Legal and compliance

Disclaimer: This page provides a general overview of the laws that govern all Singapore companies and businesses.

Singapore company laws

Singapore legal requirements

  1. 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;
  2. Every year following Singapore company formation, a 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;
  3. 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;
  4. 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;
  5. The Competition Act mandates all resident firms to gain approval from the Government regarding M&A matters;
  6. 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-month 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;
  7. 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. The same is filed with ACRA following Singapore company formation;
  8. After Singapore business formation, the private 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;
  9. In accordance to the latest Singapore Companies Act 2017, international companies are allowed to re-domicile to Singapore, including tax haven companies; Contact Healy Consultants Group PLC to assist with your re-domiciliation process.

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Singapore employment regulations considerations

  1. 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;
  2. 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$4,056 in 2016, according to the Statistics Bureau of Singapore;
  3. 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);
  4. 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;
  5. 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;
  6. 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;
  7. 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.

Contact us

For additional information on our accounting and legal services in Singapore, 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