Company Registration Process for Foreign Nationals in Singapore

Singapore Company Registration
Singapore Company Registration

Jaanik – Singapore Company Registration Provider

With Singapore as one of the world’s best places to do business, an internationally recognised effective corporate tax rate of 0% to 17%, and many attractive public opportunity, foreign investors are continuously influxed to Singapore.

Whether you want to run your Singapore business from overseas or contemplate a longer stay for a more hands-on approach, this guide explores the three main options for registering a foreign company in Singapore, allowing foreign investors to start a business.

First and foremost, one would have to choose the business entity to be incorporated. You will need to include qualified corporate service providers as a foreign investor starting a business in Singapore, as the application for incorporation is submitted through the online database of the Company Registrar’s (“ACRA”). To do so, a SingPass would be required, which can only be obtained by Singapore citizens, Singapore Permanent Residents and those who have been issued a FIN number in addition to their employment passes.

Singapore ‘s business integration process is one of the fastest in the world and takes an average of only two-and-a-half days to complete, assuming that ACRA and any other relevant government bodies overseeing the industry that your business wishes to enter do not object to your application. A good professional provider of corporate services will advise you on how to start a business in Singapore on the basis of the information required for the application process.

Business Name
Proposed Principal Activities of the Business
Minimum paid-up capital of S$1.00*
Local registered office address
Name and relevant details of one shareholder
Name and relevant details of one resident director

In different developed nations, one should note that the minimum paid-up capital requirement is nominal, so a bank statement does not need to show this. Alternatively, corporate bank accounts are opened usually as part of the post-incorporation process.

It should be noted that it is a statutory requirement for a company incorporated in Singapore to have a local registered office address as well as a director who is ordinarily resident in Singapore. Individuals who are considered to be “ordinarily resident” would have their usual place of residence in Singapore and Singapore Citizens, Singapore Permanent Residents, EntrePass holders or Employee Pass holders with local addresses may be accepted under this definition.

Option 1: Private Limited Company + Employment Pass

The first choice would mean that the international company consists of a wholly-owned subsidiary limited by shares and that its employee holds an employment pass

Option 2: Private Limited Company + EntrePass

This second alternative would mean that the international corporation has a wholly-owned subsidiary limited by shares and that the employee holds an Entre-Pass

Option 3: Engaging a Resident Nominee Director

For foreign investors wishing to operate their company from an overseas location without relocating any employees, one choice is to employ a local resident director. This person can either be one of your local contacts with whom you have formed a relationship of mutual confidence and understanding, or he can be named as a nominee director. Any company secretarial service provider will usually be able to provide you with contacts for a candidate manager.

The following conditions should also be met by a resident director as set out in the Companies Act:

  • A sound thinking human individual over the age of 18 (i.e. companies can’t be a director)
    Is not a debtor convicted by a Singapore Court or a foreign court
    Is not an unfit director of an insolvent company
    Is not a director of a corporation that has been wound up for reasons of national security or interest
    Has not been accused of any fraud or dishonesty offences
    Has not been convicted of any crime relating to the establishment or management of a company in Singapore
    Has not been convicted within the last five years of three or more offences in relation to the provisions of the Companies Act
    Are not subject to an order of disqualification under Section 34, 35, 36 of the Limited Liability Partnerships Act

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