Wednesday, June 23

Steps to Register a Business in Singapore

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Many investors and experts will argue that Singapore is the best place to do business in the world, and all for the right reasons. First, you get the benefit of a strategic location, with the nation located in the heart of South East Asia. Other factors include excellent taxation laws and competitive tax rates, attractive government incentives and policies, double trade agreements, 100% foreign ownership, etc. 

Investors look for professionals who offer Singapore incorporation services when registering a company in Singapore. By doing so, it provides various benefits- one being that professionals help avoid stress while saving time and effort, which you can use to better focus on preparing your business for Singapore. 

If you have decided to hire an incorporation service provider, we are here to help you. In this article, we will share some important details on how to register a company in Singapore and what you should look out for when hiring an incorporation service provider. 

What are the Steps to Register a Business in Singapore?

Before hiring an incorporation service provider, you should know what they have to do for you. Your service provider must have the knowledge to perform the following tasks: 

Choose the Correct Type of Company in Singapore to Incorporate

The first step in registering a company in Singapore is choosing the right type of business. This depends on the nature of your business activities, the size of the company and in some cases, the funds you have.

Sole Proprietorship

A single person looks over and owns a sole proprietorship business. They make all the investments, welcome all the risks involved, and have the entire profit the company makes. A sole proprietorship isn’t a legal entity, which makes it riskier than a limited company.


Many people think that partnership is a legal entity but it is not. It is similar to a sole proprietorship business in the sense that it is someone’s ownership, but multiple partners own a partnership. In addition, there can be up to 20 partners in a Singapore partnership company.

There are two types of partnership in Singapore. 

General Partnership: In this partnership, every investor makes the same amount of investments.Hence , they are liable for the same amount of risks and  make equal profits.

Limited Partnership: Unlike a general partnership, not everyone makes the same investments in a limited partnership. The more investments you put, the more profit you make. However, limited partners, or the partners who don’t make equal contributions, can’t make big business decisions.

Note: It is difficult (technically impossible) for foreigners to open a sole proprietorship or a partnership in Singapore.

Limited Company

A limited company is a legal entity on its own. Thus, instead of owners, there are beneficiaries who hold some part of the company and make profit accordingly. Furthermore, a limited company is a corporate body, so it’s a combined effort of the employer and employees to make a limited company successful.

There are two types of limited companies in Singapore:

Company Limited by Guarantee

A company limited by guarantee has guarantors who ensure that they will put money to bring a company back if it falls on debt or loss. However, at the end of the day, it is the company who has to be responsible for its own loss, this type of company isn’t really preferred for profit making.

Alternatively, a company limited by guarantee is a great choice for non-profit organizations.

Company Limited by Shares

In a company limited by shares, the parts of the company are divided into shares. Shareholders earn profit based on the number of shares they have. It is the best type of company in terms of the profit, management, and potentials and there are two types of company limited by shares:

A Private Limited Company

A private limited company is suited for SMEs, and the shares are not available to the public. It needs a director, between 1 to 50 shareholders, and registered address. It is also mandatory to hire a secretary, but you can also hire a secretarial service company. 

Public Limited Company

Public limited company is listed in the stock market, i.e. the public can buy the shares. Generally, investors don’t start a public limited company in the beginning as it is risky and hard to gain trust of the people. However, private limited companies turn to public once they have sufficient funds.

You should hire a company which doesn’t only help in Setting up a company in Singapore, but also help in fulfilling  the requirements.

Provide the registration procedures and timeline 

Once you have decided the type of company, your incorporation service provider will ask for the necessary documents and a timeline. You can leave the rest to them as a good service provider will register your company in the given timeline for you. 

Opening a Corporate Bank Account, Application for Business Licenses, GST registration & Annual Filing & Income Tax Requirements 

Do not be tricked by unprofessional incorporation service providers. Registering the company is not the end of the job. A good service provider will consult  you,  choose a bank, help you apply for the necessary business licenses required by the law, and  register tax. They should also have accountants who can later help you file for taxes.

It is Important to Choose the Right Incorporation Service Provider 

Registering a company is quick and easy in Singapore compared to other countries, but that doesn’t mean that anyone can do it flawlessly. As a matter of fact, it is now mandatory for foreigners to have a representative in Singapore.

Here are some reasons you must choose the right incorporation service provider:

Professionals can identify missing/incomplete documents before submission to reduce lead time 

Absence of some documents will delay your registration and lead to unwanted stress or loss of time. Professionals will inform you about all the documents you require, and alert you beforehand if you have missing documents. Furthermore, in some special cases (for example, sensitive businesses), you may need to produce extra documents. 

Professionals can assist with application for necessary documents such as Employment Pass 

In Singapore, companies are required to apply for the employment pass. Moreover, the owner of the company may need to apply for an entrepass, and their spouse may need a dependent pass. Visa applications have their own bit of work and complexities, and thus, only the right service provider will be able to assist you in this matter efficiently.

Foreigners need to incorporate through a Corporate Secretarial firm

Foreigners need to hire a registered filing agent, which is a licensed Corporate Secretarial firm to start their company in Singapore. 

This has a very much missed benefit; you won’t necessarily need to travel to Singapore to start your company. This will give you more flexibility, as you can prepare for your business to take off.

Guidance on post-registration matters 

You need a lot of post-registration guidance For example, opening a corporate bank account requires applications and interviews, for which you need to be prepared and  ready. Registering for business licenses and getting the tax papers require experts to assist you. 

You may also need administrative assistance while running a company, for example secretarial services, accounting, business auditing, virtual office, etc. All these post-registration matters can be handled by the right incorporation service provider.

Why 3E Accounting is the preferred choice for incorporation service

3E Accounting is probably the most well-known and skillful registered filing agent in Singapore. Many clients will recommend their skills and the customer service provided by them to help you register your company. These are the reasons you should consider hiring them:

Accreditations & Awards 

Not all company can gain big time awards like TAFEP Exemplary Employer Award, Singapore’s Best Home-Grown Global Accounting Network Awards, Company Incorporation Services provider of the Year, Executive of the Year and be featured in the some of the biggest media networks like the Capital FM, Channel NewsAsia, The Business Times, The Straits Times, and more. All in all, it’s not only their customers, but the entire market and the professionals trust the company.

3E Accounting Has Incorporated More than 4000 companies 

For a company which has all the above awards, it is no wonder that clients come flocking in. 3E Accounting has managed to incorporate more than 4000 companies. Now, that is an impressive number, given that they still don’t seem to be tired or out of business.

One-stop Solution for Business Needs in Singapore 

We have already discussed how businesses need a lot of post registration assistance to operate in Singapore. 3E Accounting not only provides registration services, but they also offer immigration, corporate secretarial, virtual office, accounting taxation, auditing, human resource, business advisory, etc. They are a one-stop solution, which means you don’t have to contact anywhere else for any type of administrative support.

Professionals to look after your business needs

With their good name in the market, it is only imperative for 3E Accounting to choose the best employees. All the staff of the company are industry leaders. They have all the skills you need, and the best part is that they know the value of professionalism. They are always good to their clients and inquirers.

Competitive package fees with free value-added services

Even if 3E Accounting is the leading service provider, they don’t charge a lot. Actually, their affordable fees are one of the reasons customers still want them. Furthermore, if you work with them for a while, they are not afraid to give you discounts and more services for lesser fees.


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