How to Register a Company in Singapore – Complete Guide for 2023

Singapore is one of the biggest global economies, with an annual gross domestic product of over $400 billion, or about $70,000 per capita. It’s within a six-hour radius of any Southeast Asian country, making it a gateway to even larger economies. Many people want to register businesses in Singapore because of these economic advantages, and we’ll show you how to do that.

Pick A Name And Get It Approved By ACRA

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is the corporate body responsible for company registration in Singapore. You’ll need to pick a name for your business and get it approved by this agency. The name must meet these requirements:

  • It must not be a name already taken by another company. You can check corporate registries to confirm this.
  • It must not be similar to an already established trademark.
  • The name must not contain any vulgar or inappropriate language.

If ACRA approves your name, it’ll be reserved for 120 days, during which you must register the company.

Decide the Company Type/Shareholding

After getting a name, the next step is to decide the type of company you want to incorporate. You can choose from one of the following:

  • Sole proprietorship: A one-man firm, with the owner personally responsible for corporate debts.
  • Partnership: When two or more people decide to start a business and share responsibilities for managing it. The owners are personally responsible for the corporate debts.
  • Limited Company: The firm assumes a separate legal identity, meaning the owners are not personally liable for corporate debts.
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Every company must have at least one shareholder and a share capital of at least 1 Singaporean dollar or the equivalent in another currency. The firm will have a specific number of shares distributed between various shareholders.

Appoint Directors and Secretary

The business must have at least one director who manages corporate affairs and sets strategy. The director can be a foreign or local resident and must be

  • At least 18 years old
  • Not convicted of previous criminal charges
  • Not under bankruptcy

Directors’ information will be on public records.

You must also appoint a secretary who manages administrative affairs and advises directors on regulatory compliance. The secretary must be a local resident.

If the business has only one director, then that director can not act as corporate secretary. But if there are multiple directors, one of them can also be the secretary.

Office Address

You must have a registered office address where you can receive mail concerning business-related matters. This address must be accessible during working hours.

You may apply for a permit to use your home as an office address, but you must meet specific requirements to get approved.

Documentation

Once you have all these aforementioned requirements, it’s time to submit documents to ACRA. The required documents include

  • Valid government-issued identification for all shareholders, directors, and secretary
  • Registered office address
  • Memorandum of association: A legal document signed by all shareholders stating their intention to form a company.
  • Articles of association: A legal document outlining the rules and regulations governing the business.

You’ll submit the documentation to ACRA and wait for a review. You can submit it online or in person. Once ACRA approves your application, you’ll receive a Certificate of Incorporation confirming your company has been registered and is formally recognized by the government.

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You can incorporate your company in Singapore in as low as 24 hours if you do it online. In-person applications usually take several days to review. In some cases, your application will need further review, which delays the time.

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