Step-by-Step Guide to Singapore Company Registration

Due to its large working-class population and low corporate tax rate, Singapore is one of the best places on the subcontinent for people to establish both physical and virtual businesses.

With its biggest port, the nation is regarded as an inexpensive gold mine for exporters. 

The Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is the Company Registrar. Singapore is the nation with the biggest port, and it regulates the registration of companies in Singapore . According to ACRA, the procedure is under the section 50 of the Companies Act.

Step-by-Step Guide to Singapore Company Registration

  • Pick The Suitable Business Structure

In Singapore business registration, the most crucial step is selecting the type of business structure. Based on ACRA, there are three typical business forms: company, partnership, and sole proprietorship. 

  • A sole proprietorship is when a business owner runs all their business operations alone. It is the simplest kind of business structure that provides the business owner with total control over the business operations and total personal liability for all the debts and lawsuits the company faces.
  • From the moment when a business settles for more than just one owner, the notion of a ‘limited partnership’ comes into play. When this occurs, the general partners will do everything the aging, the cash payments, the debts, and the measuring of contracts—but not the restricted partners, who are not responsible for anything beyond what they have committed to.
  • A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is a type of business ownership wherein two or more members own separate entities. The acts of other partners do not directly affect these LLP partners.
  • Choose a Business Name

The next step is to choose a unique business name. Make sure you select unique words or phrases. Additionally, the legal name of the company and your trading name should be different. Ensure there are no copyright violations or trademark conflicts with your trading name. BizFile+ can assist you in confirming that another company is not already using a potential new business name.

  • Select a Business Address

A physical address is required by ACRA when registering a company. Whether acquired through purchase or rental, the registered address must be verified and be a valid legal property in Singapore. Using a physical address that has been approved will determine your business’s location.

Virtual properties and PO Box addresses are not accepted as business locations by ACRA. Regardless of whether your business idea is for a corporation or a small business, only legitimate physical addresses will be accepted

While one may be tempted to utilize a single address for both personal and professional needs, maintaining separate contact points holds certain benefits. While one’s residence could conveniently double as a place of work, proper authorization is required should one intend to conduct commercial activities from an abode under the purview of the Urban Redevelopment Authority or Housing Development Board.

Moreover, reserving individual addresses demonstrates a division between private and public spheres, allowing one to conduct business without concern for unintended exposure of domestic particulars and affording an degree of removal when not “on the clock,” a distinction that can promote better work-life balance.

You can submit an alternate address for a fee of $40 if you would like to protect the privacy of your personal information. You will still need to provide your residential address for ACRA’s records.

  • Select a Business Activity

When establishing a company in Singapore, you will need to provide a list of your two primary business activities to the Singapore Business Registration Authority. You can speed up the registration process by being aware of the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification Code for every activity.

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  • Check The Licensing Requirement

Once you have selected a business to start, find out whether you need the necessary license or not. Every business that operates legally in Singapore, including restaurants, employment agencies, financial services, and travel agencies, requires some form of a licensing. Such licenses have specific requirements that must be achieved, such as a minimum capital requirement or professional qualifications.

  • Reserve the Business Name

Verifying that the name you have chosen is still available is important when registering a business. You can register a new business name on ACRA Bizfile if the name you have selected is already registered by another company. 

To access it, you can take the following steps:

  • Go to Bizfile
  • Click Explorer e-Services
  • Choose a business
  • Finally, select Application for a New Business Name

Once those steps have been completed, an online form must be filled out and a $15 application fee must be paid. ACRA will then send you an email confirming approval. The cost is only for the initial registration. You will need to re-register under a different name if ACRA rejects the first one. 

  • Register the business

You can register your business entity in the ACRA BizFile once your business name has been approved. The following documents are required for submitting the application, which can be done online.

  • Information about business activities
  • Information about the shares and shareholder(s)
  • Details of the company director(s)
  • Information about the company secretary
  • Information about the registered office
  • The company’s constitution

Using BizFile for business registration is a simple process. A fee of $300 for Enterprise, $100 for Sole Proprietor, or $100 for Partnership should be expected.

Depending on the nature of your business structure, different requirements and supporting documentation will apply. 

ACRA will email you to confirm that your company has been successfully incorporated once everything is in order. You will also get an official certificate of incorporation and the company registration number.

Note that obtaining a physical certificate will cost SGD 50 and take three to five business days.

  • Open a business bank account

Following the establishment of the company, you can open a business bank account in Singapore. 

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