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Everything You Need to Know About Company Incorporation in Singapore

Ranked the 2nd best country globally to do business by the Ease of Doing Business Report 2022, Singapore is unquestionably the perfect place to leverage lucrative investment opportunities. So whether you plan on expanding your existing business internationally or forming a company, Singapore will never disappoint you. Furthermore, well-known for its relaxed laws and investment-friendly business regulations, Singapore is one of few countries to start your company and gain global recognition.

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    However, you must note that while the laws are flexible and investor-friendly, there lies several compliance guidelines and formalities you must adhere to while incorporating a company. Therefore, to make this process seamless, it is prudent to seek professional assistance who can guide you at every step and make company incorporation in Singapore quick and hassle-free. Read on to learn everything about setting up a company in Singapore.

    Benefits Of Forming A Company In Singapore

    When speaking of company incorporation in Singapore, there are numerous benefits. Some prominent advantages of setting up a company in Singapore are as follows:


    • Dynamic Startup Opportunities 


    Holding the title of the World’s Freest Economy in 2020, Singapore has invariably emerged as one of the best countries for startups and growing businesses. In addition, setting up a company in Singapore offers additional advantages in the form of government aid and exemptions, making the process more seamless. Likewise, logistics, transportation, biotechnology, and finance are some prominent emerging industries, making Singapore Asia’s most notable digital centre. 


    • Prominence to Asia’s major economic centres 


    Even after being one of the smallest countries in the world, Singapore is famous for its prominence among Asia’s major economic centres. Moreover, this dynamic city boasts a GDP/capita of US$58,248, making it the most lucrative to incorporate a company. 


    • Exceptional tax benefits 


    While hefty corporate taxes in several countries can be challenging for many business owners, Singapore holds a lucrative tax structure with corporate tax rates varying from 0 to 17 per cent. Some primary tax advantages of incorporating a company in Singapore are as follows: 


    • Tax credit pooling
    • Tax-free dividends
    • No tax on capital gains
    • Unilateral tax credit 
    • Reduced withholding tax on foreign-sourced earnings.

    What Are The Different Forms Of Legal Entities Formed, And Why?

    Once you plan to incorporate a company in Singapore, you can readily choose from different business entities. And after selecting your desired business entity, you must meet all the detailed criteria to incorporate a company legally recognised under the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Below is a tabular representation of different forms of legal entities that you can register in Singapore.

    Type of legal business entities Nature of business Minimum criteria required for specific business entity 
    Private Limited Company The company’s associates, directors, and owners have fixed accountability for the company’s debts.
    • At least one company shareholder
    • One resident director.
    • Minimum $1 of paid-up capital
    • Registered address in Singapore
    • One Company Secretary (CS).
    Branch Office This business entity defines the non-Singapore-based expansion of foreign entities with limited tax exemptions. 
    • Local business agent
    • Single corporate shareholder
    • PO box or registered address in Singapore.
    Subsidiary Company A holding firm with power over a subsidiary organisation must have 10% of the management. In addition, the subsidiary company follows the same regulations that apply to a private limited company.
    • At least one company shareholder
    • Registered address in Singapore 
    • A single resident director and CS
    • Minimum paid-up share capital of $1. 
    Representative Office A temporary corporation type promotes the foreign business to explore the Singapore business domain and communicate with the local investors and businesses to comprehend their preferences.
    • The business agent office must have no more than five employees. 
    • A Singapore work pass is needed for relocation to Singapore. 
    • The sales turnover should exceed $2,50,000.
    Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) enjoys the mixed advantages of a partnership firm and a private limited company.
    • At least two partners are needed to form a partnership firm.
    • Registered address in Singapore. 
    • Full-time resident manager.

    What Is The Process Of Business Setup In That Country?

    Once you choose the business entity type, you can begin the registration process of your company. Below are some primary steps required to incorporate a company in Singapore. 


    • Understanding and sticking to Singapore’s enterprise and trade regulations 

    Before incorporating a company in Singapore, it is prudent to remain well-versed with all the specified rules and regulations of the state. Also, it is mandatory to comply with all the applicable laws for successful company registration. 


    • Choose a suitable company title

    After thoroughly understanding the trade requirements and making your business compliant with the appropriate laws, you can move ahead with choosing a relevant title for your business. However, remember that the company’s title should always remain coherent with the business statutes of Singapore, and the applied title should not be identical to other names registered and approved by ACRA.


    • Completing registration application with the competent authority 

    Once you get approval on the company title and other criteria, such as business type, consent of the directors and Company Secretary, and supporting documents, complete the company registration application with ACRA. Nevertheless, carrying all the relevant documents for successful company registration is essential. 


    • Successful company registration

    If the competent officer (ACRA) thinks the applicant company fulfilled all the criteria, they will approve the registration, and the company promoters can begin the incorporation procedure. 


    • Post-registration accountabilities 

    Even when your company gets registered in Singapore, you must still follow some compliance rules. And one of the most significant post-registration responsibilities is opening a company account. So ensure you maintain a bank account with Singapore’s regional or international bank. Furthermore, you must also carry all the necessary licences and permits along with a business website to diversify your reach among local audiences. 

    Records Required To Incorporate A Company In Singapore

    Below is a list of documents you must submit to obtain a company registration certificate in Singapore: 


    • KYC information, including a business profile and bank reference letter, with all the necessary details.
    • Approval letter of the company name.
    • ID copy of Singapore resident director.
    • Address proof and passport copy.
    • Particulars relating to shareholders, directors, and company secretary.
    • Memorandum of Association and Article of Association.
    • Details relating to the company’s registered address.
    • Any other required documents as may be specified by the concerned statute.

    Overseas Direct Investment Regulation By The Reserve Bank Of India

    The overseas direct investment regulation is the latest regulation mandated by the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) to facilitate the ease of business in a foreign country. Moreover, the regulations by RBI aim to promote easier investment by Indian-owned foreign corporations in Indian companies, which earlier would be charged as round tripping.


    To sum up, we can say that selecting the suitable business structure for your enterprise is just as vital as any other decision you make. Furthermore, it is more relevant when you are incorporating your company in Singapore. It might also not be wrong to say that your business operates more seamlessly and accomplishes better objectives when it holds the appropriate business structure. 


    And if you are looking for specialist professionals who can help you with your company incorporation in Singapore, look no further than Numbro. At Numbro, we have a team of dedicated professionals in India and Singapore with comprehensive expertise in entity formation to dissolution to streamline your incorporation process better. 


    Who Can Incorporate a Business in Singapore?

    Anyone who fulfils the required criteria can incorporate a company in Singapore seamlessly. Nevertheless, if you are a foreign company planning to venture out or begin operations in Singapore, you will need a registered Singapore company incorporation certificate from Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

    What do we mean by ACRA?

    Also known as Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, ACRA is a government institution that oversees company registration and compliance in the country. Also, unlike similar branches of other countries around the world, ACRA has less red tape and bureaucracy, which makes business incorporation much more effortless.

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