Singapore’s growing status as South East Asia’s hottest destination for business, coupled with its strategic position and pro-business policies, has established the city-state as an attractive hub for non-Singaporeans to consolidate their company in the region.
If you are a foreign national wondering “how to start a business in Singapore as a foreigner?” professional firms like Bestar that help with foreign company registration in Singapore can steer you in the right direction.
Top Ten Facts About Foreign Company Setup in Singapore
You can run a fully foreign-owned company In Singapore and own 100% of its shares
Foreign company registration in Singapore is a seamless affair. A foreigner has a similar right to a local Singaporean when it comes to incorporating a company in Singapore. They can fully own a company and 100% of its shares. In fact, any person who is 18+ can legally form a company in Singapore, considering he has not been convicted of any serious misconduct, criminal offense, or bankruptcy.
A subsidiary is a preferred option for a foreign company set up in Singapore
If you own a small to medium-sized business, it is advisable to set up a subsidiary company. This allows you to take advantage of local tax exemptions and local corporate tax rates. This is because Singaporean law treats a subsidiary company as a local company that is a separate entity from its parent company that might be based anywhere else globally. This means the foreign company and its assets cannot be used to pay off the debts and liabilities of the subsidiary.
After a subsidiary company formation, one or more directors must be appointed and among them, at least one person hired must be a citizen or a permanent resident of Singapore or holds an Employee Pass.
The branch office is different from a subsidiary company
Foreign business owners looking to expand their operations in Singapore also have the option of setting up a branch office. While this allows you to conduct business in Singapore without restrictions, branch offices are treated as extensions of the parent company. Branch offices are categorized as non-resident entities, therefore, they do not get access to the lucrative tax exemptions that local and subsidiary companies benefit from.
Applying for an entrepreneur pass or employment pass is mandatory
Before a foreign company registration in Singapore, you need to procure an entrepreneur pass (EntrePass) or employment pass (E-Pass). These are compulsory for foreigners looking to establish a business in the country.
To obtain these one of the main requirements is that the company formed or about to be formed must be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). ACRA is the main government body that oversees the formation of new companies.
You can become your company’s local director
As a pass holder, you can register a company in Singapore just like local Singaporeans at any time. However, there is another small tip that often new business owners miss — it is the fact that you can appoint yourself as a local director, which can save you some hassle and ease your process of starting a company in Singapore even further.
However, if you choose to do so, remember that you are to draw a salary from the company as opposed to being a shareholder. So, there is a difference when it comes to being an owner and the local director of a company in Singapore. Therefore, you should weigh your options before moving ahead in this regard.
Appointing a corporate secretary for your Singapore company is necessary
It is required that you hire a corporate secretary for your Singapore company and it must be done within 6 months of the date of foreign company incorporation.
Public companies can hire a certified company secretary from a trusted institute, while for a private limited company, the appointed person must be qualified and experienced in working in accordance with the tenets of the Company Act.
All foreign nationals wanting to set up business in Singapore are eligible for government grants
Singapore is known for its business-friendly environment. The country boasts of exceptional ease of doing business, and one of the reasons for this is the cash grant schemes and policies that the government offers to support startup companies. And the best part about it is that there is no restriction on foreign business owners from availing these schemes.
Foreign company registration in Singapore is a super-fast affair
Wondering how long it takes to register a company in Singapore? If you have all the required incorporation documents with you, a company can be incorporated in as less as 24 hours!
However, if you don’t have your papers and documentation in order yet, or want to know what is needed to get your company registered, we can help you navigate the process. At Bestar, we are specialists in foreign company incorporation and can help you get registered typically within 1-3 days, minus any headache or hassles.
You must know the key requirements for Singapore company registration
It goes without saying that in order to successfully register a company in Singapore, you must fulfill the key requirements. These are:
- The company name must be approved and registered with ACRA
- A minimum initial paid capital of S$1 must be invested
- There must be at least one shareholder and up to 50 max.
- At least one director who is Singapore citizen, permanent resident, or Employee Pass holder must be appointed
- At least one qualified company secretary must be appointed
- The company must have a registered local address
Hiring a registered filing agent can increase your chances of successful company incorporation
While foreign company set up in Singapore is easier and more seamless than most countries across the world, the need for proper documentation and paperwork can make a difference in how fast you can get your new company in Singapore up and running. When you hire professional filing agents like Bestar, you can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your new company registration is being carried out flawlessly by experts who have helped thousands of clients set up new businesses in the country.
Plus, you also get to avail administration services to incorporate, support and organize your business set up process in Singapore.
If you’re planning to start a new business venture in Singapore, contact us today!