How To Start A Business In Singapore As Foreigner

  • Post category:Singapore

Singapore has always been a dream destination for business enthusiasts to start a business. It is well known for its smooth handling of business and an excellent atmosphere for foreigners to incorporate their business.

Singapore’s robust economy, geographic position, beneficial tax laws, and robust governance are a few factors that lead to the incorporation of many new businesses. Are you someone outside of Singapore planning to start your business in Singapore? This article will help you find information about starting a business in Singapore for foreigners.


Singapore company registration can be completed in a few simple steps.


This is the first step you would take towards registering your company in Singapore. Here you will have to engage a professional service provider such as Relin Consultants and prepare the due diligence documents required for the company registration. Foreigners wishing to set up a company in Singapore must engage a corporate service provider to assist with the registration process. The service provider will prepare all the required documents on your behalf. 


The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is the authority in charge of all types of business registration. 

Few other government agencies might be involved depending on your business activity. 

  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) helps you with businesses related to banking, insurance and finance fields.
  • Ministry of Manpower (MOM), where any foreigner can get their work pass post registration of a company.
  • The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) provides you with the needed information regarding tax and responsibilities.
  • Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) provides you assistance in getting your business license and legal advice. 

During registration, the corporate service provider will assist you in ensuring your preferred company name is approved. The authorities will require a short explanation of business, registered address, particulars of the company secretary, directors, and shareholders, and Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA).


Upon successful registration of your company, the Company Registrar will issue a Bizfile confirming the company registration. The authorities will also issue a company number (UEN Number) which is the official ID of the company. 

Once you get your company incorporated, you can choose a corporate bank that best meets your company’s needs and expectations.

Goods and Service Tax (GST) is levied for all Singaporean and foreign manufactured goods which is seven percent now. It is made mandatory to register your company for Goods and Service Tax if your business earns over SGD 1 million. 

How To Start A Business In Singapore As a Foreigner


Foreigners who are to set up a new business in Singapore should understand the requirements.

Choosing your Company’s Name:

For faster approval of the company’s name, ensure that the name you choose does not have any resemblance to national symbols or agencies. The name should not contain any inappropriate or misleading terms. 

Appointing a Resident Director:

All Singapore companies must have at least one director who is an ordinary resident of Singapore. 

Shareholders and Secretary:

The company that is to be registered in Singapore must have at least one shareholder. A company can have up to 50 shareholders. Upon the incorporation of the company, the Secretary must be appointed within six months. The selected Secretary should be a native resident.

Share Capital:

A Singapore company must have at least S$1 of share capital. 

Registered business address:

All companies must have at least a registered office address which will be used for all sorts of communication and notices.


Newly incorporated companies can qualify for certain tax exemptions. 

Getting a Work Pass/ Visa:

If you are planning to relocate to Singapore to work, you can apply for an Employment Pass or an Entry Pass. This allows you to be the local director of your company. 

Once the company is incorporated, the Employment Pass can be applied for. Upon receiving approval from the Ministry of Manpower, you can relocate to Singapore and start your business. Now you can be your company’s sole director.

Eligibility for Employment Pass in Singapore:

A minimum of S$8,000 should be earned as a monthly salary. The party should either be Managing Director, CEO or CFO with good qualifications from a reputed university. The Employment Pass is usually applied by a third party or any employer from Singapore. If you are a foreign employer, the Employment Pass will be applied from a Singapore-registered company being a local sponsor on your behalf.

You can also get an EntrePass before the incorporation of your company from ACRA within six months of starting up your business. 

To qualify for an EntrePass application, you must meet the following requirements.

Having a Private Limited Company in Singapore registered by ACRA which is already started or yet to be started.

Should be able to meet the criteria set as an entrepreneur, innovator or investor.

The following documents are needed to apply for EntrePass.

  • Your international passport bearing your details.
  • Testimonials on your previous work experience, achievements and rewards if possible.
  • A proper plan for your business,
  • If you are applying as an entrepreneur, innovator or investor, then you might have to submit additional documents.

How Much Does It Cost To Incorporate A Company In Singapore?

The cost to incorporate a company in Singapore varies depending on various factors such as the type of company, the number of shareholders and directors, and the type of services you require. In general, the cost of incorporating a company in Singapore can range from a few hundred to a few thousand Singapore dollars.

The following are some of the costs associated with incorporating a company in Singapore:

Incorporation fee: This is a one-time fee paid to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) for registering the company. The fee is based on the number of authorised shares and ranges from $300 to $315 for a private limited company.

Registered office address: This is a mandatory requirement for all companies incorporated in Singapore. The cost of renting a registered office address starts from around $300 to $500 per year.

Company Secretary: A company secretary is required for all companies incorporated in Singapore. The cost of appointing a company secretary ranges from $500 to $2,000 per year.

Nominee Director: A resident director is required for all companies incorporated in Singapore. The cost of appointing a nominee resident director ranges from S$2,000 to S$4,000. 

It’s important to note that these costs are approximate and may vary depending on the service provider. The fees may also vary depending on the type of company and the services required. It is always recommended to consult with an accountant or a corporate service provider to get an accurate estimate of the costs involved in incorporating a company in Singapore.


Can I start a Singapore Company without relocating?

Yes, you can start a Singapore Company without relocating. Most of the corporate service providers provide a one-stop solution for your Singapore company to meet all the mandatory requirements.