While it may be a small nation-state, Singapore has distinguished itself in the Asia-Pacific region due to its accessibility, state-of-the-art infrastructure, pro-business government policies, attractive tax rates and political stability.Whether you’re foreign, local, or representing your company that wishes to set up a company in Singapore, MC Group, a one-stop Singapore corporate service provider, has friendly and knowledgeable team of Singapore company registration specialists who would be happy to advise you on how your business can benefit from the extensive range of pro-business policies, grants and tax concessions in Singapore. We will be happy to talk to you via telephone, email or a face to face consultation at our office, which is conveniently located in Singapore’s central business district.

Why choose Singapore?

Singapore is an ideal location for global businesses to site their headquarters. Strong trade and investment makes Singapore the most competitive Asian country and the world’s easiest place to do business.

By situating your international HQ here, your company benefits from:

  • Singapore’s network of over 50 comprehensive Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements.
  • Singapore’s many free trade agreements and the Investment Guarantee Agreements.
  • Protection for your ideas and innovations thanks to Singapore’s strict enforcement of its strong intellectual property laws.

Company registration

The most common type of business entity to be set up in Singapore is the private limited company. 

A private limited company is limited by shares and has a separate legal entity from its shareholders. It is recognised as a taxable entity in its own right. As a result, shareholders of a Singapore private limited company are not liable for its debts and losses beyond their amount of share capital.

All companies in Singapore must be registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and abide by the Companies Act.

How to set up a Singapore Company

Steps Title Description
1 Name Reservation The proposed name for the company must be reserved first.
– Company name reservation is obtained by conducting a name search via bizfile;We will assist you to reserve your preferred company name.To increases the chances of obtaining your preferred name, please ensure the following:
– Name is not identical or too similar to any existing local company names
– Name does not infringe with any trademarks
– Name is not obscene or vulgar
– Name is not already reserved
2 Register Company Once the Company name has been reserved, filing of the incorporation forms and getting the approval from the ACRA can be completed within a few hours assuming that the all incorporation and due diligence documents are prepared and signed by the directors and shareholders of the new company.
3 Post-registration Formalities We will provide you a bundle of documents including:
– Company Business Profile
– Company Registration Certificate & Number
– Company Constitution
– Share Certificate
4 Certificate of Incorporation ACRA will send out an official email notification confirming the incorporation of the company.
5 Company Business Profile The company Business Profile includes:
– Company name and registration number
– Previous name for the company (if any)
– Incorporation date
– Principal activities
– Paid-up capital
– Registered office address
– Shareholders details
– Directors details
– Company secretary details
6 Formal Requirements opening a corporate bank account We will provide you and your Company the following:
– Share certificates for each of the shareholders
– A Company seal/ rubber stamp
We will be able to assist you to open a corpaote bank in Singapore once the Company is in incorporated
7 Applying for business licenses (if required) Good governance requires that certain business activities require a license in Singapore.
8 Good & Service Tax (GST) The company must register for GST if the projected annual revenue of the company exceeds SGD 1 million.
If your company is registered under GST, you will need to charge a tax of (7%) to your clients on the goods and services that you provide and remit this amount to the tax authorities.
9 Annual filing requirements Once your Singapore company has been incorporated, the Singapore Companies Act mandates certain annual filing requirements and formalities.

Post Registration and Compliance

Licenses and Permits: Some business activities in Singapore are subject to regulation by government authorities. Even if your business firm has been registered you cannot begin operation unless you have the necessary approval or license from the relevant government authorities.

Private schools, video companies, travel agencies, liquor distributors, moneylenders, banks, Financial advisers, childcare centres and importers, wholesales and retailers of liquor licenses are some examples of businesses that need permits to operate.

Registered Office Hours: You must have a registered office address and the office must be open to public for minimum of three hours per day during normal business hours on weekdays.

Registration Number: Business registration number issued by ACRA must be on all letterheads, invoices, billings or other documents used for official business communications.

Custom Registration: If your business activities involve import, export and transhipment in and out of Singapore, you will need to register your company with the Singapore Customs and obtain a CR Number or commonly known as Custom Registration. The central registration number is mandatory for Singapore companies or organizations engaged in trading activities.

Singapore Goods and Services Tax Registration: Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax on the supply of goods and services in Singapore and on the import of goods into Singapore. Goods exported from Singapore and international services provided from Singapore are exempt from GST. The current rate is 7%.

All Singapore businesses must register for GST if their annual taxable revenue is more than S$1 million, or currently making taxable supplies and the annual taxable revenue is expected to be more than S$1 million. The business is expected to register for GST within thirty days from the time it is deemed liable.

You may also choose to register for GST voluntarily. Approval for voluntary registration is at the discretion of the Comptroller in IRAS. Once approval is given, you must remain registered for at least two years.

Registration of Singapore Central Provident Fund (CPF): The Central Provident Fund or CPF is a compulsory pension fund scheme in which the employer and employee contribute a percentage of the monthly salary to the fund. CPF contribution by the employer is mandatory for all local employees who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents earning more than S$50 a month. The maximum CPF contribution rate for employer and employee is 14.5% and 20% respectively and can be lower depending on certain factors such as employee age, permanent resident status, etc. CPF contribution for foreign employees is not required.

Annual Statutory Compliance Requirements for a Singapore company

  1. Appointing a resident company secretary within 6 months (if not already provided by HC Consultancy);
  2. Fixing the company’s financial year end (FYE);
  3. Appointment of auditors – companies requiring compulsory audit are those with annual revenue above S$10m, assets above S$10m or over the number of employees is 50 and above;
  4. Providing the company secretary with up to date accounting records to enable filing of the Annual Return with ACRA within 6 months of the FYE and the Annual Tax Return by November of the next year;
  5. Notifying the company secretary of any changes in the corporate structure (directors, shareholders) and
    beneficial ownership;

Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore

Once the company has been incorporated, you may open a corporate bank account with any of the local or international banks based in Singapore.

Most banks require that the account signatories and directors be physically present in Singapore for paperwork signing when opening the company bank account. If you are unable to come to Singapore, some banks may accept the signing of documents at one of their overseas branches or at a Notary Public.