Can a Foreigner Incorporate a Company in Singapore?

Can a Foreigner Incorporate a Company in Singapore?

Download Now: FREE GST 2023 GuidebookDownload Now: FREE Employment Pass ChecklistDownload Now: Free Incorporation Checklist

Starting a business in Singapore is much simpler than you would have thought. Given that you have all the important prerequisites documents, you might get done with it within a day. The country has immense popularity of being a major international hub for foreign investments and organisations. 

Incorporation of company in Singapore can be quite a breeze for a foreigner; you just need to know the requirements to look out for and do some read up to have a clearer picture on whole process. In this article, we are going to give you an outline of the requisites needed for you to set up a company in Singapore. In summary, here are the stipulated requirements: 

Requirements for Setting Up A Company in Singapore:

  • Minimum 1 shareholder 
  • 1 resident director 
  • 1 company secretary 
  • Minimum paid-up capital of S$1 
  • A local registered office address

Appointing a Director to Set Up A Company

A director is the person in charge of managing affairs of the company. He/she is often authorized to sign off on official documents on behalf of the company and/or approve bank transactions. While a company may have any number of directors, it is a requirement for Singapore-registered companies to appoint a minimum of 1 local resident director. A resident director is defined as a Singaporean citizen, a Singapore permanent resident, or a person who has been issued an EntrePass (Entrepreneur Pass) or Employment Pass 

All directors must be more than 18 years of age and must have no previous records of undischarged bankruptcy. A resolution must also be passed by the shareholders to appoint the directors. 

A foreigner will also have to engage a Singapore registered filing agent to register your company, as foreigners cannot self-register their company in Singapore. 

Here are some of the options for your local director: 

  • If you have a local partner/employee in your business, you may wish to appoint the local partner/employee as the resident director to fulfil this requirement. However, as the resident director is empowered to act on behalf of the company, it is recommended that the director is a trusted and has knowledgeable in business dealings. 
  • If you do not have a local partner/employee, engage a registered filing agent e.g. Sprout to incorporate your company with a resident nominee director. Sprout can provide experienced nominee director who will help to ensure that the company is compliant with local ACRA and IRAS requirements.  
  • If you wish to apply for a work pass and work in Singapore, you may opt for Sprout’s Onshore package. In this package, Sprout will provide an interim nominee director while assisting you to apply for an Employment Pass (“EP”). You may fulfil the role of resident director when your EP is approved, and you relocate to Singapore while Sprout’s nominee director can step down.  

Other Company Registration Requirements

Before registering, you will need to get your company’s name approved by ACRA. Next, the following set of documents are needed to be prepared: 

  • Signed Consent to Act as a Director for each director 
  • Signed Consent to Act as Company Secretary by the company secretary 
  • Identification and residential address details for each shareholder and officer of the company 
  • Company Constitution 

Once these incorporation documents have been prepared and signed, the filing agent can proceed with your company registration. A registered filing agent such as Sprout will also help you to prepare the incorporation documents.  

Typical Cost of Starting a Company 

The cost of starting a company in Singapore will include the ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) expenses such as:  

  • Company name application: S$15 (reserved for 60 days and there may be additional expenses) 
  • Company registration charge: S$300  

In addition, you will also be expected to pay for the professional fees related to the incorporation services and company secretary services provided by the registered filing agent.  

You will also need to transfer the stated paid-up capital to the corporate bank accounts and consider any banking charges that may be incurred while setting up the bank account. The paid-up capital can be subsequently used to pay for business expenses. 

The Takeaway

Company Incorporation in Singapore can become a really easy task provided you follow all the guidelines and procedures correctly. The key here is knowing the essential details and things to make it more simpler and hassle free.