As a startup founder or an entrepreneur, the very last thing you want is getting stuck on that very first step of the journey ie. the incorporation of a legal entity to run your business (in other words, a company). If you are stuck with the countless options out there to incorporate your company, you’re at the right place.
It is 2020 and there is still an array of options in the market for incorporation services – from the most expensive package upwards of $1500 to the cheapest package at $350; from private-quotation-only packages offered by traditional brick and mortar professional service firms (such as Rikvin), to convenient online services with minimum face-to-face meeting offered by companies such as Sleek and Osome. Furthermore, on top of the sea of options, don’t forget there is the DIY way of registering your company yourself with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) using the online portal BizFile+.
There is no easy way to quickly compare all the options available as they all include different service items at different price points and discount structure. We know first-hand of many company founders who have spent considerable amount of time doing lots of digging, settle on the seemingly best option, only to uncover hidden fees/extra expenses later for essential services that they assumed are included in the cheap packages they signed up for.
At InCorporate.sg, we are entrepreneurs like you who have gone through the same process years ago. We aim to simplify the decision process and help founders and entrepreneurs alike to get the best value at the very beginning of their entrepreneurial journey.
Every year, we compile a list of top companies in Singapore that provide incorporation services based on user feedback and reviews. Read on to find out which are the top 3 service providers that made the list.
This year, we are also including a bonus section on “The Best Business Banking Accounts in Singapore”. So, make sure you read till the end!
The Best Innovative Online Incorporation Service: Sleek
First up, we have Sleek – an incorporation service provider that bring most of its work online (think e-signature and cloud), eliminating the need for company founders from unnecessary travel hassle and face-to-face meetings. The company provides some of the fastest and most streamlined incorporation service online.
As the first Smart Corporate Services platform for entrepreneurs and SMEs in Singapore, Sleek can afford to charge their customers very low fees due to the cost-saving stemming from the online automation of processes. Their Basic Incorporation Package for locals costs as low as $800 and includes company secretary for a year. Read more about Sleek on our review page.
Other than company incorporation, Sleek also offers an extensive range of quality services at affordable prices – including corporate secretarial, visa and immigration, and company strike off. The website is user-friendly and comes with a 24/7 live chat function so that entrepreneurs can easily access their services from any corner of the world at any given moment.
The Best up-and-coming Incorporation Service Provider: BlueMeg
We are very excited to mention this company as it prides itself as the world’s first most advanced SaaS for company governance & entity management – so that all stakeholders and service providers are gathered on just one console/app. The innovative technology BlueMeg uses allow users to perform all the necessary corporate functions in one place using their powerful console. It is even directly connected to ACRA. They provide all the standard company formation and company secretary services. All the documents can be submitted digitally and you can also use e-signature with them.
Their pricing is transparent and all listed on their website here. The only catch is pay attention to the currency they charge in. As of the time of editing, BlueMeg is still charging in USD rather than in SGD. This makes sense as BlueMeg targets the international market rather than just the local Singapore market.
Check out our detailed review of BlueMeg here.
The Best Traditional Incorporation Service: Rikvin
Established in 1998, Rikvin knows the incorporation business inside out, providing a wide range of services entrepreneurs and startup founders need to run their companies in Singapore. Over the past decades, Rikvin has grown from a one-person operation into one of the biggest incorporation firms in Singapore with a strong team of qualified company secretaries, accountants, and tax specialists.
Rikvin provides a one-stop solution for incorporating Singapore Companies and businesses, branch, representative offices, accounting, taxation, and related corporate services. As a licensed employment agency with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), they also provide a full spectrum of work visa and immigration-related services for foreign professionals and entrepreneurs wishing to relocate to Singapore.
You can request for quotation directly on Rikvin’s website.
Bonus Section: Best Corporate or Business Banking Account in Singapore 2020
The Best Digital Banking Solution: TransferWise
Transfer Wise has been on our radar for a few years now, and it is here to stay. The digital banking solution provider makes cross-border banking a whole lot more seamless and inexpensive in this digital age that we live in. Without the high costs of physical presence, TransferWise is able to pass on savings to customers. With the international business account, business owners can send, spend and receive multiple currencies with the real exchange rate.
Opening an international business account with TransferWise and receiving money are both free and the cross-border transaction fees to send money is really low (up to 19 times cheaper than Paypal). The recipient doesn’t have to open a TransferWise account to receive money from you as the money is transferred directly into their local bank account. TransferWise also issue a very cool business debit card licensed by Mastercard.
You can even get your own bank details for free in minutes in the following countries — without a local address : United Kingdom, Eurozone, Australian, New Zealand, and United States. You can then use them to get paid or withdraw money from platforms like Amazon for free, or hold the money in your account for future payments, or move it to your local bank.
The only drawback is perhaps the fact that TransferWise is currently only available in one country in Asia – Singapore. It has yet to cover other Asian and South East Asian countries, which could be a real inconvenience for many business owners in this region.
Sign up for TransferWise here and get your transaction fees waived for transfer of up to GBP 500.
The Most Convenient Bank for Business Owners: DBS
The Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) is our first choice for SME business owners with busy schedules. As the largest bank in Southeast Asia by total assets, DBS has its headquarters in Singapore and operates over 250 operating branches in South East Asia, China and South Asia. This means their customers get to do cross-border business easily with the access to a wide coverage of geography and a whole full suite of business banking services. The bank also has the widest island-wide network of self-service banking machines that are available 24/7 – lending greater convenience and ease to its customers in Singapore.
Business founders will be happy to hear that a Digital Business Account with DBS only takes 5 minutes to set up online. If you’re a sole proprietor with an existing personal account with DBS, you can have the Digital Business Account opened almost instantly by linking it to the personal account and adding an ACRA Business Registration Number. With no minimum balance requirement, the account fee is at $18 per month.
Whereas with the Corporate Multi-Currency Account, you can manage up to 13 currencies in just one business account, with other perks like free chequebook and free debit card. The account fee for this type of account is relatively low at $40 a year – which works out to about $3.33 a month. Do take note that to enjoy such low fee for account maintenance, the minimum balance of your account must be kept at $10,000 at all times, otherwise there will be a $35 fall-below fee.
Check out our review of DBS Bank in further details.
The Best Traditional Business Banking: OCBC
OCBC Bank is the oldest bank in Singapore and one of the most reliable and well-managed banks in the world as it consistently rank highly among the world’s safest banks (meaning to say it is highly unlikely for OCBC to pull a Lehmann Brothers on their customers). It has been the backbone of Singapore’s economy since the 1930s, enabling trade and tremendous economic growth. Today, OCBC operates around 570 branches in more than 18 countries and regions, serving over 2.5 million customers.
OCBC currently offers 5 types of business accounts to cater to different business owners. Given the wide range of features and functionality, you will be sure to find something that fits your business need. For example, for those first-time Singaporean (or PR) startup founders in need of speed an cheap solution for their local business, they can open a Business Growth Account instantly when they apply online with MyInfo (Login via SingPass) or existing OCBC Personal Banking credentials. There is no initial deposit or minimum balance requirement that ties up precious business capital, and the account fee is only $10 a month.
For aspiring business owners planning to conduct cross-border business in China, the Renminbi Business Account might be a better fit. Other than that, there is also Conveyancing Account that’s designed specially for lawyers, and Business Foreign Account that’s designed specially for foreigner business owners whose company is registered outside of Singapore.
Traditional banking services apart, OCBC also provide other value-added services such as business insurance, trade finance with Velocity@ocbc, Start Digital Pack across HR, Accounting, Digital Marketing etc. for their banking customers.
Check out our review of OCBC Bank in further details.
So there you have it, the best incorporation services and business banking accounts in Singapore for 2020 based on user feedback and our reviews.
Don’t forget to also read our reviews as well as the details on the respective websites to really understand the prices and offerings before making a final decision. With that said, we here at InCorporate.sg wishes all entrepreneurs the best experience starting their business.
Once you have incorporated your company and open a business bank account, don’t forget to leave a review under the “Company Review” tab to help other budding entrepreneurs who will be in your shoes in the near future. Pay it forward!
Looking for other types of corporate services? Find the best services recommended for you based on hundreds of companies reviewed on our platform.