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3 Simple Steps to Starting a Business in Singapore: Singaporean, Singapore Permanent Resident & Foreigner’s Guide

Apr 22, 2021

Do you know that Singapore has been ranked the second best and fourth best on the Doing Business Report 2020 by the World Bank for the ease of doing business and starting a business, respectively?

According to the Doing Business report, Singapore can offer you a wide range of advantages, such as a world-class bank system, low tax rates, and many tax-cut schemes.

Anyone over the age of 18 years can start a company in Singapore, if he/she has not been convicted of any legal offence or bankruptcy.

Here are 3 simple steps (additional step for foreigners) to setting up a company and starting a business in Singapore. No need for any hassle because everything can be done online!

Click on the links below to download the complete guide to starting a business in Singapore.

For Singaporean and Singapore Permanent Resident
For Foreigners


Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure

The first step you need to do is to finalise the business structure you want to register.

Many new companies register with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) as a “Private Limited Company” because it is the most scalable, the most advanced, and the most flexible.

Moreover, shareholders are not liable for debts and losses beyond their share capital despite the company being recognised as a taxable entity.

There are 5 common business structures in Singapore:

  • Sole-Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited Partnership
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • Company (Corporation)


Step 2: Set Up Your Company

The next step is to set up your company.

Here are the key actions and information for setting up your company in Singapore:

  • Company name: Must be an approved company name and registered with ACRA
  • Shareholders: Must have a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 50 shareholders
  • Directors: Need at least one director who is either Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) or an Employment Pass/EntrePass holder
  • Company secretary: Must appoint at least one company secretary within six months after the incorporation
  • Paid-up capital: Require a minimum of 1 SGD
  • Registered address: Require a local registered address in Singapore for company office


Step 3: Open a Corporate Bank Account

The final step is to open a corporate bank account.

After you have successfully registered your company, you will be able to open a corporate bank account. Singapore has a wide range of reliable local and international banks that you can open a bank account for your company.


Additional Requirements for Foreigners

Foreigners who are interested in registering their company in Singapore will also need to consider the following:

  • Appoint a local resident director if he/she does not reside in Singapore and does not intend to do so
  • Engage a professional firm in Singapore as foreign individual is not allowed to self-register a company in Singapore
  • Foreign individual may need to travel in order to set up a corporate bank account as most banks in Singapore require the company’s director(s) to be physically present to approve the opening of a bank account


Incorporating a company in Singapore is fast, easy, and free from unnecessary red-tape, so this should not be a reason that is stopping you from starting a business from home.

But there are other business processes and annual regulatory compliance requirements to follow and take note after incorporation.

While running your new company, do make sure that it obliges to all compliance requirements in Singapore. More details can be found in our complete guide below. Click on the links below to download.

For Singaporean and Singapore Permanent Resident
For Foreigners

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