Singapore offshore companies in 2021
- An offshore company in Singapore can also be referred to as a non resident company or a paper company;
- A non resident business in Singapore is legally tax exempt if certain conditions are met including i) no business conducted in the country ii) no banking within the country and iii) the company’s legal control is outside the country;
- A non resident company is also exempt of i) capital gains tax ii) withholding tax iii) value added tax iv) sales tax and v) accumulated earnings tax;
- Our firm legally registers non resident companies in Singapore supported by i) an international business bank account in Hong Kong, Malaysia or Vietnam and ii) a business address in Singapore. We also make sure that the business bank account is with a reputed top tier international bank;
- Incorporation of a Singapore offshore company can be completed within one week with a share capital of only US$1. Only one shareholder and one director will be required and they will not need to travel to complete the engagement.
- Information of Singaporean offshore companies like shareholder names, share capital and director details are publicly accessible through the ACRA website. Although this affects individual privacy, it also increases the transparency and reputation of Singapore’s offshore solutions;
- A Singapore offshore company cannot lease a physical office space in Singapore;
- A Singapore offshore company is a non-resident entity, thus such vehicle does not have access to Double Taxation Treaties;
- Our Clients who choose to register a non-resident company are not legally eligible to employ staff in Singapore, nor apply for resident or employment visas;
- A Singapore offshore company can open a corporate bank account under its name in Singapore, however all income sourced from within the country will be taxable at the standard corporate income tax rate of 17%.
Best uses of an offshore company
- An offshore entity in Singapore can conduct international trading through a legally tax exempt structure while looking good to Clients, investors, suppliers, banks and Governments;
- Corporate Clients can use Singapore offshore solutions to conduct global business while being domiciled in a reputable country with strong laws and a stable government. Singapore i) supports international arbitration ii) boasts strong contract law iii) houses laws that protect business investments and iv) is a signatory to WIPO;
- Offshore company registration allows entrepreneurs to take advantage of the strong legal system to house global trademarks and intellectual property;
- A Singapore offshore business can be a regional or global holding company and receive regular investment income including dividends and management fees;
- Some of our Clients support their companies with other off-shore services like i) offshore merchant account for tax exempt online credit card sales and ii) offshore corporate brokerage account to trade global securities while enjoying legal tax exemption;
- Our Clients, generally, incorporate Singapore offshore companies for i) international trading ii) holding companies iii) shipping companies iv) owning real estate v) owning copyright and patents and vi) for international consulting services.
Table of Comparison between Singapore onshore and offshore entities
Singapore onshore company Singapore offshore company Incorporation period 1 week 1 week Shelf companies allowed Yes Yes Minimum shareholders 1 1 Minimum directors allowed 1 1 Minimum share capital US$1 US$1 Corporate tax rate payable 16.50% 0% Bearer shares allowed No No Wholly foreign owned company Yes Yes Public register available Yes Yes Annual accounting and tax obligations Yes Yes Corporate directors allowed No No Singapore resident company secretary required Yes Yes Type of company LLC LLC Singapore bank account allowed Yes No Can buy Singapore property Yes No Can rent an office Yes No Can conduct business within Singapore Yes No Can hire staff in Singapore Yes No Annual license renewal Yes Yes Singapore national director or shareholder required No No Allowed to own shares in Singapore companies No No May own yachts registered in Singapore Yes Yes Healy Consultants company incorporation fee US$11,530 US$11,490 Draft Invoice View invoice PDF View invoice PDF
Offshore company fees and timelines
Offshore business incorporation costs in Singapore in year 1 amount to US$1,940 and annual company costs in year 2 and thereafter amount to US$600. Average engagement fees approximate US$11,490 including i) offshore Singapore company formation ii) opening an offshore corporate banking account and iii) Singapore resident director services. Press this tab to view a sample draft invoice for a Singapore offshore entity:
Annual administrative obligations
- Singapore tax law mandates that all annual unaudited financial statements be submitted to IRAS, together with the tax return. Our firm assists our Clients efficiently and effectively complete this statutory Singapore accounting obligation;
- An offshore business setup in Singapore 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 all share-holdings;
- The company must appoint a resident company secretary and a resident director and maintain a legal registered Singapore offshore business address. The majority of our Clients appoint our firm to fill these legal positions;
- The process of deregistering a Singapore based offshore formation is dictated by the Government and will take at least 6 months. Our fee to manage company de-registration is US$1,450. During this 6 month period, it is mandatory to maintain the resident company secretary and the legally registered office.
The steps to register an offshore company in Singapore
- Singapore company law only allows resident individuals with a valid SingPass account to self-register an offshore entity. Hence, the Client must engage a local company secretary such as Healy Consultants to help them in the process;
- Prior to incorporating the offshore entity, Healy Consultants and our Client agree i) the planned business activities are in compliance with local and international tax laws and meet the planned objectives ii) the directors and shareholders to be included in the corporate structure and iii) bank account location taking into account business banking and cash flow considerations. Thereafter our Client i) settles Healy Consultants’ fees ii) signs and returns our engagement letter and iii) provides us the required due diligence documentation;
- To optimizing engagement transparency and appropriately set our Client’s expectations, Healy Consultants drafts a detailed engagement project plan, mapping out weekly engagement milestones. Immediately thereafter, Healy Consultants prepares the incorporation forms, director resolutions and Healy Consultants registered office agreement for Client’s signature;
- After receipt of signed incorporation documents by the director(s) and shareholder(s), Healy Consultants appoints the resident secretary and resident director (for their offshore company in accordance with the legal requirement under s126 of the Singapore company law 1992;
- Healy Consultants legally incorporates our clients offshore company through Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) website. Immediately, we email our Client the business profile confirming the successful registration of the company. ACRA mails the Certificate of Incorporation to Healy Consultants’ office within 1 week;
- On behalf of our Client, Healy Consultants liaises with the preselected international banks agreed during the planning phase and submits a complete corporate bank account application including i) a business plan ii) personal and corporate due diligence documents and iii) completed signed bank forms. Within 3 weeks Healy Consultants secure bank account approval and provides our Client with the international banking and e-banking details;
- Following engagement completion, Healy Consultants couriers a full company kit to our Client, including original corporate documents, unopened bank correspondence and a Client feedback survey.
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Frequently asked questions
Why set up Singapore offshore companies?A Singapore non-resident company i) is exempt of capital gains tax, withholding tax, value added tax, sales tax and accumulated tax ii) enjoys a positive reputation with suppliers, Clients and investors and iii) can be an excellent global holding company. For more detailed information, please to refer to our section on “Uses of an offshore company.
How do I form a Singapore entity?Healy Consultants will register your firm with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and then courier you the certificate of incorporation. We will also open the corporate bank account for your company.
Can my offshore firm be wholly foreign owned?Yes. Your company can be wholly foreign owned.
Where should I open my offshore business bank account?For optimum business solutions, we recommend our Client open an account with HSBC, SCB or Citibank.
Will I be required to apply for business licence to form a tax free company?No. If your business activity requires a licence, then that company cannot be considered an offshore entity. Consequently, such as entity cannot be legally tax exempt.
Who will help my offshore business formation with accounting requirements?Our firm is specialist in bookkeeping and accounting services. We will your firm prepare annual financial statements.
What business visa are available?Non-tax resident Singapore companies are not eligible to apply for EP, PEP nor EntrePass visa.
Will my offshore company be tax exempt?Yes, if your company does not conduct any local business it will be legally tax exempt.
Does my offshore business setup benefit from Singapore’s double taxation treaties?No. Since, your company will already be non resident, it can not benefit under the double taxation treaties.