Year in year out, Singapore defends its title of the easiest country for running a business and gets the highest rankings in surveys of the World Bank. Setting up a company in Singapore becomes a choice for more and more successful entrepreneurs who value efficient business regulations, support of the business-friendly government, and low taxes. On top of these obvious benefits, Singapore company incorporation embraces lots of other boosts that make the perfect place for starting up such as innovative approach to business, effective laws, low crime, English-speaking, educated and skilled manpower, advanced infrastructure of a powerful technology hub, and westernized Asian spirit.
If you are looking for a sound and legally-effective place for your new business or you need a launching pad for spreading the influence of your company on Asia, Singapore company registration opens the door to a huge 5-billion Asian market and guarantees you uncorrupted and red-tape-free business procedures.Interested in what is company incorporation Singapore and how it can promote your most daring business idea? Please, refer to our comprehensive Singapore company incorporation guide and reach to us for a FREE business setup consulting.
How to Set up a Company in Singapore?
The country made all possible to simplify the procedure of company formation in Singapore and developed effective online solutions that eliminate any possibility of corruption and create equal conditions for all kinds of businesses. Who can set up a company in Singapore? Entrepreneurs of all nationalities don’t have to stand in a long queue and suffer from a red-tape headache: everyone who has at least 1 Singaporean dollar for the paid-up capital can incorporate company in Singapore in 1 single day. What is more, Singapore sets no restrictions for the amount of the paid-up capital and its “nationality”: it can be totally foreign.
How to register the company in Singapore with the maximum of benefits for your business? A foreigner that has a business idea or an overseas company that needs to set up its SG-based office will need to involve a mediator – specialized services for incorporating a company in Singapore – because the city-state doesn’t allow them to the offshore company formation Singapore backstage. Enlisting professional incorporation services will help you to choose the legal entity correctly as this choice will define your liabilities and opportunities of your future company, as well as filing and taxes. The SG government has developed a bunch of legal entities in order to meet every business need: each business form has benefits, drawbacks, and restrictions, and, therefore, it is crucial to undergo an assessment for choosing the most suitable entity before moving on to the final stage of incorporation of company in Singapore – registration.
Setting up a business in Singapore not necessary means total relocation of its owner to this country. Singapore allows foreign owners of SG-based offshore businesses to run their companies from abroad as well as to shift to the country in order to place oneself at the head of the firm. The government has a couple of visa solutions for individuals incorporating a company in Singapore and overseas companies who are going to send their professionals or executives to Singapore: the EntrePass and the Employment Pass. Each visa has a set of requirements, and, therefore, its application must be strategized by a migration/incorporation expert along with handling the registration of a company in Singapore. Our one-stop incorporation team will not only shoulder your business registration but also develop comfortable visa solutions for your staff.
An overseas entrepreneur who would like to set up a company in Singapore can either run it from abroad using the service of the nominee director or shift to the country using one of these visa schemes:
Singapore Company Registration + EP
Employment Pass can be used by the company’s owner for moving to SG only after the company is already registered. The director can get the visa if his SG-based firm hires him on the Employment Pass. To get qualified for the EP, the director must be offered a salary of over 3,300 SGD (older and more experienced directors need to have a higher salary) and have skills and expertise for the offered job. The authorities will also assess the company’s business performance and its activity in local hires. This temporary (1-2 years) pass can be renewed or upgraded to the permanent residence.
Company Registration Singapore +EntrePass
An entrepreneur who would like to arrive in SG well in advance for doing the groundwork for his Singapore company setup and be present during the company registration in Singapore, can get the EntrePass before, during or 6 month after the incorporation. To get qualified, the businessman has to prove his successful business background, the firm’s share capital of at least 50,000 SGD and holding over 30% of the shares, involving an angel/venture investor that infuses over 100,000 into the company, as well as to provide an innovative business plan and fulfil some other criteria. If you decide to register a company in Singapore using the EntrePass, we will help you to polish your entrepreneurial profile and assist in composing an outstanding business plan. Only this scheme gives the foreign director of the Singaporean company the full power of running his business in SG.
Register Company in Singapore + Nominee Director
If the business owner decides to stay abroad and run his Singaporean company distantly, he can appoint formal local directors who will represent the company’s interests in the country. Such forms of Singapore offshore company incorporation as the Subsidiary and the Private Limited require a nominee local director to be appointed. Running a company using the nominee director scheme, you won’t be able to sign contracts on your own. Later, if the business owner decides to join his SG-based company and replace the formal director, he can do so using either of the above-mentioned visas: the EntrePass or the Employment Pass. We will help you to find a suitable and reliable candidacy for the position of a nominee director for your company incorporation in Singapore.
Singapore Company Incorporation Options for Foreign Company:
Foreign businesses that are looking for an ideal launching pad for spreading their influence in Asia opt for Singapore not only because of its beneficial tax modes and proximity to the customer and winning localization, but also because of its well-balanced Singapore company formation entities. Depending on whether you need safety or economy, you can choose either the Subsidiary or the Branch for your Singapore company registration. If you need a remote office solely for a research activity, register a company in Singapore as the Representative Office and save both your money and time you would spend on taxes and filing. Each type of business entity available for a “presence” company registration in Singapore has its distinctive benefits and restrictions/drawbacks.
Setting up Subsidiary Company
The Subsidiary is the safest form of setting up a company in Singapore because it protects the personal assets of its founders (basically, a foreign parent firm holds most of the shares) by limiting their liabilities to the Subsidiary’s share capital. A company registered as the Subsidiary has a separate legal entity and can be responsible for its activity (signing contracts, having debts, or buying property) before the law separately from the parent company, and, therefore, the parent company gets the whole profit and doesn’t respond for anything directly. Using the form of the Subsidiary for the Singapore company incorporation is also winning because of the tax incentives. New Subsidiaries can get up to 50-100% discount for paying the corporate tax for the first 300k of their revenues.
Singapore Subsidiary Company + Nominee Local Director
Appointing a local nominee director for the Subsidiary often becomes an option when the director(s) of the Subsidiary and the parent company are the same persons, and they aren’t able to shift to Singapore for taking charge of the new company. What is more, appointing 1 local director is the ultimate requirement for registering a company in Singapore as the Subsidiary. Please, take into account that the real foreign director won’t be able to sign contracts in case you choose to go with only the nominee director for your company incorporation Singapore. Our full Singapore company registration services include appointing the appropriate and responsible local director (an adult Singaporean or a permanent resident).
Singapore Subsidiary Company + Employment Pass
After the Subsidiary company registration Singapore is finished, the foreign director can shift to Singapore to take charge of the Subsidiary using the Employment Pass and substitute the nominee. To obtain this visa, both the overseas director and his Singaporean company must fulfil a standard set of requirements. The director must possess sufficient skills, expertise for running a company, and excellent educational qualifications. The Subsidiary must hire the director with the salary that corresponds his professional level and age (the minimum salary for obtaining this visa is 3,300 SGD, but it is the lowest limit for the youngest and least experienced candidates). The Subsidiary will also be assessed by the government for its business indices, paid-up capital, track record and activity in hiring local talents. Our company registration agents in Singapore will help to polish the profiles of both the director and the Subsidiary for getting qualified for this visa.
Setting up Branch Office
The SG Branch Office acts solely as an extension of the overseas parent company and shares the same legal entity with it. Therefore, if you choose the form of the Branch Office for your new company registration in Singapore, be ready to take responsibility for the Branch’s activity: debts, legal prosecutions, and other troubles. Opening a company in Singapore as the Branch, the parent company strictly defines the scopes of its activity and gets 100% of its profit. 2 local Singaporean agents must be placed at the head of the Branch in the very beginning. This form of business entity has one significant benefit: profits earned outside of Singapore (the source must be proved in the annual filing) aren’t subject to the corporate tax.
Singapore Branch Office + Nominee Local Agents
If you choose the form of the Branch Office for your business incorporation in Singapore, the ultimate requirement says that 2 adult Singaporean agents must be appointed in the very beginning. Such form of running a business allows the parent company to define the business guideline of the Branch and make all crucial decisions. Our Singapore company formation service includes suggesting appropriate and educated local agents that will satisfy your business needs. If after a time the parent company becomes able and willing to send one of its directors to enable him to take the charge of the Branch, they can use the scheme with the Employment Pass.
Singapore Branch Office + Employment Pass
After the Branch company Singapore registration is finished, the Branch’s director can consider shifting to SG for taking charge of the company and replacing 2 local nominee agents by getting the Employment Pass. To get qualified for the visa, both the foreign director and the Branch Office will be assessed by the government according to the standard requirements. The director must possess excellent educational qualifications, prominent skills and experience in running a company as well as the Branch must hire him with the salary that corresponds with his age and professionalism (the standard salary limit of 3,300 SGD fits the least experienced and the youngest candidates). The Branch Office that is going to hire a director from abroad will be also assessed for its paid-up capital, business indices, and activity in local employment. Our Singapore company formation services include preparing both the director’s and the Branch’s profiles for the Employment Pass qualification.
The Representative Office isn’t a traditional corporate structure, but a special Singapore company formation that has no legal entity. The same as the Subsidiary and the Branch Office, it is used for establishing the presence of the foreign business in Singapore, but if you opt for starting a company in Singapore as the Representative Office, you are freed from such tedious routines as paying taxes, maintaining statutory documents and annual filing. On the other hand, despite such obvious benefits, the form of the Representative Office has one significant drawback: the RO cannot be used for profitable activity but only for the market research, building contacts, collecting data and preparing the ground before launching a full-scale profitable activity.
Singapore Representative Office Setup + Employment Pass
One of the requirements for setting up a new company in Singapore as the Representative Office is appointing 1 foreign representative that takes the charge of the whole office. This foreigner must have an appropriate visa for being able to work in Singapore. At the moment of submitting the EP application, the office must be already registered because one of the requirements for getting the EP is being hired by the Singaporean company. As the RO doesn’t act as a traditional corporate body, getting qualified for the visa has its peculiarities. It is better to entrust with this task the same team that shoulders your Singapore company registry. Please, get in touch with our company incorporation Singapore specialists for strategizing a sure Employment Pass application.
Singapore Company Registry Options for Locals
Local Singaporean entrepreneurs and companies can also benefit from our incorporation services as our expertise in setting up different types of business structures, paperwork grip and well-tuned collaboration with the authorities saves them from daunting administrative routine and allows them to take a delight in doing business. For the locals, our Singapore incorporation services include such business structures:
Singapore Private Limited Company
The Private Limited (Pte Ltd) company is the most winning way to incorporate a company in Singapore as this business formation has a limit for its members’ (up to 50) liability equal to the company’s paid-up (share) capital. This way, personal assets of the Pte Ltd’s owners/founders/shareholders are protected. The firm can freely incur debts, go law, buy property and answer before the law independently as a legal entity. This form of company registration Singapore is very flexible: its existence doesn’t depend on the membership of its founders; its ownership can be changed by partial or total selling of its shares. The Pte Ltd has a more appealing image for the bankers, investors, suppliers, and clients. A young private limited can also benefit from the governmental tax incentives: no corporate tax for the first 100k SGD of profit and minus 50% of the corporate tax (17%) for the next 200k SGD of revenues.
Singapore Limited Liability Partnership
If two or more partners that work together in one business (for example, legal niche or accountancy) want to protect themselves from wilful neglect of other partners’ duties, they can register their bound as the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). Such form of cooperation fits licensed professionals (lawyers or bookkeepers) the best. The LLP has its separate legal entity, and therefore, it is liable before the law or other people for its partners’ actions or inactions on its own behalf and with its own assets. The guilty partner will be responsible with his own assets while other partners that are not guilty will be responsible only with their shares in the LLP. The benefit of such Singapore business incorporation is that the LLP’s income is taxed not on the corporate but on the personal level – at the personal tax rate (partners-individuals pay their personal income tax while partners-companies pay the tax for companies).
Singapore Sole Proprietorship
Any businessman who is involved in a continual activity that is aimed at reaping profits can register this small business in Singapore as the Sole Proprietorship. This form of business structure fits only low-risk undertakings as, unlike the Limited Liability Company, it doesn’t protect the owner’s personal assets in case of failure or legal prosecutions. The SP doesn’t hold a separate legal entity but shares its owner’s one, and therefore, the owner of the Sole Proprietorship is fully responsible for its business activity with everything he has. This business structure must have 1 local Singaporean manager (this role is usually played by the owner himself). As such firm hasn’t its own legal entity, it cannot take part in the incorporation of new companies. The profit of the SP will be taxed as the personal income of the owner, and, therefore, no filing is required for this type of business.
Difference between Company Types in Singapore
Each form of company setup in Singapore has its own distinctive features, benefits, and drawbacks. Key factors how all companies can be distinguished are:
- All limited liability companies (Private Limited Company, Subsidiary, Limited Liability Partnership) have the best protection in business risks because they have a separate business entity: the firm’s liability is defined by the paid-up capital and the owners’ individual assets aren’t subject to any legal prosecutions. The fullest liability belongs to companies who share the same legal entity with its founder: a company (the Branch Office) or an entrepreneur (Sole Proprietorship).
- Allowed activity. Firms registered as limited liability separate entities (Private Limited, Subsidiary, and LLP) have the fullest freedom in their activity: they can buy assets, sign contracts, go law, and incur debts. The Branch Office’s activity is defined by its parent company’s one. The Representative Office is the only business form that isn’t allowed to the profitable activity at all.
- Companies that aren’t corporate bodies (as the Representative Office) or firms that share the same legal entity with the parent firm/owner (Sole Partnership and Branch Office) as well as the Limited Liability Partnership don’t have to pay the corporate tax. The Sole Partnership pays only the personal income tax. Private Limited Companies and Subsidiaries get governmental corporate tax incentives: minus 100% of the corporate tax for the first 100k SGD of gain and minus 50% for the next 200k SGD of gain. After paying this corporate tax, company’s members can get their revenues without paying the personal income tax.
- Filing requirements. Companies that are subject to the corporate tax (Private Limited, Subsidiary, and Branch Office) have to file their audited accounts yearly. The Branch has to file for both the parent company and itself. The Representative Office, which isn’t a corporate body, and the Sole Proprietorship don’t have to file their audited accounts. The Limited Liability Partnership must submit its declaration of solvency/insolvency yearly and handle bookkeeping regularly.
Taxation of Singapore Companies
- Private Limited company and Subsidiary are subjects to tax incentives: corporate tax at 0% for the first 100k SGD of gain and at 8.5% for the next 200k SGD of gain, later – regular corporate tax at 17%. There is no personal income tax after paying the corporate one.
- Branch Office: no corporate tax for incomes earned abroad; for inshore incomes – traditional corporate tax.
- Representative Office: no taxes (it doesn’t perform as a corporate body).
- Limited Liability Partnership: no corporate tax. Its partners are subject to the personal income tax.
- Sole Partnership: no corporate tax. The owner is subject to the personal income tax.
Singapore Company Incorporation Required Documents
To get your new Singapore-based company registered with the ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority), the founder should first undergo a FREE assessment and select a suitable business structure for the future company with our company registration consultants in Singapore. Each business entity requires its unique set of documents. Here is an approximate list of what you need to provide:
- Name of the new company (its availability must be checked in advance)
- Short overview of the company’s prospected business activity
- Certified copy of the founding company’s certificate about the incorporation and MAA (for cases when a founder is a corporate body)
- New company’s registered Singaporean address
- Data about the company’s foreign director(s)
- Data about the local Singaporean nominee directors/agents or the representative
Please get in touch with our professional incorporation agents for your personal list of documents. Requirements for the Singapore company incorporation paperwork are very high, and one needs to know the latest standards of Singapore business documentation in order to prepare the papers accordingly. Unless your documents are in English, you need to get them translated professionally and endorsed.If you don’t like the idea of messing with the tedious administrative paperwork and risking your chance, play it safe and involve our comprehensive Singapore company incorporation services for a confident start. After you provide us with the basic documentation about yourself and your present business achievements (such as your business profile, the incorporation certificate, and so on), you can sit back while we shoulder your paperwork routine and orchestrate your Singapore company registration.
Singapore Company Incorporation Procedures
Foreigners who want to incorporate a Singapore company need to enlist local business registration service as they aren’t allowed to handle the registration procedure directly. We will be your mediator in the incorporation process and represent your business ideas at the authorities. After we make a substantial assessment of your entrepreneur eligibility, we will help you to choose the most suitable company entity and develop a winning scheme how to set up a company in Singapore with the best benefits for your business.
Singapore incorporation procedure is famous for its streamlined technologies that allow foreigners to get their new companies registered in a single day. This easiness doesn’t, however, mean that companies are knocked up slapdash here. A huge groundwork must be done before that brief registration:
- Name check
- Getting approval from the government (if your particular business needs it)
- Appointing staff for the positions of local director/secretary/agents
- Obtaining the Singaporean address
- Registration at the ACRA
After your Singapore company registration is finished and you get your company registration number (which works as your main incorporation document), we will assist you in opening your local bank account, getting business licenses (if needed) and strategizing visa applications for all your foreign staff and their family members that have to be moved to SG.
If you decide to start up with us, you will get a full support in all of the mentioned steps. We can handle your company registration in Singapore even without your physical presence in the country. After we assess your case and you share your business idea with our team, you can sit back and enjoy as smooth company incorporation as it can be.
Singapore Company Registration Processing Time
If you choose Singapore as your startup destination, you don’t have to suffer from the red tape or wait in a long queue: advanced technologies adopted by the Company Registrar made the company incorporation a matter of hours. The full procedure – from the free assessment to getting the official registration certificate – would take our team up to 10 days. In respect to your deadlines, we will lay down the perfect and reliable foundations for your new Singaporean business in the shortest possible time!
Singapore Companies Annual Filing Requirements
Not all types of companies must handle the annual filing. It depends on the taxes the company pays and its corporate “nature”:
- Private Limited Company, Subsidiary, and Branch Office must handle the annual filing of their audited accounts and tax returns, and the Branch must file for both itself and its foreign parent company at that.
- Representative Office doesn’t require any filing and even keeping the statutory documents as it hasn’t a corporate nature.
- Sole Proprietorship, which is subject to a personal income tax, doesn’t have to make the annual filing.
- Limited Liability Partnership must handle regular bookkeeping and maintain the documentation during 7 years. The firm must submit its declaration of solvency/insolvency annually (no more than 15 months between submissions).
Despite Singaporean filing system is one of the most effective in the world, it can be challenging for a foreigner in the very beginning. Please, learn your tailor-made filing requirements from our Singapore incorporation experts to avoid getting mixed up. Undergo a FREE business assessment to get a competent guidance in all Singapore incorporation milestones.