Incorporation for foreigners in Singapore is easy and simple with the right partner. Singapore business laws provide many options to foreigners interested in creating a business in the country. The key here is to figure out which route works for you — and we’re here to help you figure that out!
Incorporation for foreigners in Singapore is an attractive prospect for overseas entrepreneurs looking to establish their presence in Asia. Singapore is starting to be known as the “Delaware of Asia,” named after the most popular state in the United States for startups and foreign companies to set up and gain a foothold in North America. Given the growth rate in the Southeast Asian region, the future is bright for Singapore.
Singapore has a welcoming business environment and encourages foreign investment. However, it’s crucial to understand the regulations and requirements involved in the process, and not just what does it cost to incorporate a business in Singapore.
In fact, it is possible for a foreign entrepreneur to incorporate a company in Singapore without having to visit the country. Service providers like Lanturn allows a fully digital process of Singapore incorporation for foreigners with their online self-checkout tool. They also provide corporate secretary services and nominee director services to help foreigners meet Singapore company incorporation requirements.
Choosing to incorporate in Singapore with a service provider can bring a number of benefits. Firstly, starting your business with Lanturn means being compliant with all necessary legal and regulatory company incorporation requirements, hassle-free.
What is a local nominee director?
Incorporation in Singapore as a company, requires you to have at least one (1) local Singaporean resident as your company director. This individual has to be a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident. Have a close friend who can act as that director? Great. Need help finding one? No problem, Lanturn regularly assigns professional nominee directors to our clients’ companies, who act as their virtual “pro” on the ground.
From signing resolutions to attending bank meetings, this person will be your new best friend. For your peace of mind, we have standard agreements in place to ensure the working relationship and decision-making process are well understood. If you plan to move to Singapore and get a work visa later, you can always become the local director when that happens.
Company Incorporation for Foreigners in Singapore with Lanturn
Lanturn is a corporate & fund service provider regulated by ACRA, and we take our compliance obligations very seriously. If you incorporate a company with Lanturn, all your directors and shareholders are required to go through a Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process. Once you’ve used our tool to complete all the steps in the incorporation process, all directors and shareholders will get an email asking for all the documents necessary to complete our KYC checks.
For directors, we follow ACRA guidelines and require a face-to-face meeting or video-call within 3 months of incorporation to ensure compliance with ACRA. Lanturn is a technology-driven company, but we pride ourselves on adhering to the highest standards of compliance and providing seamless customer service. While technology is in place to make processes more efficient, it is still necessary for us to have some face time.
In our passion to make incorporation easier for our clients, we’ve streamlined the entire process through our quick self-checkout tool. Here, you can fill up all the necessary details to start your business in Singapore and our tool does all the work to get your company started!
Here is the procedure to register a company in Singapore with Lanturn
- Provide your name and company email address
- Check the availability of the company name
- Provide company details
- Add shareholders
- Confirm company address
- Add company director(s)
- Accept or decline accounting add-on
- Check visa support add-on
- Review Plan
1. Provide your name and company email address
When using our self-checkout tool, you’ll be directed to a page where you provide your name and company email address that we can use to contact you once we complete the entire process. Simply input the required information, and we can proceed with the next step.
If you prefer to talk to one of our specialists, you can do so by booking a meeting with them, which is an option you can select before this first step.
2. Check the availability of the company name
Input your desired company name in the text box. When clicking on the “check company name availability,” you can see whether that name is available. We can check name availability as our system uses ACRA’s database. But note that even if your name appears as available, it would only be finalised after getting confirmation from ACRA.
If ACRA rejects the name you’ve chosen, we will reach out to you directly to seek a new name and try again. Once you’ve selected a company name that ACRA approves, you have exclusive rights to use the name for 60 days.
Complications may arise, and rejection may occur if the name you choose is similar to existing companies based in Singapore. That said, if you have strong reasons to use the proposed name, we can help you file for an appeal with ACRA. Do note that the final decision to approve lies with ACRA. Don’t forget that successfully registering for a name does not necessarily guarantee a trademark on the title.
3. Provide company details
Now that the most emotional step is out of the way, it’s time to describe what your company will do! That will help us recommend the ACRA industry codes that most closely reflect your company’s proposed activities.
There is a dropdown menu where you can select the type of industry your company is in. Select the one that best matches your business. Next is the size of your company. Simply select the option that best matches your company and click on next.
4. Add shareholders
In this next step, you will see that there are options for how many shareholders your company has. Be sure to select the option that applies to your company.
If you are planning on adding more shareholders soon, you may do so at a later time, so you do not have to add them to the shareholder count during this process.
5. Confirm Company Address
By law, if you are starting a company in Singapore, you would need to have a local address. As a foreigner, this can be hard to do — especially if you have no plans on moving to Singapore to do your business. There are ways around this, like our special registered address add-on.
If you have a local address, select the option and input all the details. If you do not have a local address, consider availing of Lanturn’s registered address add-on, which is only 480 SGD a year.
6. Add Company Director(s)
If you have your own local director, select “I have my own local resident director” and enter their details. They will get a notification informing them they are being nominated as a director and asking them to verify their particulars and submit KYC documents.
If you don’t have a local director, we have a nominee director service add-on which you can avail of. If you are interested in taking this, select “Use Lanturn’s Nominee Director.”
7. Accept or decline accounting add-on
Lanturn not only has incorporation services available, but also accounting services that can be added to your incorporation package! By outsourcing your accounting service to us, you not only get access to a professional team of accounting experts but also save time and money in hiring an in-house accountant.
If this interests you, click on “Yes, show me Lanturn’s plans.” If not, select “No, I don’t need help with accounting”
8. Check visa support add-on
Our company also has a special immigration service that can help you get your foreign workers, CEOs, and other important workers their work passes to get into the country. Whether the visa support is for you, an employee, or your family, our team can help you every step of the way.
9. Review Plan
After everything, you will be able to see a breakdown of all the services you have availed and the total price. If there are things that you would like to take out, add, or revise, you may just hit the “back” button at the top left of the screen.
If everything is in order, the next step is payment.
All you have to do is fill up your contact and payment details on our secure payment page. Also in this page, you get to see your plan overview one last time so that you can check if everything you’ve ordered is there.
Do note that there is a 200 SGD deposit for this service, which you may take back at any time within 30 days if our services failed to meet your expectations.
After completing this portion, click on “pay deposit of $200”
Once you’ve done all the steps above, wait for a confirmation email from us and someone from our team will be in touch. All you have to do now while waiting is to start making business plans!
Incorporation for Foreigners in Singapore? Choose Lanturn Services!
If you still want to do more research before deciding to incorporate in Singapore, you can download our ebook on “Starting a Self-Fund Business in Singapore”.
Here at Lanturn, we provide end-to-end solutions to support your business growth. We offer dependable corporate secretary services, accounting & payroll, tax and even visa support. Not planning to open a private limited company? Lanturn can also assist you with registering a sole proprietorship, a branch office or even a non-profit organization.
Leave a message and schedule a call with our team of experts, and we can start building your business idea into reality.