In the recent past, Singapore has been marketing herself as a critical investment destination in Asia. Part of that marketing drive was to showcase the ease with which a person can register a company or business. In this regard, we have developed a guide to help people or companies that want to register in Singapore.
The most common way to register a company in Singapore is by using a private limited liability company. There are several advantages to registering a private limited liability company. First, it becomes a separate legal entity, and the owners/shareholders are protected from debts that the company may incur to the extent of the amount they contributed as capital. For ease of reference, the rules that were used to formulate the guide to Singapore company registration are contained in the Singapore Companies Act.
Prerequisites for Registering a Business
In Singapore, the following information should be provided when registering a business:
- Name of the company should be approved before the registration process starts.
- The list of directors and shareholders. One of the directors must at least be a resident in Singapore. One being a citizen determines residency, some with who is employed in Singapore meaning that he/she has a valid pass for employment and a is a permanent resident. The director should also be above eighteen years with a clean and proven criminal record.
- Directors need not be shareholders. If you are incorporating a private limited company, the shareholders can be one or fifty.
- Company secretary. Once incorporated, Section 171 of the Singapore Companies Act requires that a company secretary is appointed. The company secretary must be a person who lives in Singapore.
- Capital. The paid-up capital of the entity should be more than S$1. Paid-up capital can either be the preference, ordinary or any other class of shares.
- Registered address. All the businesses should have a local address. This can be commercial or residential. Strictly no post office boxes as registered addresses.
Process of Registering a Business
Reservation of the Company’s Name
The company name should be approved before registration formally starts. The whole process is typically overseen by the company registrar who will notify you of the decision immediately. Your name should be unique and not rude or obscene. Names are generally reserved for sixty days and an additional sixty days upon applying for an extension.
Registering the Company
Once the registrar has approved the name of the company, the process of incorporation starts immediately. In case of the process delays, the company registrar will be doing a background check on areas that he feels could have gaps. For registration, S$300 is paid upfront.
Finally, once the company is registered, the company registrar will issue you with the certificate of incorporation and a company business profile. The business profile will have the name and registration number of the company, date of incorporation, principal activities, and the registered office, details of the company secretary, directors, and shareholders.