The small island nation of Singapore ranks number one on the World Bank’s best places to do business. This is partly attributed to how easy it is for business owners to register their businesses here. Singapore has flexible immigration policies, a simple tax filing process, and business-friendly laws which enable you to get your business off the ground in no time.
Singapore’s success is also backed up by the fact that it’s situated in the most innovative continent in the world. As Asia’s business hub, the island is well-positioned to secure new business ventures from different parts of the world. Investors and business moguls are fast moving into this region to leverage their innovative infrastructure, flexible domestic markets, and affordable labor.
While company registration in Singapore is easy, you might need guidance if it’s your first time venturing into this region. Continue reading to find out how to go about registering your new company in Singapore.
Establish Your Business Entity
The first step to realizing your business ambitions in Singapore is to establish your business entity. You need to know the kind of structure you want to adopt for your new business, as this will govern operations once you launch the start-up.
While many options exist, most business owners venturing into Singapore choose to identify their ventures as private limited companies. This business structure is appealing because it grants shareholders immunity to losses and debts beyond their share capital.
Moreover, as a private limited organization, you’ll have an easier time scaling up as the business grows. Singapore’s government will recognize your start-up as a taxable entity if you settle for this business structure.
Another option is establishing your business as a sole proprietorship. It’s a suitable alternative for entrepreneurs who prefer running a one-person business. However, it’s got its fair share of downsides because, as a sole proprietor, you’ll be liable for all debts and losses your business incurs.
Once you establish your business entity, you can register it with the Accountability and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
Set Up the Company
Now that your organization is a tangible business entity, you can set it up. Consider hiring professionals to help you with company formation, so you don’t miss any important steps. You need to ensure that your new business complies with all laws under ACRA. These regulations include:
· Ensuring your company name is approved by ACRA
· Including at least one shareholder as part of the company
· Appointing at least one Singapore-based director
· Hiring a company secretary who is a Singapore Resident
· Having at least S$1 paid-up capital
· Having a physical office for address registration
ACRA provides foreign entrepreneurs with Business Profiles that include:
· The business’ registration number
· The registration date
You will use this electronic business profile to open a corporate bank account for the business, browse potential business partners, and apply for permits and licenses.
Open a Corporate Business Account
Now that you have a business profile, you can open a corporate business account where you will deposit all business funds. ACRA allows you to open a local or international bank account, depending on your preference.
This is a perfect time to think about how you want to finance your new venture. While bootstrapping is a viable option, you should consider exploring contacts for potential funding sources. In case you have savings, you have set aside for the start-up, determine if the amount you have accumulated will be adequate for a successful launch.
If not, you can explore Singapore’s attractive business financing schemes that help budding entrepreneurs get their new ventures off the ground. They can help you transform your business idea into an executable business plan. Working with such experienced professionals ensures that you launch a business that has the potential to compete on a global scale with other successful brands.
Take Care of Post-Registration Responsibilities
Before you can start running your business, ensure you’ve taken care of these additional responsibilities:
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Licenses and Permits Application
To smoothly run your business in a foreign country, you want to make sure you have the necessary permission from the government. Whether you’re starting a travel agency, a money lending company or a childcare center, you need permits and licenses to set up shop.
Office Hours Registration
To run a business in Singapore, you should operate for at least three hours on a weekday. Use your office address to register your official office hours. Remember to include the business’ registration number on all your documents.
In case you will be exporting and importing goods, Singapore customs needs to know about it. Completing customs registrations allows you to move products in and out of the country legally.
The government taxes every business that supplies goods or services in Singapore. Completing goods and services tax registration ensures that your business complies with Singapore’s tax laws.
Singapore Central Provident Fund (CPF) Registration
Last but not least, you need to register for Singapore’s compulsory pension fund. CPF allows you to contribute a percentage of your income towards retirement benefits.
The above discussion ensures you follow the right procedure when registering your company in Singapore. Ensure you have all the required documents ready to streamline the entire process so you can launch your start-up in record time.