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Epica Learn Series

Can I register a company in Singapore if I am not a Singaporean?

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How can a Foreigner Register a Company in Singapore?

Singapore is a renowned startup hub. Every year more than 50,000 businesses get registered in Singapore. The incorporation procedure contains no red tape and generally takes a few hours.

Someone who is not a Singaporean can also register a Singapore business. However, there are some statutory requirements as per the Singapore Companies Act that must be fulfilled to register a Singapore company successfully.

Singapore company registration by a non-Singaporean

This question comes quite often. People who are residing in foreign countries often ask us if they can register a Singapore company with their ownership. Foreigners and foreign companies are allowed to register a business in Singapore.

Key Points

  • Foreigners are allowed 100% foreign ownership.
  • Foreigners can become foreign directors.
  • Foreigners can also become managing Director / CEO of the company.
  • Corporate shareholding is allowed. A foreign corporate can hold 100% shares of a Singapore Company.

Register company for non nonsingaporean - Incorporation

Incorporation Procedure

Foreigners are not allowed to self-register in Singapore. The entire company registration in Singapore is online and is processed on ACRA’s online portal, BizFile+. ACRA is the Singapore Company Registrar.

Non-Singaporeans do not have access to SingPass and government systems that are required to file the documents online for registration. Hence, foreigners must engage the services of a corporate services provider, like Epica.

Statutory requirements for company registration

There are three key requirements for registering your business in Singapore.

Both the resident director and the company secretary need to be ordinarily residents in Singapore. A person who is an ordinarily resident is either a citizen, PR, Entrepreneur Pass, or Employment Pass holder in Singapore.

A foreigner can also act as a resident director in Singapore given he/she secures an Employment Pass or an EntrePass.

Register company for non nonsingaporean - Nomineed director

Nominee Director

Foreigners who do not know any Singaporeans to act as their company’s local directors have another option. They can engage Epica’s nominee director service. Epica will provide a nominee director who will serve as the company’s regional director to fulfill the statutory requirement.

A nominee director is only a director on paper, and the authority (as well as responsibility of what happens in the company) the company lies with its foreign directors only.


Register company for non nonsingaporean - Corporate secretary

Corporate Secretary

A company must appoint a corporate secretary within six months from the company’s incorporation date. Epica also provides corporate secretary service along with the nominee director service.


Register company for non nonsingaporean - Registered address

Local registered address

A local address is required for company registration in Singapore. This address must be a physical address and not a PO Box.

However, Epica also provides a local address for company registration with its other services.

Running your business remotely

Once your company is successfully registered with ACRA, opening a corporate bank account is your first priority. You cannot make any business-related transactions without a bank account.

However, once your corporate bank account is opened, you have two options.

  • Run your business from overseas and hire a nominee director for your Singapore company
  • Relocate to Singapore by securing an EntrePass or an Employment Pass
Register company for non nonsingaporean - Foreign company

Statistics of foreign-incorporated companies in Singapore

  • Every year about 18,000 companies are incorporated by foreigners in Singapore.
  • The majority of these foreigners are from China, India, Malaysia, and South East Asia.
  • Most of these business promoters run their businesses from overseas.

Conclusion

A person who is not a Singaporean can register a company in Singapore. However, they require a local director, a local company secretary, and a local registered address as statutory requirements.

Epica provides a nominee director, company secretary, and local address services to help foreigners incorporate a Singapore business.

Foreigner Package

New Company Setup

S$2,400
S$4,000

Local Package

New Company Setup

S$1,100
S$1,700

Transfer Package

Existing Company

S$1,000
S$1,500

Singapore Branch

New Branch Setup

S$4,000
S$5,000

Representative Office

New Setup

S$2,500
S$3,000

BVI Company

Singapore Bank Account

US$2,200
US$3,000

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