Business operations are never a piece of cake when it comes to registering them in Singapore. However, if you’ve obtained every document required in the registration process, it might be too straightforward to begin with. Even though it’s relatively daunting in this part of Asia, we have demystified the process and will walk you through the necessary steps to register your Singapore business.
Moving on, establishing a business in Singapore can be rewarding and lucrative at the same time. Meanwhile, you need to register with the government before you begin every operation. As already discussed, company registration in Singapore is seamless only if you have paid intricate attention and performed due diligence with legal and regulatory requirements.
This blog discusses the five steps a business owner needs to follow to register their company in Singapore.
Step 1: Choose a Business Structure
The first step in company formation Singapore is choosing a business structure. Singapore has several business structures, including sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP), and private limited company. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice will depend on the nature of your business, the number of owners, liability concerns, and tax implications.
A sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure, with one owner responsible for all business operations and liabilities. A partnership involves two or more owners sharing profits and liabilities. An LLP offers the same advantages as a partnership but limits each partner’s liability. A private limited company is a separate legal entity from its owners and offers the most significant liability protection. However, it is also subject to more extensive regulatory requirements.
Step 2: Choose a Company Name
Once you have chosen a business structure, the next step is to select a company name. The name should be unique, memorable, and comply with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) naming requirements. The name should not be identical or too similar to an existing company name, contain obscene or offensive words, or violate trademark or copyright laws.
To check if your company name is available, you can conduct a name search on ACRA’s website. If the name is available, you can reserve it for up to 120 days by paying SGD 15.
Obtain Approval First
If you didn’t know, name approval is a straightforward and quick procedure as long as these guidelines are followed:
- Unique: Your company’s name cannot be substantially similar or identical to the name of an existing company in Singapore.
- Unreserved: The company’s name should not be reserved by another entity or person.
- No Trademark Infringement: A name shouldn’t infringe on a copyright or trademark of any kind.
Step 3: Register Your Company
After selecting a business structure and company name, you can proceed with company registration. The registration process involves submitting several documents to ACRA, including the company’s constitution, directors’ and shareholders’ particulars, and a compliance statement. The registration process can be done online; the turnaround time is usually one to two days.
The registration fee for a private limited company is SGD 300, while other business structures have lower fees. The fees for company registration are non-refundable, so it’s essential to ensure that all documents are complete and accurate before submitting them.
Step 4: Apply for Licenses and Permits
In Singapore, acquiring permits and licenses is pretty taxing. On the basis of your operations, you might have to apply for them prior to any commencement. Speaking of which, a few standard licenses and permits include a food establishment license, business license, and employment pass for foreign workers. On the other hand, these permits could vary depending on your industry and business type.
In order to apply, consider touching base with relevant government agencies, like the Ministry of Manpower or the National Environment Agency. While you’re already part of the process, the application process can take several weeks. As a result, plan and apply early.
Step 5: Set Up Your Business Operations
The final and foremost step in your Singapore company registration is setting up your business operations, which includes opening a bank account in the country, hiring a workforce, getting relevant insurance coverage, and setting up the office or workspace.
How to open a bank account?
To get started with a bank account, consider providing proof of company registration, identification documents for the company’s directors and shareholders, and the company constitution. There’s more to it! You could select any bank from the diverse list, each with various account types and benefits.
How to hire employees?
Hiring the workforce in Singapore comprises complying with labor regulations established to protect their rights and ensure fair employment practices. While you’re at it, comply with the Employment Act, which sets out the minimum standards for terms of employment in Singapore and working conditions. Post workforce deployment, offer them a written contract outlining the terms and conditions of their employment, including their remuneration, job scope, leave entitlements, working hours, and termination clauses.
Do not forget the business profile!
When it comes to the business profile, it’s vital to state the corporate structure of your company. The information manifested in the document consists of the company’s principal business activity, details of shareholders and directors, registered address, and shareholding structure.
In the end, every step needs careful attention to detail and compliance with relevant Singaporean regulations, which can be taxing and time-consuming. As a consequence, it’s recommended you seek professional advice to determine a smooth registration process. By following these steps and seeking professional advice when needed, one can seamlessly establish a successful business in Singapore and enjoy the multiple benefits of operating in a dynamic and thriving business environment.
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