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How to start a business: Total guide for 2021

Singapore, a small island country, topped the World Bank's list of the best countries in which to do business six years ago and has remained there ever since. The process of setting up a business in Singapore is simple and free of red tape. In addition, the government offers tax benefits to new businesses registered in Singapore and assists them with a variety of programs during their early phases. Recording in Singapore with the help of a licensed filing agency benefits both local and foreign businesses. 

This is especially true for foreigners who want to settle in Singapore. Foreigners are not allowed to self-register in Singapore and instead must engage a local newly established Singapore services company to do so. In addition, they must obtain a work visa or permit in Singapore. Professionals experienced in the new business setup process will guide you through the Singapore business registration process, saving you time and money.

Aside from its business-friendly regulations and accommodating immigration policies, one of the main reasons Singapore has been at the top of the list for so long is its simple tax system. 

In this article, we will discuss the five things to consider when setting up a new business and business registration processes in Singapore.

#1 Minimum Requirements for Establishing a Business in Singapore

Singapore gives new businesses the following incentives:

There must be at least one stakeholder and a maximum of fifty. In the case of private limited companies, 100 percent foreign ownership is allowed.

One Singapore dollar is the minimum paid-up capital required to set up a company in Singapore. Companies can add new resources at any time.

While both Singaporeans and foreign nationals are eligible to serve on the board of directors of a Singaporean company, at least one of the directors must be a Singaporean. This person may be a Singaporean citizen, a permanent resident or the holder of an Entrepass.

If you are setting up a company in Singapore, you must immediately hire a certified company secretary. The secretary must be a Singaporean.

Any new business setting up services must have a local address.

#2 Determine the legal structure of the company

Despite the fact that other structures exist, many growing companies choose to register with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) as private limited liability companies due to their scalability. In addition, lenders are not responsible for liabilities or damages that exceed the amount of their equity. The designation makes the newly incorporated company a taxable entity.

#3 Establish your business

The Singapore Companies Act applies to private limited companies, which must comply with the ACRA and the regulations of the Singapore Inland Revenue Authority (IRAS). Among the many titles are the following:

The ACRA must approve the new company name.

A minimum of one shareholder is required.

At least one of the directors must be headquartered in Singapore.

Company Secretary — Must also be a resident of Singapore.

A minimum paid-up capital of S$1

A real office address is required for registration.

As a newly established business registration entity in Singapore, you can purchase an ACRA business profile. This automated report contains information about your company, such as your UEN, the date of registration and the names of your shareholders. This profile will be used to create a corporate bank account, apply for licenses and permissions, and conduct due diligence on potential business partners as part of the process of setting up a new business.

#4 Factors that can influence the chosen market structure

The total number of shareholders, members and employees will play an important role in the organization of your company. If you want to operate as a sole proprietorship, setting up a sole proprietorship can be beneficial. You exercise full control over all business choices. Whether you are two or more professionals/companies with complementary capabilities, forming an LLP can be beneficial. Forming a private limited company can be a viable option if you are a group of one to fifty people seeking a majority of the company's assets with minimal risk.

#5 Events that take place after registration

Permits and authorizations – Certain operations require government approval or a permit. Private schools, video companies, travel agents, drug traffickers, lenders, insurers, financial advisors, childcare and beverage importers, wholesalers and retailers are just a few examples.

Allowed working hours - a minimum of three hours per weekday must be recorded for your workplace location and hours.

Registration Number - All business communications must include the ACRA Company Registration Number.

Singapore Customs Registration - If your company imports or exports goods, you must register with Singapore Customs.

GST Registration – The Products and Services Tax (GST) is a consumption tax levied on items and services supplied in Singapore, as well as on goods imported into the country. If your annual gross income exceeds S$1 million, you must register for GST.

Registration with the Central Provident Fund (CPF) of Singapore – The CPF is a compulsory pension fund into which both the contractor and the Singapore citizen/permanent resident contribute a percentage of their monthly salary.

Incorporate your business today

The main reason many entrepreneurs want to set up a business in Singapore is taxes. Singapore offers competitive tax rates and a variety of tax benefits designed to promote business development and entrepreneurship, making it a prime location for incorporation.

When choosing a location for your business, it makes sense to include Singapore. Stable economies, labor markets and business-friendly tax laws help you get up and running quickly, so you spend less time on paperwork and more time growing your business.

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