Step By Step Guide Of Establishing A Company In Singapore
Singapore is one of the best places to do business, according to the World Bank. Setting up a business in Singapore is very easy, and it just takes around three days to start one. The best part is that an easy process can be done online. The country has liberal laws and flexible immigration policy that makes it easy for anyone to start up a company. Equally, the process of filing returns in Singapore is very easy.
Requirements for setting up a company in Singapore
Before setting up a company in Singapore, there are requirements one must meet before starting the process
Directors: A company in Singapore can have both foreign residents and Singapore residents as directors. But it is required that at least one Singapore resident should be a director. The resident can be a citizen, permanent resident, or one holding an employment pass.
Shareholders: a company can have between 1 and 50 shareholders who are either individuals or corporate entities, be it local or foreign.
Company Secretary: A company is required to appoint a secretary within six months of incorporation and should be a resident of Singapore.
Share capital: A company requires at least S$1 in paid-up capital to set up, but this can increase with the addition of more capital.
Step by Step guide of the process of company registration in Singapore
With these requirements met, three main tasks should be fulfilled, which include Name approval, document preparation, and then company registration.
The first thing to do before beginning the process of application is to company name search and reserving it. The ACRA has to approve the name by ensuring that it is not identical to an existing one, there is no infringement of trademark, and another business does not reserve it. For name approval, you will have to part with an approval fee of S$15. Once approved, the name is reserved for around 120 days within which you can incorporate a company or lose the reservation if you don’t.
Preparing registration documents
After the name has received approval, the next step is to register the business entity on ACRA Bizfile. This requires various documents to be available, which includes a signed consent to act as a director for all directors and signed consent to acts as a Company secretary by the secretary. Equally, the ACRA requires a company constitution by one that can adopt the standard Singapore company constitution that the ACRA provides. Also, it is necessary to provide residential address and identification for every shareholder and company officials.
Registering the company with the registrar, ACRA
After preparing the incorporation, document s it is then the company can now be registered officially with ACRA. The registration process is straightforward and is completed online in less than an hour. However, there are cases where the registration has to pass through another government agency for further interrogations, and this can take a few weeks. You will be required to pay the registrar of companies an upfront fee of S$300. The fee is part of the company incorporation package.
Before beginning the process of incorporation, ensure you have the following documents. For each shareholder, ensure you have a copy of passport, Residency card for residents, proof of residential address, and a brief professional background.
Equally for corporate shareholders ensures there is a certificate of registration provided by the registrar where the company is registered, a company extract which contains the name, registration number, address, paid-up capital, and business activities the company engages in. Also, an authorized person resolution passed by directors is necessary as well as an ownership structure that shows who the Ultimate Beneficial Owners are.
Opening bank account
Following the incorporation of the company, it will be necessary to have a bank account for purposes of accounting. Opening a corporate bank account is easy, but it is necessary to inquire about the documents they might require, which includes a Certificate of Incorporation, signed consent form to act as secretary or director, and a business profile printout.
You can open an account at any bank, but it is good to compare what the different banks offer. For instance, if you are starting a small company, it’s advisable to opt for a bank that charges little or no monthly account charges and one that does it require to set up fees. Also, look for one that is offering free cheque books if you require one.
Licenses and permits: your company may require some permits and licenses depending on your area of operations.
Customs registration: If the business deals with importing and exporting, then it requires registration with the Singapore customs.
Office working hours: you have to register and provide an office address with work hours, which should be at least three hours per week.
Registration for Goods and Services Tax: Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax levied on the supply of goods and services in the country as well as on the import of goods. Equally, if the company’s taxable revenue is over $1 million annual, you have to register for GST.
Registration with the Central Proficient Fund (CPF): the CPF is a mandatory pension fund scheme that requires employers in permanent resident or citizen employees to contribute a fraction of the monthly payment to the fund. After registering the company receives as CPF submission number as well as a Direct Debut Authorization form that is used to make deposits to CPF accounts of employees
Documents the ACRA provides after registration
Certificate of Incorporation: After the process is complete, the company registrar will email details about incorporation and your registration number. Singapore does not offer a paper certificate, so this is an official certificate that should not be lost.
Company Business Profile: once you have registered the company, the registrar will create a business profile for your company. This entails then company name and registration numbers, incorporation date, principal activities, shareholder details, director details, and previous names of the company, if any.