Singapore company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN SINGAPORE IN 2018

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 table of Singapore company registration

  • Singapore company registration only requires i) 1 shareholder, ii) 1 resident director and iii) US$1 as paid up capital;
  • Most of our Clients require Healy Consultants Group PLC to supply nominee services for one professional passive director;
  • Properly structured, a Singapore private limited can be legally exempt from Singapore corporate income tax.
SummaryTax resident LLCTax exempt LLCFree zone LLCLLPRepresentative Office
Best use of company?All purposesTrading/holdingGlobal tradingProfessional servicesMarketing & research
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?1 weekCannot trade locally1 week1 weekNot allowed
How soon can you hire staff?1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week
How long to supply company registration numbers?1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?17%0%17%0%0%
Effective tax rate on US$500,000?10%0%10%0%0%
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesYesNo
Resident director/partner/manager required?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum paid up share capital?US$1US$1US$1US$1None
Corporate bank account location?DBSSwitzerlandUOBDBSSBI
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesYesNo
VAT payable on sales to local customers?7%0%0%7%0%
Average total engagement costs?US$10,530US$10,490US$12,340US$10,530US$8,800
Average total engagement period?2 months2 months2 months2 months2 months

See full table

Accounting and tax considerationsTax resident LLCTax exempt LLCFree zone LLCLLPRepresentative Office
Statutory corporate tax payable?17%0%17%0%0%
Legally tax exempt if properly structured?NoYesNoYesYes
Must file an annual company tax return?YesYesYesNoNo
Must file annual financial statements?YesYesYesNoNo
Access to double taxation treaties?YesNoYesNoNo
Government grants available?YesNoYesYesNo
Group HQ tax incentives?YesNoYesYesNo
Company RegistrationTax resident LLCTax exempt LLCFree zone LLCLLPRepresentative Office
Minimum number of directors/managers?11111
Minimum number of shareholders/partners?1112Parent company
Minimum statutory paid up share capital?US$1US$1US$1US$1None
Shelf companies available?YesYesNoNoNo
Time to incorporate a new entity?1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week
Can easily convert to a PLC?YesYesYesNoNo
Public register of shareholders and directors?YesYesYesYesYes
Can have preference shareholders?YesYesYesYesNo
This entity will likely be regulated by?ACRAACRAACRAACRAACRA
Business ConsiderationsTax resident LLCTax exempt LLCFree zone LLCLLPRepresentative Office
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesYesNo
Can secure an import and export license?YesNoYesYesNo
Can bid for Government contracts?YesNoYesYesNo
Can secure residence visa for business owner?YesNoYesYesYes

Monthly GST reporting to the Government?No
Maximum number of staff allowed?No maximum limit
Our Client must travel for Singapore business set up?No
Can be wholly foreign owned?Yes
Maximum shareholding for foreigners?100%
Government approval required for foreign owners?No
Temporary physical office solutions available?Yes
You need a local resident as bank signatory?No
Withholding tax on payments to shareholders?0%
Must appoint an auditor?No
Dividends received are legally tax exempt?Yes
Security deposit to be kept with Government?No
Must sign an office lease agreement?No
Shareholders and directors documents to be attested?Yes
Foreign non-resident director needs a work permit?No
Shareholders and directors documents to be translated?No
Expatriate to local staff ratio?None
Other useful information
What will be included in my customer sales invoice?Read more
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?0.50%
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)0.40%
US$ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)0.10%
Overseas remittance currency controls?None
Banking considerations
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

Singapore business setup summary

Press the link headings below to read detailed, relevant, up to date information on how to do business in Singapore.

  • Advantages and disadvantages of a Singapore LLC(Back to Top)

    Advantages 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 can be as low as US$1. Furthermore, there will be no need for our Client to travel to Singapore to complete the engagement;
      • Because of the above, Singapore is positively ranked as the 6th best jurisdiction in the world for “starting a business” in the 2017 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;
      • Resident companies can enjoy a tax exemption of 75% on the first SG$10,000 of their income, and further 50% on the next SG$290,000, a total of SG$152,500. Taxable profit over SG$300,000 will be taxed at a fixed rate of 17%, the second lowest in APAC;
      • Through its network of 84 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. All thanks to Singapore’s talented labour force, relaxed regulatory framework and excellent technological infrastructure;
      • Singapore is an extremely convenient city for our international Clients, especially in terms of ease of transport and other business logistics, Apart from our regular services, we also offer several concierge services, to make our Clients’ stay in Singapore comfortable and enjoyable.
    4. Singapore highly supports start-up companies and all the budding entrepreneurs.
      • The nation has taken an initiative namely, StartUp SG that grants companies early-stage funding to support their branding, funding, and talent attraction;
      • The country is a host to more than 128 commercial banks, 31 merchant banks, and 604 holders of capital markets services license. These banks highly extend credit to all the promising budding entrepreneurs;
      • In 2018, Singapore has been ranked 1st in the Global Innovation Index for being the best-performing Asian economy in terms of innovative performance. This indicates that the country indeed has promising performance in the future in the frontier of business.
    5. Singapore offers multiple opportunities for a variety of fields and businesses:
      • It is fairly convenient to transform an existing local proprietorship or partnership into an LLC in Singapore, which allows for easier business expansion and a possible IPO application;
      • It is a global financial centre and offers a lucrative market for financial services companies. One such option is the stored value facility company which offers SVF services through prepaid cards and vouchers;
      • With a literacy rate of more than 98%, Singapore has also made a name for itself as a global education hub – two of its six public universities are ranked in the top 20 universities globally. We can also assist Clients thinking to start their own school or university with the whole process from start to finish.
    6. In 2017, Singapore is ranked the least corrupt country in Asia by graft watchdog Transparency International. Transparency is valued highly in Singapore and the incidence of public sector corruption remains one of the lowest worldwide;
    7. In addition to English, the other common official languages used are Mandarin, Malay and Tamil;
    8. Lastly, Singapore is ranked as the second-best jurisdiction in the world for “Doing Business” by the World Bank in its 2018 Doing Business Report.

    Disadvantages of Singapore company registration

    1. Singapore is a prosperous country and its consumers have relatively high purchasing power. Coupled with the fact that information is more accessible due to technology, Singapore consumers have become more meticulous and specific as to what they want. Singapore government is responsive to foreign businesses, resulting in high competition within the country. As such, a lot of effort will be required on advertising to gain market share;
    2. 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;
    3. 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;
    4. 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;
    5. 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 state Malaysia;
    6. Hiring foreign workers is difficult; the company will have to prove that local workers were not denied the work opportunity;
    7. Singapore is increasingly facing with the problem of having a limited talent pool. With Singaporean citizens and PRs mostly wanting to work in specific sectors such as Finance, Biotechnology, Data Science, Pharmaceuticals etc., it is very difficult to find local talent in other sectors such as printing, manufacturing, construction etc.
  • Best uses for a Singapore company(Back to Top)

    • Singapore company registration is a good way to invoice international customers through a reputable trading entity, while minimize local corporate taxation obligations;
    • Business registration in Singapore also enables our Clients to open local accounts with Singapore banks, which are increasingly reluctant to accept offshore corporate customers;
    • Doing business in Singapore is a great option for international trading entities specifically dealing with import and export of chemicals and chemical products, electronic parts and components, mineral fuels, transport equipment, manufacturing goods and others. These entities enjoy the strong trading ecosystem that the nation provides, as well as several other benefits through Singapore’s comprehensive network of free trade agreements.
    • Singapore has been historically renowned as a global trading hub and the port city offers an ideal location for companies to register ships for trading as well as non-trading purposes. The proximity to other trading hubs across the Asia Pacific make Singapore an obvious choice for ship registration and licensing;

Government incentives
FAQ

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Client case study
Purchasing a bank
Since 2003, Healy Consultants PLC helps multi-national Clients’ buy and sell banks

To help us find the optimum banking solution for your Firm, please complete the 5-minute questionnaire below:





  • Characteristics of bank

    In what countries would you prefer to own a bank? (In order of preference)
    1.

    2.

    3.

    4.

    5.

    Do you need the bank to own its own SWIFT code, or will an intermediary correspondent bank account suffice?
    Do you want to be the single owner of the bank?
    Are you open to being a part owner of a bank? If yes, what is your minimum expect level of ownership?
    Specifically what products do you want the bank to sell? So we can ensure the correct regulatory license is in place;
    Does your firm need a banking license to serve third parties/customers or intra group banking?
    Does your firm have a timeframe to start operating the bank?
    Is it important the bank has an existing network of correspondent bank accounts?
    What is your firm’s budget to purchase a bank?
    What is your Firm’s annual budget for maintaining the bank?
    From this page, which specific bank options are interested in?
  • About you

    Name of your company?
    Your email address
    What country & city are you based?
    Is your firm a regulated financial services company?
    Is your firm regulated by any other Government agency?
    Does you firm already have a banking license?
    How many years has your professional Firm been in business?
    Why does your firm need to purchase a bank?
    Does your firm have a track record in the banking and financial industry?
    What is your main source of income?
    Please read this web page and advise if you are agreeable with our retainer fee payment schedule?

Contact us

For additional information on our business registration services in Singapore, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. 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