Offshore Company Formation In Singapore: Complete Guide for Business Registration

This article provides a detailed guide on how to set up an offshore company in Singapore, highlighting its advantages, types of companies, registration process, legal requirements, tax benefits, and more. Get your business registered in Singapore with OnDemand International experts today.


    Note: This form is not for job seekers.

    Table of Contents

    offshore company formation in singapore

    In today’s globalized economy, company owners and entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to grow their businesses abroad. One such opportunity lies in offshore company formation, a strategy that can offer several advantages including tax benefits, asset protection, and enhanced privacy. Singapore has become a top destination for the registration of offshore companies due to its favourable economic environment, strong legal system, and strategic position. 

    This article provides a detailed guide on how to set up an offshore company in Singapore, highlighting its advantages, types of companies, registration process, legal requirements, tax benefits, and more.

    Why Choose Singapore for Offshore Company Formation?

    Singapore stands out as an ideal destination for offshore company formation due to several compelling reasons:

    • Political and Economic Stability: Singapore is a secure and alluring destination for commercial operations due to its political stability and robust economic growth. In indices measuring ease of doing business and global competitiveness, the nation routinely scores highly.
    • Strategic Location and Connectivity: With its strategic location at the intersection of important commercial routes, Singapore provides good access to important markets in Asia and beyond. Its top-notch infrastructure and effective logistical network make conducting business easier.
    • Business-Friendly Regulatory Environment: Singapore’s regulatory environment is clear and effective, which attracts foreign investment. Through pro-business laws and programs, the government offers robust assistance to companies.
    • Attractive Tax Policies: Singapore is an attractive place for offshore corporations due to its competitive tax regime, which includes low corporate tax rates and a range of tax advantages.

    Types of Offshore Companies in Singapore

    There are different kinds of offshore companies that can be established in Singapore, each catering to different business needs:

    Private Limited Company 

    A private limited company in Singapore is the most common type of company in Singapore. It offers its shareholders limited liability protection and is a distinct legal entity from its owners.

    Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) 

    The advantages of a private limited company and a partnership are combined in an LLP. It offers limited liability protection together with managerial flexibility.

    Branch Office 

    A branch office in Singapore is an extension of a foreign business. Its parent firm is fully liable for its operations, and it is not a distinct legal entity.

    Representative Office 

    A representative office is set up for marketing and market research purposes. It is unable to carry out profitable operations.

    Step-by-Step Guide to Registering an Offshore Company in Singapore

    Setting up an offshore company in Singapore involves several steps:

    Pre-Registration Requirements 

    Before registering, you need to prepare key details such as the company’s name, commercial activities, and the information of directors and shareholders.

    Choosing a Company Name

    The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority must have approved the company name and it must be unique (ACRA). It shouldn’t violate any registered trademarks or be deemed inappropriate.

    Appointing Directors and Shareholders 

    A Singapore offshore company must have a minimum of one director who is a resident of Singapore. Shareholders can be individuals or corporate entities, and there aren’t any limitations on foreign ownership.

    Preparing Necessary Documents 

    The company’s charter, a director’s permission to serve, and the registered address of the business are important documents.

    Filing with ACRA 

    Once the documents are ready, they must be submitted to ACRA for approval. Upon successful registration, ACRA issues a Certificate of Incorporation.

    Legal Requirements and Compliance for Offshore Company Formation in Singapore

    Offshore businesses in Singapore are subject to a number of legislative requirements and compliance duties in order to keep their good standing:

    • Minimum Requirements for Directors and Shareholders: As mentioned, there must be at least one resident director. Shareholders can be local or foreign, additionally, there isn’t a minimum capital need.
    • Corporate Secretaries: All companies are required to designate a corporate secretary within six months of its incorporation. The secretary makes sure that the requirements of the law are followed.
    • Annual General Meetings and Annual Returns: Companies must hold an annual general meeting (AGM) and file annual returns with ACRA. The AGM has to be organized within six months after the conclusion of the company’s financial year.
    • Compliance with Singapore Laws and Regulations: Businesses must abide by all local regulations, including those pertaining to employment, taxes, and accounting requirements.

    Tax Advantages of Offshore Companies in Singapore

    One of the key attractions of setting up an offshore company in Singapore is its favourable tax regime:

    1. Corporate Tax Rates: Singapore has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world, capped at 17%. Various tax incentives and rebates can further reduce the effective tax rate.
    2. Tax Exemptions and Incentives: During the first three years of their operation, startups are eligible to receive tax breaks on their first SGD 100,000 of chargeable income. There are also a plethora of schemes tailored to particular businesses and activities.
    3. Double Tax Treaties: Singapore’s vast network of double tax treaties with more than 80 nations lowers the tax burden on enterprises operating internationally.

    Banking and Financial Services for Offshore Companies in Singapore

    For offshore businesses, having access to trustworthy banking and financial services is essential: 

    • Opening a Corporate Bank Account: The strong banking industry in Singapore provides a vast array of services. It’s easy to open a corporate bank account, and many banks offer online banking and multi-currency accounts.
    • Access to Financial Services and Support: Offshore companies can access various financial services, including trade financing, foreign exchange, and investment management.
    • Currency Options and International Transactions: International trade and transactions are made easier by the vast range of currencies supported by Singapore’s banking system.

    Expected Costs of Setting Up a Singapore Offshore Company  

    Understanding the costs involved is crucial for planning and budgeting:

    1. Registration Fees: The cost of establishing a firm with ACRA includes a name reservation fee and a registration fee. When measured against other jurisdictions, these are comparatively low.
    2. Ongoing Maintenance Costs: These include annual filing fees, compliance costs, and professional service fees for corporate secretaries, accountants, and auditors.
    3. Professional Service Fees: Engaging professionals for legal, accounting, and other services ensures compliance and smooth operations. Depending on how sophisticated the services are that are needed, these costs change.

    Challenges and Considerations for Offshore Company Registration in Singapore

    Although Singapore has many benefits, there are certain drawbacks to take into account:

    Potential Legal and Regulatory Challenges 

    It can be difficult to navigate the legal and regulatory environment, especially for international companies. Involving regional authorities can lessen these difficulties.

    Economic Considerations 

    Understanding the local economic environment, including market trends and competition, is crucial for strategic planning.

    Market Competition 

    Singapore’s business environment is highly competitive. Companies must develop strong strategies to differentiate themselves and succeed.


    Singapore makes a strong case for the formation of offshore companies, providing a number of benefits such as political stability, a prime location, advantageous tax laws, and an effective regulatory system. Through adherence to the guidelines provided in this guide, entrepreneurs can effectively create and manage an offshore company in Singapore. 

    You can get help from our professionals at OnDemand International at every stage of the procedure, from registration to acquiring a virtual office, opening a bank account, and more. Speak with our business experts today.


    What is an offshore company? 

    An offshore company is a commercial entity that registers in a different country than where it primarily conducts business or resides, frequently for secrecy, asset protection, and tax benefits.

    Why is Singapore a well-liked location for the establishment of offshore businesses? 

    Singapore’s robust financial industry, business-friendly legislation, favorable tax structures, and advantageous location make it an excellent choice for registering an offshore corporation.

    What are the types of offshore companies in Singapore? 

    The common types include Private Limited Companies, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), Branch Offices, and Representative Offices.

    What are the key steps to register an offshore company in Singapore? 

    Preparing pre-registration information, deciding on a company name, designating directors and shareholders, assembling required paperwork, and submitting to ACRA are important procedures.

    What tax advantages come with establishing an offshore business in Singapore? 

    Benefits include low corporate tax rates, various tax exemptions and incentives, and access to double tax treaties.