Company registration in Singapore is a goal many foreign businesses would love to achieve due to the great reputation associated with the city-state. Known for its efficiency within both government and private sectors, businesses in Singapore often enjoy rather smooth processes. The well-enforced legal infrastructure and detailed SOP also mean a quicker administrative process as long as businesses follow the requirements accurately.
Apart from having a highly efficient government sector, business registration in Singapore also ensures businesses are built in a country with economic stability, low corporate tax rates, and a fully-remote company incorporation process. For foreign entrepreneurs, the Singapore government has made it possible for a non-resident to also register their businesses in Singapore while only requiring one director to be a Singaporean.
In Singapore, there are four main types of business structures: sole proprietorship, a private limited company (Ptd Ltd), a limited liability partnership (LLP), and a company limited by guarantee. Each of these differs based on factors such as the number of partners involved in the business, the risk associated, tax obligations, and legal status.
Typically, this would mean that the business entity is run and owned by a single individual. A business structure ideal for individuals hoping to establish smaller businesses. Furthermore, the individual will not be treated as a separate entity legally from their business.
As a sole proprietor, the business owner will be taxed based on the personal income tax rate which could go up to 22%. Additionally, the business owner must be a Singapore resident.
Similar to sole proprietorship with the difference lying in the business comprising two or more partners, with a maximum number of partners capped at twenty. A partnership business structure also does not treat the partners as separate legal entities from their business.
The tax rate imposed depends on the type of partner. That is, an individual partner will impose the personal tax rates while a corporate tax rate will be imposed on a company partner. Allows partners to be foreign individuals or companies.
Limited liability partnership (LLP)
is a business structure that integrates the characteristics of both a traditional partnership and a private company. Similarly to a partnership, it comprises two or more business partners but they are treated as separate legal entities between each partner.
Partners of an LLP will be taxed based on their income tax rate.
Private limited company (Pte Ltd)
While sole proprietorship, partnership, and LLP are considered private companies, a private limited company is considered a public company. Entrepreneurs often regard this as the most ideal business structure if they would like to enjoy benefits including the inability to be held personally liable for debts of the company, protection of IP rights, and tax exemption schemes in Singapore.
A private limited company is established after it had undergone company incorporation with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) in Singapore. Once incorporated, the company will qualify for tax exemption schemes or will have a tax imposed at a flat rate of 17%.
Upon understanding the type of business structures available in Singapore and if you are ready to undergo company registration in Singapore, you will be pleased to know that only one day is required for company incorporation in Singapore. Nonetheless, this can only occur if you met all the requirements and filled up all the necessary documents accurately:
Thanks to the Avoidance of Double Tax Agreements (DTA) Singapore has with multiple countries across the world, the biggest benefit of company registration in Singapore is that companies would not likely be double taxed. To qualify for the provision of the DTA, the only requirements are for the individual to be a Singapore resident or for the company to be exercised in Singapore. You may find the full list of networks within Singapore’s DTA on the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore’s official website.
Apart from the DTA that hopes to encourage cross-border businesses, there are three other types of tax agreements with other important economies across the world.
With attractive tax rates, a well-integrated town plan, the best education system, and most importantly, a safe city-state, it is no wonder foreign entrepreneurs would take the opportunity to move to Singapore with some even bringing their families along. For solo entrepreneurs moving to Singapore alone, they could simply apply for an Employment Pass as long as their monthly salary is above SGD 3,900. However, for entrepreneurs hoping to bring their families with them and apply for a Dependent Pass, the minimum monthly salary requirement is between SGD 6,000 to SGD 8,000.
It is not required for a foreign entrepreneur to be physically present in the country for business registration in Singapore. As long as all documents and requirements are met, a business can be registered in Singapore from anywhere in the world. However, the need to have a Singapore resident Director, a local corporate secretary, and a Singapore address is a difficult requirement to meet for foreigners who have no networks in Singapore.
This is where corporate services providers, like PikoHANA, steps in where foreign entrepreneurs could hire a nominee director and secretary while also being provided with a Singapore address to register their company. Furthermore, by engaging PikoHANA, a fully remote-based service provider, foreign entrepreneurs would not have to worry about meeting them physically in Singapore and all communications can occur fully online.
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