There is no doubt that Singapore is one of the best countries in the world to run a business. Not surprisingly, many people want to know how to set up a business in Singapore since they believe they will profit much from it. Singapore is so attractive that even foreigners plan for Singapore company incorporation as well. The good news is that the Singaporean government welcomes foreign investors too.
Who Will Own the New Company?
In Singapore, locals (such as Singaporean citizens) and foreigners can set up and own their company. This means a foreigner may retain 100% ownership over the new company in Singapore. The government also allows corporate shareholders (meaning other companies can own the new company as well). Naturally, this means you may eagerly plan for Singapore company incorporation since you can own it anyway.
However, the government imposes one requirement – only a person over 18 years of age can own shares or an entire company. This means minors cannot legally join the group of company shareholders yet.
Make Sure You Are A Singaporean Resident First
All foreigners and local citizens have to take up residence in Singapore before and during the process of company incorporation in Singapore. Your application to set up a new company will be invalidated if you are not physically present in Singapore during the incorporation phase. You may return to your home country or visit another country instead after the company has been properly registered,
Notice that you have to reside temporarily in Singapore during the incorporation process if you register your company yourself. Anyway, remember that you are not being asked to immigrate. To set up the company, you have to designate a local resident as the director of the new company. If you don’t like this option, you may apply for a valid work pass or visa then immigrate to Singapore. That way, you can be the company director instead.
Minimum Requirements to Legally Set Up a Singaporean Company
You must make sure the following rules are complied with if you want your company registration to be legal and aboveboard,
- Reserve $1 as your minimum initial paid up capital
- Designate shareholders (you need at least one and maxes out at 50 people)
- Determine who is your local director (you only need one)
- Assign one company secretary (this is due six months after you have successfully incorporated the new company)
- Indicate the new company’s registered local address
You should plan for Singapore company incorporation keeping in mind the long term benefits. This is because you still have other requirements set by the government to complete. For example, you will need a business license if you will be running an import/export company or a financial services company. You also have to present a business license if your company is a school, travel agency, restaurant, or cleaning services. This means you should plan thoroughly and do this with a foresight to avoid wasted effort.
Once you have registered your company, you must have a shareholders’ first meeting. The government requires this. In this meeting, your group needs to comply with other requirements, such as designating a local director. Another topic in that meeting is hiring support personnel for the business, such as an accountant and an auditor. You should anticipate the concerns to be aired during this meeting when you are still in the planning stage. That will help launch your new company in Singapore with great success and minimal fuss for the long term.