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Company formation in Singapore


Singapore, an island city state off southern Malaysia, is a global financial centre with a tropical climate and multicultural population which makes it one of the best place to do business or to form a new company.

Singapore is somehow best to give your business a swift start. To make it happen you need a step by step guide to form a company in Singapore. Let's get started with the first step:

1. Choosing company Name – First of all you need to choose a company name and have your filing agency validate in ACRA- The national agency that registers and oversees business. In Singapore no two companies can have same name. If the core noun matches with some other company then also it can't be done no matter if you use "limited" or "corporation" after the name. So it's important to look for a unique and good word combination.

Your company's legal name can be different from the trading name just you have to make sure on thing that your trading name does not have any copyright or trademark issues. Searching on Google will help you in that in no time.

If you want to get name fast then you must not use words like Finance, bank, school, media or education because these business refers to other agencies rather than ACRA, so your application will go there for review, company name can be approved but it will take way more time (several weeks).

2. Choose the business activity type – Business can be of various types so it needs to be clear that what kind of business you are doing because it is must for them to know such things. Whenever a person wants to start a new business he/she also knows what they are going to do, ACRA also want to know too, so it will ask you to pick and submit an SSIC code which indicates what your company does and in what field.

3. Assemble the required team – This includes shareholders, directors and corporate secretary.

  • Shareholders: Both companies and individuals can be shareholders. A private Singaporean company has to be owned by not more than 50 of them. Not only those foreign citizens and businesses can hold shares too.
  • Directors: One can appoint multiple directors but at least one of them must be local or needs to be local, so a foreigner can only hold the position if there is a second director who is a resident of Singapore. To solve this problem, what you can do is appoint a nominee director. He won't be engaged in decision making, only being there to meet the requirements. It is really a common practise in Singapore to use the nominee services like this you can easily solve this problem.
  • Company secretary: Every company is obliged to have this officer who tracks changes in your company, complies the paper work and send reports to the government regarding business or company. The law demands to appoint the secretary within 6 months after the incorporation but you need one way earlier. Company secretary plays an important role so it is must to have a secretary in order to form a company in Singapore.

4. Choose a registered address – Every company of Singapore must have a registered address. It has to be real office mailbox that you regularly check. There are many companies that rent out such mailboxes. They collect your correspondence, scan it, and then send it to you.

5. Setting up of paid up capital – Paid-up capital is the amount of money a company has received from shareholders in exchange for shares of stock. Paid-up capital is created when a company sells its shares on the primary market directly to the investors. In most cases 1 Singapore$ per share is enough, paid up capital can also be in other currencies as per your requirement and satisfaction. You can increase the sun and change the currency any time after your company is incorporated.

6. Delegate the filing – As a foreigner, everyone knows you cannot incorporate a company by yourself. The state demands that you hire an authorized filing agent which will collect your papers, fill out the necessary forms and performs the last step which is sending them to ACRA.

There are some companies which complies your papers and files them online for which you do not need to be present in Singapore and which also provides the necessary services that a new company needs during the first year. A quick research on Google will let you know names of such companies you can contact them for further details.

There are some common questions which comes to mind while starting a business in Singapore! Let's discuss some of them.

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About Exberant

How long the incorporation does takes in Singapore?

It mostly depends on when you are comfortable with providing all the details, as well as the services hours of the authorities. Once all the documents are done it takes probably less than an hour. Incorporation process takes time if the documents are not properly submitted. If there is some fraud in the documents it will make the process more complex and really difficult so make sure there is no fraud in documents while submitting them.


What is ACRA Singapore?

ACRA stands for "Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority". Basically it is an agency that registers and oversees business in Singapore. It is one of the most important institution you will deal with being an entrepreneur.


Why do reporting of business type is necessary?

It is a legal requirement in Singapore because every company which is incorporated in Singapore must have a local registered address.


Can I move to Singapore if I open a business or company there?

Of course you can. There is a special Visa for this called as employment pass which you can receive within about 6 months. In order to qualify you need to pay yourself a salary of about Singapore 6000$, especially if you plan to bring family under dependant passes then it is must step that needs to be taken.

Establishing a business is easy in Singapore because it is really easy if you have all the documents and a good idea for your business you can eventually grow in a better way in Singapore.

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