SETTING UP A COMPANY IN SINGAPORE

Ranked second globally for ease of doing business in the 2018 World Bank Doing Business report, business take on average only 2.5 days to start their operations in Singapore! Business entities are regulated by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Before you register your business entity, you have to choose among different types of local entity structures that can be set up here.

  1. Sole Proprietorship

  2. Partnership

  3. Company

  4. Limited Liability Partnership

  5. Limited Partnership

Additional options include a branch of a foreign company or a representative office.

After choosing the right business structure, you will need to apply for and reserve a name for your business entity. Your application, which costs S$15, will be approved immediately if the name is available and does not require approval or review by other government agencies. An approved company name will be reserved for 120 days from the date of approval. There are two ways you can apply for a business name:

  • Register directly at BizFile+, ACRA’s online portal. You may log into BizFile+ using a SingPass or CorpPass account to submit your online transaction.
  • Engage the services of a registered filing agent such as a law firm or a corporate secretarial firm to submit an online application on your behalf.

Upon approval of your business name, you are ready to register your business with ACRA. The application will take up to three working days to be approved (or 14-60 days for applications referred for review). Similar to reserving a business name, you can register your business online using BizFile+, or engage the services of a registered filing agent to submit an online application on your behalf.

After registering your business, the EDB recommends checking with the relevant industry association to confirm if you require a licence for business operation. If you do, a useful resource is LicenceOne, a one-stop portal set up by the Government to simplify licence-related applications and payments. Companies can apply for a new licence, amend or cancel a licence, or renew a licence through the platform. 

For more information from the Singapore Government download this information flyer from the Singapore Economic Development Board or visit our Resources & Links page. For support customised to your needs, simply complete the form below and our recommended partners will be in touch.