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General Guide to Company Incorporation Singapore

Updated on Saturday 14th January 2017

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Foreign investors wanting to register a company in Singapore must first take into account the type of company they want to open. In order to determine what the suitable option is, they can research what the advantages of each type of company are or request the services of specialists in company formation in Singapore who will help them choose and register the right type of entity. The Singapore Company Act recognizes the following types of companies:

  •          - limited liability companies,
  •          - partnerships,
  •          - sole proprietorships.

Limited liability companies are divided into private, public limited companies and public companies limited by guarantee. Among these, the private limited company is the most employed in Singapore.

We also invite you to watch the video below on how to open a Singapore company:

Preparing to open a Singapore company

After choosing the most appropriate business form, foreign investors make sure they fulfill all the conditions required by the law to open a company in Singapore. First of all, a specific number of shareholders is required depending on the type of company chosen. The minimum number accepted for a private company is one. The shareholder may be a natural person or even another entity. Both national and foreign investors are welcomed to own companies in Singapore.

The company will then be required to have at least one director who will be a Singapore national or resident. A company secretary is also a must when opening a company in Singapore. However, the secretary must be appointed within 6 months after the company is registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

The company name must also be selected and reserved before the company registration procedure is begun. One last requirement is to appoint a local representative or Singapore company formation specialists to handle the incorporation process. We can also help if you want to open a company in Singapore.

Company registration requirements in Singapore

Before starting the registration procedure for the Singapore company, a businessman must make sure they have met all the requirements of the Company Act. All types of companies are required to:

  •          - draft the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company;
  •          - have a registered address in Singapore;
  •          - obtain a tax number;
  •          - register for GST.

Once the Memorandum and Articles of Association have been drafted, they must be submitted with the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Our Singapore company formation agents can assist with the preparation of the incorporation documents.

Post-registration requirements in Singapore

Once the company is registered with ACRA, there are several steps to be taken. Generally, the company will be required to register with different authorities, among which:

  •          registration for the Singapore Goods and Services Tax (GST),
  •          - apply for the required business license depending on the activity carried out,
  •          - opening a corporate bank account,
  •          - registration for the Central Provident Fund (CPF),
  •          - registration for the Skills Development Levy (SDL).

The registration for the CPF and SDL is required for paying the taxes associated to hiring workers in Singapore. Companies must also appoint an auditor.

Taxation of companies in Singapore

The main advantage of registering a company in Singapore is the tax system which is very flexible for local companies. The standard corporate tax is 17%, one of the lowest in Asia, if comparing the city-state to countries like China, Japan or Hong Kong. It is also useful to know that Singapore does not levy any capital gains or dividend taxes. Also, Singapore has enforced a great number of double taxation agreements which help foreign investors to repatriate their profits with low or no expenses at all. Apart from that, the Government also offers many incentives through which taxes can be minimized.

Considering company registration in Singapore must be done by a resident or a professional firm, we invite you to contact our representatives for a simplified procedure.

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