Register company in Singapore

This Asian country seems to many a distant and unexplored land. There is a lot of information on the Internet about the tourist attraction and luxury real estate. But besides the developed infrastructure and high-tech buildings, there are many business opportunities here. This article is relevant for entrepreneurs working not only with the Australasian region, but around the world. For a number of parameters, the decision to register a company in Singapore is very beneficial.
This state is an excellent location for placement and long-term storage of assets, as there is no capital gains tax in the country. In addition, there is no withholding tax on dividend payments. Interest and royalties paid to non-residents are taxed at 10% and 15% respectively.
Singapore is not a completely tax-free offshore jurisdiction. Like Panama and Costa Rica, the country applies territorial taxation. Therefore, even if you become a resident, you can still avoid paying income tax on your foreign pension or investment income from investments placed outside the country.
When the European Union adopted the savings tax directive, many European clients looked to this city-state to get their savings out of the watchful eyes of the tax authorities. The jurisdiction is on the EU whitelist and has over 70 international double tax treaties.
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What is firm incorporation in Singapore?

If you are planning to register business in Singapore on your own from another state, are looking for a country with a stable economy to enter the international marketplace and plan to enter the market of Southeast Asia and China, then you can consider this promising state. Before starting, we recommend getting advice and recommendations from experienced experts.
A local company provides its owner with a number of advantages:
  • A stable state economy, attractive investment policy and no restrictions on foreign property ownership;
  • Good reputation of the country in the international arena;
  • Favorable geographic location and access to the Southeast Asian market;
  • Opportunity to carry out tax planning on favorable terms – the first 3 years the company is subject to income tax in the amount of up to 100,000 SGD with a 75% discount;
  • If the profit is up to 200,000 SGD, the tax is 8.5% and 17% if the threshold is exceeded;
  • Application of international double taxation treaties;
  • No capital gains tax;
  • Income received from foreign sources is not taxed
However, there are also certain legal requirements. To receive all these bonuses, you need to complete the company formation Singapore in compliance with the mandatory conditions, have a local secretary, a resident director and provide annual financial statements.
It is not necessary to travel to the country in person for company registration in Singapore. Everything can be done remotely.
Also, a foreign entrepreneur can purchase a ready-made enterprise. This option saves a lot of time, if you need an urgent solution. When buying a shelf company, you get a package of documents in your hands within one working day. Further, you can make changes to the register and appoint a director, but you no longer need to wait until the state registrar considers the application.
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Our advantages in company formation in Singapore

Turning to Fintech Harbor, you get a free online consultation. Our main advantage is quick and easy business registration in Singapore. You save time and money on a trip, as all the process will be carried out remotely by proxy. Furthermore, our advisers provide comprehensive advice in various areas, including banking, accounting, taxation, the national commercial code, foreign economic activity, and more.
We supply a full range of services for starting one’s commercial activities and advice on further business management in a given direction or choosing a more promising option. You can always ask detailed questions and get response from professionals, as well as choose ready-made commercial properties in Singapore or start the process of redomiciliation from another state.
Contact us and get professional support from experienced experts in corporate, tax, banking and offshore law. Send an application to the e-mail address and receive a questionnaire with questions in a response letter. According to the results of the information provided, our experts will give a detailed answer.

Steps to set up a firm in Singapore

National legislation allows foreign companies to set up representative offices, subsidiaries and/or branches. However, each business form in Singapore has its own advantages and disadvantages. In particular, a branch is not considered a resident and cannot claim preferential tax rates.
In starting a business, it is extremely important to think over further tactics and strategy. The most significant issue when registering a company is the choice of a suitable organizational and legal form. This will determine your future prospects, achievable horizons, taxes, ease of attracting additional and this opportunity itself.
The main and common types of business entities are private company limited by shares, general business partnership, limited partnership, sole proprietor and limited liability partnership. The most attractive in terms of taxation are local LLCs. In Republic of Singapore, you can enjoy a variety of incentives and tax incentives when registering non-resident companies. In partnerships, taxes are paid either at the level of individuals or at the level of corporations, which excludes the application of tax incentives.
The main advantages of Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd, Sdn. Bhd):
  • There is no personal liability of the participants for the debts, obligations and losses of the company.
  • The standard corporate rate is used for tax purposes.
  • Dividends are not subject to taxation.
    You can take advantage of tax incentives for newly established companies.
  • High reputation component (Pte Ltd is a full-fledged business unit without significant restrictions).
You can arbitrarily change the structure of a Singapore company or the list of shareholders, such transformations will not directly affect the business in any way.
The process to register company in Singapore for foreigner includes 5 essential steps:
  1. Legal advice and strategy development;
  2. Choosing a name, creating a structure, forming a charter, appointing a director;
  3. Submission of documents to the registration authorities and registration of a legal address;
  4. Incorporation of a legal entity and opening a bank account locally or in any other state;
  5. Business start-up and supervision (accountant and tax expert assistance, annual reporting);
Points for registering a company and running a business in Singapore related to the Private Limited Company format that need to be analyzed with the utmost care:
  • The directors of the company are required to inform the hiring entity of all available shares, contracts and interests.
  • Restrictions on the transfer of shares, fixed in the constitution of the company.
  • Restrictions on doing real business in Singapore, prescribed in the company law. How critical and significant they will be in your case, we do not know. But even involuntary violations threaten you with serious sanctions and loss of reputation.
  • Annual mandatory reports.
  • High administration requirements.
  • Insufficient level of privacy.
  • Compliance with ACRA / IEAS requirements is strictly mandatory.
Most likely, business in Singapore at the initial stages will not experience any difficulties and restrictions in work. Moments that can impact the firm and its commercial activities will only begin to appear with an increase in turnover, expansion / change in business format, share issue and potential changes in corporate laws.


My goal is to expand my business horizons in Asia and the Chinese market, so I turned to Fintech Harbor to get detailed advice on how to register a company in Singapore, open a bank account and obtain a financial services license. Thanks to the advice received, we are now successfully operating in this region.
We have been preparing for a very long time to move the head office of the holding to this country. The location allows you to work with almost the whole world. From here it is convenient to get to the USA, Australia and all of Asia. The lawyers of this firm told what form of company it is better to open in Singapore to a foreigner, how much different services cost and all the tax nuances.
We are very pleased with the cooperation. Fintech Harbor lawyers accompanied us on the issue of building a complex corporate structure during the merger. Everything went smoothly and faster than we expected. I highly recommend these professionals!


The fair cost of company is formed from many details. Doing business here is no cheap considering
huge demand for local offices, high-quality professionals, elevated salaries and simply a standard of living.

Singapore company registration cost comprises the following expenses:

  • Services of the incorporation agent and state fees;
  • The legal address of the business, which must be renewed annually;
  • Salary of a corporate secretary;
    Nominee resident director services (or obtaining resident status for owner/director or their representative);
  • DHL delivery of papers to and from Singapore;
  • Maintaining and filing financial statements;
  • Annual audit (if necessary for some sort of economic activities).

Not to mention that the business itself also requires particular expenses. If you buy services and goods inside the country, the price can also be extremely high. Registering a legal entity in Singapore takes up to 2 weeks. Setting up an account may take a little more time. In any case, you will need to provide a set of documents, translate it into English, and check it with us. In some cases, a personal visit may be required.

Yes, local law allows citizens of any country to open an office or representative office of their foreign establishment here. There are several types of organizations in Singapore, but the most popular among non-residents are limited liability companies – PTE Ltd. In these corporations only individuals can be shareholders and there should not be more than twenty.

The bonus is that PTE Ltd is automatically exempt from mandatory audit if the annual turnover does not exceed SGD 5 million. Those who could not or did not want to exceed the yearly volume of SGD 5 million simply submit declarations of solvency signed by the director and secretary of the organization. As long as the is limited liability company is solvent, there is not even a requirement to file financial declarations, which increases the confidentiality of managers and stockholders. The obligation to maintain accounting records and prepare reports remains, which makes such companies attractive to serious and large banks.

As in most countries, the list of requirements is different depending on who is the founder – an individual or a legal entity.

Private persons must submit a scanned copy of the internal ID, and papers to confirm the registration address (usually a certificate of residence, or utility bills). Legal entities present copies of the passports of all founders and beneficiaries, as well as other persons who have the right of significant control. Along with this, it is essential to show the constituent documents, namely the certificate of incorporation, the charter and protocols of the meeting of the board of directors.

If you plan to operate in regulated sectors of the economy, such as trading in financial markets, providing banking or other money related functions, the list will include proof on the relevant education and experience of key people in the firm and official confirmation of the absence of criminal records.

Private individuals do not need such services. But under the national corporate law, a secretarial assistant is a mandatory position, not an optional one. The main tasks that he will solve are the following:

  1. Maintaining all mandatory registers, as well as the Book of Records;
  2. Storage of all statutory documents of the company with legal responsibility for safety;
  3. Preparation of the necessary data for holding a general meeting of shareholders, protocols and reports;
  4. Drafting and submission of annual reports to state and regulatory authorities;
  5. Storage of the company’s stamp and seal.

It is easy to see that the functions of the secretary are mostly nominal, but we all have to come to terms with this requirement of corporate law.
How long does it take to set up a firm in Singapore?
There are two options. You can buy a ready-made company that has already been enlisted in the commercial register earlier. This legal entity already has a title, an identification number, nominee director and corporate secretary, and a legal address. This is a quick solution for those who need to urgently figure out their business issues. You will receive a package of documents literally in one working day.

Or you can register a new company with your own title and details. It will take about 2 weeks, not counting the period for collecting and preparing documents. Also, opening a bank account takes more time, as many banks are reluctant to open accounts for newly incorporated organizations. But don’t worry. We will help you choose the right reliable bank with the most comfortable conditions for your business.

All formalities for registering a firm can be settled without the obligatory presence of the owner. The only exception is opening a bank account in a Singaporean bank.

The legislation does not allow foreign individuals or legal entities to register companies independently. This can only be done through a local agent (a specialized firm that will represent your interests in government agencies).

If you do not plan to move to the state for living, you can freely manage your business from abroad. In this case, you need to hire a local managing director and corporate secretary. It is usually possible to employ a nominal director. Whenever there is a need to visit Singapore, a foreigner can come on a regular tourist visa. If you plan to be fully engaged in the management process, you must be present in the country. An employment pass or an entrepreneur visa is mandatory in this case.