Getting a business started up in Singapore is a relatively simple process as compared to other countries. However, it could still be a complicated process in certain circumstances where you may find yourself spending a lot more time. However, there are a few tips that you can utilize to ensure a fast and easy incorporation process for your company. If you are able to prepare in advance for some of the prerequisites for incorporating your business that is required by ACRA – the body responsible for business incorporation in Singapore; you will be able to save a lot of time and effort. We’ve compiled some of these tips for you in the article below.
Choosing An Appropriate Company Name
Before you can dive into the more intricate details of setting up your business, you must first work on choosing an appropriate name for your company. Even though this may seem like an easy and straightforward thing to do, it can remove a lot of barriers to seamlessly incorporating your business. First, you need to ensure that the business name you choose accurately represents the activities and purpose of your business. Furthermore, in order to get your business name approved by the ACRA – the Singaporean governing body for business incorporation, there are a few criteria that you’ll need to fulfill. These include, your business name not being very similar to others, no use of obscene language, and no infringement on any copyrights or trademarks. Adhering to these criteria will avoid a lot of back and forth in the future as you can get your business name approved objection-free. To avoid changing the name in the future, it is advisable that you initially decide on a name that has a domain available as well if you intend on making a website for your business.
Hire A Locally Based Director
This step is vital if you are a foreign existing business entity that wants to set up operations in Singapore. You will need to hire a locally based director to oversee operations as a requirement of the business incorporation regulations. The team of consultants at Sleek recommends that you make sure that the director you hire complies with the different criteria set out by the ACRA before you can hand them their letter of employment. The director will need to be at least 18 years of age and should be a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore. Candidates holding a Singapore Entrepreneur Pass or Employment Pass will also be eligible for this position. The director should also never have declared bankruptcy and have a clean criminal record in order to qualify for this position. You can choose to appoint yourself or a partner within your business to this position as long as you fulfill the specified criteria.
Have A Business Address Registered With The ACRA
If you don’t already have a business address ready to be registered with the ACRA, you should look for one as soon as possible. This is because the ACRA requires an address to conduct all communications and mailings with you in the future. Your business incorporation process will be halted for as long as you are unable to provide a business address. It is also important to note that your business address should have an office that is open for at least five hours on all business days of the week. The property cannot be located within an area designated for residential purposes and should be made with industrial or commercial purposes in mind. With the ongoing pandemic and the new normal guidelines that we have to adapt to, businesses in Singapore now also have the option of choosing a virtual office as their official office address. Coworking spaces are also possible options for registering with the ACRA as your business address, but this will depend on if coworking spaces are still operational in Singapore due to the ongoing situation of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Authorities such as the ACRA are generally quite proactive when it comes to processing cases for new business incorporation. However, they can only do their jobs quickly and provide a seamless experience for you if you have successfully managed to fulfill all their criteria laid out by them for different steps in the business incorporation process. Some additional activities that you will need to take care of include, registering your business with the Singapore Central Provident Fund (CPF). Doing this will require both the employer and the employee to contribute a certain percentage towards the employee’s provident fund. You will even have to register the new business with the customs and tax authorities in order to ensure complete business compliance.