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How to register a company

in Singapore for foreigners

Anyone above 18 years old can register a company in Singapore.

The minimum requirement is one shareholder (member) and one director. However, if you are a foreigner, there will be a need to engage one local director, who can act as nominee. It is very common that this service is provided by local incorporation agents, who undertake the process of company registration in Singapore. Foreigners need to engage either a law firm or registered filing agent (the latter is much cheaper) to incorporate a company; they simply can't do it on their own, even though the incorporation process is very simple and executed online via Bizfile portal. Intracorp is a registered filing agent (RFA) based in Singapore and can help you incorporate a company here.

Here are the essential requirements for the incorporation of a private company in Singapore:

  • Company name - must be original and we can check if it is available in advance and for free!

  • Minimum 1 shareholder (member)

  • Local director - ordinary resident in Singapore (Citizen, Permanent Resident or long-term work pass holder). It will be provided as a service to our clients. Other than that, the number of directors and their nationalities are not regulated.

  • Company secretary - a physical person, ordinary resident in Singapore. 

  • Registered address - again, this is a standard service provided by our firm. If you have your own business address, you can use it; or we can find a special address for you, even with the real office space!

​When it is decided on the company structure, we will prepare a simple form by which the future members of the company provide their consent for incorporation. They sign it electronically and upload the copy. That's almost all. Other than that, the following documents and information required for each member:

  • Passport copy

  • Document confirming the residential address (usually it is either Utility Bill or Bank Statement copy)

  • Resume of Director or Ultimate Beneficial Owner of the Company

  • Contact details (telephone, email).

That's all! The new Singapore company can be incorporated within one hour!

Don't forget to inquire about essential services

for Singapore companies:

Taxation

Frequently asked questions:

Company’s desired name


There are several general guidelines that business owners should generally observe when selecting a name for their company, such as: Ensuring that there are no words that can be construed as vulgar or inappropriate; Usage of national symbols, such as “Merlion” In addition, certain industries that are regulated by governing bodies due to the nature of their business, for example such as the provision of educational or medical services, may need approval or referral from the governing authority or society before they can proceed with reservation of the business name. A comprehensive list of the relevant governing bodies can be found on ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority website): The list of Referral Authorities For the avoidance of doubt, companies should undertake the responsibility of checking with the relevant government body.




Principal Activities


The company’s principal activities can be chosen from the list set out in the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (“SSIC”). This is also known as the company’s SSIC code. Similar to the company’s chosen business name, if the company chooses certain business activities that are regulated, the company’s name application may be forwarded to the relevant governing body for its consideration.




Company’s directors and shareholders


With regards to the particulars of directors and shareholders, companies should note that it is a requirement that at least one director be locally resident in Singapore. Similarly, the company’s registered office should also be based in Singapore. The local director should fulfill the prescribed criteria that are stipulated in the Companies’ Act, namely that he or she:

  • Is a natural person of sound mind over 18 years of age (i.e. corporations cannot be a director)
  • Is not an undischarged bankrupt by a Singapore Court or a foreign court
  • Is not an unfit director of an insolvent company
  • Is not a director of a company which was wound up on grounds of national security or interest
  • Has not been convicted of any offence involving fraud or dishonesty
  • Has not been convicted in Singapore of any offence in connection with the formation or management of a corporation
  • Has not been adjudged guilty of three or more offences within the last five years in relation to the requirements of the Companies Act
  • Is not subject to a disqualification order under section 34, 35, 36 of the Limited Liability Partnerships Act
It has been the norm that directors and shareholders have to disclose their personal details, such as their residential address, as part of the incorporation process. This information would then be made available for purchase by the public, when they purchase the Business Profile (also known as Certificate of Incumbency in various other jurisdictions) from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (“ACRA”). Recognising the need for privacy, ACRA has now introduced the option of the use of an alternate address for each individual. However, the use of this option is limited by the following conditions:
  • The alternate address cannot be a P.O. Box
  • Should be in the same jurisdiction as the individual’s residential address
  • Individual must still provide his or her residential address to ACRA
ACRA takes the provision of false information seriously; and any individual found to have provided a false address will result in ACRA barring the said individual from using alternate address for the next three years. Hence, companies are advised to be cautious and meticulous when filling out their applications.





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