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Setting up a private limited company in Singapore

Foreign investors have several choices when it comes to company formation in Singapore. The most preferred type of company is the limited liability company(LLC). Singapore limited liability companies are also referred to as company limited by shares in which the responsibilities of the shareholders are limited to the amount they invested in the company. According to the Singapore Company Act, limited liability companies are legal entities separated from their members, the personal assets of the shareholders being protected from any business liability. 

Singapore has a favorable investment climate and a good business regulatory system. Setting up a company in Singapore is facile and foreign investors are allowed full ownership for their companies. The political stability, the excellent infrastructure, and communications system, as  well as the incentives regime and the pool of talented workers, are all important reasons why Singapore is a world-class investment destination.

 Quick Facts  
  Types of companies

 Private Limited Company (LTD)    

 Public Limited Company 

Public Company Limited by Guarantee 



Minimum share capital

for LTD Company 


Minimum number of

shareholders for Limited Company 

Time frame for the incorporation 

2-3 business days 

Corporate tax rate 17%
Dividend tax rate 

0% withholding tax

VAT Rate 

7% standard rate and 0% reduced rate  

Number of Double Taxation Treaties  > 80 
Do you supply a Registered Address?   Yes 
Local Director Required   Yes, at least one director who is a Singapore permanent resident, citizen or EntrePass/Employment Pass holder.
Annual Meeting Required  Yes
Redomiciliation Permitted  Yes 
Electronic Signature  Yes 
Is Accounting/Annual Return Required?  Yes 
Foreign-Ownership Allowed  Yes 
 Any Tax Exemptions Available?  A tax exemption scheme is available for new start-up companies. A partial tax exemption is also available for other companies. An exemption of international shipping profits and of income of venture companies is in place.
 Any Tax incentives  Investment allowances, pioneer industries and service companies incentives, a development and expansion incentive, concessionary tax rates in selected industries.

Among its most developed business fields, we can mention the financial services sector. However, investors will find different business opportunities here.

Investors who wish to register a private limited company in Singapore (Singapore LLC) can reach out to our agents who specialize in the incorporation of companies in this jurisdiction. Our team can provide complete information about investments, types of companies and corporate taxation, among others. Foreign entrepreneurs can rely on our services if they are interested in setting up a company in Singapore


Bestar (LimitedCompanySingapore.com) is a partner of BridgeWest, but is also affiliated with several important international organizations, among which the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce, the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and the Affiliatica web portal. The company is also a member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants. 

With a vast experience in company registration in the city-state, our local specialists can help foreign entrepreneurs who are interested in setting up a private limited company in Singapore.


The Company Law on limited liability companies in Singapore

As mentioned above, the Company Act is the main law to provide for the opening of a business in Singapore. According to it, there are several types of companies that can be incorporated in the city-state. These business forms are the same for local and foreign entrepreneurs interested in having a Singapore company.

Among the structures available for those who want to open companies here, the Singapore limited liability company is preferred by most investors. Based on the provisions of the Company Act, there are several forms of limited liability companies which can be created in Singapore. These are:
  • - the private limited liability company, which is also the most employed type of structure in Singapore;
  • - the private exempt limited liability company which has certain restrictions in relation to the number of shareholders;
  • - the subsidiary company which in Singapore is provided for the Company Law, compared to other jurisdictions;
  • - the public limited liability company which is available for those interested in setting up large operations in Singapore;
  • - the Singapore public company limited by guarantee which can be created for non-profit purposes.

A few aspects which need to be considered when setting up a limited liability company in Singapore are that the private exempt company requires a maximum number of 20 shareholders, while the public company requires at least 50 shareholders. The latter can also trade its shares on the Singapore Stock Exchange. If you want to open a company in Singapore and need assistance in choosing the right type of structure among the limited liability companies available for incorporation our experts are at your disposal. No matter the type of business you want to open, for example a hair transplant clinic with reliable services at affordable costs, a restaurant or an IT company, our team can help our establish it as fast as possible and can help you get the necessary permits and licenses.

What are the requirements for opening a limited liability company in Singapore?

The Company Act establishes the minimum share capital for registering a limited liability company in Singapore is 1 SGD. The shareholders can decide the amount they need in order to successfully start their business. The Singapore LLC must have at least one shareholder and maximum number of 50 and their shares cannot be traded on the Stock Exchange. The name of the private limited liability company must end in “Private Limited” or “Pte Ltd”. The Commercial Code provides for both natural persons and corporate entities to register limited liability companies in Singapore. The limited liability company is the perfect choice for foreign companies opening subsidiaries in Singapore. Limited liability companies must have at least one director and a company secretary who must be a Singapore resident. 

In addition to this residency requirement for the secretary, investors who are ineterested in setting up a company in Singapore should note that the position for a secretary should not be left vacant for more than 6 months and the sole director of the company cannot fulfill this role.
When setting up a local Pte Ltd Singapore, investors will need to decide the types of shares. In most cases, there following two types are used:
  • Ordinary shares: they offer voting rights as well as certain dividend rates;
  • Preference shares: they offer special rights, in most cases in respect to the dividends allocation; each company can decide its own preference shares provisions and these are clearly stipulated in the Articles of Association; the issuance of these preference shares can also be decided in resolutions that are passed during company meetings. 
A new company in Singapore is required to have a registered office address. This is the location where all of the formal notices and notifications from the authorities will be sent to the company and where the records will be stored. There is also a requirement to keep the registered office of a Pte Ltd Singapore accessible to the public during usual office hours. However, the company does not need to conduct its activities from this location, it can very well operate from another location.
Companies in Singapore not only benefit from favorable business conditions but they also have access to a favorable intellectual property protection regime. New limited liability companies can register their trademark with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. Thus, they can make sure that their business’ goods are easily distinguishable from those offered by other companies. Registering a trademark (namely the company name or logo) is often recommended for companies that wish to establish themselves on the Singapore market and increase their image and business credibility. 
Why Set up a Private Limited Company in Singapore


Company formation procedure for a PLC in Singapore

The first step towards setting up a private limited company in Singapore is to choose and reserve a name for the company. The business name reservation application is submitted with the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Authority. The second step is to have the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association drafted. The registration of private limited company in Singapore requires the appointment of local agents who will handle the incorporation procedure. After the company is incorporated it must also register for taxation purposes. Our consultants in company registration in Singapore can draft the Memorandum and Articles of Association for you company and can also handle the incorporation procedure.
Choosing an acceptable company name is important. Here are some general guidelines on the restrictions that apply to company names:
- Undesirable: included here are names that may be of an obscene or religious nature;
- Identical names: a new company cannot use a name that is already reserved by another legal entity just as it cannot use a name that is already taken;
- Other situations: in some cases, the Register may not accept a certain name if there are specific interdictions issued for it by the Minister of Finance.
In a number of limited cases, a Pte Ltd Singapore can select a company name that was already in use. This can take place when:
  • at least 2 years have passed since the company with the same name has been wound up;
  • at least 3 months have passed since a foreign company has ceased to carry out business activities in Singapore;
  • at least 6 years have passed since a Singapore company was struck off the register;
  • at least 6 years have passed since a foreign company has had its name struck off the register.
One of our agents can give you more details on when a company name can be used and how to check for identical names.
Once the company is successfully registered with ACRA, the company founders will need to apply for special permits and licenses, as needed for their particular business activities. This can be achieved with the help of our agents who specialize in setting up a private limited company in Singapore. Some examples of licenses include the following: food stall license, liquor license, public entertainment license, halal certificate or a license for petroleum and flammable material. The process is simplified, especially for those companies that will operate in the food services business. 
Our team can help you apply for the needed licenses and make sure that you follow all of the needed steps in order to avoid an application rejection. With our help, you will receive step-by-step assistance as well as guidance for preparing the license application documents. It is useful to note that you can start thinking about this step once the company registration with ACRA is complete and after you have obtained the planning permissions.  

We invite you to watch a video on opening a Singapore LLC:

Documents for setting up a private limited company in Singapore

The following documents must be provided upon the registration of a limited liability company in Singapore
  • the shareholders’ identification papers, which can be the ID in the case of Singapore citizens and the passport in the case of foreign citizens;
  • information about the company’s director or managers and the company secretary;
  • the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association which must be notarized;
  • the receipt showing the payment of the company registration fee with the Trade Register;
  • proof that the company has a registered address in Singapore; an office rental agreement can be provided for this purpose;
  • additional information will be required in case one of the shareholders is a company.

Our Singapore company formation agents can assist with the preparation of the documents for setting up a private limited company in Singapore.

The Articles of Association of a Singapore limited liability company

The main documents related to the establishment of a limited liability company are the Articles of Association which are the statutory documents of any business in Singapore. The Articles of Association of a limited liability company must contain the following information:
  • the name of the company, the date of its incorporation and the date of its termination (where applicable);
  • the names of the shareholders, their residence addresses and the number of shares held in the company;
  • the names of the directors, their personal information and information about how they are appointed and removed;
  • information about the share capital of the company, the number of shares issued, their distribution among the shareholders, and the types of shares issued;
  • information about the company secretary who needs to be a Singapore resident (nominee services can be provided for such a role);
  • the main object of activity of the company and other secondary objects of activity (if necessary);
  • information about the legal address of the company (it must have a registered address in Singapore);
  • information about the date of the general annual meeting and other resolutions passed by the shareholders.

The Articles of Association must be filed with ACRA upon the registration of the company. Also, anytime a change is brought to the company, these documents must be amended. 

It is important to note that a Singapore LLC must have a legal address in the city-state all the time. Also, upon registration on in maximum 14 days after registration, the working hours of the company must be declared with ACRA, according to the Company Law. A limited liability company must also have a seal which can be made before the registration procedure is begun.

Once the company is registered, the founders can open a corporate bank account with a bank branch of their choice. The Articles of Association and proof of registration with ACRA will be required. 

Once the registration of the Pte Ltd in Singapore is complete, investors should keep in mind that any changes in the company’s particulars are to be notified. This should be done in a timely manner by notifying the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. Some examples of possible post-registration changes include the following:
  • - changing the company name: this can be done for a free and with an in-principle approval from the authorities, based on the newly proposed name); once the new name is approved, the company representative needs to lodge a Notice of Resolution on behalf of the Pte Ltd in Singapore;
  • - the business activity or registered office; the place where the register of company members and index is stored can also be updated (this applies to companies that were incorporated before the start pf 2016);
  • - changing the company officers of the shareholders (data such as the name, nationality, identification documents, address, occupation and telephone contact details will be required for the new shareholders or as they change for the existing ones).
When needed, our team can provide more details on changing the company name and updating the particulars of the business. This many be required especially in those cases that involve purchasing an already registered private limited company in Singapore as the new owners will wish to make the changes to adapt the legal entities according to their business needs. 
tractive to investors?

Why register a limited liability company in Singapore?

The limited liability company is the preferred choice of a business form for both local and foreign investors in Singapore. This is because the shareholders will have limited accountability for the obligations and the debts of the company. Their responsibility will be limited to the amount they invested. Also, the company formation requirements are minimum when it comes to the shareholding and management structure of the business, as seen above.

However, foreign enterprises are required to hire a local consultancy firm or appoint a local agent resident of Singapore to carry out the registration procedure. Other than that, there are no special requirements when opening a Pte Ltd in Singapore. Our specialists in company formation will provide you with more information about the advantages of limited liability companies. 

Taxation and accounting for limited liability companies in Singapore


 The limited liability company, no matter if it is a private or a public company, will be subject to the following taxes:

  • the corporate tax;
  • the goods and services tax;
  • withholding taxes applied to interests, dividends and royalties;
  • social security contributions;
  • the real estate tax;
  • the stamp duty.

What should be noticed is that in order to know the amount a limited liability company must pay it must first verify the income which can be taxed and then file the returns based on which the Inland Revenue Authority in Singapore will calculate the taxes the company will pay.

Before setting up a private limited company in Singapore, you should know that Singapore has one of the lowest corporate taxes in Asia: 17%. However, startups registered as limited liability companies may also benefit from full tax exemption during their first year of activity. Apart from this, the Government also enables various incentive schemes under which investors can apply for tax exemptions or deductions. Some of the investment incentives are in the form of concessions, favorable loan conditions, accelerated depreciation schemes, and others. One of our agents who specialize in company formation and in opening a private limited company in Singapore can provide complete details about the Economic Expansion Incentives and the Income Tax Act. Investors can note that incentives are available across a wide range of business activities. Seeking personalized assistance can make it easier to understand what incentives apply according to the type of business and the business field. 

In some cases, companies in Singapore can benefit from concessionary tax rates, from 0% to 15%, compared to the usual corporate tax rate of 17%. These can be awarded according to the number of jobs that are created, the amount of business expenditure and the number of new activities introduced in the city-state. One of our agents can also provide more details about these concessionary tax rates. Foreign companies can also register subsidiaries under the form of limited liability companies and thus benefit from Singapore’s double taxation agreements.


The other rates of the taxes imposed to limited liability companies in Singapore are:

  • the GST is applied at a rate of 7%, however there is also a 0% rate available for certain products;
  • the withholding tax rates range between 0% and 15% depending on the type of income and who it distributed to;
  • the social security contributions have rates ranging between 7.5% and 17%;
  • the real estate tax is applied progressively and can reach a rate of 20%.
From an accounting point of view, the private limited company in Singapore is required to prepare its annual balance sheets which must be audited and filed with ACRA. The advantage is that there are many professional accounting firms offering tailored accounting services to foreign owners of limited liability companies.
Considering there are several types of limited liability companies which can be established in Singapore, it should be mentioned that the accounting requirements will depend on the form of the company. For example, private and exempt limited liability companies will benefit from simplified accounting and audit requirements, while public companies will be subject to more stringent requirements.

Small companies that are not publicly accountable are required to file a simplified filing (the simplified XBRL template), together with copies of other documents. Companies that do not fall under this category are expected to file the full XBRl template.

For the purpose of accounting, a small company is one with no more than 500,000 S$ in revenue and 500,000 S$ in assets in a given financial year. This assessment is based on the financial statements thar are required for all companies, according to the Companies Act. In addition to this, non-publicly accountable is defined as not being listed or in the process of issuing equity instruments for trading on a securities exchange in Singapore or not listed on a stock exchange outside of Singapore. Publicly accountable companies are also several types of financial institutions.

Companies incorporated in Singapore that operate in banking or insurance are subject to filing their financial statements in a different format.

The difference between the full and the simplified template for filing lies in the number of data elements (approximately 210 for the full form and about 120 for the simplified version). In all cases, the template, through its data elements, is able to highlight complete information on the financial performance and the position of the company.

We are at your disposal in case you are interested in setting up a private limited company in Singapore. We can also help if you need accounting services for your limited liability company.

Assistance for employment and other matters in Singapore

Investors who are interested in company formation in Singapore, whether they open a Pte Ltd in Singapore or another type of company, are also concerned with the labor regulations. Our team can provide complete details about the requirements set forth by the Ministry of Manpower and the current laws in force.  There are no mandatory requirements for company owners to follow a minimum wage for workers, however, they do need to comply with the obligations for social security payments. These are made on a monthly basis and they vary according to the value of the employee’s remuneration. Reduced rates can apply for some types of employees (for example those above 55 years of age).

What’s more, employers in Singapore should know that they are required to cover the Work Injury Compensation Insurance for all of their employees, whether local or foreign. This is applicable irrespective of the type of contract with the individual (service contract or apprenticeship agreement) and regardless of the wage, age, or nationality of the employee. This requirement is set forth in the Work Injury Compensation Act.

Singapore has an open policy towards the employment of foreigners and the government is often attempting to attract foreign employees. A special work pass is issued by the Ministry of Manpower and executives and qualified individuals who earn a monthly salary of a certain value can apply for an employment pass. Other passes, such as the “S” pass is issued for skilled foreign workers who do not qualify for the regular employment pass. 
Investors who, for various reasons, wish to strike off a private limited company in Singapore, can rely on the aid provided by our team of experts. The decision to close a company may become necessary for a number of reasons and one option to cease its existence is to strike off the name from the register. The director of the company, guided by our experts, can do so by means of an application with ACRA. The approval is issued if there is reasonable cause to believe that the company is not carrying out business and it also complies with the other criteria for its striking off. 
Some of the situations in which the company can be removed from the register include the following:
  • the company has ceased trading in Singapore or, alternatively, it had not engaged in business since it was incorporated;
  • it has no outstanding debts owed to main government agencies in Singapore, such as the Inland Revenue Authority;
  • it is not subject to an ongoing or a pending regulatory action/disciplinary proceeding;
  • it has no assets and liabilities and no contingent ones;
  • all of the directors of the company authorize the applicant to strike off the legal entity.
The striking off can be opposed by another party and in this case the company that is subject to the removal from the register has two months to address the issue and then resume the process. It is important to note that the striking off cannot continue until the objection is resolved.
Once the process of striking off has been completed, ACRA publishes the name of the company in the Government Gazette and 60 days after the name of the company will be finally struck off the register. This is a process that can take at least four months and we recommend that investors who are interested in ceasing the existence of a company reach out to our agents who specialize in Singapore company incorporation and other issues. 

Foreign companies in Singapore

As an alternative to opening a private limited company in Singapore, investors can set up a branch or a representative office. The branch is an extension of the parent company and it engages in exactly the same business activities. It must have the same name and a local representative. It is also registered with ACRA, a process during which the founders submit the certified copies of the foreign company’s constitutive documents. 

The representative office is only used for marketing or research purposes and it may not engage in any commercial or business activities for the purpose of deriving profit from Singapore. 

These two forms of entering the market are limited in some respects and foreign investors may find that opening a new legal entity is more advantageous in some cases. This can be accomplished in the form of a subsidiary opened as a private limited company.


How can a Singapore limited liability company be used?

A limited liability company can have several uses in Singapore. Among these are:
  • - it can be used as a subsidiary by foreign companies interested in doing business in Singapore;
  • - it can be used as a holding company, which is one of the best tax minimization tools in Singapore;
  • - it can be used as an offshore company and thus address other markets around the world;
  • - its main use is that of an onshore company employed for trading purposes in Singapore.
The corporation, either public or private, is the most commonly used business form in Singapore, as seen from the following statistics issued by the Department of Statistics:
  • 467 limited liability partnerships;
  • 25 limited partnerships;
  • 4,056 sole proprietorships and partnerships;
  • 10,299 companies.
The data was recorded for business entities registered between January and March 2019.
Investors who need assistance during the incorporation process of a corporation or another type of business entity, like a partnership, can reach out to our agents.

Setting up a public limited company in Singapore

The private limited company in Singapore, as well as the public limited company, are the two business forms commonly used by investors. Their popularity is due to the fact that they offer, as the name suggests, limited liability to the founders, who are only liable to the extent of the capital they invest in the business.
Investors setting up a company in Singapore as a public limited company will need to follow a few simple steps as well as observe the requirements for this particular business form.
Our team of agents who specialize in the registration of a private limited company in Singapore can also help investors open a public limited company.

What are the characteristics of the public limited company?

The public limited company shares certain similarities with the private one, however, its characteristics make it more suitable to large businesses. Among its key traits we can mention the following:
  • Public: this company can offer its shares to the public, which is not possible with the private limited company.
  • Liability and separation: the public limited company has legal capacity and it is separate from its founders or directors; the shareholders have limited liability.
  • Shareholders: at least 50 shareholders are required for this type of company, making it appropriate for large corporations.
  • Listed: the public limited company is, in most cases, listed on the stock exchange.
  • Regulations: because of its nature and the fact that it is listed, the public limited company is subject to more stringent accounting and reporting rules.
Like the private limited company in Singapore, the public company will need to have a locally registered office. Businessmen who are considering setting up a company in Singapore as a private limited company, can receve assistance from our team.

What are the steps for opening a public limited company?

When starting a public limited company, investors will usually follow these steps:
  1. Choose a company name: the name of the company is a unique one and needs to be approved before the company can be registered.
  2. Registered office: the company must have a registered office in Singapore and the address is provided during the incorporation process.
  3. Constitution: the company’s constitutive documents are drawn up, with details about its characteristics, governance, operations, director’s rights, and liabilities, etc.
  4. Submitting the application: the company is registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority; this step can be performed via an online platform.
These steps for setting up a company in Singapore can be discussed in more detail with our team of incorporation agents.
The company secretary must be appointed within six months following the company’s incorporation date. The secretary must be a natural person and a resident in Singapore. 

The company name cannot be identical to one that belongs to an already registered company and it cannot be offensive or vulgar. The name application, prior to the registration of the business, is subject to a fee. Once this application submitted with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is approved, the chosen name is reserved for 120 days. If the rest of the steps are not completed within this time, the name will no longer be reserved, and it can be used by other companies.

As far as the registered office is concerned, the address cannot be a P.O. Box one. This is the address at which all of the official company notices and communications will be sent to and also the place where the company records are stored. It is required to be accessible to the public during regular office hours. However, the company may conduct its activities at another location. 
The public limited company in Singapore is set up much in the same way as the Pte Ltd in Singapore. Clients interested in other types of services, for example in immigration assistance in Belgium, can receive assistance from our partners.

What are the regulations for public limited companies in Singapore?​

The public limited company is subject to different, more complex regulatory principles compared to the private type. For example, it will need to register a prospectus with the Monetary Authority before it can submit any public offers.
The prospectus will offer information on the following matters:
  • the business structure and its history;
  • share classes (with voting rights, access to dividends, etc.)
  • the directory, management, and administration of the company;
  • investment objectives and policies;
  • risk factors;
  • reports;
  • Singapore tax issues.
Once the prospectus is drawn up, it becomes available on the OPERA (Offers and Prospectuses Electronic Repository and Access) website and it is subject to public comments. Our agents who specialize in Singapore limited company formation can provide more details on the manner in which the prospectus should be structured.

Investors who are interested in opening a different type of public company, the one limited by guarantee, should know that this type of business entity is not the same as the regular public one limited by shares. The one limited by guarantee is usually used for non-profit activities and it has members, not shareholders. An important difference is that the members are under an agreement to pay a certain fixed amount in the event in which the company is dissolved. One of our agents specializing in the particularities of a Singapore limited company can offer more details.

Once it is registered, a public limited company in Singapore will also have to obtain special permits and licenses, if this applies to the particular business sector in which it activates. Food services businesses, hotels, education centers, animal and veterinary services, land transport services are just some examples of the types of services that are being regulated and for which investors will need to apply for the needed licenses.

Public companies in Singapore are also required to hold a mandatory annual meeting of shareholders. During this meeting, the company presents the accounts before its members and they are allowed to pose questions about the financial situation of the company. The date of this meeting is set according to the end of the company’s financial year. For example, they may take place within five months after the financial year-end of the company, although this is not a general rule. For newly incorporated companies, it may be mandatory that they hold this meeting within 18 months of their incorporation date. In some cases, a shareholder may request a meeting to be held and in this case, he must notify the company within a due period. Public companies may request an extension of the date on which they are required to hold the meeting. An application fee applies in this case. Our experts in setting up companies in Singapore can give you more details on this matter.

We invite you to watch a short video on the steps to open a public limited company in Singapore:


How is a public limited company taxed in Singapore?

The taxation regime for the Pte Ltd Singapore, as well as the public limited company, includes a corporate income tax of 17%. For the income year 2019, 75% of the first 10,000 of normal chargeable income for companies as well as 50% of the next 190,000 SGD are exempt from tax. Singapore does not impose a withholding tax on dividends paid by resident companies. Other taxes include interest and royalties withholding tax, social security, stamp duty, property tax. In some cases, a monthly levy can apply per foreign worker (in certain industries). Another type of tax applicable in Singapore is the goods and services tax, or the GST, which is similar to the value-added tax. The standard rate is 7%, with 0% for the export of goods and international services. Public limited companies can register for GST payment voluntarily or when their taxable turnover is more than 1 million SGD in a calendar year or it is expected to exceed this value in the next 12 months.

Social security contributions are required in Singapore both by the employer and the employees (who can be either citizens or permanent residents). One of our agents can provide more details in the Central Provident Fund contributions. 

The tax year in Singapore is usually the same as the calendar year and companies are expected to submit the estimated chargeable income within three months of the end of the financial year. Certain penalties apply for late filing as well as failure to file.


The directors of a public limited company in Singapore

Setting up a company in Singapore includes several steps, as seen above. One of these key stages is appointing a company director, along with other key personnel.
The company director has a key role in the organization and its growth and, according to the Companies Act, he is also the one responsible for various issues, such as timely filings as well as other types of submissions and disclosures. The director will act honestly and in good faith, in the best interests of the corporation.
The requirements for a company director in Singapore that fully apply in the case of public limited company directors include the following:
  • be over 18 years old;
  • have legal capacity;
  • be a Singapore citizen, a permanent resident or an EntrePass holder (employment pass or EP holders are also accepted);
  • not have any disqualifications from acting as a company director.
Each company in Singapore must have at least one director who is a local resident. This means that a foreign national who is interested in setting up a company in Singapore will need to comply with the conditions to legally reside here.
In some cases, a prior verification is needed before being appointed as director. This is in the case of those who gave a foreign identification number, the FIN number. For example, those who have a valid employment pass will first be required to receive approval to act as company directors. In this case, as well as in all other cases involving foreigners who wish to relocate to Singapore to act as company directors, is issued by the Ministry of Manpower.
The role of the director is an important one and individuals who undertake it should be well aware of their duties and responsibilities, as well as the liabilities. Breaching the director’s duties is can result in civil and criminal charges and there are different types of offences that can be subject to fines or imprisonment. In case of common offences, a company director can be subject to a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment for a maximum period of 2 years.
Noncompliant company directors in Singapore can be disqualified and be effectively banned from acting as a company director for a period of 5 years.
A company in Singapore can also have managing director, although this is optional. When the company will have such an appointed officer, his details will need to be submitted before making the application for incorporation.

Key personnel for a Singapore limited company

The company director has an important role in ensuring the company’s growth and compliance, however, those interested in setting up a company here will also need to appoint other key members.
As previously mentioned, the law stipulates clear requirements for the appointment of a secretary. When no secretary is appointed within the prescribed time, the company directors are those who may be liable for a penalty of up to $1,000. The secretary has an administrative role and will fulfill several types of duties among which maintaining the company’s registers, preparing the minutes of the meetings, informing the directors of the due tasks and deadlines, updating the relevant company changes, and many more.

Some companies, particularly large ones such as public limited companies in Singapore, may choose to appoint a chief executive officer (CFO). Like the managing director, this role is an optional one and if this director is appointed, it is mandatory to file his identification documents with the authorities.
Large companies in Singapore are also required to appoint an auditor within 3 months of incorporation. While some companies are exempt from this rule, it only applies in case of small companies. When an appointed auditor is dismissed or resigns, the company must appoint a new one. Any changes in this position are to be reported to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority in Singapore, just like any other changes in the company particulars.
Entrepreneurs who propose company directors and the secretary once they have applied for company incorporation are asked to endorse the appointments of the key personnel online using a special portal. However, this is not required when a registered filing agent makes the submissions as he will be handling the necessary statements on behalf of the company founders. Our team can give you more details.

Investments in Singapore 

According to data provided by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority in Singapore, the number of companies as per their business types was the following:
  • 317,493: the total number of companies in January 2018, both local and foreign companies.
  • 336,774: total companies in December 2018.
  • 338,548: total number of local and foreign companies in January 2019.
  • 353,538: the total number of companies in Singapore in December 2019.
Please note that the total companies listed here include, as mentioned, both local and foreign companies and are both private and public limited ones. The corporation remains the most popular business form, preferred both by local and foreign investors. Businessmen interested in setting up a company in Singapore should know that the following type of business structure, as per the available numbers, is the sole proprietorship. 

Setting up a company in Singapore is easier with our help, both in the case of the public and the private forms. Reach out to our agents to find out more.
Contact us for more information about the public and private limited company in Singapore and for complete company incorporation services for these two business forms as well as others.

You can also contact us for any other information related to setting up a private limited company in Singapore or any other type of company. You can rely on our company registration representatives for personalized advice in opening a company in Singapore, including a limited liability company. We can handle the business incorporation procedure from the beginning until the end.