FAQs related to the starting a company in Singapore

Singapore company formation

#1 Why should I incorporate a Private Limited Company in Singapore?

There are many reasons to incorporate a Private Limited Company in Singapore. For one, it can help you to establish and maintain a good business credit rating. This is important because it can make it easier for you to get loans and other forms of financing in the future.


Additionally, a Private Limited Company can give you limited liability protection, which can shield you from being held personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of your business. Finally, incorporating a Private Limited Company can make it easier for you to attract investors and partners, as they will see your business as being more professional and credible.


#2 What are the different types of business structures in Singapore?

There are three main types of business structures in Singapore: sole proprietorships, partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLCs). Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right one for your business.


Sole proprietorships are the simplest and most common type of business in Singapore. They’re easy to set up and you have full control over your business. However, sole proprietorships also have some disadvantages. For example, you’re personally responsible for all debts and losses, and it can be difficult to raise money from investors.


Partnerships are similar to sole proprietorships, but they involve two or more people. Partnerships can be either general partnerships or limited partnerships. Limited partnerships have both general partners (who manage the business) and limited partners (who invest money but don’t have any management duties). Like sole proprietorships, partnerships offer simplicity and flexibility, but they also have some disadvantages.


#3 What are the key requirements to incorporate a company in Singapore?

In order to incorporate a company in Singapore, the key requirements are as follows:

  • At least one shareholder
  • A minimum share capital of S$1
  • One director who is a resident of Singapore
  • A company secretary within six months of incorporation
  • The company must have its registered address in Singapore
  • The company must maintain a set of accounting records
  • The company must file annual returns with ACRA

#4 What is paid-up capital?

Paid-up capital is the portion of a company’s capital that has been funded by shareholders. This capital represents the maximum amount of liability that a shareholder can have in the event that the company is liquidated. Paid-up capital is important to consider when investing in a company, as it can give you an idea of the financial health of the company and the risk associated with investing in it.


#5 Who can act as the company secretary?

A Singapore company must appoint a company secretary within six months of its incorporation. The company secretary must be a natural person who is ordinarily a resident of Singapore. The role of the company secretary is to ensure that the company complies with the Companies Act and other relevant legislation. The company secretary is also responsible for keeping minutes of meetings and maintaining statutory registers.

Recommended post: 8 Reasons to outsource company secretarial services in Singapore


#6 Is hiring a company secretary in Singapore mandatory for businesses?

Every company incorporated in Singapore must appoint a company secretary within 6 months of its incorporation. The company secretary must be a natural person who is ordinarily a resident of Singapore.


In addition, you may also need to hire an accounting firm in Singapore for your company’s accounting and bookkeeping.


#7 What are the paid-up capital requirements for Singapore companies?

The paid-up capital requirements for Singapore companies depend on the type of company. For example, private companies must have a minimum paid-up capital of S$1, while public companies must have a minimum paid-up capital of S$50,000. There are also different requirements for foreign companies.


#8 How long does it take to incorporate a Singapore company?

The actual process of incorporating a company in Singapore is relatively quick and can be done in a matter of days. However, there are a number of other factors to consider when setting up a business in Singapore, such as finding the right business location, obtaining the necessary permits and licenses, and hiring staff. All of these factors can take up significant time and resources. As such, it is best to consult with experienced professionals when incorporating a company in Singapore.


#9 What is the age requirement for directors & shareholders of a Singapore company?

The minimum age requirement for directors and shareholders of a Singapore company is 18 years old. This is in line with the minimum age requirement for contracts and other legal agreements in Singapore.


#10 Does a Singapore company require a local resident director?

A Singapore company is required to have at least one local resident director on its board. The Companies Act defines a local resident director as a natural person who has his or her usual place of residence in Singapore and is a citizen of or is permanently resident in Singapore.


#11 What are the guidelines for naming a Singapore company?

There are a few key guidelines to keep in mind when naming your Singapore company. First, avoid using any offensive or restricted words in your company name. Additionally, make sure to use a unique and catchy name that will help your business stand out from the competition. Finally, be sure to check with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) to ensure that your chosen company name is available and not already in use.


#12 How many directors are required to register a company in Singapore?

A company in Singapore must have at least one director, but no more than 20. The director must be a natural person who is aged 18 years or older and must not be an undischarged bankrupt.


#13 Can a foreigner incorporate a Singapore company?

Yes, a foreigner can incorporate a Singapore company by himself. The process is relatively straightforward and can be completed online. The main requirements are that the company must have at least one director who is a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident and that the company must have a registered address in Singapore. Once these requirements are met, the foreigner can begin the incorporation process by filling out the required forms and submitting them to the relevant authorities.


#14 Will the identity of directors and shareholders be made public?

The answer is yes, the identities of directors and shareholders will be made public in Singapore. This is because the Companies Registry requires all companies to disclose this information.


#15 What is an Exempt Private Company (EPC)?

An Exempt Private Company (EPC) is a company that is exempt from certain requirements under the Companies Act. For example, an EPC does not have to prepare audited financial statements. An EPC must meet certain criteria, such as having fewer than 20 shareholders and not being listed on a stock exchange.


#16 Do I need to obtain a license to run a business in Singapore?

Usually, you do not need any business licenses to operate your Singapore company however in some types of businesses such as restaurants, you may need a license. The basic requirement is that you register your company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).


#17 How much is the cost to start a company in Singapore?

If you’re thinking of incorporating a company in Singapore, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is the cost. There are a few key costs to keep in mind when starting a business in Singapore, including the cost of incorporation, the cost of renting office space, and the cost of hiring employees.


Recommended post: Important Determinants of Company Incorporation Costs in Singapore


While the cost of starting a business in Singapore may seem high at first, there are many government programs and incentives available to help offset the cost. With careful planning and a bit of research, you can find ways to keep your start-up costs low and give your new business the best chance for success.


The cost of company incorporation in Singapore may start at $1000.


#18 Can a foreigner relocate to Singapore to operate a new business?

Yes, a foreigner can relocate to Singapore to operate a new business. However, there are some things to keep in mind before making the move. First, the business must be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Second, the company must have a paid-up capital of at least S$50,000. Lastly, the foreigner must obtain an Employment Pass from the Ministry of Manpower.


#19 Does a Singapore Company have to file audited accounts?

A Singapore company does not have to file audited accounts if it meets all of the following conditions:

  • The company has a turnover of less than $5 million;
  • There are no corporate shareholders;
  • All shareholders agree not to request audited accounts.
  • To know more about the obligations of filing audited accounts, you can contact a Singapore accounting firm.
It is, therefore, important for a Singapore company to hire an accounting company


#20 What is considered private company in Singapore?

A private company in Singapore is one that has fewer than 50 shareholders, does not offer shares to the public, and is not listed on the Singapore Exchange. Private companies are subject to different rules and regulations than public companies.


#21 What is the minimum and maximum number of shareholders that are allowed for a Singapore company?

A Singapore company is allowed a minimum of one shareholder and a maximum of 50 shareholders. If a company has more than 50 shareholders, it must be converted into a public company.


#22 Can the paid-up capital be increased later?

Yes, it is possible to increase the paid-up capital of your company later.


Recommended post: All that you need to know before starting a new company in Singapore

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ACRA Cancels Registration of Filing Agent and Qualified Individual for AML/CFT Breaches

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) had cancelled the registrations of filing agent (RFA) and qualified individual (RQI) on 18 January 2024. The registrations were cancelled in view of breaches of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) controls under the ACRA (Filing Agents and Qualified Individuals) Regulations 2015 (the “ACRA Regulations”).

Some of the basic AMT/CFT controls that a RFA and RQI are required to exercise are as follows:

(a) perform additional customer due diligence measures when a customer is not physically present during onboarding;

(b) inquiring if there exists any beneficial owner in relation to some of its customers; and

(c) perform risk assessments i

RQIs and RFAs provide corporate secretarial services for business entities, such as helping customers to incorporate companies, file annual returns and fulfil other filing requirements under the Companies Act 1967 or other Acts under ACRA’s purview. RQIs and RFAs are required to perform customer due diligence measures in accordance with the ACRA Regulations, and conduct their business in such a manner as to guard against the facilitation of money laundering and the financing of terrorism. RQIs and RFAs must also satisfy statutory requirements such as being fit and proper persons, to be registered or continue to be registered.

RQIs and RFAs who breach their statutory obligations may be subject to enforcement actions, such as financial penalties of up to $10,000 or $25,000 per breach respectively or have their registrations with ACRA suspended or cancelled.

Therefore, RQIs and RFAs play an important role in helping to detect and combat illicit activities.

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