Guide on How to Register Your Company in Singapore
For company registration:
*Mandatory to have at least 1 Singapore Citizen or P.R. to act as Resident Director for the business incorporation and company registration in Singapore
*Additional $80 per person will be charged on top of the company incorporation package price for companies with more than 2 individuals for your company registration
Conditions for Compilation of Unaudited Financial Statement
* No consolidated / Audited Financial Statements
* Accounts should not have more than 1 Loan or Hire Purchase item
* Accounts should not have construction contracts
1) Benefits of Limited Liability
Upon registration, a private limited company in Singapore becomes a separate legal entity. Hence, shareholders are not accountable for the business or the company’s debts beyond the amount of share capital contributed.
2) First S$100,000 Profit Tax Exemption
Outlined by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), Singapore Exempt Private Limited companies can enjoy legal tax exemptions at 75% for the first $100,000 of corporate profits for the first three years after the initial company setup in Singapore.
|Corporate Profit||Tax Exemption Rate||Amount Exempted|
The tax exemption policy for newly incorporate / setup Singapore companies will not be given to investment holding companies and businesses engaged in property development activities that are incorporated on and from 26 Feb 2013 onwards. These types of companies will still enjoy the partial tax exemption.
YA 2013, YA 2014 and 2015
The company will be given a 50% (CIT) Corporate Income Tax Rebate capped at $30,000 for each Year of Assessment.
YA 2016 and YA 2017 New!
The company will be given a 50% (CIT) Corporate Income Tax Rebate capped at $20,000 for each Year of Assessment.
The company will be given a 40% (CIT) Corporate Income Tax Rebate capped at $15,000 for each Year of Assessment.
YA 2019 New!
The company will be given a 20% (CIT) Corporate Income Tax Rebate capped at $10,000 for each Year of Assessment.
Information Required For Company Registration and Formation in Singapore:
- 2 – 3 Proposed Company Name.
- 2 Main Business Activities Description.
- Location of Registered Office – A1 Office or your physical office.
- Director NRIC Identity Card copy – Front and Back (for Local).
- Passport copy of Foreign Director, Proof of Foreign Address (for Foreigners).
- Shareholder NRIC Identity Card copy – Front and Back Copy (for Local).
- Shareholder Passport copy, Proof of Foreign Address (for Foreigners).
- Shareholding percentage breakdown.
- Incorporate your business with S$1 as Paid-up Capital.
When do you Need to Register for a Licence?
After incorporating and registering your company, some trades needs to apply for a licence prior to starting their company’s operations. Examples of such licenses are registering for the Food Hawker Licence, Private School Licence, Import/Export Licence, etc.
Before Applying for a Licence
Before company registration for a licence, please refer to the respective agency’s website to know more about the licence details such as eligibility criteria, licence validity period and licenceor agency specific guidelines. You will also need your company’s UEN, Business Profile and supporting documents (if any).
Who needs to Apply for a Licence?
To register for a company licence, you may go to https://licence1.business.gov.sg/web/frontier/home and click on ‘Choose licence(s) by Government Agency’ for a list of licencing agencies or type the keyword into ‘Find licence(s) by Keyword’.
- Council for Private Education (CPE)
- Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA)
- Health Sciences Authority (HSA)
- Hotels Licensing Board (HLB)
- Housing & Development Board (HDB)
- Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)
- International Enterprise Singapore (IE)
- Media Development Authority (MDA)
- Ministry of Law (MINLAW)
- Ministry of Education (MOE)
- National Environment Agency (NEA)
- Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
- Public Utilities Board (PUB)
- Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)
- Singapore Police Force (SPF)
- Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)
How to Apply for a Licence?
Once you have decided on the relevant licence, you may visit this website to complete your company registration for the licence(s) by using your SingPass. Foreigner without SingPas may request for a user account at https://licence1.business.gov.sg/web/frontier/home
Some Tips on How to Register a Company
Before registering a company, entrepreneurs should look out for several things:
- First, if you intend to register your company but are not a Singaporean resident, you cannot self-register your company. Under Singaporean law, you must use a professional firm to register your company in Singapore. If you try to register your company by yourself, you will be turned away by the Singaporean government. Because of this, we are happy to guide you throughout the company registration process and to answer any questions that you may have.
- Before the company registration, you will also need to ensure that the Singapore government approves your name. Compared to registration in other countries, you need governmental permission before selecting a name. Luckily, this process—most of the time—is essentially instantaneous. However, the process to register your company / set up a new business in Singapore becomes slower when you use certain words in your company name. Some of those words include finance, law, media, and bank. Using one or more of those words will slow down the approval process, as the Singaporean government will need to record additional approvals of our name. In order to avoid a delay in your name approval, you may want to consider changing your company’s name if it includes any of the words above.
- Next, when registering a business, there are several individuals that need to be members of your organization. Every registered business in Singapore needs several individuals, including a director, shareholder, and company secretary. Every company needs at least one resident director located in Singapore, and that person can be any Singaporean citizen, permanent resident, or an individual who has a valid employment or dependent pass. Besides this one individual, any company can appoint as many directors as they like, as long as they are an adult, have not suffered from bankruptcy, and have a clean criminal record.
- As far as shareholders, private limited companies may have between one and 50 shareholders, and shareholders can be foreign or local entities or individuals. Finally, once you complete company registration, you must appoint a company secretary within six months. The secretary cannot be a sole shareholder or director of the company. Rather, it must be a living person who is actually living in Singapore.
- Finally, there are additional requirements for your registered address and capital within your soon-to-be incorporated business. When registering your company, you must pay at least S$1 in paid-up capital—although this amount can be increased after the company incorporation process is completed. Along with this, your business must have a local address in Singapore. While it cannot be a post office box, it can be a residential or commercial address.
After Registering a Company in Singapore
- After registering a business, you will also need to be aware of several important documents and pieces of correspondence. First, when your company is officially registered, you will receive an email from the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. That email will contain your official certificate of company incorporation and will provide you with your Company Registration Number.
- Once you have successfully registered your company in Singapore, you can open up a corporate bank account in any bank that is registered in Singapore (like HSBC, Citibank, or Standard Chartered). That said, the process after your company registration, may be more difficult than you anticipate. This is because many banks require a company’s principals to physically appear at the bank and open their corporate account. If you are physically unable to travel to Singapore—for whatever reason— you will need to read the fine print and ensure that your bank does not require you to physically appear in Singapore in order to open a corporate account.
- Depending on your business in Singapore, you also may need to obtain one or more business licenses in Singapore. For example, if you are running a restaurant, travel agency, or business in the financial services industry, you will need to obtain a license. Separately, if your company incorporated, the Singapore Companies Act requires businesses to file certain financial information every year—including income tax information. To learn more, you will likely want to speak with an attorney or accountant in Singapore.
Beyond the required personnel to register a company in Singapore, there are several important things to note about running a company.
- First, you can run a registered company but you do not actually have to live in Singapore. You won’t need a visa. Instead, when you visit Singapore to check-in at your company, you can use a visitor visa for your short-term visits. But as stated above, you can’t forget that your company needs to have a director that lives in Singapore. If you plan to operate the company in Singapore, you will need an Employment Pass or Entrepreneur Pass. The Singapore Ministry of Manpower provides more information on these passes (which you can find here). Ultimately, if you plan on using one of these passes to operate your company / business here, you can act as your company’s local nominee director.
- Finally, as a business owner here, you will have to understand your tax obligations. Registering a business here certainly has its advantages. For one thing, your business will not pay any capital gains or dividend taxes. As for the taxes your company does have to pay, you are required to pay less than 9 percent for your first S$300,000 in annual profits, followed by a flat rate of 17% after this initial amount. As you can see, these tax advantages can provide a major benefit to any young business operating in Singapore.
Need more information?
We are happy to help you navigate the process of business registration in Singapore. While it can be confusing, we are here to guide you through every step of this process. To learn more about how we can help you and your company, feel free to chat with us now. You can also reach out via WhatsApp or WeChat. With all of that said, we look forward to working with you!
For any enquiries, please call the LicenceOne hotline: 67741430. You may also download a user guide at https://licence1.business.gov.sg/web/frontier/help/download-user-guide or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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