The entrepreneur’s start-up guide to Singapore
Since 2003, Healy Consultants PLC helps global entrepreneurs with their start-up business in Singapore. This guide was specifically written to answer frequent questions from entrepreneurs who are starting up new businesses in Singapore and need quick, simple solutions to launch their business.
- Requirements to establish a Singapore start-up company
- 5 steps to forming a Singapore company
- What is the cost to setup a company in Singapore?
- How to start a business in Singapore without capital?
- Are you a foreigner with no local business partners?
- Ready to register? Complete this checklist
- What documents will you receive after forming your company in Singapore?
- Business plan
- What Government support and incentives are available for start-ups?
- 10 good reasons for setting up a business in Singapore?
- Does your start-up belong to these sunrise industries?
- Incorporate your Singapore company from wherever you are
Requirements to establish a Singapore start-up company
The most popular type of business among start-ups in Singapore is a private limited company (Pte. Ltd) also known as Singapore LLC. Here are 6 basic requirements to start a Pte. Ltd company in Singapore:
- One resident director;
- One minimum shareholder;
- One resident company secretary;
- A business name;
- A minimum paid-up capital of S$1;
- A local address in Singapore.
For other types of companies and their requirements, read our Singapore business entities page.
5 steps to forming a Singapore company
Now that you know the basic requirements for establishing a Singapore start-up entity, here are the 5 steps to form your company.
- Reserve your company name;
- Prepare the company documents (shareholders and directors information, local address, paid-up capital etc.);
- Incorporate the company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and receiving the approved documents;
- Apply for relevant permits and licenses through LicenseOne;
- Open a business bank account.
For more detailed steps to incorporate a Singapore company, read our Singapore company incorporation steps page.
What is the cost to setup a company in Singapore?
Singaporeans/PRs can register their company directly with the Singapore companies registrar (ACRA).
Company name reservation fee: S$15
Company registration fee: S$300
A summary of company related fees can be found on ACRA website.
How to start a business in Singapore with no capital?
It is easy to start a business in Singapore with no capital as ACRA does not require any capital to register the company, the minimum share capital being SG$1. There are numerous start-up guides that can help with the planning.
Funding schemes are well known in Singapore and multiple grants and schemes are available for start-ups looking to incorporate in this jurisdiction. Some of the schemes provide financial support and some offer infrastructural support, especially in the tech, and finance sectors. The government also offers multiple incentives for businesses which aim at innovation and productivity development.
In summary, it is possible to start a business in Singapore with no capital, as long as the business idea is in line with the requirements of these schemes.
Are you a foreigner with no local business partners?
Healy Consultants can provide you with quick and simple solutions! Our fee for a basic Singapore resident company incorporation starts from US$5,000. The fees include:
- Company name reservation;
- Due diligence documents preparation;
- Company formation;
- Providing a local nominee resident director;
- Providing a local company secretary;
- Providing a legal registered office address.
Apart from company formation, most of our foreign entrepreneur Clients spend an additional S$4,000 to S$30,000 for optional services like:
- Corporate bank account opening without travel;
- Securing a valid work/entrepreneur visa;
- Passive nominee shareholder;
- Monthly Quarterly and annually income, returns and tax filing;
- Recruiting manpower;
- Bookkeeping, payroll processing;
- Trademark registration.
Refer to our Singapore company fees page to see sample invoices and to create your own invoice.
Ready to register? Start by completing this checklistDo I have a company name ready?
Do I have a comprehensive business plan?
Have I determined the optimal structure for my business?
Do I satisfy the minimum requirements of Singapore company registration? If no,
Have I found a professional and trustworthy corporate services provider to partner with?
Have I supplied all due diligence documents required by my filing agent?
Am I aware of the permits and licenses required for my business?
Have I opened a corporate bank account for my business?
Am I aware of the visa requirements?
Am I aware of the auditing and taxation requirements?
Do I know about trademark registration and IP laws?
Have I explored the grants and incentives available in Singapore for my industry?
What documents will you receive after forming your company in Singapore?
Upon successful incorporation of your new start-up, you can expect to receive the following documents from the government bodies:
- A Unique Entity Number (UEN), a Certificate of Incorporation and an extract of commercial register (“Bizfile”);
- Confirmation letter from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) sent to the local address and;
- A letter from the Singapore tax authority (IRAS) sent to local address.
Healy Consultants will ship you a full company incorporation kit that contains all original incorporation documents and letters along with a company seal.
Every entrepreneur needs to know their customers and competition before launching their business. A comprehensive business plan sets you on track to anticipating potential problems, reaching your milestones and increases your chance of successful funding.
Here’s a list of what a Singapore start-up business plan should contain:
- Your business model;
- An analysis of target customers’ wants, needs and dislikes;
- Your most viable product (MVP);
- Product pricing strategy;
- Your competitive advantage;
- Customer acquisition strategy;
- Forecast of sales, costs, break-even points and return on investments (ROI);
- Measurable KPIs;
- Your team.
Tip: Keep your business plan concise with infographics and numbers before pitching to your potential investors.
What Government support and incentives are available for start-ups?
Entrepreneurs with a quality business plan prepared are now ready to start looking for funding options. Being a highly competitive country in attracting new businesses, the Singapore government has many incentives, grants and support catered to start ups. Many of these schemes not only offer funding but also mentorship programmes.
These are the most popular incentives and schemes from the Singapore Government:
- Tax exemption for start-up companies on their first SG$100,000 income;
- The Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme;
- Start-up nurturing programs under Start-up SG scheme;
- The Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV);
- Grants and tax incentives specific to technology and R&D companies from the Economic Development Board (EDB).
To know more about other tax incentives and industry specific grants visit, SPRING Singapore or Startup SG websites.
Need assistance? Healy Consultants can assist you by sourcing for grants suitable for your business.
10 good reasons for setting up a business in Singapore?
- Ranked 1st in Asia for Ease of Doing Business 2017 and 2nd worldwide;
- Superior quality infrastructure;
- Strategic location to start business and expand in Asia;
- One of the most stable economies in South East Asia;
- Competitively low corporate tax rates;
- Quality pool of international and local talents, and proficiency in English;
- Conducive pro-business environment;
- Easily available Government funds, incentives and loans;
- Double taxation avoidance agreements (DTAA) between Singapore and 90+ countries around the world;
- Singapore trademarks, patents and other IP assets will be protected under the strict Singapore intellectual property (IP) Law.
For more advantages, read our of Singapore company registration page.
Does your start-up belong to these sunrise industries?
The Singapore government has identified the following sunrise sectors for major development plans. Entrepreneurs can expect more business opportunities and government support in these sectors:
- Automotive industries;
- Consumer products and services;
- Natural resources industries;
- Sustainable energy industries;
- Healthcare industries;
- Logistics industries;
- Information communication technology and media industries;
- Artificial intelligence and robotics industries;
- Safety and security engineering industries;
- Real-time data analytics industries;
- Space technology industries.
Refer to Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) website, to know more.
Incorporate your Singapore company from wherever you are