If you’re planning to open a business in Singapore, you’ve made the right decision. Ranking 2nd out of 190 economies right after New Zealand in ease of doing business in 2019, Singapore has held its place for another year.
This brief article will tell you all you need to know about the business registration process in Singapore.
As of October of 2020 more than 500,000 companies have officially registered themselves with ACRA.
Wondering what ACRA is?
Well, ACRA(The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority), a statutory committee that falls under the Ministry of Finance of Singapore’s government, is a regulatory body of business registration of various entities, financial reports, public accountants, and corporate service providers throughout the nation of Singapore.
How would registering your company help?
Registering a business with ACRA provides you with numerous benefits such as:
- Getting access to government funding, such as those made available by Enterprise Singapore.
- Giving you the ability to participate in the securement of intellectual property for new innovations and technologies.
- Making it easier for customers to easily find and trade with your business.
- Being easily known and transparent to the public by allowing them to verify information about your businesses.
You may also choose to set up a limited liability partnership, protecting you in case the company is sued. This draws a line between your personal finances and those of the company.
There are three main ways of registering a company in Singapore:
- Self Registration: This may only be done by citizens of Singapore.
- Hiring Help: This method is commonly used by foreigners setting up a company in Singapore for the first time, a registered filing agent must be hired. Several companies exist which can offer such aid.
- Registering through a third party or partner/director: A larger firm with many more contacts and associations may choose to register through a partner who is a registered citizen.
Here is a list of the three primary steps to keep in mind when registering for a company:
- Basic Planning:
Working on the foundation of your company is the first step to a successful business venture. This part of the process includes the steps to take before registration, the documents to be presented, and finally, registering your business in Singapore :
- Finalizing your company type: This falls into three main ways or categories, namely, Sole Proprietorships(SP), Private Limited Companies(Pte Ltd), and Limited Liability Partnerships.
Sole Proprietorships are business ventures where the liability falls entirely on the owner, ownership is non-transferrable and is solely available to citizens of the State.
Private Limited Companies are the most scalable and adjustable of the three, it is characterized by having less than 50 shares that are inaccessible to the public.
LLP’s are the most recent type of business structure which is specifically built to limit liability during certain corporate transactions and separate personal and company finance.
- Finding and reserving a company name: The second step to this process, creating and reserving a suitable company name is imperative to registering a business.
- Having the required documents ready: A company constitution( previously known as Articles of Association), signed consents to act as directors, signed consent to act as company secretary, and identification and details of address of each company member.
2. Registering with ACRA:
Once the documents are ready the actual process of filing and submitting reports can be done in under a day. After payment of registration fees, the registrar will approve the documents. Then, a Certificate of Incorporation will be issued digitally, a hard copy may be manually requested for S$50
3. Post Incorporation Formalities:
Once the Certificate of Incorporation is obtained there are a final few steps to be followed:
- Opening a Corporate bank: This is a basic necessity for any company.
- Obtaining a Business License: Certain businesses need special licenses to operate, such as food and beverage and education.
- GST Registration: For organizations whose annual revenue exceeds S$ 1 million.
- Annual filing: Singapore companies are expected to prepare annual financial reports, also they are required to declare annual revenue and Estimated Chargeable Income.
We hope that this article has been enriching and that you have benefited from it.