Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up a New Company in Singapore

seo planning

Are you a new entrepreneur looking to start a business in Singapore? There are many online resources regarding the process of a new company set up. However, it can be confusing to read many different articles, as well as the Singapore rules and regulations regarding registering a business.

Below is a step-by-step guide, as well as a short checklist to setting up a local company in Singapore.

Information Required for Setting up a Local Company

Note: For foreigners looking to set up a local company in Singapore, it is compulsory to engage the service of a professional company incorporate services provider, or firm, in order to be eligible for the process of setting up a local company in Singapore.

  • Company Name

It is always advisable to come up with a few potential names for the new company. ACRA has also enable applicants to reserve a company name before the actual incorporation through Bizfile. It is important to note that the Registrar may reject a proposed name which is:

  1. Undesirable in the view of Singapore’s Law

  2. Similar to existing business entities

  3. Usage of certain controlled words such as “Group”, “Bank”, “School” etc. These keywords will be subjected to approval

  •  Business Activities

All business entities in Singapore are required to have at least one and maximum two business activities in conjunction with the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification Code also known as the “SSIC Code”. In event that the company has more than two business activities, it is always advisable to put in the two activities that will be generating the most revenue for the company.

  • Directorship

For local company set up in Singapore, one of the requirements is to have at least one local resident Director. A Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident and EntrePass holder can act as the sole director of the Company. Foreigners who wish to be a director of the Company must note that there have to be at least one local resident of Singapore who is a director. Alternatively, the Company can engage the service of a professional firm which offers nominee director services.

  • Share Capital & Shareholders

The minimum requirement for Share Capital is S$1 and the Company must have at least 1 shareholder. The Shareholder can be a local or foreign individual or even a corporate entity. The paid up capital have to be deposited in the bank account registered under the Company during the initial set up and can be subsequently withdrawn and used for business-related expenses.

  • Corporate Secretary

All local Companies set up in Singapore have to appoint a Corporate Secretary within 6 months from the incorporation date. The Corporate Secretary must be a natural person and a local resident in Singapore. The main responsibility of a Corporate Secretary is to provide advisory and ensure that the Company is in compliance to Singapore legislation and laws.

  • Registered Address

It is compulsory for companies to provide a registered office address during application to start business in Singapore. For local companies set up in Singapore, the registered office address must be a Singapore address. This address shall be the place whereby all communications and notices are addressed to and where the company’s register and records are kept. It is required that the address registered in the Registrar is accessible to the public during normal office hours but it is not necessary that the address is where the company officially conducts their daily operations.

Application Procedures

If you have previously reserved the company name and gotten approval from the authority, the name shall be reserved for 60 days from the date of the name reservation. You will have 60 days to start business in Singapore and register your new company.

Once all the information required is finalized, the applicant can log in to Bizfile via their Singpass or engage a Corporate Service Provider to complete the Company Registration Application. The fields to be duly filled are:

  1. Company Name

  2. Business Activities (SSIC Code)

  3. Particulars of Director(s)

  4. Particulars of Shareholder(s) and their share holdings

  5. Particulars of Company Secretary

  6. Registered office address

  7. Share Capital Details

  8. Constitution of the Company (if not using the default template)

Typically, upon provision of all information, the application shall be processed within minutes and a notice of incorporation will be issued to the email registered with ACRA. However, if additional approval is required such as usage of certain keywords in the Company name etc, do allow a few working days for the relevant authorities to review and approve the application of a new company set up.

Post Application

At this stage, your company is successfully registered in ACRA. However, it does not mean that your company is ready to start operations. Prior to operation, it is advisable to go through the following new company set up checklist below:

  1. Home Office Scheme, if applicable

  2. Application of Relevant Business License (E.g. NEA, BCA, STB)

  3. Register for Goods and Service Tax (GST) , if application

  4. CPF account opening

  5. WPOL and EPOL Account – For future work pass applications

  6. Work Passes for foreign workers

  7. Appointment of Auditor, if applicable

  8. Company Stamp

  9. Bank Account Opening

  10. Setting up of accounting software

  11. Setting up of Payroll System

Importance of Company Branding (and Social Media Marketing)

While selecting your new company name is an exciting and creative process, it is pivotal for new entrepreneurs to promote their new brand and company. This can be done through digital marketing strategies, such as social media marketing by an experienced agency such as Elevan August Media!

Through social media marketing, you will be able to reach your target audience and narrow your focus to a specific demographic and age group. In addition, social media marketing allows new companies to make a strong impact and spread brand awareness, through the use of creative and fun videos, as well as memorable photographs and banners.

Furthermore, social media marketing allow companies to test the performances of their ads, without a huge investment or cost. With the use of A/B testing, new companies will be able to promote their new product or service, while receiving data of their marketing campaigns, which can then be used in other marketing campaigns outside social media.

For more information regarding Elevan August Media’s social media marketing services, contact us at +65 96981703

Elevan August

Lee Yan Ting
Lee Yan Ting

Founder of Elevan August Media | Featured on several local and regional media: Home & Décor, Straits Times, REGISTRYE Singapore, Hive Life, Queer Majority (USA) and more.