Over the past decade, it has become more common for entrepreneurs from India to register a company in Singapore. While India is a well-known industrial hub where many businesses set up shop, doing business in India is not always easy, and many businesspeople dream of expanding their empires beyond their borders. 

Indians discussing how to register a company in Singapore

Singapore is known to be one of the best places to start and run a business abroad. Not only is it an internationally renowned trade hub, but the quality of living is very high. Indeed it is an attractive destination for living and working abroad. The business environment in Singapore is very welcoming even for small business owners looking to expand internationally. 

Thanks to its favourable tax laws, stable economy, and strong business policies, Singapore was recently ranked #2 in the World Bank’s Ease of Business Indicator list, which is why many businessmen look towards starting a small business in Singapore. 

However, there are some key pieces of information that business owners should know in order to register a company in Singapore.

The board that approves the registration of new businesses in Singapore is called ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority). ACRA governs all types of newly registered companies in Singapore, including sole proprietorships, private limited, and limited liability companies.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the various company structures is helpful in deciding which type of business to register with ACRA. For the purpose of this guide, we will focus on how to register a sole proprietorship in Singapore.

Getting Started: How To Register A Company In Singapore from India

The process of starting a small business in Singapore is the same for all expats, irrespective of nationality. The key elements that are required to register a new company in Singapore are:

  • A company name
  • Names of the Director and Secretary
  • Share structure
  • Registered address

All of these elements, along with supporting documentation and any additional requirements, are uploaded in an application via BizFile+ – ACRA’s online business registration system. Once the new company’s directors, shareholders, and company secretary have provided their consent online (which should be done within 120 days from the name approval date), the application for business registration is processed in a matter of a few days.

ACRA and BizFile

Important Note – Company Name Check

Though the process of registering a company in Singapore is quite straightforward, it is of vital importance that the business owner registers the company under a new name. 

Bizfile+ offers an exhaustive Singapore registered company list, on which one can search for existing companies, and ensure that the name submitted via the application is not already taken.

Another reason to search in Bizfile+ is to background check a potential business partner.  Entrepreneurs can do so through a name search or Singapore company registration number check. 

Singapore Company Registration Cost

One of the most frequently asked questions by businessmen is how much it costs to start a business in Singapore. The cost of setting up a company in Singapore is minimal; ACRA charges a fee $15 for name approval, and $300 for company registration, irrespective of the type of business being registered. Paid-up capital requirement is only $1, which can be increased later. 

To ease the process of registration, business owners can opt to work with companies, such as CorpXervices that provide incorporation services – the average cost of incorporation charged by such agencies can range between $2600 – $5000. There can be additional costs in setting up a company, such as hiring a nominee director, Employment Pass (if the business owner moves to Singapore), and various other licenses, depending on the type of business.

For Indian business owners, in particular, registering a business in Singapore is a relatively easy way to make the foray into international trade. For one, thanks to the online application process via BizFile+, it is not mandatory for a business owner to come to Singapore to register a company, apart from flying in once to open a bank account. Neither is it mandatory to have any employees in Singapore – the only required resident personnel are a Director and a Company Secretary.

Head of Incorporation Services
Cherrie Yee is an expert on small and medium enterprises. She has over 10 years of professional experience in corporate secretarial involving foreign companies, local companies as well as private companies.
Head of Incorporation Services
Cherrie Yee is an expert on small and medium enterprises. She has over 10 years of professional experience in corporate secretarial involving foreign companies, local companies as well as private companies.
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