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.

There are several advantages that come with setting up an offshore company in the Garden City. For starters, Singapore carries a well-known tax incentive system for expats and Singapore Incorporated companies with several tax schemes and exemptions. Additionally, the financial hub is known to widely carry a business-friendly environment.

Keeping its many perks in mind, let’s take a dive into how to set up an offshore company in the city!

Quick Guide to Setting up an Offshore Company in Singapore

Choosing a Name for Your Offshore Company

The company’s name must be unique, meaning it cannot be a replicate of an already existing company. It must also be in compliance with Singapore’s Companies Act. Furthermore, it is a requirement that The Company Registrar approves 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:

  • Sole Proprietorship or Partnership
  • Limited Partnership (LP)
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • Company

Choosing Your Company Structure

It’s always tricky to decide which company structure works best for you. We’ve compiled some questions to make the process all the easier for you:

  • How many owners will the company have?
  • What is the initial capital going into the company?
  • How quickly does the company plan to grow?
  • What are some of the company long-term goals?
  • What about short-term goals?
  • What are the main needs of the company?

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 (Singapore Entrepreneur Pass) 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 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, 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!

Don’t Miss Our Upcoming Complimentary Singapore Labour Law & Compliance Webinar!

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The session will be hosted by Lynette Liew, a Regional Business Development Manager at Links International who is responsible for driving solution-based sales in the SEA market. Apart from Singapore labour law and compliance, Lynette will also share on payroll basics. Finally, there will be an interactive Q&A session during the webinar, so you can have all your labour law and payroll doubts cleared!

Grab this opportunity while you can sign up here to book your spot TODAY!

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