A company is a legal entity with its own distinct personality, which is separate from the individuals who own and operate it. This allows companies to enter into contracts, sue (or be sued), pay taxes, own assets and hire employees. Companies can be structured as a sole proprietorship, partnership or private limited company.
Before you can register your business, it is important to choose the right business structure. It is recommended to discuss this with your business partners, advisors or consultants. The choice will have a big impact on the way your company is managed, how it can be sued, taxed and the level of flexibility.
You will also need to decide who your directors and shareholders are, and how much each will own of the company. If you are a foreigner, you may need to appoint a ‘nominee director’. This is a professional director, who has a permanent address in Singapore, that you contract to manage your company. This is a legal process, and the nominee director will have full compliance responsibilities and liabilities.
After you have finalised your business structure, you will need to apply for a Certificate of Incorporation with ACRA. This includes submitting a Company Business Profile and a Constitution/Articles of Association. You will also need to provide a Singapore address for your company, which must be a physical address and cannot be a P.O. Box.
Depending on your business industry, you may need to get special permissions from the government or other bodies. If this is the case, you will need to submit additional documents like proof of identity, bank reference letter, and copies of passports for non-resident shareholders and directors. how to set up a company in Singapore