Can Foreigners Register a Company in Singapore?

May 18, 2022News

Can Foreigners Register a Company in Singapore?

Singapore is ideal for starting a new company. With state-of-the-art infrastructure and government support, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better business location in the Asian market. With the significance of the Asian market currently rising, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.  The big question that comes to mind is, Can foreigners register a company in Singapore?

Yes, foreigners can register a company in Singapore, as evident from the number of high-profile companies already present. The business landscape is positive, but registration for a foreigner isn’t as easy as in most other countries.

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What are the Minimum Legal Requirements for Registering a Singapore Company for a Foreigner?

Registering a company in any country must be done the right way to avoid legal issues down the line. Certain requirements must be met before owning and registering a company in Singapore. Some of the minimum requirements for a foreigner to own a company in Singapore are.

1.    Minimum Age Requirement

To own a company in Singapore, you must be a legal adult, at least 18 years old. Anyone who meets this age requirement is eligible to start a company in Singapore. The only people exempt from this, despite meeting the legal age limit, are:

  • Bankrupt individuals
  • Legally convicted individuals

2.    Resident Director

The director of the company must be Singaporean and available in the country. Anyone that is a Singaporean resident or holds the eligible employment pass qualifies for this. When registering a company, you must have at least a resident or local director. If you aren’t based in Singapore, you may need a professional service provider to help with the appointment. Accruplus Advisory, serving as your proxy, can provide local nominee director services to you.

3.    Local Address

To register a company in Singapore, the company will need to have a local address. The address will need to be a physical location, not a virtual one or a P.O box. The address will serve as the registered office address of the company’s business operations in Singapore. Premia TNC can provide the local register address to meet the company registration requirements if you do not have a physical office in Singapore during the initial process.

4.    A Company Secretary

The company is required to have at least one company secretary during registration. The company secretary must be a Singapore resident or someone with a Singapore address or work pass. The secretary will need to be hired in Singapore, a process that Premia TNC can handle for you.

5.    Minimum Capital Requirement

There is a minimum capital requirement of S$1 or its equivalent in international currencies. This doesn’t mean you will need only S$1 to run your company. You will need to have enough money to fund the initial business operations until the company becomes financially independent.

6.    A Physical Presence

You do not need to be physically present to register a company in Singapore. However, if you prefer to be, you can achieve this by obtaining a work pass and relocating to Singapore. Alternatively, you can appoint a nominee resident director to stand in your stead. Premia TNC can serve in this capacity, giving you a physical presence and handling the company’s registration on your behalf.

Registration Process for Foreigners for a Singapore Company

  • Choosing a company type: The rest of the registration process will usually depend on the type of company you are creating. There are three business types you can create, namely: Sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Partnership, and Private Limited Company. 
  • Defining the company’s business operations: The type of business you intend to conduct.
  • Filing the registration with ACRA: The registration process is done online at the ACRA portal once all requirements have been met. You will need to provide documents proving all requirements have been met before the company can be registered. Documents like the approved company name, among others, will be needed in this stage.
  • Detailing the company members: During the registration process, you will be required to provide the local registered office address and the details of the resident director and secretary. Identification of all registered members of the company, including shareholders, will also be needed at this stage.

There is a specific process that needs to be followed when registering a company in Singapore:

Can a Foreigner Own 100% Equity in a Singapore Company?

Yes, A foreigner can own up to 100% equity of a Singapore company. The ownership of equity of a Singapore company may be subject to certain legal requirements like minimum age. You don’t have to be in Singapore to own and run the company.

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