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Singapore offers a business-friendly environment to both locals and foreigners. Its strategic geographic location, lower effective tax rates, lack of corruption, and straightforward company registration procedure attract thousands of foreigners every year to incorporate their businesses in Singapore.
All the businesses in Singapore need to register with ACRA, the Singapore Company Registrar. To register, they must fulfill specific statutory requirements.
Singapore does not restrict foreign ownership in the company. 100% shares of a company can be owned by a foreigner. As a result of this provision, you as a foreigner can be whole owner of your company. You are not required to give any shareholding to any local person.
However there is a requirement, to have atleast one local director in your company. Briefly the compliance requirements of ACRA those must be fulfilled are:
The minimum paid-up capital can be S$1 that can be increased later.
It must also be noted that the local director and company secretary must be Singaporeans, PRs, EntrePass, or Employment Pass holders.
However many professional service firms like Epica, will be able to provide a Nominee Director service for your company, if you do not have a local director. This way you can satisfy the legal requirements and at the same time keep 100% ownership of your company with you.
The business registration in Singapore is entirely online. All the documents are submitted to the ACRA's online portal, BizFile+. After submission, it generally takes a few hours for the application to get accepted.
This indicates that the company incorporation procedure does not take long when all the documents are provided.
Foreigners cannot self-register their businesses. They do not have access to SingPass and government systems. Therefore, it is imperative to take the services of a registered corporate firm.
The company incorporation is done in two main steps:
Documents for identity verification other than registration must be provided as well.
The following documents are required for identity verification:
If there is more than one shareholder, all of them must provide these documents.
If you are a foreigner, and intending to incorporate a company in Singapore, you must engage a Corporate service firm for your registration. You will not be able to do this process on your own. This is because you will not have access to ACRA bizfile system, via singpass the way local residents have.
Foreigners can choose from relocating to Singapore or operating the business from overseas.
To relocate, a foreigner must acquire either an Employment Pass or an EntrePass. Please note that approval of employment pass is subject to Ministry of Manpower decision.
To run the business from overseas, a foreigner must appoint a local director or a local authorized representative in Singapore.
Foreigners are required to hire a CSP (corporate service provider) to register on their behalf. A corporate service provider like Epica assists you through every step of Singapore company registration. We will file your registration application on your behalf. We will also help you to fulfill the ACRA's statutory requirements.
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