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Cost of Registering a Company in Singapore (2024 Guide)

Cost of Registering a Company in Singapore (2024 Guide)

Thinking of launching your business in Singapore? Renowned for its robust ecosystem that nurtures and propels new businesses, Singapore could be your ideal launchpad. But what about the setup costs? Contrary to the general opinion, establishing a business here might not break the bank. Let us explore the crucial aspects and costs involved in registering a company in Singapore to help you plan your venture with clarity.

Understanding the costs involved in the Singapore company registration process is crucial for anyone looking to incorporate or register a company in the country. The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), oversees the registration of all new businesses and mandates the payment of its processing fees.


Fees for Registering Your Company Name with ACRA

Fees for Registering Your Company Name with ACRASubmit a list of company names to your agent. They will log into ACRA’s BizFile+ website to check the available ones. The agent registers the available company name for your use. You have 60 days to use it to register your business name or entity. The agent can apply to ACRA to extend the period by another 60 days. ACRA charges S$15 to register your company name.

With the registered company name and necessary incorporation documents, your agent then applies to ACRA to register a new company for you. Your agent logs your business profile into the BizFile+ website and pays ACRA S$300 as processing fees.


Company Incorporation Documents

Here is a list of company incorporation documents you will need to submit to ACRA:

  • Company name registered with ACRA
  • Brief information about business activities
  • Registered local office address
  • Personal identification details of shareholders, directors, and the company secretary

Ensure all your documents are in English or get them translated from an authorised source.

As previously mentioned, ACRA’s cost of registering a company as a separate legal entity in Singapore is at least S$315. However, this only covers the various fees involved in processing your application. It is crucial to ensure compliance with the Singapore Companies Act when preparing these incorporation documents to meet legal requirements and regulations.


Important Factors to Register Company

Opening a corporate bank account is essential for handling all financial transactions efficiently, especially if your business involves overseas trading or accepts foreign currency.

Moreover, engaging a corporate secretarial firm is also crucial for ongoing regulatory compliance, including filing annual returns and meeting other ad hoc requirements. Hence, the overall cost of using one shareholder, two corporate secretarial firms, and registering a company in Singapore is much more than the official cost of S$315.

Three Important Factors You Must Consider

Local Registered Address

To set up a new business in Singapore, you must provide a local registered office address on your application. ACRA, the Company Registrar, and other government agencies need it for official communication. You cannot use a P.O. box address for this purpose.

You can acquire a local registered address by renting a Singaporean commercial property. However, if you are a foreigner, you cannot do so in your company’s name as the name of the foreign company is yet to be registered. You can overcome this difficulty by obtaining office or virtual address services from InCorp Global.

If you are a Singaporean, you can use your home address under the Home Office scheme. However, you will need to apply to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) or Housing & Development Board (HDB) authorities for permission.

You can also rent a commercial property. The property’s location will affect how much the rent will be.

Business Licenses and Permits

You need to check whether you need any licenses and permits before starting your business activities. It would help if you approached the proper authorities to pay the fees and acquire them.


Understanding Agent Fees for Company Registration in Singapore

Agent Fees for Company Registration in Singapore

While the basic government fee for registering a company in Singapore is S$315, this scenario typically applies only to residents who can register their company online without involving foreign directors or shareholders.

For foreign entrepreneurs, the company structure process involves additional complexities and costs due to the need for a Registered Filing Agent (RFA) or corporate service provider.

RFAs are authorized to offer comprehensive corporate services necessary for foreigners to establish a business in Singapore. These services extend beyond merely handling the registration process and address the more detailed compliance requirements of setting up a company in Singapore.

Understanding Agent Fees

The total cost of engaging an agent for company registration in Singapore includes several key services:

Incorporation Services

This involves preparing the necessary documentation and managing the online registration process.

Company Secretary

Singaporean law mandates the appointment of a qualified company secretary within six months of the incorporation of a professional firm. However, agents typically provide this service from day one.

Local Nominee Director

For non-residents, appointing a local manager, resident director, or local nominee director is a legal requirement. Most agents offer this service to ensure legal compliance.

Registered Address

While some businesses may opt for a physical office, many new companies start with a virtual or registered office address provided by their agent service tax.

Additional services that may be offered include bank account opening assistance, provision of a company seal, and issuance of an official Certificate of Incorporation. The necessity and timing of these services can vary, with some companies requiring them immediately, while others may defer these needs.


Considerations for Foreign Owners

For foreign business owners, most company registration costs in Singapore are incurred from these agent services, which are essential for ensuring compliance with local regulations. The choice of agent and the scope of services required can significantly influence the overall cost.

It is important for potential international business owners to carefully select a reputable agent like InCorp Global, which can provide a clear breakdown of fees and tailor services to the specific needs of your company.

Navigating the complexities of setting up a business or legal residence in a foreign country can be daunting, but understanding these costs and services helps in making informed decisions that align with business goals and legal requirements.


How and Why Do Costs for Registering a Company in Singapore Vary?

The cost of incorporating a company in Singapore can fluctuate based on several optional services incorporation agents provide. These services, which include a corporate secretary, a local director, and a registered address, differ in price depending on each agent’s pricing strategy and market position.

Navigating the complexities of setting up a business in Singapore can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. At InCorp Global, we specialize in providing comprehensive incorporation services to ensure your business complies with all local regulations. Our team of experts will guide you through every step, from registering your company name to managing ongoing compliance requirements.

FAQs About the Cost of Registering a Company in Singapore

  • Maintaining a company in Singapore involves several recurring expenses. Yearly fees typically include services like a company secretary and a local director, along with costs for annual filings. All companies are required to submit annual returns and tax filings. Moreover, companies with foreign employees must account for the costs of Employment Passes, which are necessary for compliance with local employment regulations and need to be considered each year. For companies engaged in local trade, registration for Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the subsequent quarterly filings are necessary. These expenses are often linked to accounting services, which may be offered as a comprehensive package with billing options that are monthly, quarterly, or annual.
  • Starting and running a business goes beyond the initial setup; it encompasses various ongoing expenses such as accounting fees, audit fees, office rent, and payroll. Direct running costs, like taxes, also play a significant role. It’s crucial to factor in the annual and long-term financial commitments when calculating the cost of registering a company. For instance, thanks to various tax benefits and incentives for new businesses in Singapore, the effective tax rate can be as low as 4.25% on net income. This rate is considerably lower than in neighbouring regions and many other parts of the world. Additionally, substantial savings can be realised in auditing expenses for professional firms. Most small companies in Singapore are exempt from mandatory audits, potentially saving thousands of dollars annually
  • First, you must conduct thorough research to ensure that you are getting a fair and market-compliant price for registering your company in Singapore. Doing so can potentially save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in both the short and long term. A practical tip to consider involves the biggest initial and annual cost—the fee for a local nominee director. You can significantly lower this expense by appointing yourself or one of your existing staff members as the director of your new company.

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About the Author

Eric Chin

Eric Chin is the Group Chief Commercial Officer at InCorp Global, leading sales, marketing and consulting teams in 8 countries. With 11 years of corporate banking experience with HSBC and OCBC, Eric is highly skilled in creating market-entry strategies and structuring operations for diverse industries in the Asia-Pacific. He also advises fund managers and family offices on corporate structuring and tax incentives and has set up VCC structures for licensed fund managers.

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