Starting a company requires a lot of time, effort, and money. Furthermore, a lot of questions may arise regarding how to start a company.

The advantage of starting a local company is that you’re already familiarized with the rules and regulations, environment, and market you’re entering. Unlike that, if you start a company in a foreign land, there is still much needed to learn. It includes understanding business rules and regulations, necessary files and documents, and other related business matters.

Starting a company in Singapore may be challenging but, hey, that’s what you’re looking for, right? You want to start a company anyway. However, you don’t need to worry about that as we’re here to guide you.

Choosing a Company Name

ACRA is the national agency of Singapore where businesses register their names. A company should bear a unique name because Singapore does not allow two companies to have the same name.

Even if you put business-type indicators such as Pte Ltd, Limited, etc., or a generic word won’t do. ACRA will strictly validate and check this.

On another note, the company’s legal name and trading name can be different as long there are no copyright or trademark issues. This should be done thoroughly to avoid any legal issues. A simple way to do this is through searching on Google.

What to avoid: Words in your company’s name such as “finance”, “bank”, “school”, “media”, or “education”. In addition to ACRA, other agencies regulate these, so they take a longer time to be approved.

Gathering the Company’s Members

Your company members are important as they will build your reputation and economy. A company needs shareholders, directors, and a corporate secretary to run.

  • Shareholders – they can be individuals or a company. In Singapore, there should be no more than 50 shareholders. There  can be international shareholders.
  • Directors – there should be at least one Singaporean in every company. A foreign citizen can only become a director if there’s already a Singaporean. However, companies could hire a Nominee Director who is a Singaporean citizen just to qualify for the requirement.  A Nominee Director will not be involved in the operations of the company.
  • Corporate secretary – a Singaporean company is required to have a corporate secretary who will be in charge of the papers and requirements to the government. This should be abided as this is a law.

Registering a Local Address

A local registered address is a requirement for every company that plans to be based in Singapore. It should be a physical address and not a PO Box Number.

If you’re not a local in Singapore or do not know any residents, you can opt for registered address services. This is a common practice for foreign businesses in Singapore.

Filing Necessary Documents

Since you’re not a resident, you cannot incorporate by yourself. You will need an authorized registration company agent who will help you in filing necessary documents. This is non-negotiable as stated by the law.

The registration services fill out forms, get required documents, then send them to ACRA. You can also find companies that facilitate online registration.

Now that you know the basic steps in starting a company in Singapore, you’ll need to start doing them to fasten your company’s approval. Be sure that you’re well-informed and knowledgeable in every step so you won’t face any issues.