News@Precursor – One Stop Business Knowledge Center

Frequently asked questions and their answers about Singapore company formation

Whether you are conducting research or gathering information about a Singapore company formation or you already have decided to start your company in Singapore, we found that there are several questions with regards to a company formation that are frequently asked by our clients during  the process of incorporating their company in Singapore.

We have put together these frequently asked questions about Singapore company formation as well as their brief answers. We hope this helps you save some time and get answers on the company formation questions you might have. 

FAQ with answers on Singapore company formation
FAQ with answers on Singapore company formation

What are the business address related requirements when forming a Singapore company?

A local registered address is mandatory in order to incorporate a Singapore company. This must be a physical address in Singapore i.e a physical location and not just a Post Office Box (PO Box) address.

It is possible to use a residential address as Singapore company registered office.  However, prior approval from the Housing Development Board (for HDB flats) or Urban Redevelopment Authority (for private properties) must be obtained.

How much paid-up capital is required when forming company in Singapore?

Paid-up capital is the total amount of capital that has been funded by shareholders. This is the sum of money that the Singapore company has received from shareholders for their purchased shares.

The minimum paid-up capital requirement for setting up a company in Singapore is S$1.00. There is no concept of authorized share capital in Singapore.

What are the guidelines for naming a Singapore company?

Before the registration of Singapore company can be filed, approval of the desired company name is required. If the name does not conflict with an existing company name and it does not contain any sensitive or offensive words, the approval process is quick and usually happens in less than an hour.

Is a local resident director required for incorporating Singapore company?

Yes, a Singapore company is required to have at least one local resident director. In accordance with Singapore Companies Act, such a person has to be minimum 18 years old and must be

  • Singapore citizen; or
  • Singapore permanent resident; or
  • Employment Pass holder (the Employment Pass should be from the same company for which he/she wants to act as a director); or
  • Entrepreneur Pass holder (the Entrepreneur Pass must be from the same company for which he/she wants to act as a director)
  • Cannot currently be in the state of bankruptcy

What are the ways for foreign entrepreneurs to satisfy local resident director requirements?

A foreigner entrepreneur looking to form Singapore company has several ways to satisfy the requirement of local resident director.

  1. If you have a local (Singapore resident) partner that you trust and is willing to take the role, this person can be made the director of the company.
  2. If you plan to relocate to Singapore to form and run your company, you are required to apply for work visa. You can either apply for Employment Pass or Entrepass under your new entity. Once your work visa is approved, you can act as the local resident director.
  3. Foreign entrepreneurs that which to form Singapore Company can use our nominee director service if you decide not to apply for the passes mentioned earlier. The Nominee Director service from Precursor does not require the  named individual to have shareholding in the company and he will not be involved in the company operations or banking matters.

Who can be the company secretary for a Singapore company?

A person who possesses following eligibility criteria can be the company secretary of Singapore company:

A Singapore resident (i.e. Singapore citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident, or a foreigner who has been issued with an Employment Pass or Dependent Pass);

A person who is knowledgeable about the Singapore Companies Act and he must also possess the requisite experience to fulfill the role of a company secretary.

A person who is the sole-director of the company cannot act as the company secretary. For listed company, the corporate secretary must be certified through Chartered Secretary Qualification (SAICA) course.

Can a Singapore company be 100% owned by foreign person/entity?

According to The Singapore Companies Act, a foreign person or entity is allowed to have 100% ownership of a Singapore company. There are no restrictions on type of business activities that the company can carry out and no special approvals are required. This means that Singapore Companies Act does not distinguish between local or foreign person/entity when it comes to forming Singapore company and doing business in Singapore.

How much time does it takes to form company in Singapore?

While the actual incorporation of Singapore company is fully computerized and can be accomplished in the matter of a few hours, the overall process can take anywhere from one day to few weeks depending on various factors. This includes:

  • Gathering the required documents: There are quite a few documents that are required. Based on the recommendation of your Company Incorporation service provider, collecting all the required documents may take some time. 
  • Name reservation with the authority. This is a mandatory requirement before the process for the formation of a Singapore company is started.
  • The Company will also need to pass the Singapore authorities' required due diligence check to abide to the Companies Act, on preventing Anti-money Laundering and Counter-financing of Terrorism.
  • Signing of incorporation documents: A foreigner forming a company in Singapore is required to sign several documents. While it is possible for foreign citizens to complete company incorporation formalities without being physically present in singapore, the preparation time in sending and receiving documents for signature may add additional days.

Precursor offers a full suite of services right from consultancy about Singapore company formation to actual company registration, company secretarial services, nominee director services, accounting services, tax consultancy and others. Based on our years of experience working and serving clients, high quality solution by industry expert professionals is what we are known for.

Learn more about how can we Help

5 ways to better understand the taxation system in Singapore and how it can benefit your company
Although Singapore is one of the lowest tax regime country in the world, many entrepreneurs end up paying much more than the actual tax amount. This was either due to the businesses not utilizing the benefits or exemptions provided by the government or they were fined by the authorities as they did not submit the … Continue reading "5 ways to better understand the taxation system in Singapore and how it can benefit your company"
7 frequently asked questions you should ask when you outsource your accounting Services in Singapore
According to 2015 Small Business Accounting Report, only 25% of businesses that have 11 to 25 employees have a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or controller. 46% of those having 26 to 50 employees have one CFO or controller. Even businesses that employed 51 to 100 employees sometimes do not have a financial staff on the payroll. … Continue reading "7 frequently asked questions you should ask when you outsource your accounting Services in Singapore"