The Five Key Requirements For Setting Up A Company In Singapore

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Singapore is one of the world’s biggest economies, with a gross domestic product of over $400 billion, or about $70,000 per capita. It is a gateway to the broader Asian markets because of its geographical location. These factors make many want to incorporate a company in Singapore and conduct business, and this article will list the five essential requirements for that.

1. A Resident Director

Singaporean law states that all local companies must have at least one director who is a local resident. Any firm without a resident director is violating the laws and will be punished.

An ordinary resident meets one of these criteria:

  • Holds permanent residence 
  • Has Singaporean citizenship 
  • An Employment Pass or EntrePass holder

Meeting any of the above criteria means the person is permitted to live and work within the country.

If you’re a foreigner who wants to incorporate a firm, you must find a local resident. The good thing is there are professional service providers to help you find people willing to fill in the role.

2. Shareholders

Every registered corporation must have at least one shareholder. The company will have a total number of shares called the share capital. You’re the sole owner if you own all the shares. If there are multiple shareholders, each of them must hold a number of shares.

Shareholders have the right to vote on corporate decisions and push for changes. The more shares an individual has, the more power their vote commands. A shareholder can be a local or foreign resident. Local residents will be subject to Singaporean tax laws, while foreign shareholders will pay taxes in their respective jurisdictions.

3. A Secretary

Company incorporation in Singapore requires an appointed secretary. Their role is to manage the corporation’s administrative affairs and ensure it complies with local laws and regulations. They also advise directors about their legal and corporate responsibilities.

The secretary must be a local resident. This position is regulated by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), which dictates that the secretary must have academic and professional qualifications to act in their role.

If you’re the only director of your company, you can not be the secretary; you must appoint another person. However, if there are multiple directors, then one of them can also act as secretary.

4. A Local Office Address

Your business must have a registered office within Singapore. It must be a physical address where you can receive mail about corporate matters. The address must be accessible to the public for at least 3 hours each working day.

You can apply for a home office permit to use your residential property as the registered address. You can also hire a corporate service provider to provide an office address for you; Osome is a good example.

5. Shareholder Capital

Every firm must have a share capital of at least 1 Singaporean dollar (SGD) or the equivalent in another currency. The share capital refers to the amount of money invested at the start of the business. Each shareholder will be granted a number of shares depending on how much they invested.

Consider the type of business you’re engaged in when determining the capital. For instance, if you intend to rent a commercial building, the owner will likely request the capital to cover at least one year of rent. Similarly, if your corporation is sponsoring a work visa for an individual, the government may request the share capital to cover at least the employee’s annual salary.


You can register your company with ACRA if you meet the aforementioned requirements. The process is easy; you can do it online or in person and register your firm within a few days.

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