Business Support in Singapore

Incorporating a business in Singapore

All companies in Singapore must be registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). While private limited companies are the most common for incorporated businesses, your company structure is dependent on your business industry and number of shareholders.

While any person above the age of 18 can be a director of a company in Singapore, foreigners must:

  • Appoint a local director if they themselves are planning to live outside Singapore
  • Use a registered filing agent such as In.Corp to submit an online application on their behalf

Private limited company

Private limited companies are the most common registered companies in Singapore. The maximum number of shareholders in 50, but companies who exceed this can apply to be a public company limited by shares or a public company limited by guarantee. The latter is reserved for companies who engage in non-profit activities that benefit the national interest.

A private limited company is a popular choice as it offers exclusive tax exemptions and incentives, with the first S$100,00 of taxable income completely exempt from any tax fees.

Requirements

  • At least one corporate shareholder
  • At least one director who resides in Singapore
  • A resident company secretary
  • Minimum paid-up capital of S$1
  • A local registered address

Sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship needs only one owner to take responsibility for all assets and liabilities in the business. Singapore citizens or permanent residents aged 18 or over can register immediately, while foreign individuals or companies need to appoint a local resident manager first.

At In.Corp, we can have set up a sole proprietorship in less than 20 minutes.

Requirements

  • At least one manager who resides in Singapore
  • A local registered address

Limited liability partnership

Blending a partnership with the benefits of a private limited company, a limited liability partnership (LLP) is a flexible option for business owners seeking a partnership while maintaining a separate legal identity. Singapore citizens, residents and Employment Pass holders are all eligible to register for an LLP.

Requirements

  • Minimum two partners
  • At least one manager who resides in Singapore
  • A local registered address

Subsidiary company

A subsidiary company is a private limited company with its own legal identity, which separates it from the parent company. The majority shareholder can be based overseas or locally.

There is no restriction on the repatriation of profits and capital to overseas countries, and the government permits 100% foreign shareholders to form subsidiary companies, making it an appealing option for many foreign businesses looking to incorporate in Singapore.

Requirements

  • At least one corporate shareholder
  • At least one director who resides in Singapore
  • A resident company secretary
  • Minimum paid-up capital of S$1
  • A local registered address

Branch office

By registering a branch office, foreign companies are able to operate in Singapore as non-residents. It is considered an extension of the parent company and is part of the same legal entity. Branch offices are not eligible for any tax incentives or exemptions.

Requirements

  • 100% ownership by the parent company
  • At least one ‘agent’ residing and working in Singapore
  • A local registered address

Representative office

A short-term set-up with a maximum limit of up to three years, a representative office gives foreign companies the chance to evaluate various opportunities in the Singapore market. Businesses are permitted to promote their brand but cannot engage in any activities or sign any contracts with the intention of generating revenue.

Requirements

  • Sales turnover of the foreign entity must be above US$250,000
  • No. of years of establishment of the foreign entity must be at least 3 years
  • Proposed no. of staff for Rep Office should be not more than 5 people

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