Singapore Company Registration

Singapore company type
At present, foreign companies register companies in Singapore, and most of the registered forms are private limited companies, which are also the most popular business entities in Singapore. The maximum number of members of a private limited company is 50, and shareholders and directors have separate legal person status. This means that the responsibility of each shareholder of the Singapore company is limited to its share capital. Limited liability for the company’s debts and losses. The name of a private limited company usually contains the words “Pte Ltd” or “Ltd”.

Ⅰ. Introduction to Singapore

  • Singapore has a sound legal system, complete infrastructure, a high international reputation, and good relations with regional countries. It provides local companies with one of the world’s most business-friendly environments and is one of the world’s most competitive economies.
  • 47% of Singapore’s local workforce has received a college degree, which will undoubtedly promote any business operation. With a large number of well-trained professionals, Singapore is a global business center for companies wishing to expand overseas. Singapore has also been rated as the most livable city in Asia for 16 consecutive years and is one of the top destinations for expatriates.
  • The city is safe and orderly, with convenient transportation and first-class medical facilities. In recent years, the government’s economic policies have helped the economy transform into a strong Asian country, and economic diversification has continued to be implemented, which heralds continued economic activity. In 2018, Singapore’s total GDP was 361 billion US dollars, ranking 35th in the world; total foreign trade volume reached more than 780 billion US dollars, with a growth rate of more than 10%. The total foreign trade volume is more than 2 of the GDP.
  • It is information technology products and medicines, as well as the vibrant tourism, retail and financial services sectors.

Ⅱ. Advantages of setting up a Singapore company

  1. The political, economic, and trade environment is stable, and it takes a positive attitude towards foreign governments and has an excellent international image and reputation.
  2. A holding company registered in Singapore is suitable for many countries to apply for listing.
  3. Signing a free trade agreement with many countries, located in the strategic location of the Asian trade route, can meet the needs of the ASEAN economic zone. Well-developed ports and airports provide unparalleled connectivity. Singapore companies are suitable for international trade operations and enjoy preferential tariff conditions.
  4. Singapore does not have any control measures on foreign currency imports and exports, capital flows in and out freely, and Singapore’s commercial banks are mature, and can provide small to medium-sized enterprise owners with numerous product choices and high-quality international trade finance, risk management, and insurance services. Singapore is also guided by various government agencies such as international companies and the Monetary Authority of Singapore and has stable and flexible international financial services.
  5. Provide preferential tax policies and account flexibility, which is conducive to the flexible scheduling of multinational enterprises.

Ⅲ. Singapore tax system and tax rates

  • For many reasons, investors choose Singapore to start their business. The reason is that apart from easy creation and comprehensive cross-border business support, another major determinant is Singapore’s tax system with attractive corporate and personal tax rates, tax relief measures, no capital gains tax, a primary tax system, and extensive double taxation. Famous for tax treaties. Singapore company tax characteristics are as follows:
  • Single-tier income tax system:
    Since January 1, 2003, Singapore has implemented a single-tier corporate income tax system, which means that stakeholders do not need to levy double taxation. The tax paid by the company on its taxable income is the final tax, and the distribution of after-tax profits (dividends) to shareholders is tax-free.
  • No tax:
    No tax on capital gains, dividends, or income from overseas sources. No tax is levied on inherited or gifted assets.
  • Low tax rate:
    low corporate tax rate (the highest tax rate is 17%) and personal tax rate (the highest tax rate is 22%), and through the tax exemption and incentive plan provided by the Singapore Government, the effective tax rate of the company may be greatly reduced.
  • No double taxation:
    The extensive avoidance of double taxation and more than 80 tax treaties with other countries means that companies and individuals that benefit from foreign income and assets only need to be taxed once. Income from tax treaty countries can avoid double taxation through foreign tax credits granted under these treaties. For non-treaty countries, unilateral tax credits are granted to all foreign sources of income.
  • In Singapore, capital gains are tax-free.
  • When investing in emerging industries, research and development, and productivity-enhancing technologies, Singapore offers generous incentives and tax breaks.
  • Certain types of foreign-sourced income are exempt from tax in Singapore.
  • Singapore follows the geographical basis of taxation and adopts a local tax system. In other words, companies and individuals are mainly taxed based on Singapore-sourced income.

Ⅳ. Required Documents for Singapore Company Registration

  1. Company name:
    The company’s registered name must be in English, and Chinese is not allowed (English name must end with Private Limited or Pte., Ltd.)
  2. Shareholder members:
    Singapore allows foreign individuals or legal persons to hold 100% of Singapore’s company shares. 1-50 shareholders are allowed to serve as directors.
  3. Board members:
    Usually, at least two of them, at least one local director is appointed. Requirements for directorship include:

    √ At least 18 years old.
    √ Have sufficient legal capacity.
    √ It cannot be disqualified as a company director, such as a bankrupt who has not been discharged from bankruptcy.
    √ Local Directors in Singapore: Must be Singapore citizens, Singapore Permanent Residents (PR) or Employment Pass (EP), holders.
  4. Company Secretary:
    According to Article 171 of the Singapore Companies Act, a company must be 
    appointed as a local secretary when establishing a company in Singapore. If a Singapore company is established with only one director, it cannot serve as a secretary and must be a member of the Singapore Secretary Association.
  5. Amount of registered capital:
    There is no special restriction on the amount of capital. The standard registered capital established by a general company is SGD100,000, and it is not necessary to pay in place.

Ⅴ. Specification of Singapore Company Registration

  • The Singapore company name must avoid choosing the following: Same as an existing business (especially in the same industry)Bad name, considered vulgar, obscene, or offensive Prohibited by order of the Minister of Finance.
  • The establishment of a company in Singapore can’t issue bearer shares.
  • The information of company directors and shareholders registered by a Singapore company must be kept in the office and be available for public inspection.
  • Singapore set up some industries, companies, such as banks, insurance, and securities brokerage companies, need to apply for special permits before Singapore company registration. The establishment of a Singapore company and the production of certain goods, such as cigars and firecrackers, must also apply for a special permit in advance.
  • The registered address of the company must be a local physical address in Singapore, which can be a residential address or a business address, but not a post office box.

Ⅵ. Process of Singapore Company Registration

  • The following are the five steps for Singapore company registration:
  1. Confirm company directors and shareholders.(one of the directors must be a PR or citizen)
  2. Confirm company name / business scope / registered capital /registered address.
  3. Fill in the application form and provide relevant personal documents.
    (Singapore Identity Card or Foreign Passport)
  4. Organize registration-related information and submit the company registration application.
  5. Singapore company operation after registration.
    (Bank of Singapore account opening, leasing company address, hiring employees)
  6. After registering a Singapore company, it can immediately start operations under its name.
  • With many years of industrial and commercial experience, Inter-Area Professional Service Provider can pay attention/service to customers not only related to overseas company registration. Because Inter-Area Professional Service Provider has professionals who are familiar with overseas affairs from planning, registration, practical operation cases, related matters needing attention, and also the latest information. Provide our customers with the most complete, fast, and secure full service. The most important thing is the background and purpose of the customer’s practical investment. Different products and services generate whole new experiences that determine future value.

VII. Singapore registration service items

The Singapore government requires the use of agency services to set up companies. As the international operation can better analyze policy dynamics and predict market demand, in addition to basic company registration and tax functions, Inter Area has been working hard to expand. Inter Area provides more local integrated services to enterprises and individual investors.

The following are related professional services provided by Inter Area.
Professional service items:

VIII. Singapore company set up Q&A

Q1. Can a foreigner own 100% of the shares in a Singapore company?

A: Yes, the shareholders of a Singapore company can be foreign individuals or companies, and they own 100% of the shares of the Singapore company.

Q2. How long does it take to register a Singapore company?

A: The Singapore company has certain procedures and steps. If the information is complete, the company can be established in about 1-2 weeks.

Q3. Must a Singapore company appoint a local director?

A: Yes, if you do not have a suitable candidate, Inter Area can provide an local director.

Q4. Do Singapore companies have to appoint a company secretary?

A: Yes, every Singapore company must appoint a company secretary. The company secretary must live in Singapore and understand Singapore company laws.

Q5. Can a director of a Singapore company serve as the company secretary at the same time?

A: Yes. One person can serve as director and secretary at the same time, but if you have only one director in Singapore, the sole director cannot serve as company secretary.

Q6. What activities can a Singapore company business engage?

A: There is no restriction on the types of business activities that Singapore companies can engage. However, some business activities such as travel agencies, recruitment agencies, financial companies, schools or other regulated industries need to obtain licenses from relevant departments before they can operate.

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