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Who Needs to Register a Company in Singapore?

In Singapore, both local and foreign entrepreneurs, including individuals and corporate entities, must register their business with ACRA to legally operate. This includes appointing a local resident director for foreign entities and complying with specific requirements like having a local address and a minimum initial paid-up capital.

In Singapore, the process of registering a company is streamlined and governed by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The need to register a company in Singapore applies to anyone intending to conduct business activities in a structured and recognized legal entity. This includes both local residents and foreign individuals or entities. Here’s a breakdown of who needs to register a company in Singapore:

1. Local Entrepreneurs:

Local entrepreneurs who wish to establish a formal business structure, such as a Private Limited Company, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), or Sole Proprietorship, must register their business with ACRA. This formal registration is necessary to legally conduct business, open business bank accounts, enter into contracts, and hire employees.

2. Foreign Individuals:

Foreign individuals looking to start a business in Singapore must also register their company with ACRA. However, they are typically required to do so through a professional firm since they must appoint a local resident director for their company as per Singaporean law. They can own 100% of the company's shares but must ensure compliance with local regulations, including the need for a local director.

3. Foreign Companies:

Foreign companies wishing to establish a presence in Singapore, either by setting up a subsidiary, branch office, or representative office, need to register their entity with ACRA. A subsidiary is treated as a separate legal entity, whereas a branch office is considered an extension of the foreign parent company. Representative offices are primarily for conducting market research or coordinating activities and cannot engage in commercial revenue-generating activities.

4. Entrepreneurs Interested in Relocating:

Entrepreneurs from overseas interested in relocating to Singapore to run their business have the option to apply for an EntrePass, a type of work pass specifically designed for foreign entrepreneurs. However, registering the business and obtaining the EntrePass involves meeting specific criteria, including a viable business plan and sufficient capital.

Requirements for Registration:

To register a company in Singapore, the following are typically required:

  • A company name approved by ACRA.

  • At least one shareholder (individual or corporate entity).

  • At least one resident director (a Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident, or holder of an EntrePass/Employment Pass with a LOC (Letter of Consent)).

  • A company secretary resident in Singapore.

  • A minimum initial paid-up capital of S$1 (or its equivalent in any currency).

  • A physical Singapore address as the registered address of the company (cannot be a P.O. Box).

Registering a company in Singapore is a straightforward process but requires compliance with local laws and regulations. It is essential for anyone planning to engage in commercial activities within the country, whether they are local residents or foreign nationals/entities. The process ensures legal recognition, facilitates business operations, and enhances credibility with customers, suppliers, and financial institutions.

Who Needs to Register a Company in Singapore?

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