DOING BUSINESS IN SINGAPORE
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.
|Summary||Tax resident LLC||Tax exempt LLC||Fast solution LLC||Free zone LLC||PLC||Limited Partnership||Representative office||Branch office||Trust|
|Best use of company?||All purposes||Trading/ holding||Close a customer||Global trading||SGX listing||Professional |
|Marketing & |
|How soon can you invoice Clients\sign sales contracts?||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||No|
|How soon can you hire staff?||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||No|
|How soon can you sign a lease agreement?||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||No|
|Travel required for business setup?||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Travel required for bank account opening?||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?||17%||0%||17%||17%||17%||0%||0%||17%||0%|
|Legally tax exempt if properly structured?||No||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Government grants available?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Resident director/partner/manager required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Minimum paid up share capital?||US$1||US$1||US$1||US$1||US$1||US$1||US$1||US$1||None|
|Can bid for Government contracts?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Corporate bank account location?||DBS Singapore||Switzerland||OCBC Singapore||UOB Singapore||Citibank Singapore||DBS Singapore||SBI Singapore||SCB Singapore||OCBC Singapore|
|Can secure trade finance?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Limited liability entity?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Average total engagement costs?||US$6,980||US$8,940||US$11,560||US$8,970||US$6,980||US$6,980||US$6,800||US$8,750||US$25,000|
|Average total engagement period?||9 weeks||9 weeks||14 weeks||9 weeks||9 weeks||9 weeks||9 weeks||9 weeks||4 weeks|
|Accounting and tax considerations||Tax resident LLC||Tax exempt LLC||Fast solution LLC||Free zone LLC||PLC||Limited Partnership||Representative office||Branch office||Trust|
|Must file an annual tax return?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Access to double taxation treaties?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|This entity enjoys Government incentives?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Company registration||Tax resident LLC||Tax exempt LLC||Fast solution LLC||Free zone LLC||PLC||Limited Partnership||Representative office||Branch office||Trust|
|Minimum number of shareholders/partners?||1||1||1||1||1||2||Parent company||Parent company||0|
|Maximum shareholding for foreigners?||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||None|
|Minimum number of directors/managers?||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||None|
|Minimum statutorYesy paid up share capital?||US$1||US$1||US$1||US$1||US$1||US$1||None||None||None|
|Shelf companies available?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Time to incorporate a new entity?||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||None|
|Can easily convert to a PLC?||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Public register of shareholders and directors?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Can have preference shareholders?||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Business considerations||Tax resident LLC||Tax exempt LLC||Fast solution LLC||Free zone LLC||PLC||Limited Partnership||Representative office||Branch office||Trust|
|Can invoice customers in your company name?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Restrictions on nature of business activities||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Company can hire local staff?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Maximum number of staff allowed?||No limit||No limit||No limit||No limit||No limit||No limit||No limit||No limit||None|
|Good entity for trademark registration?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Can secure an import and export license?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Other useful information|
|What will be included in my customer sales invoice?||(click link)|
|This country has signed free trade agreements?||Yes|
|This country is a member of WIPO/TRIPS?||Yes|
|This country is a member of the ICSID?||Yes|
|Average customs duties suffered?||0|
|Government foreign investment approval required?||No|
|Average monthly office rental? (US$ per sq m)||37|
|Minimum statutory annual salary?||None|
|Average monthly US$ salary for local skilled employees?||US$3,800|
|S$ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)||0.004|
|US$ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)||0.001|
|Overseas remittance currency controls?||None|
|Multi-currency bank accounts available?||Yes|
|Corporate visa debit cards available?||No|
|Quality of e-banking platform?||Excellent|
|Crowd funding available in this country?||Yes|
|Can be wholly foreign owned?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Government approval required for foreign owners?||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Temporary physical office solutions available?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|You need a local resident as bank signatory?||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|GST payable on sales to local customers?||7%||0%||7%||0%||7%||7%||0%||7%||None|
|Withholding tax on payments to shareholders?||0%||0%||0%||0%||0%||0%||0%||0%||None|
|Group HQ tax incentives?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||None|
|Must file annual financial statements?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Must appoint an auditor?||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Withholding tax on payments to parent company?||0%||0%||0%||0%||0%||0%||0%||0%||None|
|Monthly GST reporting to the Government?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||None|
|Dividends received are legally tax exempt?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Security deposit to be kept with Government?||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Must sign an office lease agreement?||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|shareholders and directors documents to be attested?||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Foreign director needs a tax number?||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Foreign director needs a residence visa?||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|shareholders and directors documents to be translated?||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|The entity will likely be regulated by?||ACRA||ACRA||ACRA||ACRA||ACRA||ACRA||ACRA||ACRA||None|
|Sponsorship by a local citizen required?||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Expatriate to local staff ratio?||None||None||None||None||None||None||None||None||None|
|Company can rent local office space?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Can secure residence visa for business owner?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
Press the link headings below to read detailed, relevant, up to date information.
Advantages of a Singapore LLC(Back to Top)
Advantages of Singapore company registration
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- Lastly, Singapore is ranked as the best jurisdiction in the world for “Doing Business” by the World Bank in its 2016 Doing Business Survey;
Disadvantages of Singapore company registration
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- Hiring foreign workers is difficult; the company will have to prove that local workers were not denied the work opportunity.
- It is easy for our Clients to setup a company in Singapore because:
Singapore corporate banking solutions(Back to Top)Healy Consultants project manages all of the steps necessary for our Clients to open and operate a corporate bank account in Singapore. With our assistance, it may be possible to open a Singapore business bank account without needing to visit the country. Healy Consultants’ experienced international banking team will prepare the required documentation and attend a bank interview on your behalf. We are one of the few global professional firms providing Singapore corporate banking services.
Advantages of Singapore corporate banking
- Demand for corporate bank accounts in Singapore continues to grow due to and increased flow of capital from the West into Singapore. As governments endeavor to clamp down on tax evasion, bank accounts located in tax havens are under increased scrutiny. Singapore is a reputable jurisdiction with a regulated and secure banking system, making banking in Singapore an excellent long-term solution for international entrepreneurs;
- Singapore has strong security laws in regards to the banking industry, including on the disclosure of bank account information. Details of the Singapore banking laws can be found on the Monetary Authority of Singapore website;
- Singapore has seen significant growth in private banking services and is expected to be a leader in this field over the next 5 years. As a global private banking and wealth management hub, Singapore is positioned to cater the needs of high net worth individuals within Asia and globally;
- Foreign individuals can apply for Singapore permanent residency if they hold at least S$5 million (US$4.08 million) with a financial institution regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore;
- Multi-currency accounts and excellent internet banking are two advantages of Singapore corporate banking that help to facilitate global business. Furthermore, Singapore banks offer letter of credit (L/C) support for Singaporean companies involved in international trading.
Key facts on Singapore offshore banking
- Offshore Banking in Singapore benefits from a well-regulated banking system and an international reputation as a globally important and respected financial centre. The financial services industry in Singapore also continues to grow to meet the needs of the high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs investing in Singapore and looking for Singapore corporate banking options adequate to their business needs;
- Singapore offshore banking strategies are efficient, thanks to i) Healy Consultants’ vast experience in opening Singapore offshore bank accounts for Clients and ii) improving customer service in Singapore banks. That said, opening a Singapore company bank account remains a challenge due to increased due diligence requirements;
- As a global private banking and wealth management hub, Singapore caters to the offshore banking service requirements of wealthy people in Asia and globally;
- Healy Consultants’ offshore banking services include assisting Clients with obtaining highly competitive mortgages from Singapore banks for their properties in Asia and around the world. With significantly lower interest rates and simple procedures, Singapore mortgages are a viable, cost-effective and convenient alternative to rival mortgages in locations such as Australia, Canada, the US and Europe;
- Singapore offers a mature and competitive banking system, dominated by three Singaporean establishments, famous for their financial soundness and the excellence of their corporate banking services: i) DBS ii) UOB and iii) OCBC. However, several foreign banks have however managed to enter the Singapore banking market: i) HSBC ii) Standard Chartered and iii) Citibank (among others) also maintain a significant presence in the country.
Singapore corporate bank accounts options for foreign companies
Singapore corporate bank accounts options for foreign companies
- Without the need for a local entity, foreign companies can open a company bank account in Singapore. For example, a German company can open a Singapore business bank account to serve Asian customers and suppliers, without the burden of incorporating a local company. Our fee for our Singapore corporate banking services is US$3,950.
Singapore corporate bank accounts options without travelling
- To save our Client’s time and cost of travelling, Healy Consultants guarantees corporate account approval or your money back. Our fee for the corporate account opening service, if the Client incorporates a local entity as well, is US$2,550;
- It is a difficult task to obtain bank accounts approval when shareholders and directors and bank signatories reside overseas. However, when required, Healy Consultants will accompany our Client to bank meetings or attend a face to face interview with the relevant bank office on behalf of the Singapore company. Below is a sample of banking options we accompany our Clients to bank meetings:
Our Client can travel to Singapore for bank accounts approval
- If our Client travels to Singapore to incorporate a local company, there will be more bank options available. It is still difficult to obtain timely corporate account approval from Singapore banks because they enjoy excess demand, thus they are very choosy about what Clients they will engage;
- During your visit, Healy Consultants will i) provide you a detailed table of banking options evaluating each bank thoroughly ii) prepare a detailed business plan for the bank iii) request the banker to visit our office premises for the meeting and iv) activate the internet banking on your behalf;
- We guarantee corporate account approval or your money back. Our fee for this service is US$1,950. Below is a sample of banking options we accompany our Clients to bank meetings:
Singapore corporate bank accounts options for resident entities
- Healy Consultants will i) present you a detailed comparison table of banking options ii) draft a business plan iii) schedule meeting with the bank representatives at our head office and iv) activate e-banking services on your behalf;
- Our fee for this service ranges from US$1,950 to US$2,550, depending on whether the Client can travel or not.
Singapore offshore bank accounts
Singapore private banking
Singapore corporate financeOur Singapore corporate finance team is a multi-skilled team of professionals who bring to bear their varied experience from diverse backgrounds. The corporate finance services our firm offers includes:
- Obtaining Singapore corporate finance for acquisitions, buyouts and stock exchange listings;
- Obtaining asset based loans to improve cash flow, restructure capital, consolidate debt and provide working capital;
- Obtaining letters of credit;
- Obtaining private debt financing, export financing and private and public equity;
- Redesigning and amending benefit plans;
- Negotiating underwriting agreements;
- Preparing and negotiating registrations of securities under equity-based plans;
- Advising on management buy-outs and buy-ins;
- Providing share and business valuations as a precursor to a corporate finance transaction.
15 steps to opening Singapore corporate bank accounts
- Prior to submitting the bank account application, Healy Consultants requires detailed information on i) company’s activities (including proof of business like contracts and invoices etc.), ii) company’s customers and suppliers iii) details of the management team and iv) the company’s financial projections. We require this information in order to be able to submit your application with a greater chance of approval;
- On receipt of aforementioned information, our experts prepare a detailed business plan to will highlight the company’s activities, financial projections and reasons for opening a Singapore bank account. We then send the business plan to our Client for their review and approval before sharing with banks;
- Healy Consultants approaches the local banks in Singapore to obtain preliminary approval for bank account opening for our Client’s company;
- Following receipt of the preliminary approval, Healy Consultants prepares bank account opening forms for our Client’s signature in front of notary public or local bank branch officer. Once the Client has signed the documents, they courier the originals to Healy Consultants’ Singapore office;
- On receipt of the signed bank forms, the banks will complete their “Know Your Client” (KYC) procedures to confirm that the capital inflows are legitimate and clean;
- Despite the banks’ strict requirements, our experts will assist our Client to fulfil all of the bank’s requests with minimal inconvenience;
- Within two weeks of submission of the account opening application, Healy Consultants will receive the approval from bank;
- Our Client will be required to fund the bank account within one week. The minimum initial deposit for a business bank account in Singapore can range from US$1,000 to US$75,000 depending on the bank and type of account chosen;
- Within two weeks, Healy Consultants receives the Internet banking activation documents and activates online banking on our Client’s behalf;
- Following successful activation, we will dispatch a courier to our Client’s preferred mailing address containing bank documents and internet banking details.
List of documents required for a corporate bank account opening
- Completed corporate bank account opening forms;
- Company certificate of incorporation (or country equivalent);
- Certificate of incumbency for companies registered more than six months ago;
- Board of Directors’ approval for the account opening and appointed bank signatories;
- Certified true copy of company’s business profile from the Companies Registrar (Bizfile) or country equivalent;
- Certified true copy of the company’s M&AA;
- Certified true copies of passports of the UBO, shareholders, directors and bank signatories;
- Certified true copies of proof of address of the UBO, shareholders, directors and bank signatories;
- Singapore banks may also require i) legalized copies of the above documents and/or ii) additional due diligence documents on a case by case basis.
Healy Consultants' banking feesHealy Consultants guarantees Singapore company bank accounts approval or your money back. Our fees for different banking services include:
Singapore banking task Our Client travels US$ Singapore bank account for a foreign company No 3,950 Singapore bank account for a foreign company Yes 2,950 Singapore bank account for an offshore company No 3,950 Singapore bank account for an offshore company Yes 2,950 Singapore bank account for a Singapore company No 2,550 Singapore bank account for a Singapore company Yes 1,950 Singapore personal bank account No 1,950 Singapore trade finance assistance No 1,500 Singapore corporate finance assistance No 1,500 Singapore international mortgages finance assistance No 1,500 Singapore private equity assistance No 1,500 Singapore government grants assistance No 1,500 Singapore investment banking assistance No 1,500 Singapore private banking assistance No 1,500
Other useful information
What is happening to Singapore banking?
- Singapore’s banking sector is amongst the most well-regarded in the world. Consequently, Singapore’s corporate banking solutions are in excess demand, presenting our Clients with the following challenges and benefits:
- Top tier banks are increasingly focusing on larger, more profitable corporate Clients. These banks do not prefer SME Clients;
- All banks are choosy of the Clients they approve, accepting only some nationalities and industries perceived as low risk as customers;
- Bank account approval often takes four weeks;
- There is no longer a dedicated bank officer for each Client;
- Corporate debit cards are available from most banks:
- The banks have the ultimate power of approval over account applications. Consequently, guaranteed success is outside of Healy Consultants’ control. What is inside our control is the preparation and submission of a high quality bank application that maximizes the likelihood of our Client’s approval;
- Global banks continue to tighten corporate account opening procedures with their internal compliance departments completing a more thorough due diligence of Clients. Consequently, our Clients should expect the bank accounts approval period to take up to 4 weeks. Furthermore, banks now require evidence of proof of business in the country where the company bank account will be, including sales contracts or lease agreement;
- Singapore is not on the OECD ‘blacklist’ of tax havens, nor the FATF blacklist.
Other Singapore banking information
- Healy Consultants recommends that our Clients use international banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citibank because they offer the best internet banking service and customer care service. Relationships with these banks also simplify the process of opening new accounts as your business grows worldwide;
- The Singaporean government imposes no foreign exchange controls. There is therefore a free flow of funds for remittances of profits, debt service, capital, capital gains, and returns on intellectual property or imported inputs;
- Banks in Singapore are highly reputable and provide full range of business facilities including multiple currencies, internet and telephone banking, checking and savings accounts, debit and credit cards, and wealth management services;
- Singapore banks offer accounts in multiple currencies including the Yen, RMB, Euro, US dollar, and other Asian currencies.
- Singapore’s banking sector is amongst the most well-regarded in the world. Consequently, Singapore’s corporate banking solutions are in excess demand, presenting our Clients with the following challenges and benefits:
Asia banking options
Business entities types(Back to Top)There are several types of companies our Clients can set up, the most common being the private limited company (LLC), branch office and representative office.
The private limited company (Pte. Ltd.)
- The most commonly set-up company in Singapore is the private limited company, which is abbreviated to “Pte. Ltd.”. This company type is functionally equivalent to the LLC in other jurisdictions, with shareholders’ liability being limited to the amount unpaid on their shares;
- Thanks to the relaxed rules on opening a private limited company, requiring only one shareholder, one director, a company secretary, a registered address and no minimum share capital, foreign investors overwhelmingly favour the Pte. Ltd. when entering the Singaporean market. This entity can engage in any commercial or industrial activity, and there are no restrictions on foreign investment;
- Singaporean private limited companies may have up to 50 shareholders. If there are likely to be either i) more than 50 shareholders or ii) regular share transfers, then an unlisted public limited company is a better option;
- This entity can be incorporated within one week without the need for our Clients to visit Singapore or contribute any share capital. However, at least one of the company’s directors must be resident in Singapore.
General purpose – A private limited company fulfils the needs of almost every application for doing business either within or outside of Singapore. These entities have low administrative requirements and can be turned to almost any use as long as share liquidity is not required. These attributes of the Singapore LLC make it ideally suited for use as a subsidiary or as an entrepreneurial vehicle.
The private limited company’s flexibility also means that it can be used in the following ways:
Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)
- SPVs can be used to i) hold designated assets on behalf of its investors while insulating the shareholders from liability and ii) raise funds from the market;
- This vehicle is used to hold and manage long-term investments including debt, real estate, and shares in other businesses. Holding companies derive their income primarily from dividends, interest payments and rental fees, depending on the types of assets held;
- In Singapore, a holding company can be incorporated as a paper company (offshore company) to manage international investments in a tax-efficient manner.
- Singaporean companies can be used as private wealth vehicles to manage family assets. Visit Healy Consultants’ page on family wealth vehicles to learn more and compare different structures that can be used to run a family office.
- Foreign companies may do business in Singapore without setting up a separate legal entity, although they must register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) to do so. Doing business in this manner is known as establishing a branch office in Singapore;
- A branch office can conduct business only within the scope set by the parent company. A Singapore-based branch can invoice local customers, sign sales contracts and receive income from customers;
- As an extension of the foreign company without its own legal personality, a branch does not have limited liability. Any liabilities incurred by the branch are therefore attributed to the parent company. Consequently, using a branch introduces greater risk to your business;
- Branch offices may only be registered by foreign corporations, as stipulated by Singapore’s Companies Act;
- Branches are treated as non-resident for tax purposes. This means that they do not benefit from Singapore’s double taxation avoidance treaties, nor the tax incentives for new companies.
Not recommended – Although there are some limited advantages to using branches in other jurisdictions, Healy Consultants recommends incorporating a local company rather than establishing a branch in Singapore. Since the company has no minimum capital requirement, limited liability, a lower number of mandatory resident agents and allows 100% foreign ownership in all fields, the traditional benefits of a branch do not apply. No time is saved in registering a branch either, as Singaporean companies can be set up in under a week.
- A representative office can be used if a foreign company does not intend to carry on revenue-generating business activities in Singapore. Annual filings are simplified since the lack of revenue means that taxes do not need to be filed or assessed;
- These entities cannot make direct sales. Instead, they may only carry out “auxiliary activities”, for example i) promoting the business of the parent company ii) market research iii) after-sales support or iv) research & development;
- The scale of representative offices’ operations is limited by a rule requiring fewer than five members of staff;
- Representative offices’ limited scope brings with them a limited lifetime, as they may only operate for up to three years before being required to convert to a branch;
- New foreign businesses may not set up representative offices in Singapore, as the law requires that the foreign entity i) has annual sales of more than US$250,000 and ii) has existed for at least three years;
Market research – If your business wishes to send a small delegation of staff to investigate the Singaporean market, a representative office is a good short-term solution with simpler financial reporting than for a company. For other activities or long-term establishments in Singapore, a company is usually preferred due to greater flexibility in the activities it can carry out and more freedom to generate value for the business.
Free Zone Company
- Our Clients also have the option of setting up a free zone company. For this purpose, our Clients will need to incorporate a simple LLC and then obtain an operating permit from the free zone authority;
- For more information about this business entity, refer to our Singapore free zones page;
International Trade – A free zone company is generally used by trading companies which need to import products into Singapore for further processing and then export the finished goods to other countries.
Singapore fast solution
- This solution is recommended for Clients who need an immediate company setup in Singapore. For such Clients, Healy Consultants presents our fast turnkey solution which includes i) a company registration number ii) an already approved multicurrency corporate bank account number and iii) a business address;
- For more information, refer to our Singapore shelf company/turnkey solutions page;
The Singapore fast solution is recommended for Clients who immediately need a local company to close deals or sign contracts in Singapore.
Limited Liability Partnership
- An alternative to the limited liability company is the limited liability partnership (LLP). Like the LLC, this entity offers limited liability benefit to its partners. Furthermore, this entity can issue contracts, lease property and sign legal documents in its own name;
- An LLP can be setup by 2 partners with minimum capital of US$1. However, the LLP will be required to appoint at least 1 manager who is ordinarily resident in Singapore;
- An LLP will not be subject to annual corporate income tax. However, the income will be taxed in the hands of the partners. Consequently, if the partners are individuals, personal income tax will be payable or if they are corporate entities, corporate income tax will be payable;
Professional services – An LLP is generally recommended for firms providing professional services including accounting & tax services, consulting services and legal services.
- Some of our Clients may wish to form a general partnership (GP) in Singapore. Unlike in an LLP, partners of a GP will be personally liable for all losses and debts of the partnership;
- An alternative option to the GP and LLP will be the limited partnership (LP). An LP comprises of at least 1 general partner (who is personally liable for all losses and debts) and 1 limited partner (whose liability is limited to the extent of his capital contribution);
Not recommended – GPs and LPs are not recommended to our Clients as they expose the partners to personal liability for all damages and losses. Instead, our Clients should either choose an LLC or an LLP.
Table of comparison for Singapore entities
Summary at a Glance LLC Branch Rep office Offshore LLP Free zone company Fast solution Operations and logistics Do you visit Singapore for company setup? No No No No No No No Bank signatory must travel No No No No No No No Is doing business in Singapore permitted? Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Allowed to sign sales contracts with local Clients Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Allowed to invoice local Clients Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Can rent office in Singapore Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Tenancy agreement required before incorporation? No No Yes No No No No Allowed to import raw materials? Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Allowed to export goods? Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Corporate bank account HSBC Citibank SCB Singapore HSBC Hong Kong HSBC Hong Kong Citibank SCB Singapore Accounting and tax Corporate tax payable 17% 17% 0% 0% 17% 17% 17% Statutory audit required No No No No No No No Annual tax return to be submitted Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Access to double tax treaties Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Company law Issued share capital required US$1 0 0 US$1 US$1 US$1 US$1 Resident director/manager required? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Resident shareholder required? No No No No No No No Minimum number of directors 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Minimum number of shareholders 1 Parent company Parent company 1 2 1 1 Resident company secretary Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Individual shareholders allowed Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Corporate director(s) allowed? No No No No No No No Corporate shareholders allowed? Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Public register of shareholders and directors Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Immigration Singapore employment visa fees US$2,950 US$2,950 US$2,950 US$2,950 US$2,950 US$2,950 US$2,950 Can the entity hire expatriate staff? Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes How long to get work permit approved 3 weeks 3 weeks 3 weeks 3 weeks 3 weeks 3 weeks 3 weeks Fees and timelines How long to set the company up? 1 week 1 week 1 week 1 week 1 week 2 weeks No How long to open company bank account? 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks No Estimate of engagement costs US$6,980 US$8,750 US$6,800 US$8,940 US$6,980 US$8,790 US$11,560 Draft Invoice
An investment company will allow our Clients to pool their investors’ capital and invest this money on their behalf. However, this business activity will require the owners of the company to file an application with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). For fund management, the application will take one of two forms: either i) an application for a registered fund management company or ii) an application for a Capital Markets Services license.
Registered fund management companies are limited to 30 accredited or institutional investors, up to 15 of whom may be other funds invested in by accredited individuals. Investors qualify as “accredited” under Singapore’s Securities and Futures Act if they have either i) net assets of more than S$2,000,000 or ii) annual income greater than S$300,000. There is a cap of S$250,000,000 on assets under management for this kind of fund manager.
Capital markets services (CMS) licences, on the other hand, are much more flexible. Although further accreditation is required from the MAS to offer services to retail investors, CMS-licensed fund managers have no limits on the assets under management or number of investors.
CMS-licensed fund managers must maintain core capital levels of at least S$250,000, of which at least S$100,000 must be deposited with the MAS. Annual audits are required to ensure that this and other compliance requirements are met.
All registered and licensed fund management companies must have two directors resident in Singapore with at least 5 years’ experience in financial services to establish a track record. They also require two local employees, one of whom must be the CEO and the other an Executive Director, with each of these staff having at least 5 years’ experience. If the CMS-licensed manager has authorization to work with retail investors, a third staff member is needed and the CEO requires 10 years of experience.
15 steps to register a company(Back to Top)
After our Client’s Singapore business is setup, there are annual statutory compliance requirements which must be timely completed. These compliances include:
- Consultation phase: Prior to starting the Singapore company incorporation process, we discuss our Client’s aims and requirements for the new company and plan the optimal structure for the business. Healy Consultants also sets out i) potential licensing requirements and ii) desirable amendments to the model articles and memorandum of association at this stage.
- Name reservation: Choose three unique names for the company, listed in your order of preference. The name must be sufficiently dissimilar from other companies already registered in Singapore. As Singaporean law only allows residents to file company names, Healy Consultants makes the name submission on behalf of our Clients. Check the availability of your ideal Singapore company name now;
- Ownership structure and share allotment: Name up to 50 shareholders for the company. Companies and individuals may be shareholders, but companies with corporate shareholders require an annual audit. Determine the number of shares to be issued to each shareholder and the price to be paid for each share. There are no restrictions on your choice of share price;
- Director selection: Name your company’s directors, at least one of whom must be resident in Singapore. Corporate directors are not permitted in Singapore. Healy Consultants will prepare Form 45 for our Clients preferred directors to sign;
- Company secretary: Appoint a company secretary to manage your company’s statutory administration and annual returns. The company secretary must be located in Singapore and may be an individual or a company. Before the appointment is formalised, the preferred company secretary will sign Form 45B in compliance with Section 173(4A) of the Companies Act. Healy Consultants includes company secretarial services in our standard Singapore incorporation package;
- Registered office: All companies in Singapore must file an address with the companies registry to which official correspondence can be kept and statutory records can be inspected. Either use the address your team will occupy in Singapore or make use of Healy Consultants’ registered address service, which we include as standard in our service offering;
- Company constitution: The shareholders sign the company’s constitution, which governs the management of the business. The company constitution replaced the memorandum and articles of association in January 2016 following changes to the Companies Act. Singaporean company law provides a standard document that will suit most of our Clients’ needs, and Healy Consultants’ legal team can draft changes to fit your specific requirements. This document must make reference to the company’s i) share capital ii) registered address iii) directors and iv) limited liability. You can find Singapore’s model constitution for private companies online;
- Planning phase: At this point, we take all of the information provided to plan the process in detail from start to finish, including i) company incorporation ii) tax registration iii) corporate bank account opening and iv) obtaining applicable licences. Engagement planning is a key part of Healy Consultants’ service, increasing transparency, setting Client expectations and minimising disruption to project completion;
- Document preparation: Next, Healy Consultants gathers all of the documents required to complete the incorporation, assisting our Clients to complete and authenticate all necessary documents.
- Document submission: Once the required documentation is complete, including signed Form 45, Form 45B and Form 29, Healy Consultants submits the incorporation package to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) via the online portal Bizfile;
- Incorporation approval: Within 3 days of submission, the company will be incorporated. Following Singapore company incorporation, Healy Consultants immediately emails our Client with the certificate of incorporation and company extract (view sample of a business profile).
- Bank account opening: Once incorporated, the company can apply for a corporate bank account. With Healy Consultants’ help, this can be achieved without you needing to travel;
- Additional registrations: The company can now register for GST, apply for employee visas and obtain government grants and incentives;
- Licensing: Good governance requires that certain business activities require licences in Singapore. Healy Consultants regularly assists Clients with navigating the Singaporean regulatory environment and obtaining the necessary licences;
- Engagement completion: Following the receipt of all necessary approvals and documents, Healy Consultants couriers a full company kit to our Client, including original corporate documents, unopened bank correspondence and a Client feedback survey.
- Appointing a resident company secretary within 6 months (if not already provided by Healy Consultants);
- Fixing the company’s financial year end (FYE);
- Appointment of auditors – companies requiring compulsory audit are those with annual revenue above S$10m, assets above S$10m or over the number of employees is 50 and above;
- Providing the company secretary with up to date accounting records to enable filing of the Annual Return with ACRA within 6 months of the FYE and the Annual Tax Return by November of the next year;
- Notifying the company secretary of any changes in the corporate structure (directors, shareholders) and beneficial ownership;
Refer to the Singapore accounting & tax, legal and compliance considerations page for more informtion.
Business setup in Singapore for foreigners
Almost all industries in Singapore are fully open to foreign investors, without them being subject to higher paid-up capital amounts, licensing obligations or other extra requirement compared to locals. Foreign businessmen can also manage their Singapore company from overseas: while Singapore authorities require all locally incorporated companies to have a resident director, they allow foreigners to appoint a professional passive nominee to comply with this requirement. Other directors can live overseas and Board meetings do not need to take place in Singapore.
However, foreigners starting a company or a corporate bank account in Singapore are required by the Government to abide by slightly different requirements than Singapore residents. Refer to the table below for additional details:
Item required for Singapore citizens and residents? Foreigners living outside of Singapore? Why is it requested for foreigners? ID documents of corporate/individual shareholders and directors Copy can be certified by Healy Consultants and other corporate service providers Must be certified by a Notary or alternatively legalized To confirm the ID proof is a valid one and prevent identity theft Appointment of a company secretary Not required Always required To ensure that foreigners benefit from the assistance of a Singapore Company Law expert Resident director Not required Always required until at least one of the foreign directors has Singapore a work permit Ensure that somebody in Singapore is always accountable to prevent company misuse
Accounting and tax considerations(Back to Top)Healy Consultants assists our Clients’ timely discharge their annual legal, accounting and tax obligations.
- Singapore corporation tax is 17% for tax resident Singapore companies for i) local sourced income or ii) foreign sourced income remitted to Singapore;
- The government does not levy a capital gains tax. Even the GST is charged at a low rate of just 7%;
- Personal income tax in the country follows a progressive system and ranges between 2% and 20%;
- A company incorporated in Singapore but deemed as non-resident by the authorities is legally tax exempt if all income and profits are derived from overseas. Consequently, a properly structured Singapore company can be an excellent entity to legally book global income. If certain criteria is met, it is possible for the foreign income of a Singapore resident company to be legally tax exempt;
- If a company is managed and controlled in Singapore, then it is considered tax resident. However, if it is managed and controlled by directors and members residing outside Singapore, then it is considered as non-tax resident. Therefore, foreign sourced income which is not remitted to Singapore, is completely exempt under the Singapore tax law;
- For a new registered Singapore resident company that have no more than 20 shareholders throughout the basis period for that year where all of the shareholders are individuals holding the shares in their own names, or at least one shareholder is an individual holding at least 10% of the issued ordinary shares of the company, entrepreneurs enjoy tax rebate on the profit in the first three financial years. A 100% tax exemption is possible on the first S$100,000 (US$78,000) and 50% tax exemption on the next S$200,000 (US$157,000). The effective rate for a company with S$300,000 of annual income during this period is 5.7%. Click here to access our corporation tax calculator;
- Singapore tax resident companies benefit from the country’s 76 double taxation treaties which minimize global withholding tax;
- Singapore’s recent budgets (2008-2014) have introduced a number of tax reductions and credits for research & development activity. Singapore’s tax authorities released the latest R&D tax guide in January 2015. Find out more about Singapore tax incentives;
Tax exemptions and rebates
Tax reporting, accounting and auditing considerations
- Singapore tax reporting is easy, all returns can be submitted online. The Singapore tax authority are extremely efficient and organized;
- All Singapore incorporated companies must file their Corporate Tax Return by the filing deadlines: 15 Dec for e-file and 30 Nov for paper file. Thereafter a notice of assessment will be issued to the Singapore company for corporate tax settlement. The Singapore company can pay the tax bill over 12 months, interest-free monthly installments;
- Healy Consultants is happy to assist our Client to discharge their annual accounting and tax obligations, Healy Consultants estimate annual professional fee for such service is US$2,300. Singapore-registered companies;
- In accordance with GST Law, a Singapore Company is obliged to register for GST if annual sales exceeds or is expected to exceed S$1 million in any calendar year. Healy Consultants will be happy to assist you with GST registration for a one time fee of US$550;
- Annual unaudited financial statements are submitted to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) within 6 months of the end of the accounting year. Our firm is a specialist in accounting and bookkeeping services;
- An annual statutory financial audit is not required if corporate turnover is less than US$4 million and there is no corporate shareholder;
- In accordance to Section 197(1)(b) the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) imposes a penalty of S$300 for late filing of the annual return. The company director(s) are responsible to ensure an Annual General Meeting is timely held and the Annual Return is filed within 1 month of the same. Failure to comply is considered an offense and can lead to prosecution of the director(s).
Singapore company tax exemption package
- If properly structured, a Singapore company can be legally tax exempt if certain criteria are met;
- Press this tab to view a sample draft invoice for our standard Singapore offshore package.
Healy Consultants fees for accounting and tax support
Singapore accounting and tax task US$ Singapore active company unaudited annual tax and accounting 2,300 Singapore dormant company unaudited annual tax and accounting 950 Singapore active company audited annual tax and accounting 5,950 Singapore GST quarterly reporting 550 Singapore annual personal tax return 1,950 Singapore company residence certificate 950 IRAS written confirmation of legal tax exemption 1,500 Average monthly bookkeeping services 550
Monthly bookkeeping serviceHealy Consultants monthly book keeping fee US$550 includes i) receive in dropbox the monthly invoices from our Client ii) label monthly bank statement transactions iii) preparation of monthly income and expenses statement iv) highlight anomalies v) monitor monthly profit levels to minimize annual tax.
Tax exemption for start-ups
- To stimulate entrepreneurship, the Singapore government offers an extremely attractive tax exemption scheme for start-up companies. For the first three years, Singapore startups are exempt from corporate tax on the first S$100,000 and the next S$200,000 is 50% tax exempt;
- This scheme is applicable to tax resident companies that i) have less than 20 shareholders and ii) are not investment holding nor property development companies;
- Year four onwards, partial tax exemption will apply to all tax resident companies as follows: 75% on the first S$10,000 and 50% on the next S$290,000.
It is important our Clients’ are aware of their personal and corporate tax obligations in their country of residence and domicile; and they will fulfill those obligations annually. Let us know if you need Healy Consultants’ help to clarify your annual reporting obligations.
Legal considerations(Back to Top)
Singapore company laws
- The Singapore online public register records details of a Singapore company directors and shareholders, including names and addresses and passport numbers. Some of our Clients’ ask Healy Consultants to be the professional passive nominee shareholder or director;
- Every company must lodge an annual return confirming relevant details of the company for the public register including names and addresses of all directors, address of principal place of business and details of shareholders and their shareholdings;
- Singapore has an efficient, transparent legal system. All parties, regardless of their nationality, will be offered the right to due process under the law. Singapore is party to the UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards; arbitration in other countries that also follow the convention will be enforceable in Singapore;
- The Constitution of the country bars all resident firms from discriminating against employees on the grounds of religion, race, descent and place of birth. All resident companies are barred from releasing private information about individual without his/her consent;
- The Competition Act mandates all resident firms to gain approval from the Government in regards to M&A matters;
- A Singapore company is exempt from the annual statutory independent audit if i) corporate turnover is less than US$4 million and ii) there are no corporate shareholders;
- The process of deregistering a company is dictated by the Government will take a minimum of 6 months. Healy Consultants fee to project manage company de-registration is US$1,450. During this 6 months period it is mandatory to maintain a resident company secretary and a legal registered office. Following legal company de-registration, our Client is i) no longer allowed to conduct business through that entity ii) no longer obliged to submit annual tax returns and iii) no longer to prepare annual financial statements;
- The Memorandum of Association is a contract between the shareholders and comprises i) company activities ii) registered office address iii) shareholder and director details iv) share capital v) profit distribution method;
- A private Singapore company is required to maintain both a local registered address and a local resident company secretary, who must be appointed within 6 months of incorporation.
Singapore employment regulations considerations
- In accordance with Singapore’s Employment Act of 1955, employment contracts must always state: i) the employee and employer’s full name ii) job title, main duties of the employee iii) start date of employment and duration iv) working hours and rest day(s) v) basic salary and overtime rate of pay vi) numbers of public holiday, annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave and childcare leave vii) probation viii) CPF contributions (if any) and ix) notice period for contract termination;
- There is no minimum wage in Singapore. However, salaries in Singapore for skilled employees tend to be high. The median gross salary income (including CPF contributions) reached S$3,800 in 2014, according to the Statistics Bureau of Singapore;
- In accordance with Singapore regulations, employers must also register all Singapore nationals and permanent resident employees no later than 1 week from the commencement of their contracts with the Central Provident Fund (CPF);
- For each citizen or permanent resident employee, employers’ monthly contributions to CPF represents 17% of the employee’s gross salary. The employer must also deduct each month employee’s gross salary contributions of 20% and remit the corresponding amount to the CPF. These rates vary slightly for new permanent residents and employees over 55 years old;
- The standard working time is i) 9 hours per day and ii) 44 hours per week. Overtime work must be compensated by an extra payment of at least 50% of the standard rate of pay. All starting employees are entitled to at least i) 14 days of paid sick leave ii) 11 days of paid national holidays and iii) 7 days of paid annual leave per year. See this page for further details on employee paid leave practices in Singapore. However, most local employers offer 14 days of paid annual leave per year;
- When terminating a contract for other reasons than disciplinary ones, both employer and employee must provide a notice period (or equivalent payment) of at least 1 week for employees who have been with the company less than a year. After the first year, the notice period increases to two weeks for employees with less than 5 years’ tenure, then one month thereafter;
- Wages of employees working in Singapore will be subject personal income tax. Prevailing rates for residents are progressive from 0% to 20%. For non-residents, salary income is taxed at a flat 15% rate and directorship fees are subject to a 22% flat rate.
Click here to calculate your Singapore corporate tax
Fill in the form below and see the total tax your company may have to pay and the effective tax rate:
How to do business in Singapore(Back to Top)
- It is very important to understand the business culture in Singapore:
- Saving face is of immense importance to Asian Chinese businessmen and employees. All negative remarks or comments should be made in private to avoid embarrassing the other party;
- A business card should be given to everyone attending the meeting with both hands and the front of the card should face the recipient. When receiving a business card, take time to look and comment about the card to show respect;
- Chinese individuals are generally averse to fee negotiations and attention should be paid to ensure that a Chinese business partner is not offended by your negotiations;
- Singaporean business communication is very polite, with questions often worded with a yes/no format, such as “would you like to or not?”;
- Asian customers invariably focus on price, no matter how hard you sell the intangible benefits. Price drives most business negotiations;
- The inviting party of a business social event usually picks up the bill. The other party can reciprocate next time around.
- Singapore is a multicultural country with a diversified mix of ethnic Chinese, Malays, Indians and global expatriates:
- It is difficult to categorise the different cultural groups and each has its own business etiquette. Malays are likely to frown upon handshakes between people of opposite gender, while traditional Chinese businessmen are likely to bow in place of a handshake;
- English is the working language while the other official languages are Chinese, Malay and Tamil;
- If you have Malay business partners, avoid conducting business on Fridays or during the Ramadan month. Avoid products made from pigskin and alcohol because these goods contravene the laws of Islam;
- If you are planning to give gifts to Chinese business partners, avoid giving anything in a set of four because the number 4 rhymes with the word for death. Clocks are also considered inappropriate gifts, as the Chinese expression for ‘giving clock’ has connotations to death;
- If you are dining with Indian counterparts, do be mindful that they do not consume beef.
- It is essential to be well-connected and well-informed in Singapore:
- Government agencies play an important role in business in the country. It is important to have patience and exercise restraint because the authorities will always have the final say. Ring the authority anytime as they are very helpful;
- Make friends with your local Clients and suppliers. Singapore’s business culture is based on extra caution and it is important to develop trust before starting work together;
- To increase business certainty, we encourage our Clients to consistently use and sign legal contracts of service.
- Some interesting facts about Singapore which might help in your business dealings include:
- Singapore is the best business gateway to Asia as it is in the center of Southeast Asia. Countries like Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam and Taiwan are accessible by at most a three-hour flight;
- Singapore is considered the premier financial hub of Asia, housing hundreds of financial companies, insurance companies, banks and asset management companies, earning low tax profits within a liberal economy free of exchange controls;
- Singapore offers highly luxurious residential facilities. With a strategic location for wealthy Asian entrepreneurs, the city currently caters to the world’s highest percentage of millionaires;
- Singapore is Asia’s most livable city, comprising i) a cosmopolitan, multinational population ii) high quality office and residential accommodation iii) reliable power and utilities and iv) first-class hotels, hospitals and schools;
- Singapore has agreed to commit to the standards set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which help maintain Singapore’s reputable image as a secure and long-term solution for many entrepreneurs;
- Singapore is the 3rd most densely populated country in the world even though it is among the 20 smallest countries in the world;
- Singapore Changi Airport has been voted the world’s best airport for four consecutive years.
- It is very important to understand the business culture in Singapore:
Interesting facts about Singapore(Back to Top)
- Singapore is the best business gateway to Asia because of its strategic location. Located in the centre of Southeast Asia, a three hour flight will connect you to major markets such as Hong Kong, China, Vietnam and Taiwan, with Malaysia and Indonesia less than an hour away;
- Singapore is considered the premier financial hub of Asia. The country’s financial centre houses hundreds of financial companies, insurance companies, banks and asset management companies, earning low tax profits within a liberal economy free of exchange controls;
- Singapore is Asia’s most liveable city, comprising i) a cosmopolitan, multinational population ii) high quality office and residential accommodation iii) reliable power and utilities and iv) first-class hotels, hospitals and schools;
- The country is made up of 1 main island and 63 smaller islands, most of which are uninhabited;
- It is also among the 20 smallest countries in the world. However, it is the 2nd most densely populated country in the world;
- The country’s name comes from the term ‘Singapura’ which literally means Lion City. In 13th century, an Indonesian prince saw an animal that he thought was a lion and hence, the name;
- The Merlion (half fish and half lion) is the most popular symbol of the country. The fish represents Singapore’s past as a small sea town while the lion represents the creature which the Indonesian prince saw;
- Singaporean national anthem ‘Majulah Singapura’ is actually sung in Malay;
- The highest point in the country is Bukit Timah Hill which is only 164 meters high;
- The world’s first night zoo, Night Safari, is located in Singapore;
- Singapore’s Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has a greater variety of trees than in all of North America;
- Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park is the world’s highest man-made waterfall;
- Singapore’s Suntec City has the world’s largest foundation;
- Singapore is made up 63 islands and has increased in size by 25% since independence;
- Singapore boasts the fastest walkers on the planet, just ahead of Copenhagen and Madrid;
- Singapore’s Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has a greater variety of trees than in all of North America.
Singapore FAQs(Back to Top)
- How do I form a Singapore entity?
Incorporating a Singapore entity is done through the Accounting and Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA). Healy Consultants provides Singapore incorporation and corporate secretarial services. Consequently, our firm will assist in our Clients in incorporating a company in Singapore and opening a corporate bank account. Following business setup, the company must register for goods & sales tax (GST). Also, annual financial statements and tax returns must be submitted to both ACRA and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)
- What type of company/entity/corporate structure can I incorporate in Singapore?
A limited liability company (LLC) is the most common entity used by foreign entrepreneurs to conduct international business. Other corporate structures include Branch Company and Representative Office. A LLC is allowed to engage in any commercial or industrial activity. A foreign branch is allowed to invoice, sign contracts and receive income from local customers, while a representative office is limited to business promotion and conducting market research for the parent company.
- Who can incorporate a limited company in Singapore?
Any individual above the age of 18 can register an entity through a Singapore incorporation service provider.
- Why incorporate a company in Singapore?
Singapore is a low-tax jurisdiction with government incentives to benefit foreign entrepreneurs. Furthermore, it is possible to engage in offshore company incorporation in Singapore, which can be legally 100% tax-exempt.
- Am I required to travel to incorporate a Singapore company?
No. Our Clients will not be required to travel to complete the Singapore company incorporation process.
- Am I required to visit Singapore to open a bank account?
No, we can open a bank account without our Clients having to travel.
- Can my company be 100% foreign owned?
Yes, wholly foreign owned companies can be incorporated in Singapore and must comply with basic requirements such as: local resident director and company secretary, registered address, and appoint audit within three months of incorporation.
- If I start a business in Singapore will a resident director be required?
Yes. According to the Singapore Companies Act, a resident director can be a citizen, permanent resident or work pass holder in Singapore.
- How do I form a Singapore entity?
Healy Consultants’ video on registering a business in Singapore
Useful links for Singapore
Government and public authority websites:
- Economic Development Board
- Tax Authority
- Company Registrar
- Central Bank
- Stock Exchange
- Land Transport Authority
- Chamber of Commerce
- Changi airport
- Visiting Singapore
- Singapore blog posts – Healy Consultants
- Singapore budget 2015
- PwC’s reaction to Singapore’s budget (2015)
- Singapore Economic Development Board
- KPMG – Asia Pacific Taxation – Singapore
- Singapore Budget Commentary 2014
- Singapore Deloitte – Tax Guide
- Budget 2014: Deloitte Singapore’s reactions and comments
- PWC – Singapore Tax Summary
- Singapore Companies Act (Chapter 50)
- Comparison of The Forms of Business
- Singapore’s Exchange Rate Policy
- Healy Consultants’ Singapore vs. Hong Kong comparison video
- Country attractiveness video
- Singapore ranked most competitive city in Asia: EIU report
- Doing business in Singapore – A webinar
- CNN Business Traveller – Singapore
- Moving to Singapore, Living in Singapore
- Why foreigners invest in real estate in Singapore
- Singapore property forecast 2014