Singapore company registration

Singapore company registration


Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC assists our Clients with i) business registration ii) regulatory licensing iii) business banking iv) immigration visas and staff recruitment strategies and v) office rental solutions.

SummaryTax resident LLCTax exempt LLCFree zone LLCLLPRepresentative officeBranch company
Best use of company?Asian headquartersTrading/holding companyInternational tradingProfessional servicesLocal marketing and researchBank branches
Legally tax exempt if properly structured?NoYesNoYesYesNo
Corporate bank account location?HSBCHSBC Hong KongSBISHSBC LondonStandard Chartered BankCitibank
Client must travel to Asia?NoNoNoNoNoNo
Can secure trade finance?YesNoYesNoNoNo
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesYesNoNo
GST payable on sales to local customers7%0%0%7%0%7%
Withholding tax on payments to shareholders?0%0%0%0%0%20%
Average total engagement costs?US$6,980US$7,940US$8,790US$6,980US$6,800US$8,750
Average total engagement period?9 weeks9 weeks10 weeks9 weeks9 weeks9 weeks

See full table

Accounting and tax considerationsTax resident LLCTax exempt LLCFree zone LLCLLPRepresentative officeBranch company
Statutory corporation tax payable?17%0%17%0%0%17%
Must file an annual Singapore tax return?YesYesYesNoYesYes
Effective corporation tax rate on net profits of US$ 250,0009%0%9%0%0%17%
Must file annual financial statements?YesYesYesNoYesYes
Investment income is tax exempt in Singapore?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Access to double taxation treaties?YesNoYesYesNoYes
This entity enjoys Government incentives?YesNoYesYesNoYes
Monthly GST reporting to the Government?YesNoYesYesNoYes
Legally tax exempt entity?NoYesNoYesYesNo
Dividends received are legally tax exempt?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Company registrationTax resident LLCTax exempt LLCFree zone LLCLLPRepresentative officeBranch company
Resident director\partner\manager required?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Minimum number of shareholders\partners?1112Parent companyParent company
Minimum number of directors/managers?111111
Minimum paid up share capital?US$1US$1US$1US$1NoneNone
Shelf companies available?YesYesNoNoNoNo
Time to incorporate a new entity?1 week1 week2 weeks1 week1 week1 week
Can easily convert to a local PLC company?YesYesNoNoNoNo
Can have preference shareholders?YesYesNoNoNoNo
Business considerationsTax resident LLCTax exempt LLCFree zone LLCLLPRepresentative officeBranch company
Can invoice local customers?YesNoNoYesNoYes
Can hire local staff?YesNoYesYesYesYes
Can rent local office space?YesNoYesYesYesYes
Secures a residence visa for business owner?YesYesYesNoYesNo
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesNoNoNo
Other useful informationTax resident LLCTax exempt LLCFree zone LLCLLPRepresentative officeBranch company

Singapore has signed free trade agreements?Yes, see this page
This country is a member of WIPO and TRIPS?Yes
The country is a member of the ICSID?Yes
Average customs duties suffered?0%
Government foreign investment approval is required?No
Average monthly office rental? (US$ per sq m)US$37
Minimum statutory annual salary?None
Average monthly US$ salary for local employees?US$2,900
Singapore $ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)0.4%
US$ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)0.1%
Overseas remittance currency controls?None
Public register of shareholders and directors?Yes
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available?Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available?Yes
Quality of e-banking platform?Excellent
Crowd funding available in this country?Yes

Benefits of Singapore company registration

Singapore corporate registration requirements and procedures

  1. It is easy for our Clients to setup a company in Singapore because:
    • A Singapore LLC can be incorporated within 1 week, with only 1 shareholder and 1 director. Also, there is no residency or nationality requirements for the shareholder;
    • The minimum paid up share capital for the new incorporated company be as low as US$1. Furthermore, there will be no need for our Client to travel to Singapore to complete the engagement;
    • As a result of the above, Singapore is positively ranked as the 10th best jurisdiction in the world for “starting a business” in the 2016 Doing Business Survey;
  2. A Singapore company is likely to enjoy certain tax advantages including:
    • If properly structured, a Singapore resident company will not suffer tax on i) international income ii) all forms of dividends and iii) capital gains;
    • For resident companies, the first three years’ net profits under S$100,000 are tax exempt. The next S$200,000 are taxed at 8.5%, and taxable profits over this amount pay corporate income tax of 17%, the second lowest rate in APAC;
    • Through its network of 76 double taxation treaties global withholding tax is minimized when extracting funds from international subsidiary companies;
    • Due to Singapore’s ASEAN membership, resident companies pay no import duties when trading with other ASEAN member nations;
    • Singapore Government i) offers a multitude of attractive government grants to new companies and ii) allows all tax returns to be submitted online;
    • To calculate your company’s annual corporate tax amount, please use the tax calculator on this IRAS webpage;
  3. Our Clients may also enjoy certain miscellaneous benefits including:
    • Singapore is the most politically stable country in Asia, boasting a reputable regulatory environment. Consequently, business registration in country is the perfect solution i) for signing regional contracts with customers and suppliers; and ii) for registering intellectual property;
    • Singapore boasts a highly skilled labour force with a literacy rate of over 96% and a computer literacy rate of 99%. Furthermore, since Singapore is the most proficient English-speaking country in Asia, international entrepreneurs find it easy to communicate with suppliers and Clients. Also, all official documents are written in English;
    • A Singapore company is perceived positively by customers, suppliers, investors and banks. Furthermore, a Singapore company can be listed on the SGX, ASX and NYSE;
    • Singapore is a paradise for high-net-worth entrepreneurs. With a strategic location for wealthy Asian entrepreneurs, the city is synonymous with luxury and is home to some of the biggest brands in the world, catering to its world-leading population of millionaires;
    • Singapore is ranked as the most innovative city in Asia for entrepreneurs, according to the Corporate Advisory Firm, Solidiance. Singapore’s high rating was thanks to its talented labour force, relaxed regulatory framework and excellent technological infrastructure;
  4. Lastly, Singapore is ranked as the best jurisdiction in the world for “Doing Business” by the World Bank in its 2016 Doing Business Survey;

Problems with Singapore company registration

  1. All resident firms must have at least one resident director, who can either be a citizen, permanent resident or work pass holder in the country. Furthermore, corporate directors are not allowed;
  2. As a services and export-based economy, Singapore’s growth is dependent on i) the health of the Chinese economy and ii) the health of the USA and EU economy;
  3. All companies must submit annual financial statements to the Inland Revenue Authority (IRAS). Healy Consultants assists our Clients to efficiently and effectively satisfy this annual statutory obligation;
  4. Singapore is an expensive city for a new business, with monthly average labor cost being US$2,600 and monthly average office rental being US$7 per square foot. Both rates are more than double the rates in neighboring Malaysia;
  5. Hiring foreign workers is difficult; the company will have to prove that local workers were not denied the work opportunity.

Best uses for a Singapore company

  1. Holding company or regional headquarters: Singapore is an ideal location for setting up your company’s regional headquarters for the Asia Pacific region. In fact, a large number of blue-chip firms are currently managing their Asian operations from Singapore for the following reasons:
    • Singapore’s territorial taxation rules mean that income from i) foreign subsidiaries ii) non-Singaporean operations around the world and iii) capital gains are legally tax exempt;
    • Through Singapore’s network of 76 double taxation treaties, withholding tax is minimized when receiving profits from international subsidiaries and thereby allowing our Clients to avoid double taxation. Refer to this table to view how global withholding tax rates are minimized;
    • Singapore is a great import and export hub because: i) it boasts the world’s 2nd busiest port and the world’s 12th busiest cargo airport ii) it hosts a huge number of international trading companies and supporting banks, a top source of trade finance and iii) it attracts the world’s leading freight forwarders, shipping companies and insurance companies.
    • Thanks to Singapore’s bilingual education system and its focus on English, most skilled Singaporean workers are fluent in English and either Mandarin or Malay. This means that they can communicate effectively with Clients, suppliers and subsidiaries in Asia and around the world;
    • The Singaporean government provides a tax incentive for companies registering their headquarters in the country, reducing the headline rate of tax to 15% for up to 5 years under the headquarters programme; and
    • Singapore is a developed financial hub, increasing the access to capital for businesses established in the country.
  2. International trading company: A resident trading company in Singapore will benefit from:
    • Legal tax exemption on international sales if properly structured;
    • The strength of Singapore’s reputation as a business and financial hub when dealing with Clients, service providers and sources of finance; and
    • Singapore’s status as a major shipping and logistics centre, meaning that distribution is more easily managed here than in many competing jurisdictions.
  3. Following Singapore business registration, Healy Consultants can open a supporting corporate bank account in every country in the world including Germany, Dubai, South Africa, Brazil, Australia, Japan, eliminating the need to register local companies on each continent;
  4. Singaporean companies can be supported by a low cost multi-currency merchant account for e-commerce sales;

Similar low tax jurisdictions

Healy Consultants’ video on registering a business in Singapore

Frequently asked questions

Download the full Singapore country report here

Contact us

For additional information on our business registration services in Singapore, please email us at Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi
singapore business federation Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Institute of Singapore chartered accountant (ISCA) Institute of Singapore chartered accountant (ISCA) saicsa icsa - institute of chartered secretaries and administrators SIngapore exchange ltd - The Asian Gateway | SGX