What Do I Need to Set Up a Business in Singapore


If the small country called Singapore is a place you would like to live, you can easily set up a business in this amazing Southeast Asian country with a high standard of living. For whatever reasons, living and working in Singapore is much easier when you set up a registered business there and this article aims to help you by giving you useful information about what you will need to register a business in Singapore.

  • Unique Business Name – As with every other country, you cannot use a name that is already in existence and when you are setting up a private limited company in Singapore, you should seek out the services of an established law firm that deals with foreign business formation and they can check that your proposed company name is not in use.
  • Minimum of One Shareholder – If you wish to set up a business in Singapore, you will need at least one shareholder, who can be either foreign or a Singaporean citizen.
  • Resident Director – This person must either be a citizen of Singapore or a foreigner with a valid work employment pass. A corporate entity can also become a resident director of your business and should you require advice about this, talk to a specialist law firm that has extensive experience in setting up a business in Singapore.
  • Company Secretary – This person must be a native of Singapore, who is qualified and currently resides in Singapore. Here are a few essential tools for good digital marketing.
  • Registered Business Address in Singapore – This is obviously required and the local law firm you hire to carry out the company formation can find you a suitable address within Singapore.
  • Minimum of $1 Capital – The ideal amount to provide as working capital would be one year’s salary, although you only need one dollar, this is not practical.
  • Employment Pass – This allows you to work and a local law firm can assist you in obtaining an employment pass for you and any other foreigners involved in the business.
  • Bookkeeping Services – This can be provided by a local third-party, which saves you having to directly employ a local bookkeeper. Whatever your business needs, there are local companies that can provide these services.
  • Annual Statutory Filing – This is required by the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). 

This might seem like a long list, yet if you seek out the services of a Singaporean law firm that has extensive experience in aiding foreigners to set up businesses in Singapore, they will offer you all the assistance you need to complete the business registration process. 

Business Licences

There are some sectors that require a business licence, such as the following:

  • Financial services
  • Restaurants
  • Travel agencies
  • Educational institutions
  • Import/ export
  • Recruitment agencies

In the event you do need a business licence, your local legal advisor will inform you of this and they will request documentation in order to apply for the licence.