Singapore, thanks to its geographical location and its exceptional economic situation, offers many advantages to attract foreign companies. However, setting up and developing a business in Singapore is not necessarily easy. The legal complexities involved in setting up a company in Singapore should not be overlooked. Themis Partner can help you with the necessary steps to set up your company in Singapore.
Singapore is regarded as a globally important center for finance, commerce, technology, and is often ranked as the “best country for investment” and the “smartest city in the world” in international rankings. This makes Singapore an attractive place to register a company.
Indeed, the stable political and economic climate, the quality of its infrastructure and a well-developed financial system ensure that your investment is safe. Singapore also offers several tax advantages that are generally not available in other countries. Thus, the question arises as to the steps to follow in order to register a company in Singapore and the conditions required to benefit from the entrepreneur status in Singapore.
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Which visa for entrepreneurs in Singapore?
In order to register a company in Singapore, the entrepreneur must apply for a visa, Entrepass. This work permit, which is valid for two years, will facilitate the entrepreneur’s stay in Singapore. As soon as the company is operational, the entrepreneur’s family will also be able to stay in the country thanks to the Entrepass.
In order to benefit from the Entrepass, it is necessary to present a business plan in which several important points of the future business must be explained in detail.
The purpose of a well-structured business plan is to provide a detailed roadmap of how an entrepreneur intends to carry out his or her plans.
In fact, a business plan should outline your company’s main objectives, marketing plans, financial needs and why they can be achieved. It can also provide appropriate background information on the team or organization that is trying to achieve these goals.
It should describe the strategy, human resource and financial requirements, and the products or services the entrepreneur intends to offer. Renewal of the Entrepass will depend primarily on the business plan and the success of the business.
The Entrepass visa is issued within three weeks to one month. At the end of this period, the Singapore Ministry of Manpower will inform the entrepreneur of its decision and a fee will be requested if the answer is positive.
What structure for your business in Singapore?
First of all, to register a company in Singapore, you need to determine the most suitable type of business structure. Most businesses in the country are private limited companies.
Indeed, although there are several options, many new businesses register with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) as a private limited company. Therefore, through this structure, shareholders are not liable for debts and losses beyond their share capital. Designated as such, your corporation is recognized as a taxable entity.
Entrepreneurs may also choose the sole proprietorshipstructure. This is the simplest type of business to create, but it is also the riskiest. The manager has full responsibility and will pay income tax. Nevertheless, all the profits will go to him. This is a structure that foreign entrepreneurs tend to choose.
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What are requirements and steps for company registration?
On the one hand, register a company in Singapore is the first step in setting up a company.
All aspects of your business, from the name of your company to the details of the board of directors, must be registered with the Accountingand Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA) and approved before you can start your business activities or begin hiring your employees.
In addition, there are rules regarding officers, directors. Indeed, the main person behind the company must register. This person must be at least 18 years old and legally authorized to hold a position as a manager.
Secondly, at least one director must reside in Singapore. The company secretary must also be a Singapore resident. Therefore, if you plan to base your company outside your home country, you will need to employ at least one local to meet this requirement. Similarly, the company secretary must be a resident of Singapore.
On the other hand, in order to register a company, it is necessary to pay up capital. The share capital is a sum of money contributed by the partners or shareholders in a company in exchange for social rights at the time of its creation. It can be increased or decreased over the years.
Indeed, it is a financing tool of the company allowing you to launch your activity and it also constitutes a guarantee tool for the creditors and the lenders.
The legislation may require minimum amounts for the share capital. These amounts vary depending on the corporate form of the business. For limited liability companies, the capital must be at least SGD 1.
Finally, in order to proceed with company registration, an office address is required. Thus,
You must ensure that you register a proper address for your company, i.e. find a business location. For a private limited company, a physical office address is required.
In order to facilitate your company registration, you can purchase a Business Profile from ACRA. This electronic report details information about your business, including your registration number (UEN), date of registration, shareholders, etc. This profile will be needed to open a business bank account, apply for licenses and permits and verify potential business partners.
Once your company has been registered in Singapore, you can simply proceed to apply for all essential permits to start your business. For this, you can contact Enterprise One, through their website, which has a complete list. This is one of the online branches of the Singaporean government that helps businessmen to start their business. Themis Partner will help you with the process of obtaining the necessary permits to start your business.
How do I get the funds I need in Singapore?
First of all, many people use their personal savings. However, depending on the type of funding needs of your business, this may not be enough.
Thus, one of the great advantages of starting a business in Singapore is that there are already several interesting programs to help new businesses. For example, SPRING Singapore’s goal is to turn innovative business ideas into workable plans by providing the support needed to launch the business.
Recruiting employees in Singapore
After creating a company in Singapore, you will need to hire employees. These employees can be both foreign and local. When hiring Singapore residents (including permanent residents and Singapore citizens), the process is relatively simple.
This is because Singapore wanted start-ups to have the best conditions to hire qualified and well-trained professionals. The Workforce Development Agency (WDA) aims to set up a job bank so that start-ups can easily search for and recruit their employees.
In addition, you will need to familiarize yourself with your responsibilities as a Singaporean employer under the country’s Employment Act. For example, you must pay employees their salaries within one week of their pay period and provide them with medical leave and rest days. It is also recommended that you purchase medical insurance to cover your employees’ health care needs.
On the other hand, the employment of foreigners in the city-state of Singapore is governed by EFMA (Employment of Foreign Manpower). Certain labor laws in Singapore also apply to foreigners notwithstanding the clauses included in the employment contract. This includes maternity benefits, workers’ compensation and childcare leave for working parents. All foreigners wishing to work in Singapore must have a work visa. These visas can be an employment pass, an S-pass or a work permit.
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