Singapore is considered one of the best places in the world for doing business. Singapore’s strategic location, a competitive workforce, business-friendly ecosystem, quick registration process, attractive tax frames, and extensive trade agreements, make it the best place to register a company in Singapore .
The time taken to register a company in Singapore is as little as 1 day. Yes, you heard it right. It’s just one day if you have all the documents ready. However, it may take 14 days to 2 months if the application needs to be sent to another government agency for approval.
Whether you are a Singapore citizen, permanent resident, or foreigner, registering a new company in Singapore is quick, simple, and most importantly, free from any unnecessary bureaucratic paperwork and hidden fees. But for that, you will have to be prepared.
In this article, let’s go through exactly what you need and how much is needed to register your company in Singapore.
Where to Start When Registering Your Company in Singapore?
Basically, you will need to get the help of a registered Singapore company incorporation service to open your new business in Singapore. The Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) acts as the national regulator of businesses and corporate service providers. ACRA governs the process for new company registration in Singapore.
Using a registered company incorporation service provider ensures that you can effortlessly satisfy all the local rules and regulations, by letting the service take the burden off your shoulder. A good incorporation service will clearly let you know how much time will be taken to register your company in Singapore and will walk you through every step of the Singapore company registration process.
Now that we’ve covered the incorporation services, let’s move on to the minimum requirements and documents you’ll need to register your new Singapore company in just 1 day.
What Are the Minimum Requirements for Registering a Company in Singapore?
You need to fulfill certain requirements to apply for your company’s registration in Singapore.
- Company Name – Your proposed company name should be approved by ACRA before registration.
- Resident Director – You need to appoint at least one resident director. The resident director can be a local citizen, permanent resident, Singapore EntrePass holder, or a person with an Employment pass or Dependent pass. However, a letter of consent is required if you appoint an Employment pass holder as a director.
- Foreign Director – After appointing a resident director, you can then appoint an infinite number of resident and non-resident directors. They should be above 18 years of age and should not have any malpractice charges in the past.
- Shareholder – If you are setting up a private limited company, you can have up to 50 shareholders, who may or may not be directors. Shareholders can be persons or companies. 100% non-local shareholding is also allowed.
- Share Capital – If you are wondering how much is needed to register a company in Singapore, you will not believe if we say that a minimum of SGD 1 is all that you need.
- Company Secretary – You need to appoint a qualified resident company secretary within six months of incorporation. Sole directors and shareholders cannot be appointed as the company secretary. If you cannot find one, Helen Campos will set those things for you.
- Registered Address – A Singapore registered office address is required to register a new company in Singapore.
The 3 Simple Steps to Register a Company in Singapore
We have seen all the requirements you need to meet to register your company in Singapore. Now let us look at the step-by-step process to know how much time it takes to register a company in Singapore.
- Company Name Approval From the ACRA
If you want to register your company in Singapore, first you need to get your company names approved by the ACRA. This process can be done online. You just need to keep a few things in mind to get your company name approved.
- Your company name should not be similar or identical to any existing business or company in Singapore.
- It must not infringe upon any existing trademarks
- It must not contain obscene words
- Any other company should not reserve your company name
ACRA takes very little time to approve your company name. Generally, it takes a few hours to 1 day. Once the name is approved ACRA will reserve it for 120 days within which you need to register your company in Singapore.
- Preparation of Documents for Registration
Once the name is approved, the next step is to keep the following documents ready for the company registration process:
- Company Constitution (previously known as Articles of Association)
- Description of business activities
- Registered office address of the company in Singapore
- Singapore Residents must submit a copy of their Singapore identity card
- Particulars, including identification and proof of residential address of shareholders, directors, and company secretary
- Signed consent to act as a director
- Signed consent to act as company secretary
- Foreign entrepreneurs must submit a copy of their passport and residential address proof (overseas)
If all the documents are in order, it should not take much time to register your company in Singapore.
- Registration With ACRA
Once your company name is approved and all the documents are submitted, now it’s time to complete your company registration with ACRA. It should just take you very little time to submit your application to ACRA online.
In a few cases, if your company registration needs to be referred to another government department for further scrutinization, then it may take a few weeks to complete your registration. However, if you have chosen your name right, for most new businesses, it takes only 1 day’s time to register a company in Singapore.
How Will I Know that My Company Is Registered In Singapore?
Once your Singapore company is successfully registered, ACRA will email you or the Registered Incorporation Service Provider you hired the Business Profile and Certificate of Incorporation (COI).
With the business profile and COI, you will be able to complete all the Post Business-registration Formalities like opening a corporate bank account, getting business licenses, and GST registration, to name a few.
A Quick Overview of the Time Taken to Register a Company in Singapore
|Documents to prepare||Time Taken|
|1a. Foreign Entrepreneur:
Overseas residential address proof
Description of business activities
1b. Existing Corporation:
Register of Members/ Shareholders
Register of Directors
Memorandum and Articles of Association
Certificate of your company’s existing corporation
|Less than 1 day|
|2. Company Name Approval with ACRA||Less than 1 day|
|3. Registration Documents Required by ACRA:
A signed Consent to Act form from each director and company secretary.
A Company Constitution
Identification and proof of residential address for all officers and shareholders of the corporation.
“Know Your Customer” (KYC)
|Less than 1 day|
|Final Online Registration with ACRA||Less than 1 day|
As you can see, the process to register a company in Singapore can be relatively simple and it takes less time to complete the process. However, it will only be seamless if you have an experienced partner that knows how to guide you. Furthermore, as Singapore requires you to have an official incorporation service provider, it is coherent to choose a good incorporation service provider.
If you need further advice, HC Consultancy Pte Ltd (HCCS) will be more than happy to help you with the Singapore company registration process, accounting and tax matters, getting employment pass, and more.