Foreigners are often attracted to the liberal laws and stable growth of Singapore’s economy. Due to Singapore’s pro-business environment, it is quite easy for foreigners to do business in Singapore’s open economy.
In fact, any individual who is above 18, foreigner or a national of Singapore can start a business in Singapore. Given, they are not a convicted felon or bankrupt.
Key Requirements for Foreigners to Incorporate a Company in Singapore
There are several basic obligations which a person must fulfil before incorporating a company in Singapore:
Appointment of Local Director
If you want to start a business in Singapore but do not want to relocate, you must appoint a nominee director who is above 18 and a resident of Singapore. However, the local director needs not to be involved in the business activities and you will have full control over the company and its accounts.
Work Visa/Entrepreneur Pass Visa
You must hold a work pass to start a company in Singapore. Holders of an employment pass can also help in the registration of a company in Singapore.
Agent for Incorporation
Foreigners cannot self-register in Singapore. Thus, you must look for a company incorporation service provider in Singapore to register on your behalf. Various registered agents provide these corporate services in Singapore to foreigners who want to start a company or need tax advisory.
Types of Business Entities Available for Foreigners in Singapore
The type of business entity you choose largely affects the incorporation process and taxation for the company. In Singapore, a foreign individual can choose from the following company structures to start the business:
Private Limited Company
To incorporate Pte Ltd company in Singapore you need to appoint a local director. And since this type of company structure enjoys a separate legal entity, you can have complete control of the company. Pte ltd companies also enjoy the lowest tax rate of up to 17%.
Forming a sole proprietorship in Singapore for foreigners is fairly easy. If you have the right documents you can hire one of the many corporate services in Singapore to get you registered within a couple of hours.
Limited Liability Company (LLP)
Singapore company law allows foreigners to incorporate any type of LLP agreement. It is advised that you hire company incorporation services in Singapore to help you during registration.
Subsidiary or Branch
If you have a well-established company outside of Singapore, you can even start a subsidiary company, branch office, or representative office in Singapore.
Steps After Registering a Company in Singapore
After you have successfully incorporated a business in Singapore through a registered agent, you should follow these steps for the furtherance of business-
Opening a Corporate Bank Account
Opening a corporate bank account should be the first step after registration. You can continue with the same agent to guide you through the documents for opening the bank account.
Once your business has a name and a bank account, you must start looking for manpower to get your business started in the country.
Renting Office Space
Renting an office space should be one of your priorities after incorporation. Having an office space for your employees and yourself gives a sense of professionalism and motivation to kick-start the business.
The Bottom Line
Singapore has the world’s freest economy with an economic freedom score of 89.4. This also makes it quite confusing for foreigners. Therefore, it is advised to hire a company incorporation service provider to get advice on Singapore company laws and the most suitable structure for your business.