[Singapore] Foreigners’ Guide To SG Company Setup | Can Foreigners Register A Company in Singapore?

Minimum Legal Requirements to Register a Singapore Company for a Foreigner

1. Minimum Age Requirement

  • To own a company in Singapore, you must be a legal adult, at least 18 years old.
  • Anyone who meets this age requirement is eligible to start a company in Singapore.
  • The only people exempt from this, despite meeting the legal age limit, are: bankrupt individuals, legally convicted individuals

2. Resident Director

  • The director of the company must be Singaporean and available in the country.
  • Anyone that is Singaporean resident or holds the eligible employment pass qualifies. 
  • You must have at least a resident or local director when registering a company.
  • If you aren’t based in Singapore, you may need a professional service provider to help provide local nominee director services to you.

3. Local Address

  • To register a company in Singapore, the company will need to have a local address.
  • The address will need to be a physical location, not a virtual one or a P.O box.
  • This will serve as the registered office address of the company’s business operations in Singapore.

4. Company Secretary

  • The company is required to have at least one company secretary during registration.
  • The company secretary must be a Singapore resident, or have a Singapore address or work pass.
  • The secretary must be hired in Singapore.

5. Minimum Capital Requirement

  • There is a minimum capital requirement of S$1 or its equivalent in international currencies.
  • This doesn’t mean you will need only S$1 to run your company.
  • You will need to have enough money to fund the initial business operations until the company becomes financially independent.

6. Physical Presence

  • You do not need to be physically present to register a company in Singapore.
  • However, if you prefer to be, you can achieve this by obtaining a work pass and relocating to Singapore.
  • Alternatively, you can appoint a nominee resident director to stand in your stead.

Registration Process for Foreigners for a Singapore Company

1. Choosing a company type

  • The rest of the registration process will usually depend on the type of company you are creating.
  • There are three business types you can create, namely: Sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Partnership, Private Limited Company.

2. Defining the company's business operations

  • The type of business you intend to conduct.

3. Filing the registration with ACRA

  • The registration process is done online at the ACRA portal once all requirements have been met.
  • You must prove all requirements have been met before the company can be registered.
  • Documents like the approved company name, among others, will be needed in this stage.

4. Detailing the company members

  • You will be required to provide the local registered office address and the details of the resident director and secretary.
  • Identification of all registered members of the company, including shareholders, will also be needed.

Can a Foreigner Own 100% Equity of a Singapore Company?

The answer is Yes.

  • A foreigner can own up to 100% equity of a Singapore company.
  • The ownership of equity of a Singapore company may be subject to certain legal requirements like minimum age.
  • You don’t have to be in Singapore to own and run the company.

Cost of Registering a Company in Singapore

Registering a Company as a foreigner

  • The registration of your company must be handled by an approved service provider.
  • The total cost of registration is difficult to estimate most times, as it involves several processes.
  • Each process in the registration carries a different cost, with licenses costing you as well.

Main administrative fees

  • You will spend approximately S$315 on ACRA registration.
  • The first S$15 is to reserve the name of your company, subject to approval.
  • You have 60 days reservation for the company name you have chosen.
  • If you wish to extend the registration, that costs extra.
  • The main ACRA registration fee costs S$300.
  • Once ACRA confirms your registration, you will be notified via email with a business profile.

Additional administrative fees

  • To complete your set of statutory documents, a certificate of incorporation should also be purchased, for an additional cost.
  • The costs for documentation, a registered office address, company secretary fees and local director service fees should also be taken into consideration.
  • Taxes and other fees will also be necessary and cost different amounts, depending on other factors like company type.

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[Hong Kong] How to setup a Non-Hong Kong Company

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