Watch the video or read below
Business owners who are processing the registration of their companies in Singapore have probably heard about KYC or CDD. Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)—Singapore’s government organization that oversees business formation, registration, and other related aspects— introduced KYC and CDD concepts in formal manner in 2015.
Prior to the introduction of these KYC and CDD rules in 2015, there were no clear, standard guidelines when it comes to company registration in Singapore. Many corporate secretarial providers (CSP) used to implement their own rules and regulations during such process, which were inadequate. Hence, KYC and CDD were implemented to standardize policies affecting company registration in Singapore.
KYC stands for the Know Your Client procedure, while CDD stands for the Customer Due Diligence procedure. These two terms are used interchangeably and actually refers to the same thing. These requirements have five principles or steps.
As a business owner trying to register a company in Singapore, you will be asked to provide personal information (name, identity number like a national registration number or passport number, and address). These personal information will be identified first by asking you questions or by giving you a form. You must then fill out the form by providing necessary details about you, your business partners involved in this company and about your proposed company.
There are actually more personal information about you that must be identified, including your date of birth, country of nationality, and current address, among others.
Once your personal information have been identified, verifying your identity will come next. Verification is performed through government-issued documents like a passport or a Singapore NRIC. If required, copies of proof of address or a recent mobile bill will be asked from you. All these records we are required to keep in our system.
Through the KYC or CDD form, you can explain your goals of setting up your proposed company, your proposed company’s services and/or products, your proposed company’s capital investment, and your proposed company’s expected turnover in the first or second year.
Then, your personal and professional background will be investigated to confirm if there are any negative reports about you. Typically this is done using a background check software like WorldCheck oe DJI- Ingenique.
Based on all your provided information, your chosen CSP has to decide whether to register your company or not or whether to ask you for more information. Different CSPs follow their own policies when deciding to serve a specific customer or not.
The KYC and CDD rules apply to both Singapore residents and foreigners who plan to register their companies in Singapore. To proceed with the company registration process, business owners are required to submit certain documents for identity identification and verification purposes.
For Singapore citizens and permanent residents, the NRIC would be enough as it already displays all important information about a person.
For Employment Pass (EP) or work permit holders, an EP or work permit copy and proof of address in the form of a recent utility or mobile bill will be required.
For foreigners, a passport copy, proof of address issued within the last three months, and a second identity document like a driving license or the national registration card must be presented.
In addition, business owners of all types must fill out the KYC or CDD form.
You will be asked to discuss necessary details about your proposed company. These details must include your proposed company’s activities, paid-up capital, as well as expected annual revenue, turnover, and number of transactions for the first three years.
This element refers to identity document information, which must include information about your proposed company’s director(s) and shareholder(s). These information are the date and place of birth, nationality, contact numbers, email address, and so on.
This declaration states whether a business owner has a previous or current political exposure, or if he or she is a close associate of any local or international political figures.
Depending on their policies and practices, CSPs may ask further details about your political exposure.
Most CSPs will perform background checks about you. They will typically search you on Google to see if there are any negative information or news about you. Other CSPs will use a background check software for this process. Two of the most popular background check software are Dow Jones RiskCenter and World-Check.
Most CSPs will type your name on the background check software. If you have any sanctions, for example, a sanction leased by the UN, US, or just a local one, then you will be immediately flagged.
There are three possible outcomes after you submit the required documents for company registration in Singapore.
The KYC and CDD requirements are, in fact, quite similar to that of the bank account application. Based on this comparison, the KYC or CDD procedures are logical enough to be required from business owners processing the registration of their companies in Singapore.
New Company Setup
New Company Setup
New Branch Setup
Singapore Bank Account