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With its zero restriction policy on foreign businesses, tax exemptions, and ease of doing business, Singapore has become a popular foreign investment destination all over the world. To encourage and serve more foreign business owners, Singapore imposes a more convenient process for company registration. Take a look!
The first thing to keep in mind when registering your foreign company in Singapore is to hire a corporate secretarial provider (CSP). Foreign business owners cannot register their businesses in Singapore on their own; hence, they will need to engage with CSP agents.
Epica Consulting is an authorized CSP firm. We help foreign business owners register their companies in Singapore.
The Singapore Companies Act states that all businesses planning to register in Singapore must have at least one appointed local director. A local director must be a Singapore resident or citizen or holds an Employment Pass (EP) or Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass). Foreign business owners who cannot meet this prerequisite must then appoint a nominee director.
Epica Consulting can provide you with a nominee director service at an extra cost.
When opting for a remote company registration, an engagement between you and a CSP employee or agent will take place. In this engagement, you can ask questions, raise doubts, or clarify some issues about your business model. This engagement can be performed via phone or email and generally lasts for two to three days or longer if you have further concerns.
For the next step, you will be required to present the following:
Each CSP firm has its own policies; accordingly, these documents may vary. Nevertheless, these documents are the bare minimum. You can typically provide scanned copies of these documents, and it may take around two to three days for you to possibly prepare them. Once you submit these documents the next step can start.
A Know Your Customer (KYC) form normally summarizes all your background details and the proposed company details (company name, company directors and shareholders, company address and contact information, nature of business and all other information as prescribed by ACRA).
In this stage, a video conference with each company director, shareholder, and a CSP agent will take place. The video conference aims to verify your identity documents. This conference may also get recorded for documentation purposes.
In this stage we at Epica will prepare necessary incorporation documents. These requirements are:
The preparation of the requirements for registration and document signing normally takes a few hours to one day. You can take the printout of the documents to sign and scan them back to your CSP agent. Some CSPs may also use e-signature software to obtain your signature online.
Once the submitted documents are signed, the actual company registration comes next. Your company will be registered using all your provided company details. After the registration, the following documents will be sent to you:
Lastly, you will be introduced to a bank representative. He or she will help you open your company bank account.
People often claim that company registration in Singapore only takes an hour, which can be true. The technical step of lodging details into ACRA system and then getting registration done only takes around 30 minutes. Nonetheless, if you will realistically consider all the steps involved in this process, as explained above, it will take around 6 to 8 days, depending on how fast you can turnaround the things.
Foreign business owners may also opt to register their companies in Singapore by a personal visit. Some previously mentioned processes almost remain the same, such as the engagement and presentation of the required documents, while others do not.
The verification of your identity documents will take place during your visit here in Singapore. During your visit, you will personally come to the office of your CSP. Then, they will verify your identity documents and company registration documents. Next, you will sign these documents.
On the next day, the actual company registration will take place. Afterward, your CSP agent will send all the relevant documents to you. On the following or third day, your will meet with a bank representative, for finishing bank account opening formalities.
In general a personal presence for company incorporation and bank account opening is considered beneficial as the CSP representatives and bank representatives are able to meet you in person. So if possible, you should opt for this route. However, in recent coronavirus phase, when many countries banned the air travel, the only option left was of remote incorporation.
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