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How to Register a Foreign Company in Singapore?: 4 Ways Explained

Looking to register a foreign company in Singapore? This guide will briefly cover the 4 different ways to register a foreign company in Singapore. Set up your company today with the help of our company formation experts today.

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    Table of Contents

    Introduction

    Thinking of expanding your business operations to Singapore, the thriving hub of Asia? You’re in the right place. Singapore is a great place for international businesses looking to expand in Asia because of its advantageous location, pro-business laws, and strong regulatory environment. 

    In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of registering a foreign company in Singapore, exploring various options and considerations along the way.

    Why Singapore?

    Before diving into the registration process, let’s quickly highlight why Singapore stands out as a prime destination for foreign businesses:

    • Strategic Location: Singapore is a great place to start exploring the dynamic markets of the Asia-Pacific region because of its central location in Southeast Asia.
    • Business-Friendly Environment: Singapore has a talented workforce, cheap taxes, robust intellectual property protection, and an open and effective regulatory framework.
    • Political Stability: Singapore offers a safe and hospitable environment for corporate activities, with a stable political climate and a reputation for corruption-free governance.
    • Access to Talent: Singapore’s workforce is highly skilled in a variety of areas, and it is well-educated and bilingual.
    • Global Connectivity: As a major transportation and logistics hub, Singapore offers excellent connectivity to international markets.

    Now that you understand why Singapore is a preferred destination for foreign companies, let’s delve into the registration process.

    Ways to Register a Foreign Company in Singapore

    There are four methods that foreign businesses can establish themselves in Singapore:

    Transfer of Registration:

    The Transfer of Registration allows foreign companies to relocate their existing businesses to Singapore. This process involves converting the foreign company into a locally incorporated entity under Singapore law.

    Setting up a Representative Office:

    representative office in Singapore acts as a point of contact for international businesses looking to do business in Singapore. However, it is limited in scope and cannot engage in profit-generating activities.

    Incorporating a Subsidiary / Local Company:

    A new legal entity that is distinct from its parent firm must be established in order to incorporate a subsidiary in Singapore. Subsidiaries enjoy limited liability and can conduct business independently.

    Registering a Branch of a Foreign Company:

    Registering a branch allows foreign companies to operate in Singapore under their existing corporate identity. Branches are regarded as extensions of their parent corporation and must comply with specific regulations.

    Each registration option offers distinct advantages and considerations based on your business goals, industry, and long-term strategy. Consult with experts from OnDemand International to determine the most appropriate structure for your company.

    Steps to Register a Foreign Company in Singapore

    Regardless of the chosen registration option, the process typically involves the following steps:

    Choose a Business Structure:

    Determine which business structure best suits your needs in terms of goals, tolerance for risk, and legal requirements.

    Reserve a Company Name:

    Conduct a name search and reserve your desired company name with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

    Prepare Necessary Documentation:

    Collect the required paperwork, including incorporation forms, identification proofs, and memorandum, and articles of association.

    Submit Application:

    Provide ACRA with the necessary documentation and the application for company registration. The processing time differs based on the selected structure and completeness of the submission.

    Open a Corporate Bank Account:

    Establish a corporate bank account in Singapore to enable financial transactions when your business is registered.

    Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits 

    Based on the type of business you operate, you could require special licenses or permits from the appropriate regulatory bodies.

    Comply with Taxation and Regulatory Requirements:

    Familiarize yourself with Singapore’s tax laws and regulatory obligations to ensure compliance with local regulations.

    Conclusion

    In the vibrant Asian market, there are a tonne of prospects for business growth and success when you expand to Singapore. Gaining a solid foundation in Singapore’s flourishing business environment requires knowing how to register and investigating your choices. Whether you choose to transfer your registration, set up a representative office, incorporate a subsidiary, or register a branch, OnDemand International is here to guide you every step of the way. Contact us today to kickstart your journey towards business success in Singapore.

    FAQ’s

    Yes, foreign companies can wholly own a subsidiary in Singapore without requiring local partners.

    Singapore has a competitive corporation tax rate along with appealing tax benefits. However, it’s essential to understand the tax residency status and compliance requirements based on your company’s structure and activities.

    No, representative offices are strictly prohibited from engaging in revenue-generating activities. Their scope is restricted to conducting market research, liaising with stakeholders, and promoting the parent company’s interests.

    Foreign businesses having Singaporean registrations must abide by various regulatory reporting requirements and submit yearly reports and financial statements to ACRA.