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Singapore Company Formation Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

1. How to incorporate a company in Singapore?

All business and bank account outside Singapore is tax-free (Offshore Status), Singapore company formation requires a minimum of one Local Director who is Singaporean citizen.

How to incorporate a company in Singapore?

Step 1 Singapore Private Limited Company Formation (Pte. Ltd), initially Our Relationship Managers team will ask You have to provide the detailed information of the Shareholder/Director's names and information. You can select level of services you need, normal with 3 working days or 2 working days in urgent case. Furthermore, give the proposal company names so that we can check the eligibility of company name in Singapore Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) system. Our services included Local Secretary who is local Singapore citizen.

Step 2 You settle the payment for Our Service fee and official Singapore Government Fee required. We accept payment by Credit/Debit Card Visa Visa Discover American , Paypal Paypal or Wire Transfer to our HSBC bank account HSBC bank account 

See more : Payment Guidelines

Step 3 After collecting full information from you, Offshore Company Corp will send you a digital version (Certificate of Incorporation, Register of Shareholder/Directors, Share Certificate, Memorandum of Association and Articles etc.) via email. Full Singapore Offshore Company kit will courier to your resident address by express (TNT, DHL or UPS etc.).

You can open bank account for your company in Singapore, European, Hong Kong or other other jurisdictions supported offshore bank accounts! You are freedom international money transfer under your offshore company.

Your Singapore Pte. Ltd formation completed, ready to do international business!

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2. What are the names that are prohibited to use for Singapore Company?

Are there any restrictions on company name in Singapore?

While you can easily register for a new business in Singapore, you should be careful when choosing your company name. It is advisable to perform a name check to make sure that your company name can be approved for registration by the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) in the first place. Here are the applicable restrictions for a new company name in Singapore.

  • Undesirable. Your company name will be rejected if it contains offensive or vulgar words;
  • Identical to an already available company name in Singapore
  • Identical to an already reserved company name. There are companies in Singapore that have not been incorporated but have already registered their business name as a reservation to ACRA. Business names are reserved for at least 60 days, and up to 120 days. This is why anyone who plans to set up a new business in Singapore must perform a proper company name check.
  • Prohibited by order of the Minister for Finance. The word "Temasek" is prohibited to be used as a company name. Currently, this is the only word which the Minister has directed the Registrar not to accept for registration..
  • Certain words such as “bank”, “insurance”, “university”, and “education” are not in the criteria for Singapore company name restrictions, but are strictly used under Government authorities and will require permission before you can set up a new business.
3. What is the required documents for incorporation of a company Singapore?

Recently, incorporating a Singapore company is one of the most popular business options for sea changers. In addition, the Singaporean Government brings attractive tax incentives for startups and preferential policies which help them during their initial days.

However, the process of incorporating a Singapore company could be a burden for foreign business, as there are a few required documents that need to be filled and submitted to the Government. To shorten the process, foreign investors usually hire a corporate service provider to help incorporate a Singapore company for them. Registering for a company in Singapore is simpler than ever with the support of One IBC. We have a local office in Singapore and a team of experts, these professionals can guide you through the procedure for the Singapore company registration, saving valuable time & money.

Here are required documents for incorporating a Singapore company:

  • Director/Shareholder's Passport(s)
  • Director/Shareholder's Residential Address Proof(s) (for example: Electricity/Water/Phone bill...not older than 03 months)
4. How long can a Work Permit holder stay in Singapore?

The duration of the Work Permit (WP) in Singapore is typically 2 years, depending on the worker's working time, security bond, and passport validity, whichever is shorter.

As long as the Work Permit is valid, the holders can stay in Singapore to work in the occupation and for the employer specified in their Work Permit card.

5. How long will it take for incorporation process?

We can have your company approved by and registered with the Accounting Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) within 1 day once receiving signed documents from you.

6. Do I need to establish a company address in Singapore for my business?

A company address in Singapore may be useful for a foreign company for establishing its initial operations in Singapore. The reason for this is that it allows the foreign company to contract under its own name and take advantage of its existing reputation.

Each business is required to register a company address in Singapore where the company will receive all documents sent by the government. If you are looking to explore opportunities in Singapore with minimized cost, you may consider the option of setting up a virtual office address in Singapore. Having a virtual office address in Singapore can bring you more advantages than you can imagine, such as:

  • Minimize your costs and optimize your business efficiency.
  • Have a registered office address in Singapore to get in touch and manage your clients.
  • Transfer your calls to wherever you are.
  • Receive mailings from the local government authority, banks, etc.
  • Have an official company address in Singapore on your business cards and website.
  • Set up your local telephone number for your business in just one working day.

Check out our Virtual Office service in Singapore and all other corporate services that can help your business thrive in a new jurisdiction.

7. What is the minimum paid up capital for private limited companies in Singapore?

Anyone, including foreigners setting up private limited companies in Singapore are allowed the minimum paid-up capital at only S$1.00. However, some businesses in regulated industries are required to have higher minimum paid-up capital requirements. For example:

  • Public accounting firm – S$50,000
  • Insurance intermediary firms –S$300,000

There is another reason why private limited companies would set their minimum paid-up capital at a higher amount. With minimum paid up capital at S$500,000 or more, companies are automatically registered as members of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF). This provides access to several networking events, contacts and useful activities such as workshops and briefings.

This money can be used for business purposes without any restriction but the company’s regulation. It can be used immediately because paid-up capital has to be deposited into the company’s bank account and there is no waiting period, making it very convenient for starting private limited companies. However, if the company becomes insolvent, all the assets, including the paid up capital will be used to pay for the unpaid liabilities. The appropriate minimum paid-up capital amount should be set after taking these into consideration.

8. Do I need to be present for the incorporation process?

Singapore company registration process:

To incorporate a Singapore company, businesses need to meet many requirements of the country. The first step of the Singapore company registration process is getting approval for a company name. Secondly, you need to prepare documents required by the government including a brief description of business activities, details of Singapore company registered address, particulars of shareholders & directors & company secretary. The required documents are different depending on the object (foreign business or Singapore residents). After preparing all the documents, businesses can complete the process by filing application forms to ACRA.

The Singapore company registration process is quite difficult and might take a lot of time in case enterprises do not understand the related procedure. With 4 simple steps provided by One IBC, you do not need to worry and focus on running your business with might and main

We Grow Your Business In 4 Easy Steps

Step 1: Preparation

One IBC will support you to reserve your company name and you can also consult our advices toward Tax advantage or Bank account planning for your business at any time

Step 2: Filling

One IBC team will register, login and fill in all requested information or special requests on behalf of your company to ensure you can submit successfully to ACRA.

Step 3: Submitting and Payment

All documents will be submitted after you complete the service’s payment

Step 4: Delivering

One IBC will follow up all the processes. After receiving the company certificate from Singapore authority, we will delivery it for you within 2 working days

9. What are the key requirements for setting up a company in Singapore?

The requirements for setting up a Singapore company:

  • A company needs to have at least one shareholder who can be a local or foreign individual or company.
  • At least one of the directors must be a natural person, above the age of eighteen years old, and a resident of Singapore.
  • A shareholder who is a natural person can also be a director of the company.
  • A qualified company secretary has to be appointed. The secretary must be a resident of Singapore.
  • Company must have a physical, local address in Singapore. (Read more: Office address in Singapore)
  • The company must have a paid up capital of at least $1. 

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10. What banks can I open a corporate account with in Singapore?

Yes, once company get done, we will go on supporting to open a corporate account in Singapore some the following banks:

  • OCBC Bank
  • DBS
  • MayBank
  • UOB
11. Can I open a multi-currency bank account in Singapore?

Yes, in some banks you can open a multi-currency intergrated in the only account. And some banks require you need to deposit respectively for each type of currency . It depends on your choice of bank the specific account chosen.

12. Do I need to be present in Singapore to open a corporate bank account?

All banks in Singapore require clients’ personal visit, so your presence is required

13. How much for initial deposit of corporate account in Singapore?

Each bank has its own different regulations, It depends on which bank you choose and which package you are interested in

14. Do you have to pay income tax in Singapore ?

With Singapore company and bank account there you need to pay tax no matter where you run business or all income is derived from Singapore you are subject to tax also.

15. Is having a local director necessary for a Singapore company?

Yes, it is necessary for a Singapore company to have at least one director who is a local resident. In order to qualify as a local resident of Singapore, the individual has to be a Singapore citizen, a Singapore permanent resident or an Employment Pass holder (the employment pass must be from the same company where the individual wants to be a director).

Furthermore, the local director must be a natural person above the age of 18 years and not a corporate entity. Foreign companies or entrepreneurs who wish to incorporate and operate a Singapore company can either:

A) Have a foreign executive relocate to Singapore to act as the resident director (subject to the approval of their work pass);

B) Or use the Singapore nominee director service of a corporate services firm to meet the resident director requirement.

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16. My company was dormant in the last financial year. What is my obligation with respect to filing audited accounts?

A dormant company does not need to have its accounts audited and can file unaudited accounts.

17. My company was dormant in the last financial year. Do I still need to hold an AGM (Annual General Meeting) ?

Even if a company was dormant, it is mandatory to hold AGM and file Annual Return.

18. How to have a virtual office address in Singapore?

A virtual office address in Singapore is a real street address for the business office is the best choice management today. 

The virtual office address can help your business in secure and faster sending and receiving of mails, plus other benefits for business offices and personal use. This keeps your home address private in other ads and websites.

The virtual office will have a business address in Singapore to ensure the owners can reach their business anywhere in the world. Establish and maintain a professional network with a specific business address, and allow themselves the freedom and dynamic in a working environment, accessing the global communities without their presence in Singapore. 

One IBC offers your business the incentive packages in owning a virtual office as well as the address in Singapore. A virtual office is an ideal solution for work-life combinations.   

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19. How can I register my office address in Singapore?

There are some document information that potential business owners will have to submit in opening the corporation in Singapore. 

One of the requirements in setting up the company in Singapore is that it must register the office address in Singapore, which will be input in the application form for the company, then submit send to and be recorded by Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

As a mandatory part of register processing for opening the company in Singapore, the business cannot be incorporated if they do not register office address in Singapore, even they can use the registered office services.

Besides that, these are two options for the owners in choosing the kind of offices to register in Singapore: Physical office and virtual office

  • Physical office: this is a “live” office. The owner will have the real office address is located in Singapore. This office has at least one administrative personnel to attend and act things at the office.
  • Virtual office: this receiving and forwarding all mail notifications and dedicating the phone lines and fax to email.  (Read more: Virtual office address in Singapore)

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20. Why the virtual office address is necessary in Singapore?

The first reason is the rental cost is very high in Singapore. The investors might spend much money on the ground rent. The owners may have a headache with these expenses and cannot focus on their business operations in Singapore.

Secondly, operating a business office from home is a great way to save money, save time and more efficient. It is inconvenient and difficult to protect your private home and family when your home address is also your company’s mailing address.

Moreover, with some business people, they already have a business address or own their space, and now they want to expand their business in Singapore. They cannot manage all their business with their presence. The mutual virtual office address Singapore will make it easier for investors to manage and operate in Singapore. The virtual office in Singapore will handle all mail, fax, and other services that help the owners always run the business smoothly, even without them

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21. Is the business environment in Singapore friendly for foreign investors and businessmen?

Singapore has been known as the business-friendly environment, and the heart of the economy in Southeast Asia. The government has conducted many policies to create a friendly, warm and welcome business environment in Singapore to attract foreign investors and companies to do business in Singapore.

The modern legal system, developed economy, political stability, and highly skilled workforce are the main factors that made Singapore preferred by foreign companies.

Singapore has appeared in most of the international ranking tables as one of the top countries with a business environment that is easy to set up a company.

  • 1st globally in World Bank's Human Capital Index, 2019
  • 1st in Asia and globally in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Best Business Environment, 2019
  • 2nd as the world's premier location in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index, 2019
  • 2nd in the world for Economic Freedom: Economic Freedom Index 2018, Heritage Foundation
  • 2nd in Asia and 7th globally in the World Bank's Logistics Performance Index in 2018 with the best seaport in Asia
  • 4th in Asia and 7th globally in Transparency International's Anti-corruption Index in 2018

Do not hesitate to contact us to get more information and explore business incentives in Singapore.

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22. Which business is good in Singapore? 5 best business to start

Starting a business in the right place is one thing, but choosing the right kind of businesses to operate is an important factor that can affect your business in future.

If you are interested in setting up business or open a company in Singapore. There are 5 best business to start in Singapore.


Singapore is a tiny country which has only about 0.87 percent of total land area for agricultural purposes. Therefore, a small number of businesses are working in the agriculture industry and the demands for food and other agricultural products are very huge.

E-Commerce Business

Experts expected that the number of e-commerce users is expected to increase by 74.20% in 2020. Online shopping is a profitable business in the Singapore retail industry.

Fashion & Retail

Singapore is known as the most fashion-forward trend in the region. Singapore is “heaven” for businesses operating in the fashion and retail industry.

Spa and Massage Services

Spa and massage services have strongly developed in Singapore. Both men and women are likely to choose to get pampered with luxurious treatments after a hard-working day.

Tourism & Travel

Tourism & Travel are potential profit markets for foreign businesses with around 50% of Singaporeans above the age of 15 who are traveling at least once a year.

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23. Why invest in Singapore?

Singapore is the most developed country in Southeast Asia.Tax Incentives, International Ranking, Company Formation process, and Government policies are the main reasons foreign investors and businessmen invest in Singapore.

Attractive Tax Incentives

Singapore’s government offers a variety of tax incentives for businesses and investors such as Corporate Income Tax, Double Tax Deduction for Internalization, and Tax Exemptions scheme.

Read more: Singapore corporate tax rate

International Ranking

The country was nominated as the #1 best business environment in the Asia Pacific and the world in 2019 (The Economist Intelligence Unit) and the top of the Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 after overtaked the United States (The Global Competitiveness Report, 2019).

Singapore Company Formation

The company formation process in Singapore is considered easier and quicker than other countries, the process takes one day to complete given all the required documents are submitted. The process becomes simpler and more convenient when applicants including foreigners can submit their application forms through the internet.

Trade Agreements

Singapore strongly supports free trade and engagement with the global economy. Over the years, the country has developed its network of Trade Agreements within over 20 bilateral and regional FTAs and 41 Investment Guarantee Agreements.

Government Policies

Singapore has been known as the most friendly-environment country for businessmen and investors. The Singapore government has always improved its policies to support businesses.

As the advantages for investors and businessmen are listed above with government policies, Singapore has attracted more and more foreign companies to set up business in the country.

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24. How to start a business in Singapore?

Starting a business in Singapore is simple and straightforward. However, there are some specific regulations that require applicants to spend time to read such as regulation to choose a company name, choosing a type of company that is suitable for the company’s purpose. Do not worry about that. We are here to help and guide you to start the business in Singapore with a simple and fast process:

Step 1: Preparation

You can get advice from our advisory team for free for Singapore company incorporation including information about company name regulations and a business license and further assistance after your company establishment as well as any possible recommended services.

Step 2: Submitting information required and choosing the necessary services for your company.

You need to submit the information about your company Director, Shareholder, along with the percent of share owned for your Singapore, and choose the additional services that are necessary to start a business including Account Opening Service, Serviced Office, Trademark Registration, Merchant Account, or Bookkeeping. Should you even plan to work in Singapore, just note this step-down, our representatives will follow and support you after your company establishment.

Step 3: Payment for your favorite Singapore company and start/register  a business in Singapore.

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25. How to start an online business in Singapore?

Online business or eCommerce is one of the fastest-growing segments in the global markets, and especially in Singapore where prices of rent and total expenses of maintaining a business are increasing yearly. Guide to starting a online business in Singapore is simple and the process can be summarized through 4 steps:

Step 1: Research, analyze the market, and start with your business plan

  • What are your products and services?
  • Who are your potential customers?
  • What is your competitive advantage?
  • How much do you need to spend on your business?

These questions should be answered and covered in detail in your online business plan before doing any further steps.

Step 2: Reading and understanding the regulations on incorporating/starting an online company in Singapore

Although, legal documents and licensing are not required for the online business. However, you should also need to make sure that your online business also needs to comply with the country’s rules and regulations.

Step 3: Starting/Incorporating your company

Be careful with your decision to choose your business structure, your liability, taxes, and ability to raise capital and run business depend on your business structure.

Step 4: Establish the necessary infrastructure

To run your online business smoothly and efficiently, you need to establish the necessary infrastructure including staff, IT systems, and facilities that you need to promote, display or deliver your products and services to your customers.

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26. Can a foreigner open a bank account in Singapore?

Whether you are living overseas or a non-resident in Singapore, you can still open a personal bank account in Singapore without having to visit Singapore. However, the foreign or non-resident business owners need to visit the banks to open corporate bank account in Singapore.

The representatives of the banks will interview the applicants before making the final decision whether you are approved for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore or not.

The main reason for most foreigner opening bank account in Singapore is because of the safety factors that Singapore brings to individuals and businesses. In addition, although many other banks in the world are rated safe for individuals and businesses who want to open a foreign bank account for saving, investments, and trading, banks in Singapore are always the first choice and are considered for the convenience of account holders in logging into the banking system to manage accounts.

In other banks, international transactions often take a lot of time to make and have to go through a lot of complicated calls and exchanges between bankers and account holders.

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27. What are popular banks for a non-resident to open the account in Singapore?

After the clients (the non-residents or foreigners) submit online applications to the banks, the representative from the banks will contact the applicants to submit additional documents required to open a Singapore bank account for foreigners.

Some well-known banks among businesses to open accounts in Singapore for the non-residents business owners and investors:

DBS Bank: It has various accounts, including Business Edge Accounts and Business Edge Preferred.

  • For the Business Edge Account: It is suitable for the account holder to have multiple transactions and need to stay in touch with the bank regularly.
  • For the Business Edge Preferred: Highly recommended for businesses as the banking products and services fit with the businesses’ banking demands.

DBS offers the applicants the option of multi-currency accounts when they apply to open bank accounts with DBS. Most of the services are available to foreign customers. That makes the non-residents account holders can easily manage and transfer their money anywhere.

OCBC Bank: Another bank for foreign business owners to consider to open bank accounts in Singapore is OCBC Bank. However, the application process required a resident of Singapore to fulfill all required conditions.

UOB Bank: Foreign businesses can also apply with UOB Bank to open the corporate bank account in Singapore. However, for the non-residents, they can apply for an account with UOB by attending a meeting in person at a UOB branch.

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28. Is there an exception for Malaysians to open a bank account in Singapore?

There is no exception for Malaysian. It is the same processing for opening bank accounts in Singapore for Malaysians and foreigners.

The document requirements are the same for non-resident business owners and investors in creating the bank account in Singapore, whether the non-residents are Malaysians or not. Although they are neighboring countries, international banks in Singapore do not have any special offers to any country.

One IBC has lots of experience in corporate services consulting, as well as, experiences in investments and wealth management consulting. We will assist customers with all information about the bank system in Singapore, as well as legal procedures for opening a bank in Singapore for foreigners.

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29. Can foreigner open company in Singapore? What do I need to do?

The foreigners 100% can set up a company in Singapore and own its 100% shareholding without any troubles.

Singapore’s law requires the process of the procedures for the company formation are the same for resident and non-resident (foreigner) in Singapore, with the following conditions:

  • The company must assign a local company secretary.
  • The company must register a local business address.
  • The company must assign the resident director.
  • The minimum share capital of the company is S$1 for opening the company.

As you can see from the information above, the non-resident owners must have a resident director to register the Singapore company of all kinds of businesses. The non-resident of Singapore may not be able to fulfill all the required documents of the resident director. (Read more: Singapore company formation for non-resident)

The foreigners will have some limitations for the disclosure and recording of information by the government. Only a Singapore Resident or the holder of an Employment pass or Entrepreneur pass can accept this position.

The foreigners can get these visas when they apply to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for the Entrepass. After receiving one of a kind visa, the non-resident or foreigners can incorporate the company and officially work in Singapore, even become a director of their own company.

One IBC can support the customers in an offshore company in Singapore. With over 10 years of experience and in-depth knowledge of these services, we strongly believe that the customers, especially the Singapore non-resident, can easily open the company with a fast and safe procedure process.

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30. What are the options for Singapore company formation for non-resident?

Singapore is the top of the world in finance. Therefore, it is not surprising that many foreign investors and entrepreneurs want to set up their companies in Singapore. Some popular options for the type of Singapore company formation for non-resident can consider are:

Subsidiary: the foreigners already have their own business, now they want to expand to other markets in Singapore, so they open more other companies in other countries. In addition, subsidiaries are legally separate from the parent company, they can get tax advantages for Singapore company formation.

Branch office: a branch office would be a good choice for companies if the investors want to set the company up within the short-term in Singapore. It means the market expansion can be as soon as possible. The parent company will help the branch office in all activities and operations.

In addition, the registration process for company formation is simple and quick in Singapore. It can be done online by the parent company. However, the branch office is not a resident entity, it cannot be available for any tax exemptions.

Representative office: this kind of office is suitable for business and wants to learn more about Singapore. They want to research and collect more data and information which relate to their industry business that they are planning in Singapore.

It makes sure their money is spent at the right place and saves time when they start to run the company, especially this way is more useful for Singapore non-resident.

Redomiciliation:the process helps to transfer its registration from jurisdiction company to Singapore to become a local company instead. Singapore non-resident can use this kind of business for company formation in this country.

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31. Why incorporate in Singapore? - Forming company in Singapore

Singapore’s foreign ownership policy is flexible.The non-resident can own 100% of the equity of a Singapore company in all sectors. It creates more opportunities in forming company in Singapore.

Singapore is one of the countries that have low taxation for businesses.The corporate income tax rate is 8.5% and 17% for the profit up to S$300,000 and above S$300,000, respectively. Singapore company formation is the exemption from taxation like capital gain tax, VAT, accumulated earning tax,...

Singapore is the best place to live and work in Asia. With a strong and stable political environment, the Singaporeans and non-resident always feel secure to do their business and live with their family there. This is also a reason why foreigners chose to incorporate the company in Singapore. (Read more: Business environment in Singapore)

The various choices for opening a bank account for offshore banking in Singapore. The entrepreneurs and investors have more choice to open the multi-currency accounts and transfer their funds from other banks to Singapore banks and vice versa.

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