A bank account is a necessary step required by ACRA to start your business in Singapore. There are so many banks to choose to open your business account with so it might be a little confusing for entrepreneurs. Therefore, to make things easy, we have decided to review some banks you can set up your corporate account with. We will narrow it down to these four main ones because we think they are the best choices.
We start off with DBS, also known as The Development Bank of Singapore. With its headquarters located in Singapore, it made its presence felt by opening branches in China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. To date, DBS is the largest bank in Southeast Asia with over 100 branches.
They are famed for their convenience in setting up a bank account, which according to them, takes a mere 5 minutes. Here is a table listing the business accounts that DBS offers.
As you can see, there are all initial deposits for the DBS accounts, and there are monthly fees as well for keeping the account open. An important fact to note is that it is very convenient to set up an digital banking account for sole proprietors as all you have to do is link the account to your DBS Personal Account and then provide your ACRA Business Registration Number. It is really that easy.
Next up we have Maybank, one of Southeast Asia’s largest banks. They provide many services, from investment banking, corporate banking, insurance, consumer banking to stock broking, to name a few.
If you are looking to start a business account with them, there are 4 main options, that can be found under the wholesale banking section on their site.
FlexiBiz Account– manage your business’ financial needs while incurring interest
PremierBiz Account– also incurs interest and while you can conveniently check your funds plus up to .318% interest on your account
Conveyancing Account– non-interest bearing account for law firms in Singapore.
Foreign Currency Account – payments in your own foreign currency. Deposit or withdraw in local or foreign currency.
Here is a table summarising key points from those four accounts.
The key thing to note is that they have a low minimum initial deposit of $1000, as well as no monthly fees for the FlexiBiz Account, which is the type of account most entrepreneurs would be looking at since they would most likely be cash-strapped.
OCBC is an acronym which means Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation. It came about after the merger of three local banks in Singapore and currently has the largest insurance holdings in SIngapore in Great Eastern Holdings.
Just like all the other banks on the list, they offer a comprehensive variety of services. Corporate accounts, loans, consumer accounts, online banking etc. They have three business accounts for different stages of businesses. The Business Growth Account is designed for brand new businesses. The Business Entrepreneur Account is for growing businesses that need to perform more transactions. The Business Entrepreneur Account Plus is for established businesses.
Here is a table showing the details of each account.
As you can see, only the Business Entrepreneur Account Plus does not require a monthly fee, unless you have less than the required hefty amount of $30,000. The other accounts, made for smaller businesses do have annual fees. However, the Business Entrepreneur Account offer plenty of free transactions, something that not many other accounts offer.
Lastly, we have UOB, which stands for United Overseas Bank, one of Asia’s leading banks. They have a strong presence all over China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, aiming to expand its regional presence in Asia.
UOB’s Commercial Banking Accounts are divided into three groups. Under these groups are accounts for each that will suit your business banking needs. Today, we will look at the operating accounts since they are the ones made for businesses and allow the most cash flow. Here is a table illustrating this.
Opening an account with UOB will mean you still need to go through the usual process. Meaning, go to your branch of choice and get the forms needed. You also need to fill out the necessary information and then submit it to the bank officer. This is a lot more inconvenient than the other three banks which have their account opening services online.
UOB is the most inconvenient in terms of the procedure of setting up the account, and they have the least user-friendly website too. It is difficult to compare the different accounts on their website. Adding to that, they have high minimum balances and transaction fees.
DBS has the most convenient procedure which takes the least amount of time. However, they are lacking in the diversity of products in terms of business accounts. Besides, they do have monthly fees unless you are going for their fixed deposit account. However, that will make your funds inaccessible.
OCBC provides the most diverse range of accounts of businesses and have a solid online banking platform to track your expenses. Although they do have low initial deposits, they do have annual fees for their business growth account. For their business entrepreneur account plus designed for established businesses, if you can hit the minimum balance of $30,000, they have no fees and provide free service for the first 50 cheques. For established businesses looking to expand into Singapore, OCBC business entrepreneur account plus is the one we recommend.
Maybank’s diverse range of products and services may overwhelm you because they do not really filter it for different groups of people. However, they have the enticing FlexiBiz Account which charges no fees and has no minimum balance. With a low initial deposit of $1000, it surely is the most tempting option for entrepreneurs facing cashflow problems early on. Maybank’s FlexiBiz Account is the one we recommend for entrepreneurs just starting out.
For a more comprehensive look at the reviews of these four banks, here is a link.
For other types of corporate services. you can find the best services recommended for you based on hundreds of companies reviewed on our platform.