To customers and suppliers, a registered business appears more legitimate because information on your business can be searched and verified via ACRA. As a result, your business will find it easier to obtain financing and contracting on credit. Business refers to any activity that is carried out on a continual basis for the purpose of gain. This includes online or web-based businesses such as running online stores as well as home-based businesses, such as those selling home-baked goods. We have put together this simplified step-by-step guide on how to start a business in Singapore, which should answer all of your questions.
It serves as a one-stop solution for your business and offers affordable fees to lessen your company’s administrative burden. If you’re a first time entrepreneur, check out the Start-up Guide which will take you through an overview of the process of registering your small business, and six steps you can take to get started. Learn more about the benefits of registering a business, and get an estimate of the cost of establishing and running your own business in Singapore with the Setup Cost Calculator. In Singapore, all businesses are generally required to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Exemptions are granted for business owners who operate their businesses using their names as reflected in their NRICs. The pre-requisites, information and supporting documents needed for the application to register the business will vary, depending on the business structure type.
- To customers and suppliers, a registered business appears more legitimate because information on your business can be searched and verified via ACRA.
- If you intend to form a business firm with one or more other partners, you may wish to register as a partnership.
- Applications are typically processed within 15 minutes but may take between 14 days and 60 days if the application needs to be referred to another agency for approval or review.
- As soon as your Singapore company is registered, you can start conducting business under its name.
Understand the benefits and requirements of opening a corporate bank account. Learn about the different business structures and find out which one best suits your business. Limited liability does not apply to a sole proprietorship or partnership. Use this e-Adviser to get recommendations for a suitable business structure, based on your business requirements.
The Singapore Business Registration Authority will require you to list two main business activities when setting up a company in Singapore. By knowing the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification Code for each activity, you will be able to save time during the registration process. In order to use your home address as your business address, HDB flat owners or occupiers must submit an online application to HDB, while private residential property owners must submit an online application to the URA. Acclime specialises in making your business set up easy, if you need help starting your Singapore company, feel free to contact us.
Reach out to unlimit your business
You will still have to submit your residential address for ACRA’s records. Although you could use the same address for both your business and residence, it’s a good idea to have a separate business address and residential address for professional purposes. If you choose to use your home address as a business address, you must obtain approval from the Housing Development Board (HDB) or Urban Redevelopment Authority. Depending on the type of business you intend to register, you may need to seek approval from the relevant regulatory authority before starting your application to register on ACRA. This is a residential scheme by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which allows you to run an approved small-scale registered business from your home address. If you intend to expand your business and would like to raise capital more easily in the future, you may wish to incorporate a Singapore company.
Note that 100% foreign shareholding is allowed i.e. all shareholders can be foreigners. Private Limited companies are larger and more robust than LLPs, and can have between one and 50 business owners. But requirements for these companies are also more stringent, and are subject to more corporate governance regulations.
Setup cost calculator
As your appointed incorporation agent, we will prepare all necessary documents. All you have to do is review and electronically sign the documents through our online portal. Approval is usually immediate but may take between 14 days and two months if the application needs to be referred to relevant authorities for review. For example, if the name contains words like “legal” or “law”, it will be referred to the Legal Services Regulatory Authority. For instance, if you’re selling cakes and pastries, the code to select under your Primary Activity would be for “Manufacture of bread, cakes and confectionary”.
Step 4: Submit your business registration application
You will need to understand the key differences between the structures and decide which is right for your business. The timeline is important as foreigners often go for the Employment Pass to live and work in Singapore. The Employment Pass is a type of visa that is sponsored by the Singapore based company.
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In exchange for all the extra administrative work, you stand to enjoy benefits like greater ease when it comes to issuing shares, transferring ownership and fundraising. Tighter regulatory requirements also inherently create greater trust levels for these companies in the eyes of investors, vendors, clients and consumers. You need a minimum of two partners, and there is no limit on the maximum number of partners in a LLP.
With processing time in between 3 to 6 weeks, the Employment Pass cannot be issued to a foreigner to take on the duties of resident director on the date of the company incorporation. Some key consideration in the company creation includes the director appointment. Indeed, each private limited company in Singapore requires bookkeeping for auto repair shops one resident director. The sole Proprietorship is the best option for first-time entrepreneurs starting small. Any self-employed Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident, conducting continuous activities for the purpose of gain under the name other than its own, is eligible to register a sole proprietorship.
Meanwhile, your Primary User-Described Activity would be the “sale of cakes”. In general, anybody looking to carry out any activity for profit on an ongoing basis must register a business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), unless you have reason to be exempted. The applicant must decide which Financial Year will be followed for corporate filings – March 31, June 30, September 30 or December 31. Check out these videos on the various aspects of starting a business in Singapore.