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Singapore company registration is an easy and quick procedure. However, the potential business-owners must fulfill specific statutory requirements to register a company in Singapore. One such obligation for setting up a Singapore business is to have a registered office address in Singapore.
A company cannot register in Singapore without a local registered business address. This address must be input into the electronic incorporation form that has to be submitted into the ACRA's online portal, BizFile.
This guide shall discuss the significance of a registered office address and registered office options for new and existing Singapore companies.
A registered office in Singapore is the company's address that is registered with ACRA during the company's incorporation. All types of Singapore government entities send their correspondence to this address.
Every individual has an electronic address and means of communication (WhatsApp, email, mobile) through which you can reach them. For government records, every individuals address is also recorded on his / her NRIC in the Government database. This address is also available on the NRIC. Similarly, companies in Singapore are required by law to have a registered address. In case the public has any complaint, they can visit the company at its registered address. Also government correspondence, if any is sent to this address.
A registered office address must fulfill certain legal obligations as required by Singapore law.
People can visit the registered office address of a company to enquire anything about it. You must ensure that at least one person is available during office hours at your company's registered office address. He/she must ensure that no visitor goes unattended.
Also, communications and notices from different government bodies are sent to the company's registered address. These notices may include reminders for compliance with annual obligations, changes in government's policies, and new incentives.
Your bank will also send the correspondence to your company's registered office address unless instructed otherwise.
Register of Shareholders and Register of Officers must also be kept and maintained at the registered office.
All the companies that are willing to register a Company in Singapore have two options regarding the address:
A physical office is an active and live office of the company. At least one administrative personnel is present in the physical office of the company. That person must attend all the official correspondence sent to the company and must act accordingly with them.
Singapore offers the option of getting a virtual office to be used as a registered office address. A virtual office provides you a registered office address with various services you can choose from. Epica also provides a registered virtual office address with the following services:
One of the most significant factors before choosing a registered office address in Singapore is cost. Due to land scarcity in Singapore, renting a physical office is extremely expensive. Though, companies that can afford a physical office space should definitely go for it.
However, it has been noticed on multiple occasions that the inexperienced administrative personnel ignored several crucial mails. For instance, IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore) sends an e-services Access Code that is often ignored and misplaced because a company does not need them until they are required to file their Income Tax Returns and Estimated Chargeable Income.
A virtual office address is a relatively better option for almost anyone. It is best for foreign business entities that do not foresee the need for a physical office or want to minimize their incorporation cost.
There are multiple benefits of a virtual office as compared to a physical one. You can also opt for various services that are usually offered by your virtual officer service provider.
In addition to that, setting up a virtual office takes a shorter time to set up than a physical office. For instance, Epica can set up a virtual registered office for you in less than an hour. Hence, this option is considered way more convenient by most entrepreneurs and business owners.
Another advantage of getting a virtual office is its flexible cost. When you rent a physical office, the costs associated with leasing or renting are non-negotiable. However, a virtual office service's cost can be adjusted depending on your requirements and budget. Thus, new business owners and entrepreneurs can easily afford to invest in product development, marketing, growth, and expansion plans.
Singapore has a small land area. Therefore, renting an office in the CBD (Central Business District) is not budget-friendly for most new businesses. CBD is Singapore's center for all the financial and commercial activities and the best location for a physical office. However, leasing commercial office space in the CBD is a significant investment. You can expect the following average rentals in CBD:
Even for the areas outside the CBD, the rent prices start from S$4-5. Moreover, there could be specific restrictions or requirements that must be fulfilled by the business owners.
For instance, at many industrial park locations, the tenants may require you to invest a specific amount in developing leased premises. Additionally, there will be cost for renovation, installation of various utilities, investment into technology, and similar other expenditures. On top of that, a traditional office space lease in Singapore has a duration of three years. In that case, a company will also have to incur the extra cost of restoring the office to its previous form before the lease's expiration.
Accessibility is another concern for business owners in Singapore. Affordable office spaces are available in industrial parks, but they are not easily accessible due to being far from the city center.
Therefore, you must consider these points before opting for a registered physical office address in Singapore. A virtual office that is located in the CBD is much better in terms of affordability and accessibility.
Singapore business owners can use their residential address as a registered office under the HO (Home Office) scheme. This scheme allows owners, tenants, or authorized occupants of Singapore's private residential properties to register with URA (Urban Development Authority). Similarly, owners, tenants, or occupants of HDB flats must register with HDB (Housing & Development Board) to transform their homes into small-scale offices.
You will need written consent from the homeowner before HO registration if you are not the owner.
After registration, a one-time permit is given. It is valid as long as you run your home office business. However, a permit can be revoked if the required conditions are breached.
Various performance and restrictions criteria strictly keep the home office usage at a small scale to not create any inconvenience or cause disturbance to the neighboring residents.
Moreover, there are specific businesses that are prohibited under the HO scheme. These include:
A home office is generally not recommended due to three prominent reasons:
New Company Setup
New Company Setup
New Branch Setup
Singapore Bank Account