The Ultimate Guide on Company Incorporation in Singapore

Section 1: The Ultimate Guide on Company Incorporation in Singapore

Company registration in Singapore is a straightforward process that can be completed online. To register a company, you will need to have at least one shareholder, one director who is a Singapore resident, a company name, and a physical address in Singapore.

Once the registration process is complete, you will need to open a corporate bank account, register for taxes, and obtain any necessary licenses or permits to operate your business. Singapore also offers various government incentives and tax breaks for companies that meet certain criteria, making it an attractive location for businesses looking to expand in the Asia-Pacific region.

The requirements to register a Singapore business, applicant will need to have a local Singapore address, a company secretary and a resident director. Besides, Singapore businesses are taxed on company profits, not on dividends issued to shareholders. One of the corporate incentives that make Singapore one of the world’s most business-friendly cities is its low tax rates.

Singapore offers only 1-2 days to set up a business for business owner to begin running a business straight away, especially with the flexible immigration policies it offers.

Singapore is comfortably diverse with a good tax system in place and a safe environment for investors to conduct their business dealings. The country’s relaxed, stable lifestyle offers a good work life balance. The country is free from natural disasters and has a good, sound government ruling the country which are among the reasons businesses thrive so well here.


A. Brief overview of the business landscape in Singapore

Singapore is one of the world's most business-friendly economies, with a stable political environment, low corruption, and a strong legal system. It has consistently ranked high in global rankings of ease of doing business, making it an attractive destination for foreign investors and entrepreneurs.

Singapore is known for its openness to trade and investment, with a pro-business government that actively encourages entrepreneurship and innovation. The country has a strategic location at the crossroads of major trade routes, making it an important hub for logistics and transportation.

The economy is highly diversified, with key sectors including finance, logistics, manufacturing, and technology. The government has also been actively promoting the development of high-tech industries such as biotech, cleantech, and fintech, through initiatives such as tax incentives and research grants.

Overall, Singapore offers a favorable business environment with a highly skilled workforce, modern infrastructure, and a supportive government. These factors have made it a popular choice for companies looking to expand into Asia or set up a regional headquarters.

Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM)

Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia, or the Companies Commission of Malaysia, is the regulatory body responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Companies Act 2016 and other related legislation in Malaysia. Its role is to oversee the incorporation, registration, and administration of companies and businesses in Malaysia.

Some of the specific functions and responsibilities of the Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia include:

  • Incorporating companies and businesses (including sole proprietorship and partnership) in Malaysia.
  • Maintaining a register of companies and businesses (including sole proprietorship and partnership) registered in Malaysia.
  • Ensuring compliance with the act and regulation
  • Monitoring and enforcing the filing of annual returns, financial statements, and other required documents.
  • Investigating complaints of non-compliance or misconduct by companies and taking appropriate enforcement action

Requirements of Setting Up a Company Incorporation in Singapore

  1. Company name: Choose a unique name for your company that is not already registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

  2. Directors: Appoint at least one director who is a resident of Singapore (Singapore citizen, permanent resident or Employment Pass holder). Directors must be at least 18 years old and have no record of bankruptcy or malpractice.

  3. Shareholders: Your company must have at least one shareholder, who can be an individual or a corporate entity.

  4. Company secretary: Appoint a qualified company secretary within six months of incorporation. The secretary must be a natural person who is a resident of Singapore.

  5. Paid-up capital: There is no minimum paid-up capital required to register a company in Singapore, but it is recommended to have at least S$1.

  6. Registered address: You must have a registered address for your company in Singapore.

  7. Memorandum and Articles of Association: Prepare and file the company's Memorandum and Articles of Association with ACRA.

  8. Business licenses and permits: Depending on the nature of your business activities, you may need to obtain licenses or permits from relevant government agencies.

Benefits of company incorporation in Singapore

There are several advantages to incorporating a company in Singapore, including:

1. Strong legal and regulatory framework

Singapore has a well-developed legal and regulatory framework, which provides a stable and secure environment for businesses. This includes a well-established legal system, strong intellectual property protection, and a business-friendly regulatory environment.

2.       Strategic location

Singapore is strategically located in Southeast Asia, providing businesses with easy access to regional markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Singapore also has a modern and efficient transportation and logistics infrastructure, making it a hub for international trade and commerce.

3.       Competitive tax regime

Singapore offers a competitive tax regime, with low corporate tax rates and a range of tax incentives and exemptions for businesses. This makes it an attractive location for businesses looking to minimize their tax liabilities. Particularly towards SMEs, include up to S$200,000 of your company’s income being exempt from corporate taxes. The exemption is applicable for the first 3 financial years, and if your company fulfills certain shareholder requirements.

 Even where tax is payable by your company, it will be at a flat taxation rate of 17%, which is a far lower corporate tax rate than other developed regional economies, such as Japan and South Korea.

4.     Easy company incorporation process

The process of incorporating a company in Singapore is relatively straightforward and can be completed quickly. This includes online registration, which can be done in as little as one day.

5.     Good infrastructure

Singapore has a well-developed infrastructure, including a reliable telecommunications network, world-class transportation system, and modern office facilities. This makes it easy for businesses to operate efficiently and effectively.

6.     Business-friendly environment

Singapore is known for its business-friendly environment, which includes a strong commitment to free trade, low levels of corruption, and a supportive government that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation.

7.     Rule of Law

Singapore recruits its “best and brightest” citizens into its civil service and pays them extremely well so that there is little temptation for corruption. If any official misconduct is discovered, Singapore has meted out harsh punishment for such corruption. As a result of these policies, the country now ranks as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. Furthermore, a modern regulatory framework provides strong protections for intellectual property, there is no expropriation of country’s wealth by its elites, and commercial courts function well to ensure that contracts are enforced.

Disadvantages of company incorporation in Singapore

Some of the disadvantages of company incorporation in Singapore include a high cost of living and doing business, a competitive business environment, and strict government regulations. Additionally, it can be difficult to find and retain skilled talent due to a tight job market. However, despite these challenges, Singapore remains an attractive destination for businesses due to its stable political climate, business-friendly policies, and strategic location in Southeast Asia. While incorporating a company in Singapore offers many advantages, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider, including:

1.     High costs

Setting up a company in Singapore can be expensive, particularly when it comes to office rental costs, labor costs, and regulatory compliance fees.

2.     Strict regulations

While Singapore's business-friendly environment is a major advantage, it is also known for its strict regulatory regime. Companies operating in Singapore must comply with a range of regulations, including those related to employment, intellectual property, and data protection.

3.     Limited domestic market

Singapore has a relatively small domestic market, which means that businesses operating in Singapore may need to look beyond the country's borders to achieve growth and expansion.

4.     Shareholder limit

A private limited company must have a minimum of 1 shareholder and cannot exceed a maximum of 50 shareholders. Furthermore, Singapore allows for 100% company ownership by foreign shareholders. Requirement for a resident director: If you're incorporating a private limited company in Singapore, you'll need to appoint at least one director who is a resident of Singapore. This means they need to be a Singapore citizen, permanent resident, or hold an employment pass or dependent pass. The result is that it may slow down daily operations or limit your growth

5. Personal liability for company directors

While incorporating a company limits the personal liability of shareholders, directors of the company can still be held personally liable for any illegal actions or debts incurred by the company. This means that directors need to be very careful and ensure that the company is operating within the law at all times.

6. Limited tax treaties

While Singapore has a good reputation as a low-tax jurisdiction, its network of tax treaties with other countries is relatively limited. This means that if you have business interests in other countries, you may end up paying more tax than if you had incorporated your company in a jurisdiction with a more extensive network of tax treaties.

To subscribe accounting, bookkeeping, taxation service from Altomate, contact