Yes, and yes. Shareholders of a Singapore company can be any of the following:
- A local individual,
- A foreign individual,
- A local corporate entity, or
- A foreign corporate entity.
Any of these shareholders can own 100% of the equity of a Singapore company.
The legal requirements to register a Singapore company are the same for Singaporeans and foreigners. They are as follows:
- The company must appoint a qualified local company secretary,
- The company must appoint a local address as the registered address for the company,
- The company must appoint a local resident director, and
- The company must have a minimum share capital of S$1.
No. With our online system, we can incorporate your company without being in Singapore. We can perform all necessary tasks remotely.
However, please note that Singapore banks will require you to visit Singapore and meet with them face to face to open a corporate bank account. To establish a bank account, most of our customers plan a visit to Singapore after incorporating the company.
The procedure for incorporating a new Singapore company is quite straightforward. Our company registration guide provides a detailed overview of the process, the required documents, the steps involved, and the timeline for incorporating a company. If you decide to work with us, we will follow the process described in this incorporation flowchart.
You are free to operate your company from overseas or from Singapore. Keep in mind that if you are a foreigner and wish to relocate to Singapore to run your company, you must obtain the appropriate immigration visa that will allow you to live and work in Singapore.
- You must file an Annual Return with Singapore company registrar, ACRA.
- You must file an annual corporate income tax return with Singapore tax authority, IRAS.
For more details, see annual filing requirements for Singapore companies.
Yes. Although the government makes starting and operating a Singapore company very easy and straightforward, it expects all companies to comply with its regulations. Serious penalties can apply in case of non-compliance.
Your routine annual cost for maintaining your Singapore company will consist of:
- The annual cost of corporate secretarial services, such as company secretary, registered address, and nominee local director. This cost can vary between S$800 to S$3,200 depending on the specific services you need.
- The annual cost of accounting and tax filing services, such as bookkeeping, payroll, corporate tax filing. This cost can vary between S$500 to S$3,000 depending on the specific services you need.
No necessarily. If your turnover in the past 12 months (or in the next 12 months) will exceed S$1 million then you are required to register for GST.
If desired, you can voluntarily register for GST at any time.
For more details, see our GST registration guide.
For most industries in Singapore, you do not have to obtain a license before commencing operations. However, certain industries do require a license before commencing activities. Examples include employment agencies, financial services firms, travel agencies, restaurant business, etc. You can find more information here.
Yes, you can. However, as part of the AML/CFT regulations, Singapore’s corporate regulations require the disclosure of all beneficial owners and controllers of a company in a private register. This register is accessible only to law enforcement agencies and not to the general public.
UBO stands for Ultimate Beneficial Owner. This is a term that is defined as part of Singapore's Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regulations. Singapore’s corporate regulations require the disclosure of all beneficial owners of a company.
A UBO is an individual who benefits from the ownership of the company and has control over the company through voting power, but ultimately is not involved in the management of the company. Use of the terms “ultimately owns or controls” and “ultimate effective control” refer to situations in which the ownership or the control is not direct but is exercised through a chain of ownership or by means of control other than direct control.
Singapore provides one of the most welcoming environments for startups. Several tax benefits and cash grants are available to startups. Some examples include:
- Full tax exemption on the first S$100,000 of profits and 50% tax exemption on the next S$200,000 of profits for the first 3 years. Note that from Year of Assessment 2020 this incentive will be changed to 75% tax exemption for first S$100,000 of profits and 50% exemption on the next S$100,000 in profit for the first 3 years.
- A tax credit of up to 100% of the capital expenditure incurred for qualifying projects during the first five years (up to eight years in some cases).
- 400% tax deduction or allowance on expenditures that enhance productivity or innovation.
- Several cash grants available to startup in targeted industries.
For more details, see our article on business incentives.