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Is Hiring At Least One Employee Mandatory for a Singapore-Registered Company? Any Specific Rules?

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Is hiring atleast one employee mandatory for a Singapore Registered Company? Any specific rules?

Newly incorporated companies in Singapore may find some state laws still confusing, especially in the case of hiring employees. Some new entrepreneurs often ask if they are required to hire at least one employee in Singapore. Others ask if there are any regulations that specify a minimum number of employees for every company.

This article will help you find out any existing enforcements on the specific number of employees that Singapore companies must follow. Continue reading.

What Are the Legal Requirements of Company Incorporation in Singapore?

The Singapore Companies Act does not mandate companies to hire a specific number of employees in Singapore. Once you have incorporated your company in the country, you may start running its operations from elsewhere. However, you have to appoint a local resident director and company secretary. But these people need not necessarily by your employees. These can be nominee Director / Secretary provided by your Corporate Secretarial Firm.

What Is a Local Resident Director Requirement?

Singapore Company minimum employees - Local Resident Director

A Singapore company must appoint at least one local resident director. A local resident director must be:

  • A natural person over 18 years old
  • Physically and mentally fit to perform the duties and responsibilities of a director
  • A Singapore citizen or permanent resident who is residing in Singapore or an Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) holder
    • Employment Pass (EP) holders can also become local resident directors provided that they will obtain a Letter of Consent (LOC) from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

The local resident director manages company affairs and directs them toward achieving the company goals. According to ACRA, “A director must make decisions objectively, act in the best interest of the company, avoid conflicts of interest, and be honest and diligent in carrying out his duties.” Although not required, an employee from the same company can be appointed as its local resident director.

What Is a Company Secretary Requirement?

Singapore Company minimum employees - Company Secretary

A Singapore company must also appoint one company secretary within six months from its incorporation. A company secretary must be:

  • A natural person over 18 years old
  • Manifests relevant experience and educational and professional qualifications
  • A Singapore permanent resident or citizen, an EP holder, EntrePass holder, or S Pass holder

The company secretary carries out administrative and reporting tasks. He or she primarily assists the company director in guaranteeing that the company is in compliance with state laws. This position must not be left vacant for more than six months. The local director can take this role only if the company has more than one director.

Take It From the Foreign-Owned Singapore Companies

Singapore Company minimum employees - Foreign-Owned

As a recap, a Singapore company does not need to hire employees in Singapore. On the other hand, it is evident that many foreign-owned companies have been successfully operating despite not having any single employee in Singapore, and their entities are used only for billing, specific transactions, consultancy work, or ancillary services for their main businesses in their home countries. So long as your company has a resident local director and a company secretary on ACRA records, it will suffice.

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