The large-scale trade networks and remarkable government leadership in Singapore made the country an attractive place to set up a business. Its great economic prosperity is further reinforced by private limited companies, multinational corporations, and growing entrepreneurs.
If you have zeroed down Singapore to register your business, you can either incorporate your business on your own or engage a corporate service provider to do it on your behalf. If you are a foreigner who doesn’t have a work pass, you will have to engage the services of a registered filing agent like a law firm, accounting firm or corporate secretarial firm.
Company Registration Process
The company registration process can take as long as 60 days as a reservation after the approval of your company name. However, the process shouldn’t take the whole 2-month limit under normal circumstances. You just have to get your company name approved within a day and have all the necessary documents needed to secure your incorporation process.
Once you have received your company name approval, you need to file the paperwork requested by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and have the documents signed by the directors and shareholders of your company. This process can take as fast as a day as long as you are prepared.
The company registration process usually involves these steps:
- First, complete the detailed application form online to accelerate the business registration process.
- Review documentation to ensure that all required documents have been presented. A team will review the submitted documents before the actual process.
- An invoice will be issued, and you have to make the necessary payments for the registration process.
- Prepare and reserve the company name and arrange the essential documents for signing.
- The signing of incorporation documents.
- Incorporate the company with ACRA via BizFile.
- Issuance of corporate documents, including the shareholders’ share certificates, statutory registers, and business seal.
- Prepare supporting documents to open a bank account.
What Should I Do After my Company is Registered?
After successfully incorporating your company, you will receive a Certificate of Incorporation issued by ACRA. They will send your official Singapore Company Incorporation Certificate, including your business registration number, to your email as a confirmation of your company registration. Requesting a physical copy of the certificate can also be done by paying a certain fee. In addition, a business profile will also be given to you by ACRA for free. This business profile is considered the identity of the company.
You will also be provided with a Certificate of Good Standing for Singapore Companies carrying the electronic signature of ACRA’s Assistant Registrar. The certificate will indicate the company’s name, the date of incorporation, status, and business activities.
After registering your company, you can also open a corporate bank account in local and international banks in Singapore. Usually, directors and other signatories must be physically present in Singapore for the filing and signing of paperwork when opening the bank account. But, if you can’t be physically present for the account opening, some banks allow signing at their other branches with the assistance of a Notary.
You can obtain additional business licenses depending on the activities you plan to do with your business as well. If needed, you should apply for your required licenses after incorporating your company and before starting your business.
You can also register for Goods and Service Tax (GST) if you expect your business to have annual taxable revenue of up to $1 million. Companies currently making taxable supplies are also required to register for GST. If not, there’s no need to register. Goods and Service Tax (GST) is also more commonly known as Value Added Tax (VAT) in overseas countries. It is the tax on the supply of goods and services and the import of products in Singapore. Exported products are an exemption.
The Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a binding pension fund plan between the employer and employee. These bodies contribute a certain percentage of their monthly salary to the fund. The employer’s CPF contribution is mandatory for all employees who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents earning more than $50 monthly. However, there is no CPF contribution for foreign employees.
Be rest assured, starting a business in Singapore is going to be the best decision ever. The process is simple and mostly digital for everyone. To prepare yourself better and make it even a smoother experience, go familiarise yourself well and make a checklist of all the things you would need before you start the registration process.
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