Setting up a Singapore company is an attractive option for many entrepreneurs and investors. Singapore is a highly prosperous and developed country that is well known for having a business-friendly environment and low taxes. The Singapore government has taken a number of steps to make setting up a business in Singapore easier and more attractive.
There are a few things that you need to consider before you set up your Singapore company. The first is to decide which type of company you want to set up. The different types of companies available in Singapore include sole proprietorships, private limited companies, public companies, limited liability partnerships, and representative offices. Each type of company has different requirements and benefits.
The next step is to decide on the name of your company and to register it with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). You will also need to open a corporate bank account and apply for an Employment Pass if you intend to operate the company as a director and employ foreign staff. You will also need to obtain other permits and licenses, depending on the type of business activities you carry out.
Different Types of Singapore Companies
The most common types of companies are:
- sole proprietorships
- private limited companies
- public companies
- limited liability partnerships
- representative offices
- A sole proprietorship is a business owned and managed by a single individual. It is the simplest type of business to set up and the owner is personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business.
- A private limited company is a separate legal entity owned by its shareholders. It is the most popular type of business in Singapore and offers limited liability protection to its owners. It also has the ability to issue shares, which can be used to raise capital.
- A public company is a company whose shares are traded on a public stock exchange. Public companies tend to be larger and more complex than private limited companies and require more paperwork and compliance requirements.
- A limited liability partnership (LLP) is a partnership between two or more individuals who are jointly and severally liable for the debts and obligations of the business. It is similar to a private limited company but with fewer compliance requirements
- A representative office is a business set up by a foreign company to conduct business activities such as market research, promotion and advertising, and liaison with local customers.
Most of our foreign clients prefer incorporating a local subsidiary (i.e. private limited company) rather than other types of company due to the numerous advantages, such as (i) flexible shareholding structure; (ii) separate legal status; (iii) operational position, which allows enjoying the rights and benefits of a local Singapore company.
Benefits of Opening a Singapore Private Limited Company
There are many benefits to setting up a Singapore Private Limited Company. The most significant benefit is the limited liability protection that it offers to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the company and can only be held responsible up to the amount of their shareholding.
In addition, a Singapore Private Limited Company is also eligible for various government grants and incentives such as tax exemptions, subsidies, and funding for research and development. There are also various accounting and tax considerations for Singapore Private Limited Companies, which can help to reduce costs and maximize profits.
Setting up a Singapore Private Limited Company also gives the company access to a range of banking and financial services. Singapore has a well-developed banking and financial sector, which offers a range of services such as business loans, foreign currency exchange, and other financial products.
Finally, a Singapore Private Limited Company also has access to a range of professional services such as accounting and legal services. Singapore is home to a large number of professional service providers, and these can help to ensure that the company is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.
Steps to Register a Singapore Private Limited Company
The company registration process takes about 1 week and can be handled online with Golden Harbors
- The first step in setting up a Singapore Private Limited Company is to register it with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). This involves submitting an application form and filing the necessary documents. These documents include a copy of the company's constitution, proof of identity for the company's directors and shareholders, consent by each company director and company secretary, declaration of the company's controllers.
- Once the company has been registered, the next step is to open a corporate bank account. This is necessary for the company to receive payments from customers and make payments to suppliers.
- Then you can apply for an Employment Pass if you intend to be appointed as a director if the company and employ foreign staff. This is a work permit that allows foreign employees to work in Singapore for a specified period of time.
- Additionally, the company will need to obtain other permits and licenses, depending on the type of business it is engaged in. This includes a license to trade in certain goods and services, as well as licenses to conduct certain activities such as food and beverage, tourism, and entertainment.
Requirements for Company Registration in Singapore
Share capital of S$1
You can incorporate your Singapore company with S$1. Later, if necessary, you can increase the capital by investing additional funds and notifying the relevant authority.
At least 1 shareholder
A shareholder can be an individual or a company. The maximum number of shareholders is 50.
100% foreign ownership is allowed.
Nominee Director; or Foreign director with residence permit in Singapore; or a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore.
Registered address in Singapore
The company must have a registered address in Singapore where all company statutory documents must be kept
Local company secretary
A Singapore company must appoint a company secretary who resides in Singapore. The company secretary is responsible for the company's compliance with its regulatory obligations and the maintenance of registers.
Applying for an Employment Pass
To apply for an Employment Pass, you will need to submit an application form and provide supporting documents such as a copy of the company's constitution, a copy of the foreign employee's passport, and proof of qualifications. The application form and supporting documents must be submitted to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
The application process typically takes 4-6 weeks, and the Employment Pass will be valid for 2 years, after which it can be renewed. The Employment Pass will also need to be renewed if the foreign employee changes jobs or if the company ceases operations.
It is important that you meet the following recommended requirements when applying for EP:
- the applicant has more than 7 years of relevant working experience;
- recommended degree holder;
- monthly salary of S$ 10,000 and above;
- recommended capital of S$ 100,000.
Accounting and Tax Considerations
Setting up a Singapore Private Limited Company also involves accounting and tax considerations. All Singapore companies are required to maintain accurate records of their financial transactions and accounts, and to file their tax returns with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
The company will also need to appoint a qualified accountant to prepare its financial accounts. This is important to ensure that the company's financial statements are accurate and that its taxes are paid on time.
The company will also need to choose a taxation regime. Singapore has a number of different tax regimes, and the company should select the one that best suits its business needs. With a single-tier tax system, Singapore only taxes company profits, but does not tax dividends issued to shareholders. In relation to the corporate tax rate, the first S$ 200,000 net profit will be taxed at 9-10%. For anything more than S$ 200,000, the tax rate is 17%. Corporate tax rate is 0% for resident companies for the first three years.
Setting up a Singapore Company is a relatively straightforward process. The different types of companies available in Singapore include sole proprietorships, private limited companies, public companies, limited liability partnerships, and representative offices.
The most common type of company is the private limited company, which offers limited liability protection to its owners and is eligible for various government grants and incentives. Setting up a Singapore Private Limited Company also involves opening a corporate bank account, applying for an Employment Pass, accounting and tax considerations.
If you are considering setting up a Singapore Company, we recommend that you consult with a qualified professional to ensure that you understand the process and comply with all relevant laws and regulations. Set up your Singapore Company with Golden Harbors and let us help you navigate the process.