Starting a business in Singapore – Top Tips

Singapore is not only known for being one of the hottest tourist destinations in South East Asia, it also provides lucrative business opportunities to entrepreneurs and foreign investors. The country has exceptional connectivity with the rest of the world, as well as advanced infrastructure, amazing tax benefits, a corruption-free system and numerous other benefits. If you’re an aspirant willing to set up a new business in the region, this guide will give you a few tips how to get started.

  • First of all, you need to finalize what type of company you’re planning to start – a Limited Liability Company, a sole proprietorship or a partnership. Most of the companies established by foreigners in Singapore are private limited companies (Pte Ltd), as this type involves the lowest risk. Moreover, it is important to know what type of legal structures will suit your business activities.
  • Once you have finalized the type of company you’re going to establish, you need to know a few rules regarding the registration procedure. You must submit your application electronically through a system called Bizfile, which was set up by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
  • It generally takes 5 working days to register a foreign company and to issue the Certificate of Registration.
  • You need to rent office premises in order to have your business registered. All official documentation will be sent to this address.

 rent office premises

  • It is highly recommended to take the assistance of a reputable registration agent/consultant to assist you with the entire process. You can easily find a lot of reputable local companies such as KC Ha Consulting to ensure that the process is easy, simple and hassle-free.
  • In order to register a company in Singapore, you must be above 18 years and have a valid Employment Pass under the EntrePass Scheme of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Yes, you can even be a CEO at 18!
  • You can obtain the EP with the help of your agent. However, if you will be operating the business from your native country, you won’t have to acquire it. You can appoint a local nominee to do the formalities for you instead.
  • Check with your consultant if your company requires mandatory licensing.
  • As far as the business name is concerned, it should strictly comply with the guidelines laid down in the Companies Act. You must submit Form 14B (Application for Approval and Reservation of Name of Registration of a foreign company) under the Companies Act, Chapter 50
  • People who have committed legal offenses cannot start a business in this country.
  • Once the business name is approved, you’ll need to furnish the following documents as a part of the process:
  1. Memorandum & Articles of Association
  2. Certificate of Identity (Form 7)
  3. Statutory Declaration of Compliance (Form 6)
  4. Consent to Act as Director & Statement of Non Disqualification to Act as Director (Form 45).
  5. Notice of Situation of Registered Office and of Office Hours at time of Incorporation (Form 44)
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