Starting a business is no less than an adventure these days. Even if you calculate everything to the extent of perfection, you can never be certain about the outcome.
It is extremely important to select a country that can facilitate you and your business to have an edge over competitors in the global market. Whether you are a Singapore Citizen, a permanent resident, or a foreigner, you have equal opportunities to start and grow your business in Singapore. Here is what you need to know to successfully incorporate your business:
Why to Start a Business in Singapore?
With a GDP per capita of nearly $60,000 U.S. dollars, Singapore is one of the centers of business activity in Asia. That is why a lot of new as well as established start-ups choose to launch in Singapore.
Alongside strong business and investment-friendly environment, Singapore is preferred by both local and international businesspeople for reasons like:
- It is #2 in the world for economic freedom, labor/employer relations, easiest place to carry out business activities, and is the second most competitive economy in the world
- Singapore is the world’s #4 least corrupt economy in the world
- As per the world bank report, it is the world’s #1 for achieving human capital in terms of knowledge and skills
- Singapore has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world
Due to these reasons, Singapore is undoubtedly a perfect place to start your business. Despite the above and many other top rankings, Singapore has a straightforward and easy incorporation procedure, and you can kickstart your business by following our simple step-by-step approach.
How to Start your Business in Singapore in 2022?
Being a global business hub and thanks to digitalization, you can now start your business in Singapore from anywhere in the world. That means you can even incorporate a company without having to reside in Singapore.
Here is what you need to start a business in Singapore:
- At least one shareholder (can be an individual or company
- At least one Singapore-based director. The director can be a Singapore citizen, permanent resident, or holder of an employment or dependent’s pass
- At least one company secretary (must be Singapore resident)
- A registered office address (physical)
- Initial capital of at least S$1 or its equivalent in another currency
If you are a Singapore citizen, you should be able to complete the incorporation process easily. Though you can complete it on your own, it is advisable to hire professionals so that everything is done effectively. It will save you time, effort and help avoiding mistakes.
However, if you are a foreigner, you would need to involve/hire an individual or a company to provide you with a Singapore-based director, a resident company secretary, and a registered physical office for your business.
Once you have the documents ready, here is how you can easily set up your company in Singapore using the ACRA bizfile website:
1. Decide and Approve Your Business’ Name and Type
Come up with a unique name that is not already taken and decide which business entity you want to establish. There are 5 business types listed on the ACRA’s bizfile portal. You should carefully select your business mode since a sole proprietorship, or a partnership may get you a registered business in Singapore but comes with unlimited liability. It means that your personal assets will be at risk while settling off the business debt upon liquidation.
Therefore, if you want to establish a separate legal entity, you should form a company instead of a sole proprietorship.
Moreover, the name must be unique to make you stand out and unreserved so that you can register it, it must not infringe on a copyright, and cannot be vulgar. If your company name violates any of these, you will not be able to proceed with the incorporation.
2. Prepare, Sign, and File the Documents
Once you have gathered the documents, the next step is to sign and file the documents with ACRA. For the company constitution, ACRA will provide a standard constitution for download during the incorporation.
In addition, you should attach the following 3 documents:
1. A document showing the consent of all company directors
2. Consent of the company secretary to act on behalf of the company
3. Declaration statement of all company controllers
If you are not an expert in the field, this process can take weeks. To make it easier and less costly for small business owners, we have partnered with SOAS Pte Ltd — One of the leading accounting firms in Singapore. SOAS can now take care of the hectic procedure and help you incorporate the company. Our partnership with SAOS enables us to provide special subsidies to Singaporean citizens and permanent residents, and you can save money by using our incorporation services. They will take care of all documentation handling and fill in all the applications for you. Check out what we have to offer.
3. Complete the Incorporation
If you have submitted the details and signed documents accurately, you should be able to complete the company incorporation process. Upon completion, you will receive 2 documents — your business profile and constitution upon completion. If you need, you can also purchase a certificate of incorporation.
ACRA does not provide a hard copy of documents by default and therefore, the certification of incorporation is referred to as an e-certificate of incorporation. If, for some reason, you are unable to complete the incorporation process, let the professionals at SOAS Pte Ltd check it out for you.
4. Getting Started
To get started you need:
- Apply for business permits or licenses, if required
- Open a corporate bank account
- Arrange and organize an office
- Get equipment
- Recruit employees
- File taxes
Operating a small business in a fast economy like Singapore can be hectic and you always have so much to deal with. While you can employ people to help and work toward your goals, you still need a robust accounting system in place to speed up your business processes and gain an edge in the rat race. Automa8e is an all-in-one solution that automates your accounting and decreases the number of errors and omissions.
We use cloud technology which means you no longer need to install heavy hardware and software to automate your accounting. With a few clicks and customizations, you will be able to set up a web-based accounting solution that you and your employees (including international employees and freelance accountants) can access even remotely. Let Automa8e take care of your accounting so that you can focus on your expansion plans!