If you have come to this article, you likely intend to incorporate a company in Singapore. Singapore applies the facility of ‘ease of doing business’ and tax incentives to every business.
Whatever the case, there are a few conditions that an entrepreneur is required to meet for a Singapore business incorporation. The island-state has a unique set of compliance standards. They are essential components to uphold legalized trading conditions. The Singapore company registration process works under the Companies Act, Cap 50.
The Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) which also plays the role of the Company Registrar of Singapore, oversees the procedure of company registration in Singapore. If you are determined to put together a new company or move an operational one to the city-state, remember to conform to the requirements defined by ACRA.
Establishing a business venture in Singapore can be free of hassles and time-saving if done right.
A foreigner keen on starting a company in Singapore is required to get support from a domestic corporate registration provider since they are not permitted to register a new company in the country, on their own.
For company incorporation in Singapore and launching an enterprise here, a business entity is required to first pass through the Singapore company incorporation process.
The city-state’s business incorporation process is widely known for being one of the speediest and easiest to access, the world over – a process that is normally processed in just two-and-a-half days, on an average, as long as every condition is met.
Once obtained all the documents required, online submissions are to be directed to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority’s (ACRA) electronic portal.
Before your company qualifies to be incorporated in Singapore, its name must get approval from ACRA. In normal cases, company names, by and large, get approval or rejection in an hour.
However, ACRA maintains the authority to put off the reservation for the suggested names that comprise certain indications of controlled industries (e.g., school, bank, finance, law or media) and might necessitate the evaluation and endorsement of an external government authority.
Responses to the applications for approval from the concerned government agency can range from 7 days to 2 months. ACRA maintains the right to discard a projected company name if it is disagreeable or is similar to another company name that is in operation.
A new company must have a physical Singapore address as its registered address. This address can either be a residential or commercial one. However, it cannot be a P.O. Box. All government agencies and authorities will direct their announcements and formal documents to the registered office address. Sinagpore corporate service providers like Pearson & Partners can provide the registered address services during the incorporation stage.
It is important to make sure that any inbound mail sent on that address is checked regularly. Our registered address services include the email notification of the mails and also provide the mail forwarding services, a separate telephone line.
A minimum of one Resident Director must be hired. He or she must be a normal person having a residence in Singapore. This would mean any of the following:
He or she must also be having a valid home address in Singapore. There is no fixed upper limit value of the number of extra-regional or foreign directors that can be hired. All directors should essentially not be less than 18 years in age and must not be insolvent or have a conviction record of any crime-oriented misconduct. Directors can also switch to an additional role of shareholders. If you are relocating to Singapore, then you can apply for your employment pass and become a local resident director. Otherwise, you can engage with our Singapore nominee director services, which can be renewed every year.
It is a must for every company to hire a capable Resident Company Secretary in not more than six months after it has been incorporated. The company secretary is mainly responsible for ensuring meeting the regulatory requirements enforced by the government. A company secretary should essentially be a normal Singapore resident holding a legitimate domicile address in Singapore. Single directors and shareholders are not allowed to take up the position of a company secretary.
The legal requirement is a minimum of a single shareholder and he or she can also be a director of the same company of which he or she is a shareholder. The Singapore Companies Act permits at the most 50 shareholders for a private limited company, in the country.
Also according to the law of the land, all the shares of a company can be held by a foreigner. Once completion of the incorporation process of a new company has been a success, shares can be freely circulated or reassigned any time.
The least amount of Paid-Up Capital to incorporate a company in Singapore is S$1. This amount is much lower as against the necessary paid-up capital from other prosperous countries and this amount does not require a bank statement to support it. Once the company is incorporated, this amount can be raised at any given time. If you are applying for your employment pass (EP) for relocation, we recommend you to put a higher paid-up capital (at least S$50,000).
In Singapore, the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) regulates the process of company incorporation. The process runs under the jurisdiction of the Singapore Companies Act, Cap 50. The process is simple and here, it is explained in just two steps viz., 1) Getting the Company Name Approved and 2) Filing of the Application Form for Company Registration.
Ideally, the new entrepreneur who is starting the company is required to shortlist two to three company names of choice and find out whether they are available on ACRA’s website. Any name that is available with ACRA can be selected.
The name must be exclusive, one of its kind and should not be improper in sound or meaning. It must not breach copyright laws or disagree with trademarks, or the patent law. After approval of the company name, one can move to the next step, i.e., company registration. A company name that has passed approval continues to be reserved for 60 days.
The individual planning to open a new company in Singapore can submit the application form online once the company name approval process has been completed. Bear in mind to submit all the required documents attached with the form. Once it is successfully submitted, the authority will send you an email. This email is a notification that the company has been incorporated in Singapore. Also, a softcopy of the incorporation certificate is mailed to the business owner.
For a more in-depth account of how to incorporate your business or corporate head office in Singapore, the best way is to let us help you.
We are a leading provider of professional corporate solutions and a one-stop solution provider for entities intending to establish their first office or launch an extension of their existing operations in the country.
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Are you a foreigner looking to relocate to Singapore to start and run a business? Then the Singapore Entrepreneur Pass or EntrePass is just the thing for you. To be eligible to apply for this work visa, the entrepreneur who intends to come to Singapore to establish a company, must display a paid-up capital of at least S$50,000. This helps entrepreneurs who have a more successful professional record, as compared to documented qualifications. The EntrePass works perfectly for foreign businesspersons who fall short of academic certifications or are not eligible according to the Employment Pass scheme, but have proved their business expertise through booming professional experience. In practice, applying for an EntrePass used to be more difficult than that for an Employment Pass (EP), due to the paid-up capital requirement of S$50,000. However, this requirement has now been removed to attract more qualified applicants worldwide. What Makes You Eligible and Ineligible for the EntrePass? A foreign entrepreneur can apply for the EntrePass if the following conditions are met: 1. The candidate has or aims to launch a private limited company, registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) in Singapore. In case the company has already been registered, it should be less than or equal to 6 months old on the date of application. 2. The applicant must be a minimum 30% shareholder in the capital of the company.Additional Provisions The applicant is required to meet a minimum of one of the listed requirements, either in the capacity of an innovator, an entrepreneur, or an investor: Innovator · The enterprise should be a holder or an intellectual property asset. · The company should have had participated in joint research with A*STAR or a university. · The company must possess excellent technical or domain expertise that is connected to the intended business. Entrepreneur · The financial support of the company must come from a Government-recognized VC or business angel. · The company should have active involvement in a Government-supported incubator. · The candidate must have a proven track record or network and bright business history of having launched very lucrative enterprises. Investor · The candidate must have a good previous experience of business investments and should be keen on expanding a new company or already existent one in Singapore. You can learn more about these requirements here. Businesses Ineligible for the EntrePass Cafés, cafeterias, massage parlors, pubs, night clubs, job placement services and others, do not qualify for the EntrePass. A full account of the businesses that do not qualify for the pass is available on the MOM website. The Application Procedure How to Apply? An applicant or a representative of the applicant is eligible to submit an application for the EntrePass. The MOM lays down the steps listed below to apply for the EntrePass: 1. An applicant must attach the EntrePass application form with necessary documents and submit the pack. 2. Once the application has been approved, as a policy, the MOM will issue an approval letter. The applicant is required to register the company (in case not already done so) with ACRA within a month of receiving the letter. 3. As a rule, the EntrePass should be issued within 6 months of the approval letter. 4. Once the EntrePass has been issued, the fingerprint and photo registration of the candidate is required. 5. MOM will send the card to the address indicated in the application. Essential Paperwork The following documents must be attached and submitted along with the application for the EntrePass: 1. Copy of the individual information page of applicant’s passport; 2. Previous service testimonies in English; and 3. A plan of action that mentions the enterpriser’s business strategy, market research, market plan, products or services in the offering, etc. Bear in mind that at the time of applying, if the business is already registered with ACRA, the following must be submitted: 1. A copy of the company’s recent profile (as can be seen on the ACRA website) How to Renew, Cancel and Replace the EntrePass? EntrePass Renewal The EntrePass that is issued for the first time has a validity of 1+1 years. This means that one year after its issue, the EntrePass must be renewed. If all eligibility requirements for renewal are fulfilled, the validity is extended for one additional year. From then on, all the EntrePass renewals that follow will have a 2-year validity. An EntrePass holder can put forward an application to get his pass renewed, 3 months before it expires. Among the renewal requirements is that the EntrePass holder must retain the initial business plan submitted to the Ministry when applying for the first time. For renewal of the pass, the holder needs to make sure that his business creates employment in Singapore. For more information on the renewal of an EntrePass click here. Cancelling the EntrePass In case an EntrePass needs to be cancelled, it can be done by the pass holder, a company agent or an employment agent. The cancellation should happen and the pass must be returned in a week’s duration after the closure of the business. Replacement of the EntrePass In case of theft, loss or damage to EntrePass, the holder of the pass, or an agent appointed by the company, or an employment agent can submit an application to have the pass replaced, not later than 7 days since the loss. Additionally, in case an EntrePass holder’s card is stolen, the incident must be reported to the police. Notification of Changes If any one or more of the following changes are to be done to an EntrePass, the pass holder must notify the MOM: 1. Line of business; 2. Candidate’s personal information, home address, office address; 3. Salary; 4. Company name and account info and 5. Line of work To know more about notifying these changes and the related timeframes visit the MOM website. Family Onboard There are two passes that enable EntrePass holders to call their families to Singapore and be with them; the Dependant’s Pass orthe Long Term Visit Pass. The eligible family members comprise: 1. Spouse. 2. Common-law spouse 3. Unmarried and lawfully adopted children, below 21 years of age 4. Unmarried differently-abled children, above 21 years of age 5. Unmarried step-children below 21 years of age 6. Parents EntrePass holders can get their family members on board in Singapore, once they have successfully renewed their passes. In other words, EntrePass holders are not allowed to get their family members after they apply for the pass the first time. Also, to get a family member to Singapore the EntrePass holder must ensure that he or she meets the total business expense and employment generation conditions as ruled by the MOM. Conclusion An EntrePass is a necessity for a foreign entrepreneur who intends to set up and operate a business in Singapore. Do not forget that the MOM carefully scans all applications, as well as the business plans that are submitted along with them, to check if the submissions conform to the requirements of the Ministry. With our help, your chances of getting the Singapore EntrePass are much higher and free of troubles. Contact us today so that we can evaluate your eligibility and come up with ways that increase your hit rate. This is your chance to live and do business in Asia’s most desired city.read more
About Reinsurance Reinsurance is a contract under which a reinsurer agrees to indemnify a ceding company against all or part of the primary insurance risks underwritten by the ceding company under one or more insurance contracts. Market Trends Singapore is not only Asia’s largest international financial center but also one of Asia’s largest international reinsurance centers. The Singapore insurance market remains very competitive. As of the end of 2016, the market had gross premiums total receipt of about over S$3.97 billion and a total asset worth of about S$11.14 billion. Statistics collected over the seven-year period between 2010 and 2016 indicate a growing market. Total gross premiums and retention ratios have increased year on year, indicating good growth prospects for the market as a whole. In particular, the Singaporean general insurance sector registered a compound annual growth rate of 23.1% from 2010 to 2016 in respect of gross written premiums. Since 2011, statistics show that the offshore insurance market has maintained its retention ratio at about 60% and increased its total assets up to S$22.2 billion. The Singapore reinsurance market remains extremely competitive. Total gross premiums for the reinsurance industry were S$4.9 billion in 2016 and retention ratio has been 69.1%. Regulatory Framework The Insurance Act (Cap 142) governs insurance and reinsurance activities in Singapore. Regulatory Bodies Insurance and reinsurance activities are regulated by the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore), established by the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Cap 186). MAS is responsible for the licensing, authorization and supervision of insurance and reinsurance activities. Authorized Reinsurer Overseas insurers may apply for authorization to carry on life and/or general reinsurance business in Singapore. Authorized Reinsurers: - Do not have a physical presence in Singapore and provide insurance services from overseas to persons in Singapore. - Are subject to limited oversight by MAS compared to licensed insurers : Not required to set up and maintain separate insurance funds for policies taken out by persons in Singapore : No need to comply with solvency margin requirements Admission Criteria MAS assesses applications for authorization of reinsurers based on these criteria: - Domestic and international rankings of the applicant by factors such as premiums and assets - Past and present credit ratings by international rating agencies (i.e., Standard and Poor's, A.M Best, Moody's and Fitch) - Track record, financial soundness and reputation of the applicant MAS will consult the applicant's home supervisory authority to check the applicant’s compliance with its home regulations. - Risk management systems and processes aligning with the size and complexity of the business - Fitness and propriety of the applicant and all persons having control of the applicant Documents To Be Submitted Along With The Application Form 1) A certified true copy of the license issued by the insurance supervisory authority in the country in which the company is carrying on insurance business 2) A copy of the annual report and financial statements of both the applicant and its ultimate parent company for each of the last three years Processing Time It will take approximately 6 to 8 weeks after submission of complete application to process and approve an application. As each application will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, processing time depends on the circumstances of each application and the completeness of the information submitted. Annual Fee Every authorized reinsurer shall pay an annual fee of S$10,000 to the Authority before 1st January of each year. License For Reinsurer Applicants need a license to carry on life and/or general reinsurance business in Singapore. Admission Criteria MAS assesses applications for life and/or general reinsurance licenses based on these criteria: - Same as admission criteria for authorized reinsurer - Well-developed business strategy and detailed plans reflecting the risk profile of the business Documents To Be Submitted Along With The Application Form 1) A certified true copy of the license issued by the insurance supervisory authority in the country in which the company is carrying on insurance business 2) A certified true copy of the letter from the insurance supervisory authority in the country granting the company to establish insurance operations in Singapore, if such approval is required. (If approval is not required, a statement to this effect should be provided.) 3) A copy of the annual report and financial statements of both the applicant and its ultimate parent company for each of the last three years 4) A copy of the feasibility study conducted in respect of the proposed Singapore operations (including financial projections for the proposed Singapore operations). Taxation Of Insurance And Reinsurance Providers Under the Income Tax Act, all companies are generally taxed at the rate of 17% on their chargeable income. However, some insurers may be subject to different tax rates depending on the type of insurance business carried on. ∙ Life Insurance Business Insurers carrying on life insurance business are subject to a tax rate of 10% on life insurance surplus of any life insurance fund apportioned to policyholders for each year of assessment. ∙ Marine Hull and Liability Insurance/Reinsurance Business Tax is payable at the rate of 5% on chargeable income derived by an approved marine hull and liability insurer for each year of assessment. ∙ Offshore General Insurance/Reinsurance Business An approved insurer carrying on offshore life insurance business and insuring/reinsuring offshore risks will be taxed at the rate of 10% on chargeable income for each year of assessment. ∙ Captive Insurers Captive insurers are exempt from tax on any underwriting income derived from insuring offshore risks. Singapore Insurance Market Trends Source: MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) Life insurance valuation results for the year ended 31st December 2018 - Professional Reinsurer Source: MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) If you have any questions about Singapore company incorporation and investment in Singapore, please contact us via Contact Us page. We will provide you with a variety of solutions for efficient business operations as well as practical advice on legal requirements.read more