How to Set Up an Offshore Company in Singapore

Singapore is one of the most popular destinations in the world for offshore company incorporation. This is due, in part, to the country’s pro-business environment, strong talent pool, and the many advantages it offers to businesses operating or looking to operate in Asia. In this article, we will outline some of the key steps involved in setting up an offshore company as well as an alternative way to legally bypass setting up an entity when forming a base of operation in Singapore.

Quick Guide to Setting up an Offshore Company in Singapore

Choosing a Name for Your Offshore Company

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a name for an offshore company in Singapore. The name must be unique, meaning it cannot be a copy of an existing company. It must also be in compliance with Singapore’s Companies Act.

The Company Registrar needs to approve the company name before you go ahead with registration.

Company Structures in Singapore

Singapore has a plethora of business entities that you can choose from when registering your business.

The following are the ones that are most commonly used:

  • Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd)
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • An ordinary partnership
  • Subsidiary Company
  • Representative Office
  • Branch

Registering Your Company

The registration process for an offshore company in Singapore is relatively straightforward. You need to register both the company name and your business with ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority). There are a few documents that must be filed with the ACRA, including the articles of incorporation, the memorandum of association, and the shareholders’ agreement. There is also a registration fee that must be paid.

To register your company, you must appoint a local representative who should be a Singapore citizen, a permanent resident, or an individual holding an EntrePass work visa.

You will also need to appoint one local resident as a company director. The documents you need for incorporating your business include:

  • Passport copies of directors and shareholders
  • Address proof of directors and shareholders
  • In the case of a corporate entity, particulars of the parent company

Obtaining Business Licenses

Before starting business operations, you may need to apply for and obtain business licenses based on your business activities and domain. For example, trading, recruitment, and various other professions will require specific permits for you to legally operate in Singapore.

Opening a Corporate Bank Account

Once the company has been registered, it will need to open a corporate bank account. This can be done at any bank in Singapore. The company will need to provide its registered address and contact information, as well as the name of the company director(s).

The company will also need to provide a copy of its Certificate of Incorporation. The bank may also require the company to provide additional documentation. These include a copy of its business registration certificate or articles of association, Singapore ID card of directors apart from the company’s registered address, and contact details.

*This is intended as a general guide, for more information, study our Singapore Company Formation Guide or contact us now!

How to Legally Set Up Operations in Singapore Without a Business Entity

To sum up, Singapore is a great place to expand your business operations. However, if you’re looking to test the market, setting up a business entity may not be your best solution. Instead, you should consider using a PEO or EoR service which can help you save time and money when expanding your operations. The best part about PEO employment is that it allows you to quickly scale up or down before taking the plunge.

Want to learn how your business can benefit from using PEO? Check out our article, How to Set up a Presence in Singapore With PEO or visit our service page for more information!

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