Company Incorporation in Singapore

How to Incorporate a Business in Singapore

If you want to start a business in Singapore, you must first decide whether you want a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a limited liability company.

For entrepreneurs, the most popular choice is a limited liability company, as it is considered to be a separate legal entity from its owners and easily provides the most advanced and flexible type of business structure in Singapore.

Benefits of a company

With a company, you can enjoy many legal and tax benefits. Additionally, the liabilities of the owners are limited to the assets in the company and their personal assets are protected from business liabilities. Some key advantages of a company include being a separate legal entity, having limited liability, having perpetual succession, having an easier time raising capital, projecting a professional image to partners and employees, and easier transfer of ownership.

There are two main types of companies in Singapore: private limited companies, where there are less than 50 shareholders, and public limited companies, which have at least 50 shareholders and its shares are made available to the general public.

Entrepreneurs starting new business ventures will typically register their business as a private limited company.

An overview of the incorporation process

If you have decided to incorporate a Singapore company, the next step will be to register your company. Take note that all companies in Singapore are governed by the Singapore Companies Act (Cap 50 of the 1994 Revised Edition of the Singapore Statutes).

If you want to incorporate a company, there are two ways to go about doing so:

a. use the Singapore government’s online portal at www.bizfile.gov.sg to complete the filing and registration requirements 
b. choose the services of a professional firm to do this on your behalf.

The second option is a requirement by law for all foreigners who wish to set up a company in Singapore and is also applicable to local entrepreneurs. Due to the legal nature of a company, it is advisable to engage a professional firm to not only manage the initial incorporation, but also the on-going statutory compliance for your company.

The company incorporation process in Singapore involves two main steps:

a. registering the company name
b. incorporating the company

Additionally, all Singapore companies are registered with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

Step 1: Register your company name

The first thing you need to do is to secure a name for your company from ACRA. More often that not, the approval process for the company’s proposed name takes 1-2 hours unless the proposed name contains certain restricted words (such as bank, finance, law, media, etc) or if the name contains certain undesirable words.

A name containing restricted words might require a review and approval from a corresponding external government authority. If the name is referred to an external authority, the name approval may be delayed by a few days or even weeks. If you want to avoid the waiting time, choose a name that is not identical or similar to any existing local company names, does not infringe with any trademarks, is not obscene or vulgar, and is not already reserved.

Do note that a fee of S$15 for this process is imposed by ACRA. Once you have obtained the notice of approval, you may then incorporate your company with that name. An approved name will only be reserved for 60 days from the date of application. If needed, you may extend the name for another 60 days by filing an extension request just before the expiry date.

Step 2: Incorporate the company

The next step is filing the incorporation request and obtaining approval from ACRA. This can be completed in a few hours assuming all your incorporation documents are ready and have been duly signed by all the persons involved such as the directors and shareholders.

A registration fee of S$300 is payable to ACRA at the time of incorporating a private limited company. Once you have completed the entire registration process and received an approval notification from ACRA, your company will be legally recognized.

Choose the Helmi Talib Group to help with your company incorporation today

With the incorporation process being complicated and tedious, it is recommended to get a professional firm to help your company through the whole process. With 27 years of experience, you can rest assured leaving your incorporation needs in our hands.