Singapore’s welcoming environment attracts new entrepreneurs from around the world every day. It provides you with all the needed facilities to start up your business. Once your company gets incorporated, you are to open a business bank account.
This account provides numerous financial services required by your company. Having one is not made mandatory, but having a business bank will always put you and your company on the safer side. This article takes you through all you need to know about a business bank account in Singapore.
WHAT DO I NEED TO OPEN A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT IN SINGAPORE?
Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore is very direct and easy. But that is not the same with foreign registered companies. Data verification is not possible or available for them. Consequently, banks must collect details upfront about their foreign clients and follow a more stringent process than regular.
To evaluate a client’s risk profile, the banks will consider various factors. They range from the intricacy of legal structure, the promoters’ background, and the business’s details, to the transactional activity profile. Thus, to successfully open an account, you must provide the bank with the required information.
REQUIREMENTS FOR OPENING A CORPORATE BANK ACCOUNT IN SINGAPORE
Listed below are the requirements you needed to have ahead of time to open a corporate bank account in Singapore:
- Proof of business registration: The bank demands you provide proof of registration of your business in Singapore. This is simply to verify that your business is registered under the Government of Singapore. Submission of the tax certificates and papers of an LLC establishment would do. Still, the bank may require additional documents. So be ready with documents like a true copy of your company’s business profile, Incorporation Certificate, and company Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA).
- Residential Address Proof: The integral part of the company like shareholders, and directors. Beneficial owners will have to provide documents bearing the place where they reside. This can be verified on the submission of recent filings of tax returns, and national or country ID.
- Identification Proof: This is to verify your nationality. This is generally verified by providing your passport. In addition, most banks pay close attention to certain nationalities, specifically those from sanctioned nations.
- Beneficial owner’s background: A Curriculum Vitae, a biography, a website run by the company, a letter of employment, or any other document serving as proof of employment and an educational credential from an accredited institution may also be used to convey this information.
- Information of Credit Score: Your application will reflect whatever credit score your business may currently have. It can be necessary to provide the account owner’s credit score if it is your first time opening an account when starting your firm.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN OPENING A BUSINESS ACCOUNT IN SINGAPORE
Certain factors should be considered when opening a business account in Singapore. They are as follows:
- Rules for commercial transactions: Normally, a business bank account comes with several advantages and is offered with the understanding that you will use the account. Deposit restrictions may be applied to your company and they must be followed. They may be a minimum and maximum number of transactions if you choose a business checking account. The transaction policies for each option should be carefully reviewed before opening accounts.
- The procedure of opening a new account: The lengthy processing and lots of documentation are outdated approaches. Nowadays, corporations can open business accounts using structured financial systems. When choosing where to register a corporate account, make a list of which of your options has the best procedure for opening a business bank account. Verify that you have all the needed documents.
- Features and advantages: Financial firms are aware of how essential it is to offer as many advantages to businesses as they can. Opening an SME bank account can fetch the account holders additional advantages.
- Needed Minimum balance: There are often minimum deposit requirements from bank accounts, so be sure you meet them before opening one. Always, a minimum amount should be maintained to escape penalties. Depending on the kind of account you open, some banks have a minimum spending requirement for accounts. So, select your bank wisely with fewer requirements and a smaller nominal fee if your firm is just started.
- Accessibility: The person whose name appears on the documentation is not the only one who can access a company bank account. Your financial department, accountants, and compliance officials will need access to the bank account.
- Fees: Generally, there are fees associated with opening a business account. Transaction charges, foreign exchange fees, and penalties for failing to have a minimum balance are also included. Choose a bank with excellent fee offers and the lowest costs if you want to run your business with the least amount of collateral possible. Also, ensure your company is eligible for any charge exemptions as well. The most significant option is always having a cost-free business bank account.
STEPS FOR OPENING A CORPORATE BANK ACCOUNT IN SINGAPORE
Once you have selected the bank to open your account, the next step is to apply. To apply, you can either do it online or go down to the bank.
- Applying online: For the convenience of business entrepreneurs like you, certain banks are currently providing online 1-day rapid account opening services. OCBC Business Growth Account, DBS Business Digital Account, UOB eBusiness Account, and Aspire Business Account are a few banks offering this service. So, if you are qualified to apply online, just fill out the form on the bank’s website, and your business account will be opened within a day.
Eligibility to apply online:
- You may be eligible if you are a solitary proprietor, that is, a single director, the only shareholder, and the only authorized signatory.
- If you are a person who has an existing personal bank account.
Requirements to apply for a 1-day express corporate account:
- Your business registration number with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
- Your bank account information, like a PIN number.
Be aware that you can also be asked to submit extra documents depending on the bank.
- Applying at the bank in person: To open a corporate bank account, certain banks may need the director and authorised signatories to be present. You might want to inquire about these requirements with the bank you are opening the account with.
Requirements to apply at the bank in person:
- Certified authentic copies of each director’s and all the authorised signatories’ NRIC/ Passports, including their residential address.
- Bank Account Application Form.
- Company incorporation Certificate.
- ACRA Business Profile.
HOW MUCH MONEY DO I NEED TO OPEN A CORPORATE BANK ACCOUNT IN SINGAPORE?
Some banks charge an account opening fee, while others do not at the time of opening a new account. Therefore, local banks have reduced startup fees, or occasionally, they do not charge. There can be extra fees for add-on features like multi-currency or internet banking. Moreover, a fixed amount is needed to start an account.
There are extra charges that you should be aware of, such as:
- The least amount required to start a bank account is known as the Minimum Deposit. This charge ranges from $1,000 to $100,000.
- Maintenance of the monthly average balance charge demands you to maintain a daily sum in your account every month.
- Fall-below fees: likewise holds if you are unable to make the required minimum deposit.
- Early closure fees: This cost applies if your bank account is closed before six months have passed.
- ATM service charges: ATM usage fees are primarily applied to non-bank members.
- When sending money abroad, there are international transfer fees.
How Long Does It Take To Open A Bank Account In Singapore?
There are several steps included which determine the processing time of business bank accounts in Singapore. These steps include gathering the necessary documentation, completing the application process, and waiting for the account to be approved and activated.
First, you will need to gather documentation such as your business registration papers, a copy of your business plan, and identification for all authorized signatories on the account.
Next, you will need to complete the application process, which typically involves submitting the required documentation and meeting with a bank representative to discuss your business and financial needs.
After the submission of your application, a review will happen from the bank’s end and they will decide on approving the account. Usually, it takes a few days or a week, depending on the bank’s internal processes.
After the account is approved, you will need to wait for it to be activated. Activation will again take a few days or a week depending on the bank’s rules and regulations.
Overall, the time it takes to open a business bank account in Singapore can vary depending on the bank’s internal processes, the completeness of the application, and the time to produce all the required documents. But usually, the average waiting time to open a business account in Singapore may range between a few days and a few weeks.
BEST BANK ACCOUNTS TO OPEN IN SINGAPORE:
Singapore has a wide range of banks, but some of the well-functioning banks are as follows:
- DBS: DBS Bank does not allow people to open an account without being present in person. A few exceptions might be permitted under particular circumstances. The online application is available via DBS Bank. They don’t process any monthly fee. The deposit required ranges from S$1,000 to S$3,0000. It offers both debit and credit cards.
- OCBC: OCBC Bank requires both directors and the designated signatory to be present to open an account. This bank charges S$38 per month as an account fee. The deposit required is S$3,000. The minimum balance maintained should be S$5,000. This bank offers debit cards but no credit card is offered.
- Maybank: This bank requires authorised signatories to meet in person. If the director is not able to travel, arrangements might be made for the customer to visit the foreign branch. The deposit required is S$1,000. This bank only offers credit cards.
- Standard Chartered: To complete the bank’s due diligence, the directors and authorised signatories must be present. Depending on the bank’s perspective, some exceptions might be made. No monthly fee and S$30,000 is the deposit required. S$30,000 should be maintained as an average monthly balance. No credit or debit card is offered.
- CitiBank: An account in this bank can be opened only with the directors and signatories present. S$100,000 is the deposit required and S$50,000 should be maintained in your bank account. CitiBank offers their customers Corporate commercial cards.
Finally, opening a business bank account in Singapore involves all the above-mentioned procedures and formalities. It is always considered a good practice for businesses to have a business bank account for better transactions and visibility. Businesses should understand all their banking needs to start the process. Overall, opening a business bank account in Singapore can be a very smooth process and needs the right preparations.