SINGAPORE COMPANY INCORPORATION - BUSINESS REGISTRATION PROCESS

Despite uncertainty in the economy and the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, Singapore has been ranked the 2nd best in the world for doing business by the World Bank’s ease of doing business survey for over a decade. Aside from being strategically located in the middle of Southeast Asia, Singapore has one of the best tax systems. A well-structured Singapore Company will only be required to pay an effective tax rate from 0% to 17% annually.

Singapore Immigration Authorities (ICA) provide highly flexible and welcoming immigration policies to foreign individuals who wish to incorporate a company in Singapore. In 2020, the global anti-graft movement ranked Singapore in the top ten for the least corruption occurrence nation.

According to the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), a foreigner who wishes to register a company in Singapore through online and remote applications must engage a qualified registered filing agent to submit the company registration. Relin Consultants is a licensed filing agent in Singapore, and our associates have guided multiple individuals and companies for business registration in Singapore.

If you have further inquiries about company incorporation in Singapore and require assistance, contact us at Relin Consultants or email our consultants at enquiry@relinconsultants.com.

KEY REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPANY REGISTRATION SINGAPORE

TIMELINE OF SINGAPORE COMPANY INCORPORATION

Incorporation of a Singapore Company
2 days
Corporate Bank Account Opening
2 Weeks

Shareholder and Shares

As per the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. A Singapore-registered company must have at least one shareholder. There is no restriction on the minimum issued capital. Either an individual or corporate shareholder can register a company in Singapore with just $1 of share capital. A Singapore-incorporated company can have up to 50 shareholders.

Share Capital

The minimum requirement for starting a business in Singapore in terms of paid up capital is S$1. You may increase your Singapore company share capital at any time as you wish by communicating with your Singapore company Secretary about your intention to raise the share capital.

Directors

It is a mandatory requirement set by the Singapore government to appoint at least one Singapore resident director before you can register a company in Singapore.

The Singapore resident director can be a Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident, or holder of a Singapore work visa (EntrePass or Employment Pass). Relin Consultants can provide you with nominee resident director services if required.

Company Secretary

It is a mandatory requirement for a company to appoint a qualified company secretary within six (6) months after the date of company incorporation. 

A foreign resident cannot act as the company secretary of a Singapore company. They must be residents of Singapore.

Registered Office Address

A Singapore company must at least have a local registered office address. 

The Company is required to maintain all of its statutory documents at the company’s registered office. While the address cannot be a PO BOX address, you may use your company secretary’s office address. In practice, most Singapore companies that do not possess an office use their company secretary/virtual office as the company’s registered office.

TYPES OF BUSINESS ENTITIES FOR SINGAPORE INCORPORATION

According to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority Singapore (ACRA), a business investor can choose from 5 basic structures for business entities.

SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP/ SOLE TRADER

A sole proprietorship business is characterized by a single business owner who has complete control over how the company is conducted. Every decision made by the sole owner holds the ultimatum for the company. A single individual or corporation can also run this type of company.

However, there are no partners in the sole proprietorship business. Examples of individuals who opted for this type of business entity are low-risk businesses such as clothing lines, food or restaurants, and small retail or grocery shops. The sole owner will be subjected to unlimited liability in terms of company liability. This refers to the amount of the business debt the owner will be subjected to, which can be paid through their assets.

The taxes that will be imposed are also subject to the owner’s individual income tax rate. In some way, this proposed a less strenuous and complicated matter for the business owner.

GENERAL BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP

This type of partnership is a business entity that requires a minimum of two partnerships to establish the company. The maximum number of partnership members is up to 20 people. For this type of partnership, all the decision-making works under the consensus model through a democratic approach or delegation.

Discussion and decisions are made collectively among each partner to encourage satisfaction between each member. This is because a discontented partner can be put out of the partnership by dissolution. 

It is worth noting that each partner’s actions are held responsible to the other partners. Common examples of businesses that employ ordinary business partnerships are law firms and accounting companies that provide services to others. Regarding liability, this type of partnership proposes unlimited liability and debts to each partner. The taxes are sanctioned at each partner’s individual and personal tax rate. 

LIMITED PARTNERSHIP (LP)

A limited partnership can be considered an extension of a general business partnership by combining a general partner with a limited partner. It must consist of at least one general partner and one limited partner. There will be no limit on the number of each general and limited partners. Limited partners are not entitled to any part of the business management, but they are not designated with unlimited liability, unlike the general partner in the partnership.

Additionally, the partner’s citizenship can be either local or foreign. One thing to note about this type of partnership is that each decision made within the company partnership is subjected to the partnership agreement.

In terms of taxes imposed on this kind of partnership, a personal income rate is subjected to each partner. This means that each partner might be imposed with different tax rates due to the differences in their personal income gained from the company partnership.

LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIP (LLP)

This partnership is similar to the Limited Partnership (LP) because it started with a general partnership. The only difference is that a limited liability partnership gives out a limited liability to each partner. This means that the debt imposed by the partnership will not affect the personal assets of one partner who are not related or responsible for the other partner’s actions and mistakes.

This provides a much better option as each partner can protect themselves within the partnership. Despite that, all partners can still partake in the management of the business resulting in a much more formal structure of the company. Most importantly, the taxes imposed on this type of partnership is similar to the Limited Partnership.

Taxes are sanctioned individually based on each partner’s personal income. Overall, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is identical to the Limited Partnership (LP) but with more significant benefits, such as limited liability for each partner.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) also allows the partnership to bring in new partners and let old partners out based on the agreement, as there are no limit numbers on the partners as long as two people are present in the partnership.

LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY (LLC)

For a business structure that employs the structure of a Limited Liability Company (LLC), the business company can be owned by three different types of ownership. It can be:

  • An Exempt Private Company with 20 members or fewer. None of the shareholders can be in any form of corporate partnership that can gain benefits for the company shares. 
  • a Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd) with a maximum of 50 members or fewer. 
  • a Public Limited Company is entitled to have more than 50 members. 

The vast majority of these type of business entity indicates that the shareholders have certain rights in the company based on the number of their shares within the company. In decision-making, directors require the shareholder’s approval. However, the director’s citizenship status must be local to where the company is established. These types of business entities are very flexible, and the liability of every shareholder is limited.

Similarly, it means the company’s debts are not liable to the directors of a company limited by shares. Lastly, in terms of taxes, it is imposed by the corporate tax rate, not by the income tax. Thus, no sorts of personal assets are at risk for the shareholders. 

If you have further inquiries about the ins and outs of Singapore’s business entities, contact us at Relin Consultants and email our experts at enquiry@relinconsultants.com.

To sum it up, there are five main business entities in Singapore, ranging from an individual business, a small company, and a company with 50 members and shareholders. Every business is unique, so to start your own business, take the time to consider which critical option and deployment of business entities will suit your business market the most. 


COMPARISON OF BUSINESS TYPES IN SINGAPORE FOR INCORPORATION

  Sole-Proprietorship Partnership   Limited Partnership Limited Liability Partnership Company
Definition A single person is the owner of the business An organization of two or more people operating a business jointly with the intention of making a profit. A partnership with at least two partners, including a general partner and a limited partner. a partnership where the personal liability of each member is mostly limited. a company structure that operates as a separate legal entity from its shareholders and directors.
Legal Status Not a separate legal entity. The owner's liability is unlimited. Can file a lawsuit or be sued in their own name. May also be sued using a business name. Able to legally own property in their own name. Owner is accountable for business debts and losses on a personal level. Not a separate legal entity. Partners are liable indefinitely. Cannot file a lawsuit or be sued on behalf of a company. No one can have property in the firm's name. Partners are personally liable for the debts and losses incurred by the partnership by the other partners. Not a distinct legal entity. The liability of the general partner is unlimited. Limited partners are only partially liable. Cannot possess property in the name of the limited partnership. General partner is personally liable for the debts and losses of the limited partnership. Beyond the amount of his agreed contribution, the limited partner is not personally accountable for the debts or liabilities of the LP. legal entity separate from its partners. Partners are only partially liable. can file a lawsuit or be sued in LLP's name. Possibility of LLP ownership of land. Partners are personally liable for debts and losses brought on by their own negligent behavior. Partners are not held personally accountable for the debts and losses incurred by other partners in an LLP. A distinct legal entity from its directors and members. Members' liability is limited. Members are not individually accountable for the debts and losses of the company and may sue or be sued in the company's name and may possess property in the company's name.
Taxes Profits are subject to the individual income tax rates of the owner. Profits are subject to the individual income tax rates of the owner. Profits are subject to tax at the partners' individual or corporate income tax rates, as applicable. Profits are subject to tax at the partners' individual or corporate income tax rates, as applicable. Gains are subject to corporate tax rates.
Closing the Business By Owner - Cessation of Business. Registrar may cancel registration if it is not renewed or if it is determined that the business has ceased operations. By the partners - Cessation of business. The Registrar may cancel registration if it is not renewed or if it is determined that the business is no longer in operation. By general partner - Termination of operations or LP dissolution. The Registrar may cancel registration if it is not renewed or if it determines that the business has ceased operations. Winding Up: Compulsory by the High Court or Voluntarily by Members or Creditors. Winding Up: Compulsory by the High Court, voluntary by members or creditors.
Continuity in Law As long as the business's owner is still alive and wants to continue operating it. Subject to partnership agreement Subject to partnership agreement. succession continuously unless wound up or struck off succession continuously unless wound up or struck off
Suitable For Low-risk enterprises that one person can manage Accounting, legal, and other professional firms. A corporation can be established to deliver services by experts like lawyers and accountants. In a situation where one partner is willing to take on any risk. The most recent form of business incorporation in Singapore combines the characteristics of partnerships and corporations. The primary distinction between a company and a partnership is that the partners are subject to personal taxation at their individual rates and are therefore ineligible for the tax reductions offered to businesses. Most innovative and adaptable company entity. Most widely used choice

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR SG COMPANY FORMATION

The following documents are required for company registration:

For Residents

  • Name of the business and SSIC code
  • Specifics of the Shareholders, Directors, and Company Secretary
  • Registered Office Address
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • A brief description of the Business Activities
  • Scanned copy of Singapore NRIC (For residents)

For Non-residents

  • Scanned passport copy
  • Verification of abroad address (e.g. a utility bill or bank statement)
  • Completed Know Your Client (or KYC) form from ECRA
  • In addition to the bank opening documents, banks may additionally request their KYC documents.

For Corporate Shareholders (if any)

  • Proof of address 
  • A scanned copy of the company’s incorporation certificate 
  • Business profile  
  • Scanned copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association

PROCESS OF REGISTERING A BUSINESS IN SINGAPORE

Step 1: Choosing a company name

Selecting a suitable name for the firm is the first stage in the registration of a corporation. The desired name is entered into BizFile, the ACRA’s website. In order to reserve the name for the firm, the chosen name must first be verified as available on this portal. In addition, the applicant must choose and specify the SSIC Code (Singapore Standard Industrial Classification code) according to the nature of the commercial operations they intend to engage.

The applicant can continue to register the firm after receiving approval for the requested name. The name must be registered for the firm within 120 days of the date the name was reserved; else, the name will no longer be reserved.

Step 2: Deciding the type and structure of the company

According to the needs and specifications of the operations they want to carry out through a firm, the applicant must choose which of the following entities would be most appropriate:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • General business partnership
  • Limited partnership
  • Limited liability partnership
  • Limited liability company

Step 3: Deciding the Financial year-end (FYE) for the company

Determining the financial year end in Singapore is crucial since it affects the annual corporate filings and taxes owed by the business. Also, private corporations must hold their AGM within six months of the fiscal year end and submit their annual returns within seven months of the fiscal year end. In Singapore, a company’s fiscal year might end after either a 12-month or 52-week accounting period.

Private enterprises most frequently use the following dates for their FYE: March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31.

Step 4: Appointing the key employees for the business

Every corporation in Singapore is required to nominate specific key employees or officers. A company secretary and at least one director must be chosen. These officers must be Singapore residents and natural persons. In addition, unless a company has been granted a legal exemption, an auditor must be appointed within three months.

The company has the choice to name a CEO to run and supervise the company’s operations. If the business decides to use its option to name a CEO, it must provide the CEO’s personal information to the ACRA.

The role of Managing Director is likewise optional, in a similar manner. The following information about the chosen executives of the company must be provided before the application for incorporation Singapore is submitted:

  • NRIC and full names
  • Nationality
  • Contact information (both an email address and telephone numbers)
  • Residential Address

These officers must approve their appointments via BizFile after submitting the company’s incorporation application.

Step 5: Deciding the Registered address and share capital  of the company

The applicant must also choose and provide the address for the company’s registered office. All official correspondence and notices with the government department must be sent to this address. All of the company’s official records and registers must be kept in this location.

Except for Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, businesses must keep their offices open for at least three hours each working day during regular business hours. Singapore must be the location of the company’s registered office address. Yet, company operations can also be carried out from other places.

Share capital is the sum of money that the shareholders have invested in the business. It is possible to issue shares of stock with or without paying the entire share capital. At the moment of the company’s incorporation, the minimum issued share capital is one dollar.

Step 6: Submitting a copy of the Constitution of the company

Also, a copy of the firm’s constitution outlining its guiding principles must be provided by the company. It includes a list of the company’s directors’ and shareholders’ duties, secretaries’ duties, registered office address, the company’s activities, members’ obligations, share capital, etc.

When a business is incorporated, the ACRA must receive a copy of its constitution. Moreover, a copy of the constitution that has been ratified by its shareholders shall always be retained at the company’s registered office address.

Step 7: Submitting the application for incorporation

The BizFile+ site must be used to submit the application online. An email is sent to the company’s appointed officer holders as soon as the application is authorized to request their approval. Within 50 days of receiving the email, these newly appointed officers must endorse the applicant’s application.

The cost to reserve a company name is $15, while the cost to incorporate a company in Singapore is $300.

Opening a company in Singapore with the help of Relin Consultants is an easy process.

POST-INCORPORATION PROCESS OF SINGAPORE BUSINESS REGISTRATION

Opening a Corporate Bank Account

Once the business is registered, it must create a bank account. Any local bank in Singapore, as well as any foreign bank, allows businesses to open a corporate account. Do the necessary KYC (Know-Your-Client) paperwork, then arrange a time that works for the applicant and the signatories to visit the bank.

Refer to Singapore corporate bank account opening for more information.

Issuance of Company items

  • Share certificates for each of the shareholders
  • Statutory Registers
  • Common seal
  • Rubber Stamp (optional)

Apply for Business Licences

Before beginning operations, several company activities require obtaining permits. Many financial services, travel companies, employment agencies, eateries, educational institutions, importers and exporters, etc. are a few examples. If required, ECRA will handle these applications.

Goods and Services Tax Registration

All businesses must register for GST if their anticipated yearly turnover exceeds SGD 1 million (sometimes known as a sales tax or value added tax). The current GST rate is 7%, and all businesses that are GST registered must include it in all of their invoices. After being offset against outbound GST, the collected GST must be sent to the tax authorities. For businesses with yearly revenues under SGD $1 million, GST registration is not required.

Refer to the Singapore Corporate Taxation for more information.

Web Services

Within one business day, ECRA will set up the email, web hosting account, and domain registration.


PROS AND CONS OF SINGAPORE COMPANY FORMATION

Why incorporate in Singapore? Below, you will find the advantages and disadvantages of business formation in Singapore.

PROS

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Ease of registration

Starting a company in Singapore is a straightforward process and can be completed within  2 to 3 business days. Name reservations can be completed within hours.

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Fewer compliance requirements

A Singapore company registration has minimal compliance requirements; annually, the company also has fewer obligations as compared to nearby jurisdictions. This provides various benefits, especially to a start-up company, allowing its management more time to focus on its business expansion and less on compliance.

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Government Tax Incentives

As part of the Singapore government’s effort to attract foreign investors. The tax authorities have been consistently offering tax incentives to Singapore companies. Both newly Singapore incorporation companies and existing companies can enjoy multiple tax incentives annually. You can refer to Singapore corporate tax for additional information.

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Strategic locations

Company formation Singapore can enjoy added benefits from Singapore’s strategic locations. And similar time zone to other Asian markets such as Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Japan.

Hence, setting up a business in Singapore is the gateway to the Asian market and has become the first choice for many companies and start-ups who wish to invest in the Asian Pacific region.

Companies, especially those undertaking trading activities involving shipping, importing, and exporting goods, can benefit further.

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Reputable world-class business status

Singapore has various reputable presence within the worldwide economy. This can be seen from the nation’s continuous success in ranking as the third most open to trade among 189 other countries in the World Bank annual survey report in 2020.

The nation is ranked third for global competitive economies in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report in 2022.

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Excellent corporate regulation

Due to greater political and economic stability, the jurisdictions extend excellent and stable corporate regulations.

There are trademarks, intellectual property, labor, and many more laws regulated thoroughly by the Singaporean government. These laws are comprehensive and efficient in protecting the rights and regulating the business market in Singapore.

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Business grants

Singapore government offers various business grants to emerging business companies and start-ups. The business grants are available not only to local businesses but also foreign business owners. Various business grants are offered in multiple business areas, especially in research and development (R&D) in the area of technological advancement.

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Double taxation treaties

Singapore’s vast network is not limited only to the ASEAN countries but to other jurisdictions. Companies can take advantage of the double taxation treaties resulting from Singapore’s diplomatic relations. There are approximately 96 double taxation treaties in Singapore.

Companies and business investors can significantly benefit from the minimization of withholding tax for their international subsidiary companies from these double taxation treaties.

CONS

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High labor cost

Employee cost is relatively higher in Singapore as compared to nearby Southeast Asian jurisdictions. This is partially due to the stronger Singapore currency.

Hiring foreign workers is difficult because the Singaporean government values local labor and work opportunity for their residents. Labor-intensive companies must weigh the benefits properly before incorporating in Singapore.

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High rental cost

Office and residential rental costs are significantly higher in Singapore. This is because owning property is very restricted in Singapore.

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Stricter regulations

Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore is significantly more challenging than in other jurisdictions. To open a corporate bank account in Singapore, companies must provide evidence such as their contracts with potential customers, detailed business activities, and estimated profit to the banks.

WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE RELIN CONSULTANTS FOR YOUR SINGAPORE BUSINESS INCORPORATION SERVICE?

Relin Consultants has a team of experts who are well-versed in Singapore company laws and regulations and have extensive experience in company incorporation and business setup in Singapore. Our team will handle all the documents and paperwork.

We offer a range of services, including company registration services in Singapore, trade license and visa processing, legal and financial services, and ongoing support and maintenance. Reach out to us at Relin Consultants – Leading Global Business Set Up Partners to know more about our company formation services in Singapore.

FAQs

Can A Foreigner Incorporate A Company In Singapore?

Yes, any individual may and can register a company in Singapore; there are no restrictions on foreign shareholding. Hence a foreigner can hold 100% shares of his/her Singapore Company. However, any individual who has been convicted of any legal offense or bankruptcy will not be allowed to own any shares in a Singapore company.

How Do I Check If A Company Is Registered In Singapore?

You can easily verify/check whether a Singapore Company is registered in Singapore by following the steps below. 

Step 1 – Kindly go to the Singapore government (ACRA) ‘s free search platform https://www.bizfile.gov.sg/

Step 2 – Key in the Company Name or the UEN Number of the Singapore Company.

Step 3 – Follow the instructions to verify the captcha, and then you will be redirected to a screen where you can see the company profile.

Alternatively, you can check the Singapore certificate of incorporation issued by the authorities.

How Do I Setup A Company In Singapore?

A foreigner wishing to company setup singapore must appoint a local corporate service provider such as Relin consultants

Singaporean or permanent residents can open a company in Singapore themselves. Although the process is relatively easy, many individuals who self-register often create many errors. Hence it is advisable to appoint a professional firm.

What Are The Types Of Company Structures In Singapore?

Five (5) main types of business structures are –

There are 5 main types of business structures available for company registration in Singapore –

Sole Proprietorship 
This is the easiest and cheapest option available to Singaporean. Foreigners are unable to set up a sole proprietorship in Singapore. Generally, Sole Proprietors are not required to submit audits or perform annual filling of the business. Company tax return will be accompanied together with the personal tax return of the owner. The owners are subject to all the debts owned owed by the company personally.

Partnership
A partnership is similar to a sole proprietor but formed by more than one owner.

Limited Liability Partnership
A limited liability partnership is a combination of a Private Limited Company and a conventional partnership with the advantages of a private limited company.

Private Limited Company, (Pte Ltd)
Setting up a private limited company in Singapore is the most common and preferred company structure. The company will be treated as a separate legal entity from the owners/shareholders. Hence it provides the best form of personal protection.

Public Limited Company – (also known as Limited)
This is a publicly listed company in Singapore.

Can I Register My Company In Singapore Remotely?

Yes, you can register your company remotely. You can engage a professional service firm like Relin Consultants to assist with company formation Singapore.

What Are The Requirements For A Foreign Investor To Start A Company In Singapore?

To register a business in Singapore the following minimum requirements must be met by the foreign investor. 

  • Must appoint a resident director
  • Must appoint a company secretary
  • Must have at least a registered office address.
  • Share capital of S$1 at least.

How To Reserve A Company Name In Singapore?

Choosing and changing a company name in Singapore involves ACRA. 

To reserve your company name, you must:

  •  Check whether the proposed company name is available or not. This can be done through the Registrar on the BizFile+ portal.
  • After making sure your proposed company name is available, you can register your business company name via the same portal, BizFile+

If the company name is approved, it will automatically be reserved for 120 days. The company name reservation can expire. Others can use the company’s name if you fail to register/incorporate the company within the stipulated reservation period.

What Are The Government Fees And Other Costs Government Fees And Other Costs Are Required To Register A Business Company In Singapore?

ACRA levies administrative fees in the total of S$315 for business registration Singapore.

Do You Offer A Free Consultation If I Have Some Questions About Registering A Company In Singapore?

Yes, Relin Consultants can advise you on all the information regarding a company incorporation Singapore. You can reach out to us at enquiry@relinconsultants.com

How Long Will It Take To Register My Singapore Company?

A Singapore company can be registered in 2 to 3 business days. If the selected company name involves sensitive words, it might be referred to the authorities for additional approval.

Will I Need To Visit Singapore To Incorporate My Company?

You do not need to visit Singapore. The incorporation process can be done remotely. Our team will require notarized copies of your identification documents to complete the incorporation.

Can I Run My Singapore Company From Overseas?

Yes, you can operate your Singapore company without being physically present in Singapore. Relin Consultants can assist you with the annual compliance and provide operational support on matters such as payroll, banking, and others if required.

What Are The Suffixes For All Business Entities In Singapore?

A company name must have a suffix, be accessible, and adhere to the state regulations in Singapore. An organization’s suffix is the final component of its name. This suffix identifies the company’s legal form as a business entity.

The most prevalent and preferred business suffix in Singapore is Private Limited. This company suffix is used by more than 95% of locally incorporated corporations in the nation. Its many combinations consist of the following:

  • Private Ltd.
  • Pte. Limited
  • Pte. Ltd.
  • (Private Limited)
  • (Private Ltd.)
  • (Private) Limited
  • (Private) Ltd.
  • (Pte. Limited)
  • (Pte. Ltd.)
  • (Pte.) Limited
  • (Pte.) Ltd.

The suffix Limited is utilized to signify that it is a Public Limited Company and a huge company.

  • Ltd.
  • (Ltd.)
  • (Limited)

How To Pay For The Business Registration Fees In Singapore?

Registering your company in Singapore can be done through the BizFile+ portal the ACRA provides. As you apply for company registration, you can pay the fees for business name reservation for SGD 15 and company incorporation for SGD 300 directly via the BizFile+ during the application.

What Does Ltd Means In Singapore?

Ltd means Limited. A suffix indicates a Public Limited Company with more than 50 shareholders or members. Usually, Limited or Ltd is used after the name of a Public Limited Company.

What Is A Public Company In Singapore?

A public company is an extension of a Limited Liability Company (LLC). It can be in two forms which are: 

  • Public Company Limited by Shares: The company’s shares may be made available to the general public by listing them on the stock exchange to obtain money from the general public. The company must submit a prospectus to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) before raising its capital by offering public shares, debentures, and bonds. This company structure also allows for more flexibility for the shareholders in buying and selling shares in the capital market. However, the compliances and cost to maintain the company are significantly higher than that of a Private Limited Company. The company can be distinguished by the suffix ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ after the company’s name.

 

  • Public Company Limited by Guarantee: This entity does not have any shares. A Public Company Limited by Guarantee is a business formed for charitable and non-profit objectives. This category includes societies and organizations registered for charitable purposes or to promote the arts. The member’s liability is limited to the amount each member agrees to contribute to the company’s assets. The Memorandum of Association will specify the size of the members’ guarantee. Additionally, the company does not use the words ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ in their names.

What kind of company will I be incorporating in Singapore?

There are different types of companies available in Singapore. Such as:

Sole proprietorship, General business partnership, Limited partnership, Limited liability partnership, Limited liability company.

Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consult with a legal or financial professional to determine which type of company best suits your needs.

How can I relocate to Singapore to operate my company?

To relocate to Singapore to operate a business, you would need to follow these general steps:

  • Check your eligibility to work and live in Singapore by visiting the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website.
  • Register and incorporate your business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore. You can do this online or seek assistance from a company incorporation service provider.
  • Apply for a work visa or permit. The most common work visa for entrepreneurs is the EntrePass, which is intended for foreign entrepreneurs who want to start a business in Singapore.

What government incentives are available to Singapore companies?

Singapore offers various government incentives to companies, both local and foreign, to support their growth and development. Some of the key incentives available to Singapore companies include:

  • Tax Incentives: Singapore has a low corporate tax rate of 17%, and companies may also be eligible for additional tax incentives and exemptions, such as the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme, which provides tax deductions or cash payouts for investments in productivity and innovation.
  • Grants and Funding: The Singapore government offers various grants and funding schemes to support businesses, such as the Capability Development Grant (CDG) and the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant, which provide funding for upgrading capabilities and expanding overseas markets, respectively.
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Support: Singapore has strong IP laws and provides various grants and funding schemes to support companies in protecting and commercializing their IP, such as the Intellectual Property (IP) Management and Commercialisation Scheme.

Will my Singapore company need to apply for a business license before commencing its business activities?

It depends on the nature of your business activities. Some business activities require a license or permit to operate in Singapore, while others do not. For example, businesses in certain industries such as food and beverage, retail, finance, and healthcare may require specific licenses or permits to operate.

To determine whether your business requires a license or permit, you should consult the relevant government agency, such as the Singapore Food Agency or the Monetary Authority of Singapore. It’s important to ensure that you obtain any necessary licenses or permits before commencing business activities to avoid potential legal and regulatory issues.

Is a one-person company allowed in Singapore?

Yes, a one-person company (OPC) is allowed in Singapore. An OPC is a private limited company that can be incorporated with only one director and shareholder, who must be a natural person and a Singaporean citizen, Permanent Resident, or EntrePass holder.

However, it’s important to note that an OPC has certain restrictions. For example, an OPC cannot have more than one shareholder, cannot be a subsidiary or a holding company, and is not eligible for certain tax benefits or incentives.

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