Singapore has received recognition from the World Bank for several consecutive years of being the easiest place in the world to establish a business. The reasons for this recognition include its exceptionally low taxes, government support, effective business regulations, and efficient company incorporation, among other factors. Incorporating a company in Singapore is a brief procedure that you can do in a day, thanks to the government pro-business approach. However, this implies everything has to be done correctly in advance. This meticulous preparation means you need to get expert advice and assistance as you register a company singapore to avoid unnecessary problems that a pro could have foreseen.
The following are the five main steps that you need to fulfill while starting your company in Singapore:
Decide on the business structure
Singapore has a variety of legal business structures from which you can choose. They include sole proprietorships, partnerships, and private limited companies, among others. You must be fully aware of the effects of your choice in business structure, as it will largely impact many aspects concerning your business. These aspects include the tax you pay, your credibility, the extent of personal liability for your business debts, your creditworthiness, and the ease of obtaining additional finances to expand.
A private limited company (Pte. Ltd) is the best choice when it comes to starting a new business in Singapore. Among several advantages of this structure, it limits your liability to business assets, is flexible when it comes to ownership transfer and expansion, and is viewed as more credible by customers, creditors, and investors. The government also gives some attractive tax incentives and discounts to private limited companies in their initial years.
Select a business name
Picking a suitable name for your business is a crucial step in the company registration process. The government requires that you choose a name for your company that represents your philosophy, that is unique, and that is not obscene. You should do a thorough business search to avoid future legal hassles. Also, if an online presence is crucial for you, consider matching the name of the company with the available domain names. An incorporation company or agent can come in handy with the name search to save you time in picking a suitable name for your business.
Choosing a suitable business address
For the registration of your business to be complete, you must provide a real Singaporean address for the premises of the company. This business address is vital, as all business documents and correspondences will only be sent to that address. It is also compulsory to get the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) approval to use the premises for commercial purposes. You may engage the services of an incorporating agent to acquire the right premises and for other necessary advice.
Find out about business licenses and employee visas
It is legally required to obtain licenses when operating certain businesses in Singapore. Despite the fact that you are only permitted to get the necessary licenses after the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) registers your company, it is prudent to acquaint yourself with the legal requirements in order to avoid any problems with the law later on. You can seek more guidance or refer to the Online Business License System (OBLS) for the particular licenses that are mandatory for your chosen field of operation.
You may also have to obtain visas for any of your employees who may be foreigners. Various visas exist depending on the categories of the employees and other factors. Engaging a combined incorporation and immigration company would be better to spare you the headache of going through these processes on your own.
Registering the company
When all the requirements are ready, you can quickly register the company yourself on Bizfile (an online business registration website) or use the services of an incorporating agent.
The following are some additional things you must have in mind before being able to register a company:
Director: It is a legal requirement to have no less than one resident director in Singapore.
Paid-up capital: The company you are registering must have no less than 1 SG dollar paid-up capital at the time of incorporation, and you can increase the capital after that.
Shareholders: The company must have at least one shareholder. It is legal to have 100% foreign ownership.