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The Definitive Guide to Regulatory Compliance in Singapore

Singapore widely has a reputation as the easiest destination to set up a profitable company. It is because it has a highly transparent and strict legal compliance to be incorporated by the companies collecting profits in Singapore.

The Definitive Guide to Regulatory Compliance in Singapore

Singapore widely has a reputation as the easiest destination to set up a profitable company. It is because it has a highly transparent and strict legal compliance to be incorporated by the companies collecting profits in Singapore.

The strict regulatory compliances makes it convenient for the investors, stockholders, and other companies to get a brief idea about the company.

The incorporated company must function according to government compliance, including certain rules set up by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

Most statuary measures are followed post-incorporation. These regulations that have strict compliance for certain risk management need to comply with the stipulated timelines. Let us discuss the key factors of regulatory compliance according to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore(IRAS) with the essential corporate regulatory compliance.

Company Act Requirements

According to Singapore law, there are some basic requirements in the Singapore incorporated bodies. These laws are to be adhered to by all the corporate bodies with immediate effects for the smooth functioning and collecting the revenue. According to the Singapore compliance requirement, a professional corporate services firm in Singapore can attend to these requirements. It is prudent for the companies to set up their infrastructure according to the regulatory compliance of Singapore, which is to be regulated necessarily in timely intervals.
Registered Office

The Singapore-based company must have a registered office with a valid office address and authenticated communication network. According to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) company must have a valid physical location in the region of Singapore. The office must be accessible to the public and open for at least three hours or more on all business working days. The companies can acquire the property or rent it through various sources for mail forwarding and other essential official formalities on a registered address.

Company Secretary

All the companies functioning in Singapore must have an active company secretary responsible for functioning in Singapore. The company secretary holds the responsibility that the company compiles all the laws and regulations of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). In any case, the post of Company secretary cannot be kept vacant for more than six months. The company director can also behold the responsibility of company secretory and ensure the company compliance to be followed as per the Singapore laws.

Resident Director:

The companies active in the arena of Singapore must have an active director who should be a valid resident of Singapore with a permanent residential address. Suppose a foreigner is the resident director of the company. In that case, the individual must attain the valid Employment Pass (EP), which states their roles and responsibilities acting as the company’s director. Here are some of the essential regulations which a director must follow:

  • Director must be at least 18 years or more
  • The company director should not be undischarged bankrupt
  • Have the authoritative permission for acting as a director with prior qualifications
Data Protection Officer

Any corporate organization active in Singapore must have a strict data protection policy and a data protection officer under the Singapore Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). The data protection officer does not have the mandatory requirement of being a resident of Singapore to connect at least one DPO with the public with a good network of information (contact and address). This individual must be available for all the important activities for which people of Singapore try to reach a member of the organization. All the functioning must be compliant with the PDPA regulations.


The company incorporated in Singapore according to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) will be provided a Unique Entity Number (UEN). It is a unique identification number that each company has, and it is used for important government activities like tax filing, etc. Therefore, the corporate agencies must display their official name and UEN number on all the company documents. These documents are like invoices, letters, account statements, and official and other company-based publications. It is not necessary to attain a company seal, but a complete company name should be present if its documentation process is through the seal.
Record and Register Management

Corporate bodies active in Singapore must maintain the company registers as a prime priority. Some of these registers should be under the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), and some should always be available in priority with updated status. The registers must have the up-to-date details of the company’s active directors, chief executive officer, secretaries, and auditors. According to the ACRA regulations, all the details about shareholders and company assets are in these registers. Here are the details about data and specific registers which should be necessarily present at the registered office:

  • Separate register about the substantial stockholders
  • Register about the individuals holding more than 25 percent of the company and acting as a registrable controller
  • Register holding the responsibility of nominee directors

Private companies active in Singapore (which have less than 50 employees) are assigned to keep a register with the descriptive details of shareholders with ACRA. Such companies incorporated with Singapore laws must register with the details of employed members in the registered office and ACRA with the notified details about the company’s location.

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Annual General Meeting

The private corporate firm must have the annual general meeting within six months at the end of every financial year. All the publicly listed companies in Singapore must compulsorily conduct the AGM every four months after fiscal years. Almost all companies need AGM, but in certain conditions, like the company is dormant and all the company’s active members have waived off the need for AGM, it can be skipped.
Filing the Annual Return along with ACRA
All the companies should file the annual returns with the ACRA regulations within the seven months of the financial year-end. This duration is five months for the public firms. The companies which s active with less than 20 shareholders are exempt private companies (EPC). The company’s financial audit is a simplified process where the submission of financial statements is not mandatory. Other companies’ financial statements are mandatory documents with electronic medium with financial statements.
Accounting Requirements of Singapore-based Companies:
The companies active in Singapore need a streamlined accounting procedure within each financial year. The ACRA has a mandatory regulation for companies to act according to accounting and finance management laws and terms. Here are the descriptive details specifications:
Specification of Financial Year Ending:
At the time of incorporation with ACRA company can decide the financial year ending date. For example, in Singapore, most companies nominate the financial year ending on 31 December and function accordingly. However, the companies have the freedom to choose any suitable date according to their preference.
Record Management and Proper Accounting
According to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), all companies must safely keep their records of accounting and other financial details. All the transactions and investments must be explainable with the company’s financial position. These account preparations must be transparent, fair, and mandatorily retained within five years. The company director is responsible for analyzing the details of the financial account of the current and previous year to compare the statistics.
Auditor Appointment
After the incorporation of the company, the director must appoint an auditor in the company to manage the company’s financial statistics and fiscal data. The EPC companies have free will in appointing the active auditor. Referring to Public Company or Private Company?
Income Tax Regulations
Here are the details about the income tax regulations that active corporate firms must follow. All these regulations are according to the Singapore laws and authoritative bodies.
To manage and run a business in Singapore, all the details mentioned above include incorporated details. These requirements are mandatory for smooth and streamlined functioning for any small and big corporate business in Singapore. For further information, guidance and support, connect to us.

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