Incorporating a Company in Singapore: What You Should Know
Singapore is an island nation with a global footprint. Its excellent strategic location coupled with its outward-looking open economy has made it one of the most sought-after attractions for business around the world. This small island nation with a stable political environment, strong rule of law and a highly skilled workforce has warranted it to receive accolades as being the second best place in the world for doing business. With these distinguishing traits and merits, Singapore has grown to become the fourth largest business centre in the world. In this article, we will share with you what you should know when incorporating a company in Singapore.
Factors that contribute to Singapore’s strong foundation
- A thriving economy and a highly productive workforce
Singapore’s economy is built on commerce, finance, and manufacturing. The country’s current account surplus is expanding. Singapore makes effective use of its strong financial position by subsidising housing, education, transportation, and health care. All of these characteristics combine to make the country’s economy exceptionally strong and well-managed. Despite starting off with limited natural resources, Singapore has managed to build a robust ecosystem.
For expats, Singapore continues to be the world’s most liveable place which ensures a high quality of life. Singapore has maintained their ranks to be in the upper tiers due to its outstanding infrastructure, low crime rates and access to reliable healthcare services and excellent sports infrastructure. Apart from that Singapore is a stable country with a corruption-free political system which contributes to another reason why Singapore is attractive for its thriving economy, high productive workforce and stable political system.
- Efficient process for incorporating and running a new company
Singapore has been regularly acknowledged as the world’s best location to conduct business, according to the World Bank’s annual assessment out of 189 economies around the world. It takes as quick as 15 minutes to register a company online here; the fastest in Southeast Asia.
The cost of forming a company in Singapore is low with business owners paying SGD 315 to the Singapore Registrar. Entrepreneurs and business owners looking for additional capital in Singapore also have a variety of possibilities. Start-ups and established firms can employ a comprehensive variety of sector-specific initiatives and incentives to ensure their continuous growth.
- Strategic geographical location and infrastructure
Singapore is a progressive country that has substantially invested in infrastructure projects, allowing it to fulfil the ever-changing needs of its citizens and corporate sector. It features a world-class transportation system that includes well-planned subway, bus, taxi, bicycle and pedestrian networks. The country has many strategically-located transportation hubs and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. Which makes it incredibly simple for the community to travel across the city relatively carbon-free.
Singapore itself is strategically located and is accessible by a multitude of international logistic facilities. As a result, transporting materials and goods in and out of Singapore is relatively easy. Besides a well-developed transportation infrastructure, Singapore has a strong financial network environment and reliable high-speed internet access. The country is projected to devote more funds to infrastructure projects that support its sustainability goals and efforts in the future years.
What is Required When Incorporating a Company?
Some practical considerations when setting up a company in Singapore:
- Before registering a business in Singapore, you must first get approval for your company name from the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
- Within 6 months from incorporation, a company secretary must be appointed. Please note that a sole director is restricted to act as the company secretary.
- To form a private company limited by shares in Singapore, you will need a physical registered office’s address based in Singapore.
- You must have at least 1 dollar in the currency of the shareholder’s choice unless a higher capital requirement is prescribed in a required license for paid-up capital. You can increase this amount at any time after incorporation. Ordinary shares, preference shares, and other types of shares are all possible.
- You must have at least one local Resident Director. This person could be a citizen, a permanent resident, or someone who has a valid work pass.
- All companies unless exempted are required to file the Register of Registrable Controllers (RORC) within 30 days from incorporation. The RORC is a register that identifies the UBO’s (Ultimate Beneficial Owners) of a company. This information is not available to the public.
Annual Compliance Obligations for Singapore Companies
- Prepare financial statements
- Hold the Annual General Meeting within 6 months from the financial year end of the company
- File the Annual return within 7 months from the financial year-end.
- Tax: file the estimated chargeable income with the IRAS
- Tax: file Annual Tax Return with IRAS and pay taxes if any are due
Singapore is a well-governed country that provides a business-friendly environment for new entrepreneurs. Its healthy economy, strategic geographic location, attractive tax policies and outward-looking policies make it an attractive place for incorporating a company. At Ledgen, we will guide and help you manage the processes accurately and efficiently.
Our dedicated team of professionals at Ledgen are ever ready to guide you. We work in tandem with our clients from multinationals to local businesses enabling them with foresight, agility and accuracy to cement their leadership in the world’s fastest-growing economies.
Contact Ledgen today to get started.