You have a number of options to register a company in Singapore. The most common types of companies are ‘private limited’ and ‘public limited.’ Private limited companies require at least one director and one shareholder with a minimum paid-up capital of S$1,500. A public limited company requires at least three directors, a secretary, and a minimum of S$3,000 paid-up capital.
The paid-up capital is the amount of money that each shareholder contributes to the company.
The reason why private limited companies are the most common kind of business set up in Singapore is that it’s relatively easy and quick to do so. You can easily incorporate a company in Singapore by following these steps:
1. Select a name for your company and register through ACRA.
2. Open a bank account in the name of your company at DBS, POSB, OCBC, UOB, or Standard Chartered Bank.
3 You will need three directors who are more than 18 years old with NRIC/FIN numbers to act as the directors of your company. Directors must be Singaporeans, Singapore companies, or directors of another company in Singapore.
4. You will need at least one shareholder to act as a shareholder of your company who is also more than 18 years old with an NRIC/FIN number.
5. Prepare all the required documents for registration and submit them to ACRA together with an application fee of SGD 45.
Steps on how to incorporate a company in Singapore
1. Obtain and complete the required forms for company incorporation: A Director’s Particulars form, Notice of Incorporation, and Articles of Association. These forms are available from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) website at www.acra.gov.sg under “Forms for Companies.”
2. Obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) and file the required documents to ACRA: Form C and Form ID1 and pay an incorporation fee of S$50. ACRA will issue a company’s TIN upon incorporation, and this number must be quoted on all future correspondence with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and ACRA.
3. Deposit S$1 or more with a bank as initial capital. This deposit is required to be maintained throughout the period of three years from the date of registration.
4. Pay Stamp Duty at 0.5% on the Articles of Association of S$50 if a subscriber is a natural person or It can be deposited into an escrow account instead, in which case no stamp duty needs to be paid for subscription by subscribers who are individuals not being companies, firms, associations or other bodies corporate.
5. Organize your company by appointing a minimum of one director and one company secretary. The directors are responsible for the conduct of your company’s business, while the company secretary has responsibilities with respect to compliance with statutory requirements, maintenance of minutes and records of meetings, filing of annual returns and registration information, etc.
6. Apply for an ACRA-issued Unique Entity Number (UEN) by filling in Form C2 on ACRA’s website www.acra.gov.sg under “Forms for Companies.”
7. Obtain a tax account number from IRAS using form B or its service counterpart (available at any post office) together with the TIN assigned by ACRA before submitting this form to IRAS; otherwise, you will be subject to a default tax of 20% on the amount payable.
8. Apply for a Certificate of Incorporation from ACRA to confirm that your company has been registered and is in good standing.
The above steps will only take about two days if your forms and documents are complete and submitted to ACRA or IRAS, whichever applies. If incorporation is done by a legal practitioner, the process may be delayed as he/she is required by law to file any document which is incomplete or defective at least seven days before the filing date (i.e., within two working days after the day such documents were received).