Singapore is a thriving market to set up a new business in; however you should ensure that you are aware of all the obstacles you might face in this process and know minute details of how to start a business in Singapore.
For companies who are wanting to expand their operations in the Asia Pacific region, Singapore happens to be an attractive and top choice. It is known for the ease of doing any business, attractive tax rates and related incentives, availability of skilled workforce, country’s stability and steady economic growth. So, if you are thinking of setting up your company there, the first step should be to get the incorporation process right from the start, thus, avoiding any delays that could cost a lot.
The key steps to incorporate a company in Singapore
There are three key steps for company formation in Singapore.
1.Name reservation: This can be done in just an hour or so, if you have an approved name reserved for four months starting from the application date (please note that no extension to this time period is allowed). To avoid any chance of rejection, it’s best to check the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority’s (ACRA) database first to avoid identical names to any existing companies. In case your company is a part of some group, then a letter of appeal has to be submitted for using a similar naming to the other group companies, though the appeals process can end in a delay of up to two months. Same kind of delays could be incurred in case the name has certain words like ‘bank’, ‘law’, ‘finance’, ‘school’ and ‘media’ as other government authorities would be required to approve the use of the term. You would then need to submit all the details of the directors and shareholders when you apply for a name, so you should have already decided this.
2.Appointment of a minimum of one resident director:The director should be at least 18 years of age, of full legal capacity and must be a permanent resident, a Singapore citizen, and an Employment Pass holder (EP) or Entry pass holder, though an EP has to first get a letter of consent from the Ministry of Manpower prior to becoming a company director. This individual should also not have been disqualified anytime previously from acting as a director.
Company registration process: The application can be submitted through the ACRA online filing system. After submission of your registration documents, an instant approval from ACRA would be given to you through an email and the incorporation procedure would usually be effective on the same date. In some exceptional cases, ACRA might perform random background checks specifically on the information submitted during company registration process, which could further delay the registration by around two months. A company might opt for a preferred registration number out of a list of reserved registration numbers, which comes for a fee. This can be done during the company’s incorporation or registration. ACRA would offer a complimentary business profile after they incorporate the company.