Legal Structures and Names
One of the first steps to opening a business in Singapore is to decide on the legal structure of it. You have several options including a limited liability company, partnership or proprietorship. Many individuals choose a limited liability company. After the company formation in Singapore, you will then need to secure the name for your business. It can’t be a name that others have reserved and it can’t contain any restricted or vulgar words. It generally takes less than two hours for your business name to be approved unless there are issues with it. In some instances, you may even receive a decision right on the spot.
The fee to secure the name is S$15 and payable to ACRA. You only have 60 days from your application date to incorporate your company. You can file a 60-day extension request though if you need more time.
Incorporating Your Business
After your name has been approved you can start the steps to incorporate your company. You will need to include the following information with your application:
-The company’s name that you reserved-A copy of the filing party’s passports, identity card or overseas residential address (if a foreigner)
-The registered address of the company which can be residential or commercial -Shareholder and director’s particulars
-A description of the activities for the business
Other documents may be required as well. You will have to pay S$300 to ACRA to have your application processed. It may take several weeks for your application to be approved. You will receive an email with a certificate of incorporation once your application has been approved. If you’d like an actual paper certificate, you will have to pay a fee of S$50.
What Happens After Incorporation
After your business is incorporated, there are quite a few things that you will need to do. You will have to obtain any businesses licenses that need to open the business.
You will have to open up a bank account if you haven’t already done so, set up your business online and at its physical address (if there is one). You may also need to order supplies, products, and recruit staff.
The amount of time this takes can vary from weeks to months. It may be beneficial to create a checklist of things that you have to do before opening your business. Also, talk to others that have opened a business in Singapore to find out if they can advise you and provide guidance along the way.
As you can see, it’s not that difficult to open a business in Singapore. After you’ve decided on the company name and reserved it, you will need to incorporate it. This process doesn’t generally take that long as long as you provide the ACRA with all of the appropriate paperwork.
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