Registering your business in Singapore - options for Singapore residents

This section will give you information about business registration and allied services we provide for Singapore Residents. Singapore resident is defined as a person who is either a Singapore citizen, or a permanent resident or who holds a valid Employment / dependent pass. If you fall in this category and are thinking on starting your business then this page will give you initial information on forms of business entities and the next steps you need to take.

Please note that according to Singapore regulations if you are doing any business (no matter how small it is) it must be registered with Accounting and Corporate Registration Authority (ACRA) [*some exceptions]. Generally these entities may take any of the below business entity form.

Sole Proprietorship / Partnership

Very small sized business operated by Single individual may be registered as a Sole Proprietorship. If there are two or more people involved in this business then it might be registered as a partnership. In these businesses the scale of operations as well as liability to third parties is usually small. However your liability to the third parties as a business owner is unlimited. If anything goes wrong with the business then you are expected to compensate losses to third parties out of your personal assets.
Because of the unlimited liability of the owner, this form is suitable only for small sized businesses. As the size of the business grow you should realistically consider to convert it to a private limited company.
Like Sole proprietorship, the liability in case of partnership is also unlimited. All the partners are jointly responsible for losses of the partnership. If the liability to third parties can not be met out of personal asset of one of the partner, then it can be recovered from the assets of the other partners.

    limited Liability Partnership

    In a LLP or Limited Liability Partnership, two or even more people enter into a partnership, which has its own legal identity. Here, one partner carries no personal liability for another partner’s actions, therefore the term ‘limited liability partnership’. In a way, an LLP blends a partnership’s convenience with a company’s advantage. Natural persons as well as corporate bodies can form LLPs. People in certain professions such as doctors, accountants, investment professionals, and lawyers form such a business.

      Private Limited Company

      Private limited company is the most common and used form of business entity by residents. In this option the liability of directors as well as shareholders is limited to the extent of capital they have invested. The ownership of the company can be changed or amended at any point of time simply by issuing additional shares or by doing a share transfer. Banks and financial institutions also prefer this form of business for financing. A Company has an independent existence and the ownership of business may get transferred by inheritance.