Drawing on my own experiences, I’ll try to let you know how to go about registering (incorporating) a company in Singapore. I will mainly go over finding your first employee, and what to be aware of.

Normal employment:

Now, I would like to tell you how employment works in Singapore. First, as a foreigner, getting here and getting work permits is fairly easy and it requires that you are employed in a local company here or that the company you work for abroad has some legal representation here.

Typically, you can obtain a temporary work permit (green card) that can be extended if one’s employment conditions in a local company are still met. After a while that varies slightly depending on the number of new citizens here (about 3 years), you can apply for PR status (Permanent Resident) and if you have achieved it, stay here for as long as you want to comply with the law.

Start the Company:

But you can also easily start your own business here without having to live in Singapore in advance and I will briefly show you what it takes to do that. And I’ll share it in the example where you just want to have a Singapore company without staying here – and an example where you want to have a Singapore company and also want to live here.

To own a Singapore company as a foreigner and with a foreign residence, eg UK:

The type of company that is easiest to start is a private company with limited financial liability here called “Private Limited” (Pte. Ltd.) – and that is why almost all Singapore companies are called xxxxxxx Pte. Ltd.

  • The requirement for equity is at least 1 SGD $ (about $1 USD)
  • You must be over 18 years old
  • You must have a bank account in Singapore.

The corporate tax of the profit is 9% for the first 300,000 SGD $ annually and flat 17% over 300,000 SGD $ (300,000 SGD = about 300,000 USD). GST (VAT) is 7% (Goods and Service Tax).

If the turnover is below 1,000,000 SGD per Year (about 1,000,000 USD), you do not have to be a GST registered. But you can also volunteer GST register no matter what the turnover is and it’s an advantage if you trade the most with other companies and it seems more professional I think. In addition, the quarterly reporting of GST is very easy and takes place online.

When you start a Pte. Ltd. There must also be a company secretary (company secratary) who is local resident but that person does not have to be co-owners of the company and there are really many accounting companies that offer as a service to do – just because that person does not have an economical responsibility. The purpose of the company secretary is simply that this person must sign the annual accounts and that is why it typically is a person from an accounting firm because often you may not have even employed an administrative person who can make it review the financial statements.

Note that this secretary does not need to be in possession of the bank account and therefore does not have to co-sign on, for example, checks – ie you can have financial responsibility yourself if you do not want to share it with others. All of the above information was provided by the leading Halal Certification company in Singapore.


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