The registration procedure in Singapore is simpler and faster than in any Asian country. No
licences are required for most types of businesses, and if the one is needed, it can be obtained
through straightforward and transparent process. The tax rate is one of the lowest in the
region. In accordance with the Companies Act, a natural person of any residency who has attained
the age of 18 years may establish an entity in Singapore.
The country’s residents can set up a business remotely in half an hour. In the case of a foreign founder, the procedure will take more time since, under the local legislation, the certified registrars’ assistance is necessary. Even so, all the arrangements can be made in 2-3 days.
It is important to note that newly established entities are entered into the special registry. The information on the company’s name, address, and property thus become publicly available.
A company must have a minimum of one and a maximum of 50 shareholders, which can be both natural and legal persons. 100% foreign ownership is allowed.
The minimum paid-up share capital required to incorporate a company is SGD 1. The capital may be raised at any time by attracting additional funds.
Both residents and non-residents of Singapore may be the company’s directors. Director shall be a natural person. Each entity must have at least one director who is ordinarily resident in Singapore. Being “ordinarily resident” means that the director is a citizen of the country, its permanent resident, or an Employment Pass holder. In this connection, nominee director services are of great demand.
Each company is obliged to have a registered office address in Singapore. The address refers to the place where all constituent instruments of the entity are kept. A P.O. Box address cannot be used for this purpose.
Each company must appoint a professionally qualified secretary within the 6 months of the incorporation date. The secretary shall be a natural person and a Singapore resident.
The company’s articles of association restrict the rights of its participants to transfer the shares they hold.
Under certain conditions, company may be exempt from filing audited financial statements.
choosing a country
choosing a bank
payment (by any method)
bank account opening
The local legislation provides for the following organisational and legal forms:
The most common form is a company
Companies are further divided into:
Among the legal forms listed above the following are of particular interest:
Opting for one type of business or another, you primarily endeavour to protect your personal assets from various risks, including legal action. If establishing Private Limited Company or Exempt Private Limited Company, your savings and property will be secure. Otherwise, for instance, when setting up a Sole Proprietorship or a Partnership, private individuals are personally liable for the company’s debts.
Private Limited Company can raise capital by issuing shares of stock, debt, and other securities. In such companies, shareholder’s interest may be transferred to the third parties and inherited.
Exempt Private Limited Company is a company with a maximum of 20 shareholders, none of them being an entity. In Singapore, this type of business is exempt from filing audited financial statements if an annual turnover is under SGD 5 million.
The territorial basis of taxation is adopted in the country. In other words, entities and individuals are taxed mainly on Singapore sourced income. With regard to foreign sourced income (branch profits, dividends, service income, etc.), it is subject to taxation when remitted or deemed remitted into Singapore unless the aforementioned income was already taxed in a jurisdiction where a tax rate of at least 15% is applied. Whether income arises in or is derived from the country is dependent on the nature of this income and of the transactions which generate it. The standard corporate tax rate in Singapore is 17%. The local tax rates have been consistently reduced in order to make the jurisdiction more attractive for investment. As in many other countries, in Singapore the standard corporate tax rate and the effective one are not necessarily equal. The latter is usually lower due to various tax deductions (for example, if chargeable income amount ranges between SGD 400,000 and SGD 500,000, the rate of 7.2% is applied). The effective rate can change from year to year. Moreover, during the first three years of operating a company with a chargeable income of SGD 100,000 may be exempt from taxation if the following conditions are fulfilled: