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Singapore has emerged as a top investment destination for numerous reasons. Over the last five decades, the country’s economy has expanded to make this one of the major economic hubs in the world. The country consistently ranks at or near the top in the Ease of doing business index from the World Bank. This encourages both local and foreign investors to set up shop here. Singapore also boasts one of the best corporate tax structures, making it the perfect investment destination for multinational corporations.
Company formation in Singapore is devoid of the red tape you find in many countries. The Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) acts as the Company Registrar and supervises the process for company registration in Singapore.
The registration is under the Companies Act, Chapter 50, with specific requirements and documentations. You must fulfill these requirements to get your business registered. The government has streamlined the registration process. However, it can still be a hassle for both foreigners and local investors to collect all the documents and meet the requirements.
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This post looks at the necessary documents for company registration in the country along with the benefits of using a company incorporation service for the process.
Overview of the Company Registration Process for Singapore
Before you register your company, it’s advisable to do some research and get an idea of what you need. These insights will help you when you partner with a company registration service to complete the registration. Some of the requirements for company registration in Singapore include:
- Company name approval: You have to apply for a company name from ACRA. This is the first step in the company registration process. The name must be unique and should not infringe on any copyright or trademark. Approval takes an hour unless your name application has words such as bank, finance, educational, or media. Such businesses require lengthier approvals.
- Shareholding: 100% foreign shareholding is allowed. However, the company must have a minimum of one and a maximum of fifty shareholders who are natural persons or corporate entities.
- Share capital: Your company should have paid-up capital to set up a company. The minimum requirement is S$1, which you can increase through future injection of capital.
- Directors: A new company should have directors who are Singapore residents or foreign residents but not corporate entities. The company must have at least one Singapore-resident director.
- Company secretary: The company must appoint a qualified secretary who’s a natural person and a resident of Singapore. You’ll need to do this within six months of incorporation.
- Registered address: Your registered business must have a local registered address in Singapore that is not a post office box.
- Foreigners registering a local company must employ local director. This person must either be a Singaporean, a permanent resident of Singapore, or an EntrePass holder. You also need to hire a company registration service.
Registration Documents for Company Registration
Now you can start preparing the necessary documents. These are:
- Company name registered with ACRA: Your registration filing agent assists you to apply for the company name. Once it’s approved, the registration process officially commences.
- Company Constitution (previously known as Articles of Association): If you don’t have a tailored constitution for your business, you can adopt the standard Singapore company constitution. This is available from ACRA.
- Particulars of shareholders: You’ll need to include identification and residential address details for each shareholder and officer of the company, as well as a copy of each person’s passport, NRIC or residency card if they’re a Singapore resident, and residential address proof. You can use, for example, a driver’s license, a recent utility bill, rental agreement, and the like as proof of residence. Each person must also include a brief professional background, which can be a CV or resume or a link to the person’s LinkedIn profile.
- Requirements for directors: These include a declaration of consent to act as a director. For this purpose, use Form 45 to disclose all other directorships or shareholdings. Each director must also have a signed board resolution that approves their appointment.
- Particulars of company secretary: These include consent to act as company secretary signed by the company secretary along with a copy of the person’s Singapore identity card.
- A brief description of the company’s business activities.
- Foreign investors need a copy of their passport and proof of their residential address overseas.
- Foreign companies seeing registration require Memorandum & Articles of Associations.
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The documents required can differ sometimes. For instance, if your company has a corporate shareholder, you need different documents for registration.
You should also consider the nature of the Singapore residents you choose for the shareholding or directorship. This is because they can be Singapore citizens, Singapore permanent residents, or a person who has been issued an EntrePass, Employment Pass, or Dependent’s Pass.
Using Company Incorporation Services
Foreigners can’t self-register in Singapore. This is where a company incorporation agent comes in handy. Voplus company incorporation helps both local and foreign investors to collate the documents required and meet all the company registration requirements.
The company incorporation service offers custom solutions tailored to suit your business. You get assistance from the initial contact to the registration and afterward. Their services range from consultancy, company name application, secretary services, local address, nominee director services, accounting solutions, ongoing compliance administration of your company, and much more.
The entire process takes place online. That makes this is an ideal solution for a foreign investor. In other words, you won’t have to travel for every step.
Final Thoughts About Registering Your Business in Singapore
Planning to register your business in Singapore? This is the smartest decision you could have made. Now, make it easier by working with a company registration service.