Can a foreigner incorporate a company in Singapore?
In the process of incorporation of a company two key parties involved. A shareholder and a Director. Shareholders are owners of the company. Whatever company owns – its property, cash, stock and the profit it makes, ultimately belongs to the shareholders.
Director is like a manager of the company, who runs the show. The responsibility of whatever happens in the company is with Director (Note it carefully its with Director and not with shareholder). In most of the cases Director and shareholder are same people.
Any individual (above 18 years old) or a corporate or any other business entity (For e.g. a company or a trust) is allowed to establish a company in Singapore as long as it abides by Singapore law. He can become Foreign Director of the company as well as can take shareholding in the company. There are no residency requirements or special qualifications for the person to incorporate a company. The person should not have been involved in any fraud or criminal activity and is not an undischarged bankrupt.
As in case of an individual any overseas body corporate or business entity can also subscribe shares in the Singapore Company and incorporate the same.
What it basically means is anybody can incorporate a company in Singapore if you conform to above mentioned conditions. Additionally it’s worth noting that Singapore companies act allows a 100% foreign ownership of companies. So, whatever assets & profits which business generates will be totally belonging to the foreign individual or corporate. There are no special qualifications, or visas required for incorporation.
Requirements for incorporating a company in Singapore
Basic requirements for forming a company in Singapore
Director is like manager of the company. Director (or board of directors) oversees the operations of the company. Every Singapore based company must have minimum one director who should be a Singapore Citizen or a Singapore permanent resident or an employment pass holder. Foreign nationals can be appointed as foreign directors in addition to the local director. Any person who is 18 years + of age can act as a director. However, undischarged bankrupt or people convicted of any malpractice cannot be appointed as a director.
If you do not have any Singapore local resident to act as director then we can provide you a nominee Director. In that case you will also be appointed as foreign director of your Singapore company. If you have more questions about roles and responsibilities of the nominee director then please refer to our Nominee Director page.
To incorporate a company in Singapore you will need minimum one shareholder. Shareholder can be an individual or a corporate. Shareholders are like owners of the company. They may or may not actively operate on day to day operations of the company. Singapore companies act allows 100% foreign shareholding. In most of the small private limited companies, shareholders and directors may be the same person.
Since ownership of the company is with the shareholders of the company, appointing a nominee Director does not impact your shareholding. You are still 100% owner of your company.
Every company needs a secretary who is individual and resident in Singapore. Secretary is like administrator of the company, who takes care of all compliance aspects. Secretary is responsible for maintaining all the statutory registers, resolutions, minute books of the company.
Transcend will provide a secretary to take care of compliance aspects of your company. Company secretary is a legal position and should not be misunderstood with the commonly known junior secretary positions.
Minimum share capital required is $1, however in reality, the share capital will usually depend on nature of business and its future plans.
Local registered address
Every company needs to provide local Singapore address to register a company. This address cannot be a PO Box address.
Foreigners can normally satisfy only two requirements out of it, i.e. becoming a shareholder and bringing in share capital. So in this case Transcend Consulting will provide you a nominee Director, a company secretary and a registered address for your business.
Specific points to note for foreigners
Documents required for incorporation
Procedure and Timeline
Opening a Bank Account
A Singapore company can open an account in any banks operating in Singapore, whether local or international. Procedures in opening an account depend on individual banks.
We generally recommend a visit of 2-3 days to Singapore to complete incorporation process. On the first day, after signing all the forms the company is registered and on the second day we organize your meeting with the bank representative.