opening a corporate bank account in singapore

Overview: Opening A Corporate Bank Account In Singapore

Amongst the list of the greatest financial hubs around the globe, Singapore is the nation that tops the list. Reportedly, there are hundreds of multinational banks carrying out business activities in Singapore. So, if you are a new or existing entrepreneur, wishing to start a business, or take your business to Singapore, you’ll have to open a Singapore Corporate Bank Account.

Your corporate bank account in Singapore should be separate from a usual bank account. This business account is necessary to have smooth business life. After you have opened a corporate bank account in Singapore, your firm can easily move ahead with business transactions.

There are several types of business bank accounts that can be opened in Singapore. Such as,

  1. An Individual Bank Account: For clients needing an account for general banking procedures like depositing cash, carrying out transactions, opening an account in the bank, etc.
  2. A Business Bank Account: Usually for commencing business-related transactions.

The main regulatory authority to start a Singapore Corporate Bank Account is the MAS, Monetary Authority of Singapore. It is known to be the legal agency in Singapore. The MAS maintains the economical business and banking in Singapore. Apart from that, the MAS must regulate and check the banks, financial institutions, and other economic structures in Singapore.

Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore is easy if the applying individual has gathered all the required documents. The steps of opening a Singapore Corporate Bank Account can be commenced either offline or via digital means. If going the offline way, the individual will have to hand over the required documents to the bank. Once submitted, the bank verifies and processes the papers. If all the needs are met, the applicant’s Singapore Corporate Bank Account will be opened. The process for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore varies from bank to bank.

Eligibility Criteria For Opening A Corporate Bank Account In Singapore

The applying individual has to meet the following eligibility criteria to start a Singapore Corporate Bank Account:

  • Anyone can start a bank account in Singapore, be it a national or a foreigner.
  • Open the account either offline or online. If an applicant chooses the offline technique, a company representative should go to the bank from the business’s side to commence the dealings.
  • The applicant’s firm should not be the beholder of any criminal proceedings or lawsuits.
  • The directors and shareholders of the firm shouldn’t be declared insolvent or have any lawsuit running against them.
  • For any kind of business, the applicant is starting, he/she should take the required permissions from the requisite authorities. This permission should be submitted to the bank as a document.

Documents Required For Singapore Corporate Bank Account

Required documents for opening corporate bank account in Singapore

Let’s move to the mandatory documents needed for opening a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore:

  1. Visa Documents and Passport for foreign applicants
  2. Bank Application Form
  3. The Power of Attorney as proof that the company representative is hired to signify the firm
  4. Director copies to prove they are starting a firm in Singapore
  5. Resolution of shareholders and directors concerning the start of the firm
  6. Address proof of the business owners or the company directors
  7. AOA, Articles of Association, and MOA, Memorandum of Association of the firm
  8. Incorporation certificate of the firm
  9. A resolution to start the business account to commence business transactions. This resolution should include the account signatories and should be commenced while the meeting of the board. This resolution is signed and licensed by the company secretary.
  10. Copy of company constitutions
  11. Viewed and signed bank account form by all the account signatories
  12. And lastly, any extra document is needed by the bank.

These documents should be authorized and correct, and the certification should be processed by a company secretary or a director.

Some banks need the firm representative to himself/ visit the bank while the verification process is being commenced. Whereas some banks commence the verification process online and do not need the presence of a representative or the director.

Procedure For Opening A Singapore Corporate Bank Account

procedure for opening a corporate bank account in singapore

After the brief overview of the Singapore Corporate Bank Account, let’s now understand more about the procedure that helps you in opening a corporate bank account in Singapore:

1. Pick A Bank

If you wish to start a corporate bank account in Singapore, ensure that you have considered multiple factors. For instance, you should check the tariff amount that’s needed to start the account in a bank. Various Singapore banks have a provision for keeping a minimum value in the account. The most common minimum balance that’s needed in a corporate bank account in Singapore is SGD 500. But some banks have set a higher value for the minimum balance. The account holder will have to preserve the minimum balance for some time in the bank account. Another factor that an applicant should consider is to check the amount of processing fee that’s taken by the bank to open the account.

2. Issue the Application

Any individual from a foreign land can also start a business bank account in Singapore. But, for that, he/she needs to submit all the required documents. For a multinational firm to start a company in Singapore it will have to recruit a national representative to commence the procedure of starting a business bank account in Singapore. This is a simple way to open the account as the bank can easily process and verify the documents. As the company representative is a citizen of Singapore, it will only take 15 minutes to get the job done.

3. Agreement with the Bank

The individual applying will have to get an agreement with the bank. This can be done either by himself/herself by visiting the bank or by letting the country representative commence the process. The whole process of Singapore corporate bank account opening can extend if the firm has multiple signatories. Then the signatories start a meeting with the bank representative. By this agreement, the bank can open a business bank account.

4. Getting Permits

In this step, the bank will need some extra details from the applying individual. For instance, if he/she is starting an economic service company in Singapore, then MSA’s valid paperwork would be required to start the bank account. If the person applying is starting a delivery chain, the papers from a specific body should be handed over to the officials in the bank. But different banks have kept different steps to open business accounts. Another thing needed by the bank would be Know Your Client papers, a.k.a., KYC. If you are a foreign citizen, for KYC you can submit your passport.

5. Authentication

At this step, the bank checks your documents and if they match your needs or not. If more documents would be needed, then the applicant would be notified of the same. In a set period provided by the bank, the applicant must submit the remaining documents.

6. Starting the Account

Once all your documents are processed and verified by the bank, your business bank account in Singapore would be opened successfully. The bank sends out a notice to the applicant regarding the commencement of his/her corporate account, and the steps to follow to deal with the new account. Next, an application ID is issued to the bank account holder. This application ID should be with the applicant whenever carrying out operations with the bank.

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Factors To Consider Before Opening A Corporate Bank Account In Singapore

There are some factors that every individual applying for a business bank account in Singapore needs to consider. What are those? Let’s figure out:

Skills

Picking a specific bank account for the account opening should majorly depend on the bank’s skills and expertise. One should explore the areas the bank deals with, and depending on the area of expertise, the bank should be selected.

Popularity

Before a bank account is opened, an individual should crosscheck the bank’s business. Complete research on the bank’s background should be performed. For instance, a bank having several multinational branches is known to be a better choice, rather than a bank with branches only in the native nation. Commencing operations with popular banks increases the seamlessness of business.

Services Provided

The business bank account should be started depending on the services provided by the bank. The main asset of the bank is the services it provides to its consumers. A business should deeply consider the bank’s offered services before deciding to open a bank account in it. Different kinds of services offered by banks are, analytics, machine learning services, AI, business priority services, and low-interest rates on deposits and loans

AI and Machinery

Usually, businesses choose a bank with AI and machine learning capabilities. These services help in commencing transactions.

Different Account Types

For a business, the best type of account would be where through a single account, seamless transactions could be carried out. But, if the bank needs the firm to open another international currency account to make foreign transactions, this wouldn’t be feasible for the business.

Bank Location

It is an important criterion to consider as it identifies the seamlessness of performing business. A good area is deemed to attract more firms, increasing its reputation.

Easy Access

Firms choose business accounts that support mobile banking and remote access. This proves to be an advantage for the firm, specifically if their business is widespread. A firm would also want a bank that is known to be highly secure and believes in data protection. Firms know that data protection is mandatory when it comes to consumer accounts. Companies must check the number of data breaches that have happened in the bank for this purpose.

Fees & Pricing

Another important element is the fees and pricing requested by the bank. Some banks charge a fee on a transaction, and some banks need firms to keep a fixed capital in their account at all times. Different banks have different linked fees.

Customer Support

The next factor to consider is that the bank chosen by the firm is providing 24*7 in-house support. If a bank supports its customers whenever needed it will lead to more corporations getting attracted to it.

Balance & Deposit

These are the main elements that should be taken into consideration by firms. A firm should choose a bank for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore based on the deposit needed, and the minimum balance offered by the bank.

Comparison Between DBS Bank And OCBC Bank For Corporate Bank Account Features

Feature DBS OCBC
Can a bank account be opened without existing physically present in Singapore?   Physical existence is forcefully proposed by all banks to prevent uncertainties. No. The executive director and ratified signatory must be present, for a face-to-face meeting. However, some anomalies may be made on a case-by-case rationale to the bank’s intention.   DBS Bank provides online applications or requests where you can potentially avoid the branch call and conserve time.   No. The administrative director and approved signatory must be present, for a face-to-face discussion. However, some anomalies may be made on a case-by-case basis subject to the bank’s restraint.  
Setup fee None None, However, there is an account Tee of $$38 per month (waived for 1st 3 months)
Deposit required USD 1000 to USD 3000 US 3000
Least balance compelled DBS Digital Business Account has no least balance regulation.   DBS Business Account expects an average monthly balance of USD 10,000, or USD 35 monthly payment will pertain Typical monthly payment of USD5,000. Thereafter, LISD35 per month if the monthly average balance falls below USD5,000.  
Debit Card Yes, no annual fees. Earn 0.3% cash rebate on all charges. Yes, with a USD 5,000 day-to-day cash withdrawal threshold and a USD10,000 daily debit card transaction threshold.
Cheque Book USD25/book for DBS Digital Business Account.   Free-of-charge with DBS Business Account. Yes
Credit Card Yes, subject to authorization No. Debit Card available
Internet Banking Yes, free visa. Inquiries, Local transactions, overseas payments. No max deal amount limit. Yes, free access. Inquiries, local payments, overseas payments. No max transaction amount limit.

Conclusion

So, if you’re thinking of opening a corporate bank account in Singapore, thoroughly read our blog and you will find all the necessary information one needs before opening a business account in Singapore. You can also contact our experts at ODINT Consulting to get help on any business-related matter.

Read More: Singapore Corporate Tax Rates, 5 Best Banks In Singapore For Foreigners

FAQ’s

The major 2 types of bank accounts that an individual can open in Singapore are individual bank accounts and corporate accounts.

There are some factors one should consider before opening a bank account in Singapore. The factors are skills, popularity, customer support, fee, costs, etc.

Yes, foreign citizens will have to take their passport and visa, and other documents like AOA, MOA, address proof, etc.

A native resident or a foreigner can issue a request to open a bank account in Singapore if the directors or shareholders of the firm haven’t been dissolved and if the applicant’s business is not going through any legal proceedings, etc.

Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore has become considerably easier and a number of major banks are willing to complete the process remotely, without you needing to leave your home-country.

Some banks, such as DBS, do allow one to create a salaried account completely online.

Banks will take between 1 to 4 weeks for processing.

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