Singapore Company Introduction

This Singapore Company page was last updated on May 17, 2012

Introduction to setting up a Singapore Company

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  • Singapore Company Introduction

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Introduction to Singapore Company

Getting your Singapore Company up and running can be -

Not so easy as you’re told it is

Historical Background on the Evolution of Singapore as Business-Hub

Surly Singapore has risen the last 3 decades, but so did almost every country in Asia. There was hardly any country left behind that hasn’t capitalized or "cashed in" from the globalization boom. Before you make a move, however, you need to clearly ask yourself some very important, strategic questions

What is it that your company focuses on; Finance, Banking, Insurance, than Singapore can be interesting, maybe. If you were to invest several million US dollars, it would certainly help to incorporate your company in Singapore.

On the other hand, if your business is about trading, importing/exporting, manufacturing, distribution, etc. you need to ask yourself where your main markets are and then again, why not going right into your market? Wouldn’t that make more sense? Besides, you need to still take port, loading and storage into account, too and Singapore being a "city-country" that space is limited. Hong Kong is still and will remain the Trade-Hub harbour for South-East Asia, escpecially with Guangzhou just in the next room! So, there are for sure many questions you need to find a justifyable answer to before jumping at Singapore.

So what options do you have in Singapore anyway? Not many. And the options which are dished up are quite a funny flavour, too. Singapore is not like Hong Kong where the Company Ordicance is very straight forward (similar to the English System)

Singapore’s Corporate Company Structure

Singapore’s corporate company structure is made up of the common three (3) columns;

  • Sole Proprietorship Company
  • Partnership Company
  • The Company

A Partnership Company may be divided into another 3:

  • Simple Partnership Company
  • Limited Partnership Company or LP
  • Limited Liability Partnership Company or LLP
  • Warning 1:

    Every company who offers you assistance in registering your company in Singapore, MUST HAVE a special "Professional" number assigned to their company, issued by the Singapore Government, that allows such company to assist you with your company registration. No such number - their offer must be conidered "Illegal", and thus, you could seriously jeapordize your own enterprise in Singapore.

    Warning 2:

    Every foreigner who wishes to incorporate a compnay in Singapore, NEED TO APPLY for a "EntrePass from the Ministry of Manpower! NO EntrePass NO incorporation!"


Therefore, we can only stress, and stress again, whoever you like to engage to assist you with your company registration in Singapore, ASK the question and DEMAND the papers. If you hear excuses or twisted explanation, it’s your call, we warned you! If you neglegct these simple, yet utmost important rules, your business can be out of business faster than you’d wished for.

Second, most "Singaporean Business Registration" companies will try to get around the need for you to apply for an EntrePass, by offering you a so fugitive, or so called "Nominee Resident Director"... SG$ 2000.00 may sound cheap enough but that’s exactly what it is. Fact is, the law requires you to apply for an EntrePass and if you think you can get around this by having someone in Singapore representing your company, well, think not twice but trice, who is this Director and why should he/she be willing to accept such a high responibility for "Your" company and for so little money? There you have it. When it comes to money, that’s where the friendly smile and friendship ends. And just the same, short way, may your business end, too.

Besides, you need to keep in mind that any such "NOMINEE" director can do whatever he/she wants to do without even having to consult the other director, ...? It all depends how little value you put on your business to allow any person to take over your business, for SG$ 2/3K? The questions is, unless you really want to reside in Singapore and really need to have your bsuiness in Singapore, why put up with so much extra hassle, if you could have it all so much easier, untwisted, in Hong Kong, instead?

Hence, the only alternative you really have is you really immigrate to Singapore yourself (or one of your overseas partners, if you have any), or, register a "partnership" company instead. This, however, requires just as much careful consideration and planning and more importantly ... trust-building first, before you shall even think about.

Then, of course, there is still the legal definition of the partnership and on that, you may find yourself rather surprised on how easy things could be for your partner. You really need to get the facts on many issues here before you could make any decision. Once sealed, it’s sealed and that can easy be the end of story.

  • To sum up:

    To have your business registered in Singapore is really only feasible and secure, if you either reside in Singapore as a Director yourself, or if you can relocate on of your current Director from your home country to Singapore. Other than that, your risk levels for running your business out of Singapore are far too high! Consider your options and make a professional decision!


Legal Syntax and Basic Requirements for a Singapore Company

Legal entity definition of a Singapore Company

  • A Singapore Private Company is a legal business entity, separated from its shareholders and directors
  • A Singapore Private Company may have up to 50 members, maximum (except an Exempt Private Company, which is limited to maximum 20 members)
  • A Singapore Private Company can own property
  • The Liability of a Singapore Private Company Member is limited
  • The company can only sue or be sued in the company’s name
  • Members of the company cannot be held liable for company loss or debt

Basic Requirements of a Singapore Company

  • The new Singapore Private company must have at least one shareholder
  • At least one director of the company must be an ordinarily resident of Singapore and at minimum legal age of 18 years.
  • Foreigners who wish to act as a local director of the company, may apply for an EntrePass from the Ministry of Manpower
  • Undischarged bankrupts cannot act as director and/or manage a company without court or Official Assignee’s approval
  • Company secretary is obligatory and the new Singapore Private company must appoint a company secretary within 6 months of incorporation
  • Unless the company is exempt (Exempt Private Company) the Singapore Private company must appoint an auditor within 3 months after incorporation date
  • Annual Returns must be filed and include Statutory requirements for general meetings, directors, company secretary, share allotments.

  • something

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