Strategically located, Singapore is headquarters to more than 600 local and foreign financial institutions. To maintain its international competitive advantage, the island nation has efficiently streamlined administrative procedures for entrepreneurs to invest and start business operations locally. As a result, many large companies, including those from China and India, have registered companies in Singapore as their first step toward global expansion.
Registering a Company in Singapore: Requirements
Company Name: The name of the Singapore company must be Romanised. Currently, Chinese characters or any other characters belong to non-Latin writing systems are not accepted.
Registered Address: A Singapore-based business must have a local Singapore address. A foreign business owner who does not wish or need to rent a physical office in Singapore can engage the services of Corporate Services Provider, which will provide a registered address for the company. If the registered address changes, the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) must be notified within 14 days.
Business Scope: Singapore companies can choose up to 2 business categories.
Shareholding: When registering, it is necessary to specify the total amount and distribution of shares.
Registered Capital: Minimum paid-up capital requirement for setting up a company in Singapore is S$1.00. Paid-up capital may be increased through accepting new shareholders or through existing shareholders increasing their original shares. However, you must keep the following in mind:
If you are applying for relocation visa Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass), the company must have a minimum paid-up capital of S$50,000.
If you are applying for relocation visa Employment Pass (EP), although there is no official minimum paid-up capital requirement, we recommend a paid-up capital of at least S$50,000 in order to improve chances of EP approval.
If the company business is a regulated business (e.g. travel agency, recruitment agency, financial services, etc.), the minimum paid-up capital requirements will be dictated by the relevant licensing requirements.
Local Directors: At least one local director (Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident, Employment Permit or Family Pass) must be appointed. Singapore does not allow foreigners to register their own company. You can appoint local and foreign directors as needed. You must ensure that local directors are 18 years of age or older and have no bankruptcy or criminal record. Directors do not have to be shareholders.
Company Secretary: According to Article 171 of the Singapore Companies Act, you must hire a qualified company secretary within 6 months of the establishment of the company. The secretary must be a natural person residing in Singapore and cannot be the sole director or shareholder of the company. The general company secretary is held by a qualified individual (such as a certified public accountant) or by a professional body.