Frequently Asked Questions

Can a foreigner incorporate a Company in Singapore?

A foreigner, who would like to register a Sole-Proprietorship in Singapore, is required to appoint a locally resident authorised representative whilst he continues to reside outside Singapore.

If a foreigner wishes to register a Partnership in Singapore whilst he continues to reside outside Singapore, there must be a least a locally resident partner in the business firm. If all the partners are foreigners, a locally resident authorised representative must be appointed.

Foreigners who wish to set up a business and be present in Singapore to manage its operations are strongly advised to seek approval from Ministry of Manpower (MOM) before registration. If any of the proposed partners do not have a SingPass, the applicant must engage the services of a registered filing agent (e.g. law firm, accounting firm or corporate secretarial firm) to submit the online application on his behalf. Only an individual with a SingPass can proceed to submit any online transactions.
(Adapted from Source: ACRA, Foreigners and Sole-Proprietorships or Partnerships)

What I need to know about company incorporation?

Investment capital: 1 unit of any currency denomination.
Number of owners: Minimum 1 shareholder.

Accounts: Must prepare annual accounts (Companies Act (Cap 50), S201(1)) , Keep business and transaction documents for 5 years (Companies Act (Cap 50), S199(1)).

Financial Report : Director(s) to present financial report at AGM.
Tax: Company profits taxed at corporate tax rates.

Annual general meeting (AGM): Hold AGM within 18 months from incorporation date. Hold AGM within 15 months from prior AGM and once every calendar year (Companies Act (Cap 50), S175(1)).

Secretary: Appoint at least one secretary with requisite knowledge and experience to discharge the functions of secretary (Companies Act (Cap 50), S171(1) and S171(1A)).

Advantages: Shareholders have limited liability. Shareholders cannot be sued personally for liabilities of the Company.
Disadvantages: High regulatory maintenance cost.

Closure methods:
● Winding up by members.
● Winding up by creditors.
● Winding up by High Court.
● Striking off.

Can a business in Singapore be registered under a nominee or trustee?

A business in Singapore can be registered under a nominee or trustee as provided under Business Registration Act, S6(7).

The particulars of the nominee and additional particulars as specified under Business Registration Act, Second Schedule should be filed with the Registrar.

Can a foreigner register a business in Singapore?

A foreigner, who would like to register a Sole-Proprietorship in Singapore, is required to appoint a locally resident authorised representative whilst he continues to reside outside Singapore.

If a foreigner wishes to register a Partnership in Singapore whilst he continues to reside outside Singapore, there must be a least a locally resident partner in the business firm. If all the partners are foreigners, a locally resident authorised representative must be appointed.

Foreigners who wish to set up a business and be present in Singapore to manage its operations are strongly advised to seek approval from Ministry of Manpower (MOM) before registration. If any of the proposed partners do not have a SingPass, the applicant must engage the services of a registered filing agent (e.g. law firm, accounting firm or corporate secretarial firm) to submit the online application on his behalf. Only an individual with a SingPass can proceed to submit any online transactions.

(Adapted from Source: ACRA, Foreigners and Sole-Proprietorships or Partnerships.)

Can I use my home address as a Home Office?

Under Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) Home Office scheme, home owners, tenants or occupiers of private residential properties can conduct small–scale businesses in their homes, as long as they satisfy the prevailing home office guidelines and performance criteria and ensure that the use does not cause amenity problems to the neighbours.

This Home Office scheme applies to both HDB and private properties and is subject to URA’s guidelines:

  1. Guidelines for Home Office scheme.
  2. Register with URA for Private Homes and HDB Executive Condominiums.
  3. Register with HDB for HDB Flats and Living Quarters.

Application for approval under the Home Office Scheme can be submitted before or after business/company registration with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, Singapore.

How many types of Companies are there?

A company may be:

  1. A company limited by shares.
  2. A company limited by guarantee.
  3. An unlimited company.

A company is a private if its constitution restricts the right to transfer its shares and it has not more than 50 members (Companies Act (Cap 50), S18)

How should the company pay its corporate income tax to IRAS?

GIRO is the preferred method of payment as it allows you to pay your tax by instalments. Singapore-registered companies can enjoy up to 10 interest-free monthly instalments when they file their Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) electronically within three months from their financial year end.

You can sign up for GIRO by clicking here (to insert hyperlink no.1 below).

However, if the company is unable to pay its taxes via GIRO, it can make the payment through various modes below:

  1. Internet banking.
  2. Cash/ NETS at any Singapore Post Branch.
  3. Cheque/ Cashier’s Order.
  4. Telegraphic Transfer.

You may refer to IRAS’ website for more details on the payment of corporate income taxes
https://www.iras.gov.sg/IRASHome/Quick-Links/Payments/Applying-for-GIRO/https://www.iras.gov.sg/IRASHome/Businesses/Companies/Paying-Corporate-Income-Tax/Paying-Corporate-Income-Taxes/