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A Step-by-Step Guide For Foreigners Looking to Open a Company in Singapore

Foreigner’s Guide – What are the Formalities Required to Incorporate a Company in Singapore? 

Apart from the Marina Bay Skyline and the world-famous zoo, Singapore is also famous for investment opportunities for foreigners. Singapore is an economic powerhouse in South Asia and many consider it an entry point to the world’s most populated market – South East Asia, which accounts for 8.58% of the global population. 

More often than not, Singapore is the first country that comes to mind when one is looking to open a new business or expand an existing one. For foreigners, opening a business in Singapore might seem to be a daunting task. However, it is straightforward if you have the right professional assistance and advice. 

In this blog, we will demonstrate a step-by-step guide for foreigners looking to start a business in Singapore. 

Some Key Things to Consider Before Incorporating a Company in Singapore 

  1. Right Working Pass 

This is one of the basic requirements to start a company in Singapore. You need the right working pass like an Employment Pass or EntrePass. The nature of your business determines which pass you will need to obtain. 

However, neither of these passes are required if you plan to operate your business from a foreign country. In that case, professionals providing company incorporation services in Singapore will help you appoint a local nominee Director to fulfil the local formalities for company registration in Singapore. 

  1. Type of Business

You need to decide the business structure. 

i) Sole-Proprietorship – Professional agencies providing company setup services in Singapore can help you hire an authorized representative, if you plan to set up a sole-proprietorship business in Singapore and run it from abroad. The authorized representative must hold Singapore citizenship. You can also appoint an Entrepass holder as a representative of your company. 

ii) Partnership – If you are considering incorporating a partnership business then at least one of the active partners should be a Singapore resident. Just like sole-proprietorship, you will need an authorized representative, if you plan to run a business from any foreign nation. 

iii) Subsidiary – Many foreign companies have subsidiaries in Singapore. A subsidiary company might be a separate entity from its parent company but it can be a limited liability company where the parent company can have 100% share in ownership. 

  1. Naming the Business 

The second and the most important step is the name of the business. The first step is to determine the availability of the proposed business name in Singapore. Once that is done, you can get the desired name registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). 

  1. Company Incorporation Checklist 

Before incorporating a company in Singapore, you must ensure the following: 

i) The proposed business name is approved by ACRA. 

ii) You must have at least one shareholder.

iii) You must ensure that at least one Company Director is a Permanent Resident or EntrePass/Employment Pass holder. 

iv) There must be at least one Company Secretary, who is a Singapore citizen 

v) You must have at least  S$1 paid-up capital. 

vi) There must be a local address registered as the official company address. 

For Company Registration in Singapore, you will need to have the following documents: 

i) Name of the Company 

ii) Description of Business nature and operations

iii) Details of company shareholder/shareholders

iv) Details of director/directors 

v) Details of Company Secretary/Secretaries 

Wrapping Up 

Singapore’s business laws and Government policies make it one of the most favourable destinations for doing business. A vast majority of the Fortune 500 companies have their offices in Singapore. 

Singapore’s market and policies are also tailor-made for start-ups. There are more than 4000 tech-startups in Singapore as per Asia Nikkei. 

Strong trade and investment make Singapore one of the easiest places to do business in the world. 

PikoHANA is one of the industry leaders when it comes to company incorporation services in Singapore. Our experienced professionals will assist you with everything regarding company formation in Singapore. 

Reach out to us 

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