Friday, June 14, 2019

How to register a company in Singapore

Want to register your company in Singapore? This guide contains key facts on opening a company and doing business in Singapore – the requirements, procedures, and timelines.

Registering a company in Singapore: high-level overview
  • Company name: We recommend having a shortlist of three in case your first choice isn’t available.
  • 1 or more directors: Directors must be individuals, aged 18 and above, who have not been disqualified to hold a directorship in Singapore or elsewhere.
  • 1 or more resident directors: You need at least one locally resident director. This is someone who is a Singapore citizen, Permanent Resident, or someone who is on a visa such as an Employment Pass, Dependant's Pass or EntrePass.
  • Between 1 - 50 shareholders: A director can be a shareholder, and a shareholder can either be an individual or a legal entity like a trust or another company.
  • Paid-up capital: The minimum paid-up/share capital for a company to register in Singapore is S$1. Any time after the company has been incorporated, the share capital can be increased.
  • A registered address in Singapore: The address that is provided for the company must be located in Singapore. In addition, it must be a physical address (residential or commercial). A P.O. Box will not be accepted.
  • Company secretary: within 6 months of incorporation, every company must appoint a company secretary. A company secretary has to be a citizen, permanent resident or an employment pass holder.
  • Auditor: within 3 months of incorporation, every company must appoint an auditor, unless the company has been exempted from audit (which is the case for most start-up companies).

Other helpful things to keep in mind when registering a company:
  • No local/foreign shareholding requirements: You may have 100% local shareholding or 100% foreign. You can transfer existing shares or issue new ones at any time after the company has completed the incorporation process.
  • Taxes: As a company registered in Singapore, you will receive some very appealing tax incentives and exemptions. This is one of the primary reasons that entrepreneurs from around the world prefer to form their company in Singapore.
Required documents at incorporation

To incorporate your company in Singapore, you need to file with ACRA (the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority), who manages company registration in Singapore. You will need to provide:
  • Name of company
  • Brief description of activities
  • Details of shareholders
  • Details of directors and KYC information
  • Registered (Singapore) address
  • Share capital details
  • The company’s constitution
  • The main document required is the constitution of the company, which sets out the rules governing the way of doing business, the internal governance of the company and the relationships between its stakeholders (mainly directors and shareholders).
Additional considerations for foreigners

Foreigners who are interested in registering their company in Singapore also need to consider the following:
  • You will need to hire help in Singapore to set up. To register your Singapore business, you will need to hire a professional to file on your behalf. The regulations in Singapore do not allow a foreign individual/entity to self-register their company.
  • You do not need to travel or obtain a visa to incorporate your company. If you plan to incorporate your company in Singapore, but don’t plan to move, you do not need to obtain any special travel visa. You may operate your company from overseas, and you may visit Singapore on a short-term visitor visa when you need to deal with company issues.
  • You may need to hire a nominee director. If you are not planning to have anyone in your company move to Singapore, you will still need to fulfil the requirement to have a local director. You can easily find a professional service firm in Singapore that offers incorporation services including local resident directorship, such as Sleek.
  • You may need to travel in order to set up a corporate bank account. Depending on the bank that you decide to use, many banks require physical presence of directors and/or shareholders to approve the opening of a bank account in Singapore. We have a network of bankers and can help facilitate this - usually a straightforward process.

Timeline for registering your company

Once you have all your documents together, a company can be incorporated within one business day, as long as ACRA does not cause any delays. Read on to find out how you can set up a company in Singapore via ACRA. 

There are 2 steps involved in the company formation procedure for incorporating in Singapore: reserving a name, and registering the company. 

1. Reserving the company name

To register your business in Singapore, you must make sure that your proposed name is approved by ACRA. Usually, you will find out whether your proposed name has been approved or rejected within a day. However, if your proposed name contains specific words such as media, bank, law, finance, or education, the corresponding external governmental authority may be required to review and approval the name.

To increase your chances of the proposed name being approved right away, you want to make sure that the name is not:
  • similar/identical to existing company in Singapore
  • vulgar/obscene
  • already reserved
Approved company names will be held and secured for 60 days from the date of your application. Also, if you need to extend the name reservation for another 60 days, you may do so by filing an extension just before the initial hold expires.

2. Registering the company

Once you have received approval for your name, the process of filing the incorporation paperwork and obtaining approval from the ACRA can be done in just a day – as long as the documents are all ready and have been signed by all directors of the new company.

What happens post-incorporation?

  • You receive a Certificate of Incorporation. ACRA will send an email notification confirming the incorporation of your company. This is your official Singapore Company Incorporation Certificate and will include your business registration number. If you want a hard copy of the certificate, you can make an online request to ACRA for S$50.
  • You receive a Business Profile (”Bizfile”). ACRA will also provide the business profile of your new company for free. The business profile is the identity card of the company.
  • You are able to open a corporate bank account. After you have successfully registered your Singapore business, you will be able to open a corporate bank account with any of the banks in Singapore. This includes Citibank, UOB, HSBC, OCBC, Standard Chartered, DBS.
  • Business Licenses Application. Depending on the activities that your business will be doing, you might also need to apply for business licenses. You will complete this process after incorporation, but before starting your business.
  • Registration for Goods and Service Tax (GST). If you expect your business’ annual turnover to exceed S$1 million, then you must register for Goods & Services Tax, or GST (also referred to as value added tax, VAT, in many countries). If you do not expect your business’ annual turnovers to reach S$1 million, you are not required to register for GST.

(Want to learn more about GST in Singapore? Read our Simple Guide to GST in Singapore in Singapore or download our GST Cheat Sheet.

Ongoing requirements/formalities for filing

Once you have officially incorporated your Singapore business, the Companies Act requires specific annual filing requirements to be made. To learn more about this, check out our guideon the annual filing requirements for companies established in Singapore.

If you’re not Singaporean and you want to have a hassle-free experience, you might want to consider hiring a professional corporate secretary …. like us - Sleek.

Get in touch with us if you want to learn more about how we can take care of all your ongoing corporate filing requirements.

Advice for Those Who Are Buying Sydney Property

Image Source : Pixabay

If you are planning to relocate, and Sydney is your choice of locations, you certainly wouldn’t be alone. This vibrant city and its many suburbs have much to offer, and with such a desirable region, you need to be quick when looking at properties. Here today and gone tomorrow would be an accurate description of the Sydney real estate market.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you source that dream property in Sydney.

Source a Good Mortgage Broker

Number one on the list of things to source, finding a proactive mortgage broker in Sydney is a must, and by dealing with a leading independent broker who has associations with all the major lenders, you can find a mortgage that suits your lifestyle. You are wasting your time looking at properties without first getting mortgage preapproval, and no seller will take you seriously without the green light from a lender.

Making an Offer
Image Source: Unsplash

If you do find something that hits the spot, you need to be quick to get the ball rolling, and with a proactive independent mortgage broker in your corner, you can get ahead of the pack when it comes to buying a prime piece of real estate. The mortgage broker can make things happen within hours, rather than days, and aside from being able to hook you up with the right lender, they also get to know when prime properties come onto the market.

Crunch the Numbers

The very worst that could happen is you commit to a property that you really can’t afford, so do crunch the numbers, and make sure you factor in everything. Legal fees, stamp duty, and the great thing about using an independent mortgage broker is their services are free to the borrower, as the lender pays a small remuneration on the loan. Don’t forget relocation expenses, and you are likely to need some basic furnishings, all of these things require money. There is also a great article for first time buyers, complete with useful information that will make it a little easier to acquire the home of your dreams. If the mortgage is high, be realistic, as the last thing you want is to get behind with your home loan payments, and if you are buying the house with your partner, sit down and look at all the pros and cons.

Carry Out Searches

Once you find a property you like, have a building surveyor take a look, and they can also ensure that the title has no restrictions, and nothing is owed by the seller. The structural integrity of the building needs to be verified, and a good conveyancing lawyer would advise you regarding the searches you should order.
Image Source: Unsplash

Sydney is a very desirable location, and the land prices reflect this, but if you can afford it, factor in all of the above and you should be able to find the ideal property. The mortgage broker is the key, and once you have forged an alliance with a local mortgage broker, they can get you preapproval, and the search can begin.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Financial And Non-Financial Consideration For Renting Condo In Singapore

This is an update to my earlier post Weekend Leisure Post - To Renovate Or Upgrade? Finally, we've decided to choose the upgrade route and made a 5% deposit via Option To Purchase (OTP) for an upcoming condo. This means that we need to sell our current HDB within 6 months in order to avoid the 12% Additional Stamp Duty. 

During this period, we will be moving out to an interim accommodation (another Condo) for 2 years. It has been busy past few weeks/months and lots of viewings (both for renting as well as for selling). So, I thought it might be a good idea to jot down some of the interesting experience/facts that I've personally went through during the process of in renting the condo (I have yet to collect the key yet, so the list of consideration might not be complete). 

Case In Point        : Renting of a condo at Sengkang area (just TOP)
Contract Tenure    : 2 years
Rental per month : SGD2,100 (2-Room)     

Financial Considerations

1. Stamp Duty - Tenant need to pay for the Stamp Duty of the Tenancy Agreement (TA) and basing on the rental of SGD2,100, the Stamp Duty is about SGD201. The application of the Stamp Duty can be done via IRAS online.

2. Deposits - For 2 years contract, there is a need to pay 2 months deposit to the landlord (this might not be peculiar to Condo). With the 1 month rental to be paid up-front, before you step into the rented condo, you need to pay 3-months worth of rental (SGD6,300 in this case). 

3. Commission - For 2 years contract, tenant usually don't need to pay any commission as the landlord will pay 1 month worth of commission to the agent representing the landlord and this commission will be shared between the two agents. However, for 1 year contract, both tenant and landlord will pay half-month commission to their respective agents (if any). 

4. Early Termination - If there is early termination of the contract initiated by the tenant, the tenant need to pay the pro-rated commission (calculated based on the balance number of days) and it will be deducted from the deposit (withheld by the landlord).  

5. Monthly Maintenance Fee - Usually, the monthly maintenance fee will be borne by the landlord. 

6. Utilities Fee - Utilities like electricity, water, gas and data services will need to be arranged and paid by the tenant. 

Non-Financial Considerations

1. Letter Of Intent (LOI) - Once you've viewed and satisfied with the unit, your agent will help you draft the Letter Of Intent to the landlord specifying the contract period, monthly rental amount and list of tenant's requirements like lighting, curtains, furnishings etc..This is the time you need to pay 1 month rental to secure your interest.

2. Tenancy Agreement (TA) - Once the landlord agree with the Letter Of Intent, he will sign and send you the Tenancy Agreement specifying all the T&C of the contract. If you are agreeable, sign the contract accordingly and it is deemed effected from the indicated Commencement Date. 

3. Commencement Date - Usually, the landlord or his/her agent will arrange for the collection of keys on the Commencement Date stated in the TA. This is the time whereby the tenant need to pay the balance 2-months rental as deposit. 

4. Permit To Move In - Before you move in, you need to apply for the permit for the move, usually, it can be done only during weekdays, half-day on Saturday ans strictly no moving on Sundays. Also, there is a need to place a deposit to the management office for the move (for my case, it is SGD1,000 deposit which will be return upon completion of the move).  

The rental side of the event is more or less settled and now more time will be spent in arranging the viewing by the potential buyers on our existing unit. That's all from me for now.

Cheers! Need extra cash flow for your business? Receive business funds fast to gain extra capital. Simply apply and submit all the necessary documents.

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