Singapore Offshore Company Formation Guide
With the World Bank Report placing Singapore second in the world for ease of doing business indicator, many investors would want to consider starting the process of company formation in Singapore. Being a well-known finance, business and transport hub in the world, setting up an offshore company would be in the mind of any savvy investor.
Some questions you might have are:
What is an offshore company?
How do you register an offshore company in Singapore?
What is required by foreigners for company registration in Singapore?
These are the questions we intend tackling in this article on Singapore offshore company formation guide. Let’s get started!
What is an Offshore Company?
In very simple terms, an offshore company is a company that’s incorporated in a jurisdiction aside the one where it holds its main zone of operations, or where the firm’s principal investors are living. In broader terms, offshore means a jurisdiction aside your own.
Why choose to start a Company Formation in Singapore?
Before we delve into how to incorporate an offshore company in Singapore, we will go through the benefits, and why savvy investors should consider Singapore as the top choice when it comes to setting up an offshore company.
Reduced Tax Liability
When it comes to setting up an offshore company, one of the main factors considered are taxes. This is where Singapore shines really bright. Singapore serves a unique simple and low tax system, so embarking on the process of company formation in Singapore becomes really enticing.
Singapore’s tax system features a really low personal and income tax rates, tax relief programs and incentives, no capital gains tax, no dividend or territorial one-tier tax system and boasts of an extensive treaty network.
Credible Image and Branding
Since Singapore is not promoted as a tax haven, any company formation in Singapore, or an offshore outfit will communicate the image of credibility as a legal entity.
When you incorporate in Singapore, your business will be taken more seriously by investors and employees; and financial institutions like banks that you will be dealing with will see more credibility in your business.
Ease of Offshore Company Registration In Singapore
The process of company registration in Singapore is not only quick, but the process is free from bureaucratic red tapes as well.
Registration process entails just two steps:
• Company name approval
• Submitting incorporation documents
And the registration process is fully computerized, making it all the less stressful, as both procedures can be carried out online.
All things being equal, company registration in Singapore can be carried out in 1 – 2 days maximum.
Liberal Foreign Ownership Policy
Singapore operates an open and liberal policy. No restrictions are placed on legitimate business activities on setting up offshore companies in Singapore.
In addition, foreigners intending to set up an offshore company in Singapore do not need any prior approval from the authorities in Singapore. You will be able to start on your process of company formation in Singapore without any hassle.
Singapore has been rated by the Political & Economic Risk Consultancy as the country with the least bureaucracy and most stable political environment in the whole of Asia. The government of Singapore is renowned for its pro-business approach and immense integrity. The Singapore government is often described as not only rational, but transparent and corruption free as well.
Modern Banking Facilities
Singapore is reputed to be the leading financial hub in the whole of Asia Pacific. Entrepreneurs seeking to start the process of company formation in Singapore have the big benefit of having access to a plethora of both local and international reputable banks for the opening of accounts.
These banks boast of such features and facilities like multi currency account opening, ability to move funds across countries, internet banking, and many more.The only caveat is that your presence will be needed to open such accounts. You will need to be physically present.
Incorporation Checklist for Company Registration In Singapore
On making up your mind to incorporate a Singapore offshore company, the following guide will come in handy in letting you know what is required:
Company Name Approval
The name that’s being proposed for your Singapore offshore company has to be approved by the Company Registrar before incorporation. You can always get a name reservation done.
At least one of the directors must be from Singapore; either a Singapore citizen, a permanent resident in Singapore or a work pass holder in Singapore. If you choose to, any additional local or foreign Directors could be added. However, all directors must be above the age of 18yrs.
As with that of the directors, at least 1 local or foreign shareholder is needed. There can be as much as 50 shareholders, and a director can be the same or different person.
The secretary must be a local resident. This must be a natural person, not a company. Also, a director or shareholder cannot take the position of a secretary.
Address of Registration
A Post Office box is unacceptable. The registered address of the company must be in Singapore; it doesn’t matter if it’s a commercial one or residential.
Appointment of Incorporation Agent
A professional firm MUST be contracted to assist with the company registration in Singapore. This is because the Singapore law doesn’t allow foreign entities or individuals to do so themselves.
Documents Required for Incorporation
You would need the following document for incorporation:
i. Proposed directors and shareholders passports.
ii. Proposed directors and shareholders passports proof of address of residence.
iii. Parent company details if it’s a corporate body
Company Incorporation Process
Get your company registered with the Singapore company registrar. You can get an agency to assist with this for a small fee.
Bank Account Opening
This can also be taken care of by an agency for a small fee.
Registration for GST
You might have to register for Goods and Services Tax in Singapore. You can find out more when you visit Singapore GST registration.
Obtain Business Licenses or Permits
Depending on the nature of the business in Singapore, a business license might be required.
Though, only some certain types of businesses require a license, and this can be obtained from the related Governmental agencies after incorporation. You will however need it before commencing business.
Singapore has a lot of enticing facilities to offer to investors who are interested in company registration in Singapore. With all the benefits, and ease of setting up an offshore company, there is no reason for thinking too much about it. In fact, if everything goes smoothly, you would be able to set up a company in Singapore within a day! As Singapore has been highly lauded by professionals and business regulation bodies worldwide, you can rest assured that your assets would be safe.