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How can a foreigner start a company in Singapore?

How can a foreigner start a company in Singapore?

Registering company in Singapore

Singapore is often regarded as the Silicon Valley of marketing. It has a robust infrastructure, multiculturalism, tech ecosystem, government support, and ease of doing business. The world's major brands are shifting their attention to the world's growing regions, and Asia seems to be the best region to invest in growth. As a result, Singapore has established itself as the region's global marketing hub. Looking at the vast opportunities that Singapore bestows, if you are looking forward to starting a company or incorporating your brand in Singapore, we could safely say that you are doing the right thing.

How can I register a company in Singapore if I am a foreigner?

If you want to register a company in Singapore, these are the three ways to do so:

  • Relocate to Singapore and apply for the incorporation of your company with an Employment Pass.
  • Shift to Singapore and apply with EntrePass.
  • Appoint a resident nominee director and run Singapore company from anywhere in the world

Which different work passes could you issue to work in Singapore?

There are mainly four types of work passes that you could issue to work in Singapore:

1. Employment Pass and Personalised Employment Pass

The Singapore employment pass is mainly issued to managers, skilled professionals, and executives. However, as you are trying to incorporate your company in Singapore as an entrepreneur, you could also apply for an employment pass if you wish to move to Singapore to manage the operations. Your business could apply for any number of EPs, but the candidates must be earning at least 4500 (S$) Singaporean dollars. However, if you are in your 40s, your qualifying earnings should be around double the minimum qualifying salary for the youngest applicants.

If you work in the financial services sector, the minimum qualifying salary for the EPs is $5000 for the applicants.

To enjoy the benefits of a personalized employment pass, your minimum salary should be at least 144000 S$ per annum. With the PEP(personalized employment pass), you would enjoy the freedom to switch between jobs and pursue new opportunities.

2. EntrePass

This particular pass is designed for entrepreneurs who wish to incorporate new private limited companies in Singapore. 

You must qualify in atleast one of the following criteria to qualify for this pass:

-You have raised funding from an angel investor or a government accredited VC

-You have a promising entrepreneurial track record and hold significant business experience or network

-You have proven technical expertise or domain expertise in your niche

-You have an intellectual property

-You have a proven track of success in investing in businesses, and you aspire to grow your new or existing businesses in Singapore

-You are incubated at a government-supported incubator

-You have a research collaboration with A*STAR or university

3. S-Pass

If you categorize yourself as a mid-level foreign worker with a minimum salary of $2500, you could apply for the S pass. You would be evaluated on the following basis: salary, education level, work experience, job type, relevant skills. The number of S pass holders your company could employ is determined by your industry's Dependency Ratio Ceiling(DRC).

4. Work Permit

If you earn less than $2500, you could apply for a work permit that has a maximum duration of two years and is subjected to your passport validity and banker's guarantee. To check if you are eligible for a work permit, you should check the approved source countries.

What are the minimum requirements to incorporate a company in Singapore?

The five business entity that are available in Singapore are:

  • sole proprietorship
  • partnership 
  • limited partnership 
  • limited liability partnership 
  • private limited company

However, a private limited company is the most flexible one and is considered a separate legal entity and is limited by shares.

The minimum requirements to incorporate a company in Singapore are:

  • There should be at least one shareholder, who could either be a person or a corporate entity.
  • one resident director who could either be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident, the holder of an employment pass, or a dependant pass
  • Initial paid-up capital of at least 1S$
  • Physical registered office address in Singapore
  • One company secretary who is a resident of Singapore

How to appoint a local or resident director?

Any local person over 18 years of age and a full legal capacity can act as the resident director while self-registering the company on the BizFile+ portal. However, if the local person has an undischarged bankruptcy, they cannot take this position.

Also, the foreigners are required to:

  • appoint local director
  • As foreigners cannot self-register their company in Singapore, they must engage a registered fling agent to register their company.

To appoint a local director, you can have a glimpse of the following options:

  • The simplest and the most obvious option that you have is to employ a permanent resident, EntrePass holder, or a local Singaporean
  • You could also appoint a nominee director for your new corporation.
  • Go and get yourself the EntrePass and then form the company.

6 key points in registering your company in Singapore as a foreigner:

Keep these 6 points in mind:

1. Appoint a nominee director in case you are not relocating to Singapore

2. You could apply for a work visa as foreigners must work in Singapore

3. Apply for an employment pass or entrepreneur pass(EntrePass) visa

4. The process of incorporating the company is online. Hence you are saved from the hassle of travelling back and forth

5. Hire an incorporation service agency to register your company smoothly

6. Your minimum age should be 18 years and be of full legal capacity

What is the cost of incorporating a company legally?

The non-resident or foreigners are not allowed to self register their company. Therefore, you would need a registered filing agent, and the cost would vary accordingly.

Talking about the legal fees, the ACRA fees for the company name application is only 15S$. However, this fee is reserved for 60 days, and if you want to extend the period, you will have to pay extra fees. And, the company registration fee is S$ 300. Once your company is successfully registered and incorporated in Singapore, you will get a successful confirmation email from the ACRA. This email serves the purpose of the incorporation certificate, and you could also obtain the hard copy by paying appropriate fees.

Why should you partner with CodeDesign to scale your company?

Partnering with a global digital marketing agency like CodeDesign would help you focus on running your business and cut down the overall cost. It has often been game changing to partner with us as our experts have years of experience and we a team of highly qualified professionals with a track of success who could guide you to make the right decision and invest the right amount in the campaigns.

Head over to the "Request a Quote" page and fill out the form, including your name, company email, website URL, phone number, and a brief overview of a few main challenges and goals. The purpose of this form is to prepare before we have a meeting to talk on more relevant topics, meaning more proactive time for both you and us. 

You can also email us directly at contact@codedesign.org.

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