such as applying for work passes, looking for an office space and tasks related to statutory regulations.
Here is checklist of things you need to know before being able to incorporate your company, and how we can help you make it a hassle free experience:
1. Reserve a business name
Prior to incorporating a company, you need to choose an appropriate name that suites your business. Once you have decided on a favourable name, you have to run it through the ACRA system to make sure that name is not already in use and that it is not similar to existing names used by other businesses. Upon receiving approval from ACRA, you can then proceed on to the next step to incorporate your company.
2. Determine the type of Company structure you want to adopt
There are several different company structures to choose from, ranging from Sole-Proprietorship to Limited Partnership (LP), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) and Private Limited (Pte Ltd), etc. If you are unsure which one to go for, we will be more than happy to advise you based on what best suites your needs.
3. Appoint Key Personnel
Incorporate a company, you will need to appoint several key personnel, such as Director(s), Company Secretary, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director, Auditors, etc. This does not only apply to locals but also to foreigners who wish to incorporate a local company here in Singapore.
4. Allocate shares for shareholders.
Every company needs to have at least one shareholder.
5. Registered Office Address & Constitution (applicable to Companies & LLPs)
You must provide a registered office address during your application to incorporate a company. So, what is considered as a registered office address?
A registered office address refers to the place where all communications and notices to the company are addressed to. This also means it is the place where the company’s register and records are kept. Do note that a registered office must be operational and accessible to the public during normal office hours, but it does not necessarily need to be where the company’s activities are conducted at.
For sole-proprietorships, partnerships and LPs, residential address is allow to be used as business address, prior approval from HDB or URA is needed.
As required by ACRA, it is mandatory for all business owners and company officers to submit their residential address during registration. The addresses are publicly available when the public decides to purchase information about the business entity. However, if you prefer not to disclose such sensitive information, you will be given the choice to provide an Alternate Address.
An Alternate Address must be an address where you can be contacted at and must be within the same jurisdiction as the residential address. Alternatively, this will be displayed in the Business Profile for the public should they decide to purchase information about the business entity. We are able to help you do all the necessary actions needed for this at $40, however we still do require your residential address for record purposes.
6. Decide on your FYE
Financial Year End (FYE) has to be decided when doing your submission to Bizfile+. The purpose of deciding on the first financial year end is to determine the due date for your corporate filings and taxes. Generally, you would want to choose dates such as 31st March, 30th June, 30th September or 31st December. This makes it much easier to keep track of when your submissions are due.
Another factor that you need to decide on would be if your accounting period covers 12 months or over 52 weeks.
7. Submit application to BizFile+.
Submit all required documents and you are ready to incorporate your company.
How will you know when your company has been incorporated?
You will receive an official email notification from ACRA, which includes the company registration number and is treated as the official certificate of incorporation in Singapore. You may also request for a hardcopy certificate from ACRA online at $50 per copy.
If you are confused about the regulatory, you may also consider outsourcing to professional firm. Here at FidCorp, our highly experienced corporate secretary will make sure your company is set-up in the right and legit way with our SME-friendly rate. Feel free to speak to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.