How to incorporate your company in Singapore…?
In order to set up a company and start doing business in Singapore, the company must first be incorporated.The following information is required by Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA ) when incorporating your company in Singapore:
- Company Name
- Brief Description of Business Activities
- Shareholders’ Particulars
- Directors’ Particulars
- Registered Address
- Company Secretary Particulars
In order to prepare the necessary company incorporation paperwork the incorporation service firm that you engage will typically collect the following documents from you:
For non-residents: Copy of passport, overseas residential address proof, and other Know-Your-Client (KYC) information such as a bank reference letter, personal and business profile, etc.
For Singapore residents: Copy of Singapore identity card
If the shareholder is a corporate entity: Copy of registration documents such as Certificate of Incorporation and Constitution
Company registration procedure in Singapore is computerized by Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). So, as a result, the Singapore incorporation process is quick and efficient, under normal circumstances, the company can be incorporated in 1-2 days. There are two steps involved in the Singapore company setup procedure: a) Company Name Approval and b) Company Registration. If there are no delays caused by the ACRA, both steps can be accomplished on the same day.
First, you should fill the application with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The proposed name for your company must be approved in order to set up your company in Singapore. Company name approval is obtained by the service firm you have chosen to register your company will do it for you as the first step in the incorporation process. Name approval/rejection notification is received in less than an hour unless the proposed name has certain words (such as bank, finance, law, media, etc.) that might require the review and approval of a corresponding external government authority. The name approval may get delayed by a few days or weeks, if it is referred to an external authority if it is identical or too similar to any existing local company is obscene, vulgar or already reserved. If your name is approved then it will be reserved for 60 days from the date of application. But, you can extend the name for another 60 days by filing an extension request just before the expiry date.
After the name has been approved, the filing of the incorporation request as well as the approval from the ACRA can be completed in a few hours assuming incorporation documents are ready and have been signed by the directors and shareholders of the new company. A registration fee of S$300 is payable to the ACRA at the time of incorporating a private limited liability company.
Post-Registration Formalities, documents issued;
Certificate of Incorporation
The ACRA will send an official email notification confirming the incorporation of the company. The email notification includes the company registration number and is treated as the official certificate of incorporation in Singapore.
If you prefer to have a hard copy of incorporation certificate, an online request can be made to the ACRA because it is not issued by default as it is not needed in Singapore. While, a fee of approximately S$50 is applicable and the hard copy can be collected the next day from the office of the ACRA.
Company Business Profile
A business profile containing the particulars of the company can be obtained from the ACRA by making a request online and paying a nominal application fee. The document is available for download within an hour of the request and contains the following key details:
–Company name and registration number
-Previous names for the company, if any
-Registered office address
-Company Secretary details
-Share certificates for each of the shareholders
-Share register indicating shares allotted to each of the shareholders
-Company seal for the company
-A rubber stamp for the company
Opening a Corporate Bank Account
After successful registration of your Singapore company, you can open a corporate bank account in any of the major banks in Singapore such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citibank, DBS, OCBC, UOB, etc.
Applying for Business Licenses
It depends on your company’s business activities, if you may need to obtain one or more business licenses after you have incorporated your company but before you can commence your business operations. Fortunately, very few business activities require such a license. Examples of business activities that require a business license(s) include restaurants, educational institutes, travel agencies, financial services, import/export of goods, etc.
Goods and Service Tax (GST) registration
If the projected annual revenue of your company exceeds SGD 1 million, your company must register for GST. GST is also known as Value Added Tax (VAT) or Sales Tax in many other countries. If your company is GST registered, you will need to charge this tax (currently 7%) to your clients on the goods and services provided and in turn remit this amount to the tax authorities. GST registration is not mandatory if your company’s annual turnover does not exceed S$1 million.
Annual Filing Requirements
After your Singapore company has been incorporated, the Singapore Companies Act mandates certain annual filing requirements and formalities.