Thinking of setting up a company? Looking for expert answers and assistance with business registration in Singapore? Then this feature is for you. Read on to get the lowdown starting from Singapore incorporation to government incentive
1. Why choose Singapore?
Business registration in Singapore has many benefits.
Singapore is the premier international economic hub in Southeast Asia, and it has shown its resiliency and a continuous drive for improvement during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the 2022 International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Ranking, Singapore ranked in 3rd place. With the recent ranking, Singapore maintains its position as part of the top five, in the most globally competitive economies for five consecutive years now.
And as further proof of the country’s economic performance, Singapore’s Gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 4.4% in the third quarter of 2022.
Opening a business in a strong economy leads to more chances of building a brand and acquiring customer loyalty. In a healthy economy, the public has steady purchasing power and is more open to trying out new products. Oftentimes, when a customer has found your product up to their preference they are more likely to keep returning laying out a foundation for a start-up.
If you want more data on where you can start your business venture, here is a comparison of Singapore incorporation.
2. How easy is it to incorporate in Singapore?
Business registration in Singapore can be relatively easy and simple. And if you sign up through Lanturn’s incorporation services, it will be done as fast as snapping your fingers.
Acquiring capital is important but having an appropriate company name is just as important. It will be helpful if your company name is able to embody the business’ vision and mission. This is the first thing you should prepare for your incorporation process.
The following are the minimum company registration requirements:
- A minimum of 1 Shareholder (either individual or corporate entity)
- An Initial paid-up share capital of at least S$1
- Appoint 1 Resident Director
- Appoint 1 Company Secretary
- A physical Singapore registered office address
The recently released Launch with Lanturn programme, offers ambitious first-time entrepreneurs a business-friendly incorporation package.
The package includes:
- Preparation and Maintenance of Registers
- Corporate Secretary Services for the first year
- A Registered Business Address for the first year
Being able to avail of the package will allow you to save up on rent and registration fees while acquiring Lanturn’s expert corporate secretarial services. If you want to know more about Singapore’s registration process, check out Lanturn’s comprehensive guide on registering a company.
3. How long is the registration process in Singapore?
Accomplishing your minimum registration requirements early will speed up the registration process. Registering your company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) can be done online via the Bizfile+ portal. The first step of registration is your company name reservation, which will take approximately 15 minutes and can be processed in less than a day. Once the company name is approved, you will then have 60 days to process the incorporation.
With Lanturn, all you have to do is fill out the digital incorporation tool with the necessary details. Encoding your primary information would only take 10 minutes tops. At your most convenient time, you can provide the information about the company you’d like to incorporate, and details of your directors and shareholders. You can just sit back and relax as Lanturn drafts up your company constitution, and registers your Singapore company.
Have you been convinced to incorporate your company in Singapore today? Look no further; launch it with Lanturn.
4. Do I need to be in Singapore to incorporate my company?
Remote working and online banking transactions have become the new norm in Singapore, a country that has always been open to digital transformation and innovation. The government even fully supports the fintech industry, as demonstrated in the initiatives in the Fintech Regulatory Sandbox and the Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF). Both the Sandbox and SFF were launched by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). These initiatives provide opportunities for companies interested in Singapore business incorporation to thrive in a dynamic and forward-thinking environment.
With the country’s proven track record of supporting technological development, it is no wonder that it is perfectly possible for one to incorporate their company without being physically in the country. Singapore’s official government website indicates the requirements and steps to take for incorporating online. Entrepreneurs can also reach out to service providers like Lanturn for assistance with the incorporation process.
5. Can I manage my Singapore-based company from overseas?
Digital transformation has made it possible for companies to keep up-to-date with tasks on the go. Due to the current technological advancements, it is possible for you to run and operate your business from abroad. Still, it would be hard for entrepreneurs to handle their business process all on their own and this is where outsourcing can help you. Lanturn services provide an office address in Singapore for the business and can also provide an acceptable nominee director. Lanturn can also provide a virtual CFO to handle the finance side, in this way even if you were abroad you can just coordinate with Lanturn in running your business.
Outsourcing to a corporate services firm with a digital platform can save you time and money. Lanturn provides expert cloud corporate secretarial services for Singapore startups, SMEs and investors. Lanturn Corporate Services (LCS) also offers accounting, bookkeeping, tax, immigration, payroll, and KYC services. Lanturn uses cloud-based technology so that clients can have 24/7 access to their company information and corporate workflow.
Interested to go digital with Lanturn? Here are some resources to help you decide:
- How Outsourced CFO Services can Give your Startup an Advantage
- Why you should choose a corporate secretary with a digital platform
6. Can I move to Singapore and manage the company myself?
Singapore is not only a financial centre in Asia but it is also known for its world-class work ethic, so it comes as no surprise that a number of foreigners relocate to the country every year. So if you do decide to move to Singapore to operate your business, you should acquire an EntrePass. The EntrePass is suitable for entrepreneurs or experienced investors interested in company incorporation in Singapore. There is also the Tech.Pass is for tech entrepreneurs and technical experts. Last January 2023, Singapore will officially launch its Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass (ONE Pass) to allow “its holders to concurrently start, operate, and work for multiple companies in Singapore at any one time”.
Once your pass application is approved, your family can also relocate upon acquiring a Dependent Pass visa. The DP is designed for the Singapore-based family members of an EP (employment pass), S-Pass or Entre-pass holder. If a business owner becomes a permanent resident (PR) in Singapore, it will be possible to run multiple businesses without restrictions.
Processing your visa applications will take time and it might be harder on your end if you have some existing obligations overseas. Lanturn also has immigration and visa services and is licensed by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Lanturn can guide you step by step through the visa application process and help you monitor the status of your application.
Check out some of Lanturn’s specially curated references:
- Top 5 Tips of Becoming a Permanent Resident In Singapore
- Types of work permit in Singapore, and how to get them
- 3 main challenges of getting a Singapore Work Visa approved
For more detailed advice on what type of employment pass should you acquire, get in touch with Lanturn visa specialists.
7. Are there any government initiatives for Singapore companies?
Singapore has a number of schemes and grants to assist businesses in succeeding.
Here are some of the known initiatives available in Singapore:
For the qualifying companies, the exemption will be applied for their first 3 consecutive YAs.
The grant was launched to assist qualifying SMEs looking to digitalise their processes and adopt IT solutions.
This grant was designed to help SMEs build their internal capabilities across three key areas of – Core capabilities, Innovation and productivity and Market Access.
Singapore is constantly innovating itself and so there will be new regulations to go along with new initiatives as well.
- 2021 Definitive Support Kit for SME’s in Singapore: Grants, Incentives, Initiatives and Resources
- Lanturn’s Friendly Guide to Singapore Corporate Taxes
8. Is it hard to open a corporate bank account in Singapore?
The banking industry has never been the same since COVID-19 disrupted the regular traditional brick-and-mortar banking services. Mobile and online banking quickly became part of the norm for people during the pandemic. With these changes, people grew to be more open to availing of existing Neobanks.
Neobanks and digital bank accounts offer entrepreneurs an alternative. Since acquiring a business account with traditional banks may take time. A digital bank may be more appropriate for entrepreneurs who will be operating overseas. Lanturn had even made a feature on the things to consider when choosing a bank. If you want more details, then our write-up on the top banks for Singaporean business may be of help.
9. What are the annual filing requirements for a company in Singapore?
Once your company has successfully incorporated in Singapore, you must comply with the statutory requirements set by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). You must submit financial statements, liquidity data, and other reports to ACRA on an annual basis.
If you use Lanturn’s corporate secretary services, we’ll ensure that your annual filings are completed in a timely manner. Lanturn’s expert accountants can prepare your financial statements and clients can access at any time the prepared reports through the LCS cloud platform. If you’re curious about Singapore’s regulatory compliance, then be sure to check our short guide on it.
Leave it to Lanturn to assist you with your compliance, accounting and payroll needs.
10. Are there service providers that can help me with company registration in Singapore?
Starting up your own business is a big decision and you would naturally want to know every available information on it before starting. There are times when reading articles won’t be enough and you would wish to hear from entrepreneurs and experts.
Over the years, Lanturn has provided corporate and fund services to various Singapore-based companies and funds. Being exposed to the actual business workflow and different fund structures. Lanturn has gained valuable universal knowledge that can be of use to any business venture. Using this knowledge, Lanturn has hosted a number of on-demand webinars dedicated to startups, entrepreneurs and fund managers.
Sign up to join Lanturn’s upcoming webinars and gain access to featured webinars like the ones below:
- Fundraising Wisdom for Companies at Any Stage
- Setting up a business in Singapore from Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and India
If your preference is written knowledge. You can also sign up for Lanturn’s guides and ebooks, to claim your copy of The Comprehensive Fundraising Guide for Startups and SMEs in 2023.
Incorporate with Lanturn
Singapore is a resilient country constantly moving forward to reach its full potential as a leading financial centre in Asia. In Singapore’s Budget 2023, the government stressed its plans to support the family, businesses and workers in the country. This shines a reassuring light on the country’s future plans of creating an active economy.
Truly, Singapore is one of the best countries to incorporate your business venture and Lanturn would love to assist you all throughout your journey. Let Lanturn be your partner, to assist you to create your dream venture a reality.
Contact us today!