New Company Registration FAQs

Can a foreign individual or a foreign company be 100% shareholder of a Singapore company?

Yes, Singapore Companies Act allows for 100% ownership of Singapore companies by foreign persons or entities. There are also no restrictions on the type of business activities that a company can engage in. No special approvals are required by foreigners. In other words, there is no difference between a local or a foreign person who wishes to form a Singapore company.

How long does it take to incorporate a Singapore company?

The actual incorporation of a company can be accomplished in a matter of few hours as the whole process is computerized. However, the overall process can take anywhere from one day to few days depending on the following factors:

    • Name reservation. Before a company can be incorporated, its name has to be reserved first. Assuming there are no objections to the name being proposed, the name reservation process can be accomplished in less than an hour. However, if the name conflicts with an existing name or if the proposed name contains some sensitive words that may require a review by relevant authorities, the name approval process can get delayed to few days or weeks.

    • Signing of incorporation documents. If you are in Singapore, this is a quick and easy process. However if you are located overseas, the logistics involved in signing and sending the signed documents can take few days.

Does a Singapore company require a local resident director?

Yes, a Singapore company is required to have at least one local resident director. In order to qualify as locally resident, the person must be:

      • Singapore citizen; or

      • Singapore permanent resident; or

      • Employment Pass holder (the Employment Pass should be from the same company for which he/she wants to act as a director); or

      • Entrepreneur Pass holder (the Entrepreneur Pass must be from the same company for which he/she wants to act as a director)

A director must be a natural person and above 18 years old. Corporate directors are not permitted. There are a number of different ways you can satisfy the local resident director requirement:

      1. If you plan to relocate to Singapore to run your company, you will need to apply for a work visa of type (employment pass or entrepass) under your new entity. Once your work visa is approved, you can act as the local resident director.

      2. If you have a local partner or know a trustworthy person in Singapore who is willing to act as the local director, your problem is solved.

      3. Alternatively, most foreigner entrepreneurs and businesses that setup a Singapore company without relocating to Singapore, use our nominee local director service. Our nominee director service does not require any shareholding in the company and does not get involved in the company operations or banking matters.

As a foreign company, should we register a branch or a subsidiary in Singapore?

Most of the small to mid-size foreign companies prefer to register a subsidiary company in Singapore for the following key reasons:

      • Liabilities of a subsidiary are not extended to its parent company.

      • A subsidiary is not restricted to the business activities of its parent company.

      • A subsidiary can take advantage of tax breaks and incentives available to local companies.

      • A subsidiary is not required to file financial accounts of its parent company.

      • The liability of a subsidiary company is limited the share capital of the subsidiary and does not extend to the parent company

      • A subsidiary is considered a local resident entity and therefore eligible for local tax incentives

      • A subsidiary company is eligible for double tax treaty benefits