A company is an entity endowed with the legal personality to enter into contracts and sue or be sued. It is the legal property of its owners (shareholders) who may appoint administrators responsible for its general management.
There are many reasons why a foreigner would want to incorporate a company in Singapore. It is one of the most business-friendly economies in Asia and offers a great opportunity to gain access to the developing Asia-Pacific market. It is therefore crucial for a foreigner to understand the incorporation processes in Singapore and ensure that their company complies with the relevant commercial regulations.
The first step is to secure the approval of the Company Name Application by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The approved name cannot be obscene or infringe existing trademarks. Moreover, the Company Name Application must include a Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) code that reflects the nature of the business activities.
After securing the company name, you should prepare the documents that ACRA will require from you and your shareholders. These include certified true copies of resolutions, certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and bank statements for the last 3 months. It is recommended that you keep your personal and business accounts separate as this helps you to a) track your business income and expenses, and b) reduce tax liabilities.
Your company must also appoint a secretary within six months of its incorporation. The Secretary must be a person who is a Singapore citizen, Permanent Resident or holds an EntrePass visa. If you are a foreigner, you can engage a local nominee director service like Lanturn to help you comply with this requirement. In addition, all companies must set up and maintain a Register of Registrable Controllers (RORC). how to incorporate a company in Singapore