Monthly Archives: April 2014

Incorporation of a company is nothing but the legal procedure of declaring the corporate entity as a separate legal entity. The idea is to separate the entity from its owners due to the advantages that is has. The decision to incorporate a company comes from the various advantages that the process has to offer. The separation of the company’s liabilities from the owners’ assets is possibly one big advantage, allowing for easy transfer of ownership in the future. Not only that, a company registered as incorporation generally has a lower tax rate than on personal incomes of the owners.

The current economic trend is more about entrepreneurial capitalism of sorts wherein the driving forces of the economy are the startups. The decision to register a business or any other entity involves a few basic pointers. Before one goes ahead with registering one’s organization (business/ government) as incorporation, there needs to be clarity on some key things before proceeding with the registration.

While on the one hand it is a well established fact that investment options in Singapore are always thriving, we must also keep in mind that incorporation company registration can be an elongated process and we must adhere to certain rules in order to avoid the hassle. Following are the five things to know before an incorporation company’s registration:

Clearly defining the business activities of the company

The Government in Singapore has considerable control over the business activities. The best way to avoid any unnecessary interference by the authority is to obtain all the required licenses and permits. Specific licenses are required if you are looking to import, manufacture or sell any product within the territory of the country. Prior to the incorporation of your business, you must make sure that you have all these prerequisites covered to have a hassle free operation in the future.

The capital amount

Different business sectors demand for different starting capital. However, in case of most sectors, you are allowed to incorporate a company with just a token amount of S$1. You must make sure that you are adhering to the minimal capital requirement limit for your business. Although you may want to just fulfill the minimum requirement, it is always desired to have a higher capital in hands. Also, the law provides you the freedom to hold your capital in any currency of your choice.

Company name and verification

If your first choice for the company’s name gets approved, it takes just a few hours to register your company. However, in case your first choice is already taken by someone or is not acceptable due to some reason, the registration process may get elongated. Thus, it is always advised to keep more than one name handy with you. Also, in case you are willing to include general words like Bank, school or travel agency, you process may be extended. This is because addition of these words to your company’s name needs the approval of the regulatory body of the company registration.


Singapore’s laws allows for 100% foreign ownership. This implies that you can register the company with just a single shareholder (minimum) to begin with. The shares can also be owned by legal entities. Although the laws don’t put a limit on the number of foreign directors that the company may possess, the law says that the company must have at least one director who is a local resident of Singapore. Similarly, the company must also have at least one corporate secretary of Singapore who holds all the necessary knowledge of the Singapore laws.

Other important documentation

Unlike a number of other countries, Singapore doesn’t allow the companies to keep a Post Office Box address. The company must obtain a registered local address in Singapore. You must also keep adequate time in your hands for other processes such as opening a Bank account and obtaining licenses. The time it takes to open a bank account would entirely depend upon the bank chosen by you.

These were five of the few things to be kept note of while registering an incorporation company. Since it separates the owners from the company, it is important at the end to keep in mind the basic purpose with which the owners come together in the first place.


Every businessperson loves to expand his/her business outside their nation. If you are exploring your options, consider Singapore.  Starting a business in Singapore is lucrative; this is because it is one of the least corrupt nations in the world. The governmental policies are such that they permit businesses far easily than other developed nations. The governments as well as the businessperson’s interests are well taken care of. There are ways to make your life easier if you wish to start a business in Singapore. The following 5 points must be noted before the start of your business in Singapore:

  1. Adhere to the legal conditions that come along with starting a new business

The best way to stay out of trouble is to follow all rules; it is a rule of thumb. This is the best way to begin a new business in Singapore, or anywhere else for that matter. It is best to start the business without legal hassles. You will avoid a lot of roadblocks in the future if legal issues are taken care of right from the start. If you follow all legal procedures from the beginning then it is easier to trace your steps back in case there is some mishap.

  1. Seek professional help if needed

Legality is not everyone’s cup of tea. The Singaporean system is surely easier than other foreign systems but it too can have its complications. Seek professional help to deal with it. In case you believe that your expertise on legality is not enough to get you through this process a professional accountant and lawyer would make life easier. Make sure you hire someone with adequate expertise and skill to handle this market’s needs.  A professional will save you some time and will take care of the matter as (s)he is more likely to be better equipped to suit the needs of the Singaporean system.

  1. Keep yourself updated with new details regarding your market’s legal needs

In 2010, the Singapore government changed some of its laws regarding the EntrePass and other such trade related activities. This revision was to keep up with new trends so that they as well as the entrepreneur benefits from the move. They made some significant changes then. Do make sure that you keep track of such issues while building as well as after building your business. You can avoid a lot of legal issues if you keep abreast with happenings of such kind. In case you have sought professional help please make sure they are in sync with it and that you know their next actions.

  1. Make sure you get capital upfront

On registering with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, if you are a private limited company you need to pay at least $50,000 as paid-up capital. So make sure you have your resources before-hand so that you can avoid last minute hurdles. You do not wish to lose a golden opportunity because you took certain things for granted, not would you? A Singpass might be helpful in such a case and you can get it done online. Insist that you take care of such matters way before the deadline.

  1. Place of business

The Singapore government does not permit for the sale of land within Singapore to a non-Singaporean. Make sure you know this well in advance before you bring your business. Leasing out office space is the only option you have. Remind yourself to invest in such a location that will attract the kind of audience you wish. Land might be cheap in a certain region but if your customers are not present there, you will end up losing much more than you began with. Therefore make sound investment with renting out a place.

We hope that these steps help to achieve the success you wish to find in the land of opportunity known as Singapore. The Singaporean market is exciting and will give the impetus to newer ideas and fresher perspectives. Do realise this and make good use of the opportunity Singapore provides you with, if you chose to pursue with them. Good luck with your new venture. We hope you find this as a progressive step towards your business.

Singapore is a lucrative country to invest, especially since it has been declared as one of the most rapidly growing economies of the world. This is especially lucrative to an expat, who can invest with new innovations in this market, without fearing too many regulations.  Tags such as ‘one of the least corrupt countries in the world’ and ‘one of the most pro-business countries in the world’ make Singapore an ideal investment destination. Is Singapore on your mind as a future destination for your capital? Look no further. We have compiled a short list of things to do before setting up a business as an expat in Singapore.

  1. Applying for the EntrePass

This is a must for any expat to set up his/her business venture, enterprise or business branch. This is a type of visa, special pass that will allow him/her to stay in the region so that (s)he can apply for conducting business in Singapore. This allows you to be actively present in the region as you set up your business. There are some requirements to be fulfilled before you can make the cut.

  1. The choice of your business must be a Private Limited Company. You must also have it registered as such.
  2. Not more than 30% of all shares can be in your name.
  3. A SGD 50,000 paid-up-capital must be available for your company.
  4. There should be at least a difference of 6 months prior to the application of Entrepass and the registration of the company.
  1. An Employment Pass is to be obtained for the resident director and the secretary

Since it is a necessity for an international company to have them residing in the country of business the EP is needed for both the resident director and the secretary.  The importance of the expats CV, business plan, qualifications and work history cannot be overemphasised. Include them in the application form as well.

  1. Procedures before the ACRA

The registration process is simple and short so long as you take care of the following points beforehand:

  1. Adhere to the eligibility requirements
  2. Check if the name of your company is available with The Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC)
  3. Each business in Singapore has a Singapore Standard Industry Classification (SSIC) code. Find it for you company.
  4. Locate a suitable place for your business.
  5. Get the required licenses and permits for the business
  6. In case you need help with the process hire a professional
  1. Registering for ACRA.

Follow these steps to form a company in Singapore

Once the entrepreneur registers with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), his/ her legal company is set up through a web-based filing system, BizFile.  Registering will cost you about SGD 300 – SGD 1,200, plus SGD 15 for the approval of your business name. The businessperson can set up the business based on the following business structures Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), Limited Partnership (LP) and Company. You need to turn to two local agents, who are legal residents of Singapore to act on your behalf while starting a business in Singapore.

  1. Taxation

Any income received in Singapore is subject to its income tax. This is subject to the business the expat has set up as well.  There are special taxes that business owners have to bear with along with the usual. They include Goods and Service Tax (GST). This is levied on the import of goods and services. Each type of good or service has a particular tax rate that is based on certain criteria. The following are the tax rates that are levied on the basis of the type of goods:-

  1. Income Tax: depending on the type of business
  2. Goods and Services Tax (GST): 7%
  3. Withholding Tax: 10-20% (depending on the purpose)
  4. Property Tax: 10%
  5. Stamp Duty: depends on the value of your transaction

It is not a bad idea to seek professional help to deal with all the financial issues. A good accountant will surely reduce several forms of hassles one deals with such businesses in Singapore.

Now that you have the required tips, get going! Singapore won’t wait for anyone, so what is stopping you from doing your best todo well? Good luck with the new business.