Company incorporation in Singapore: Requirements and using corporate secretarial services

Singapore has been a global business hub for various industries for many years, as the country offers a range of benefits for businesses looking to expand in Asia.

Singapore has been a global business hub for various industries for many years, as the country offers a range of benefits for businesses looking to expand in Asia. Regulatory clarity, business infrastructure, and access to other Southeast Asian countries makes it a top destination for many entrepreneurs and business owners.

As stipulated by the Companies Act 1967, if you are looking to incorporate a business entity in Singapore, there are a few requirements that must be fulfilled , such as:

  1. A corporate secretary – appointed within 6 months of incorporation
  2. A local company address
  3. Paid up capital
  4. A local director

What is a corporate secretary?

On top of being a regulatory requirement, a corporate secretary (or company secretary) is a key member of a company that manages its administrative tasks and ensures alignment with legal and regulatory requirements, while facilitating effective communication and coordination among the company’s stakeholders.

What is paid up capital and why is it required to incorporate your business in Singapore?

In Singapore, paid-up capital refers to the portion of a company’s authorised capital that shareholders have actually paid for by purchasing shares – this is referred to as paid-up shares; Authorised capital simply being the maximum amount of capital a company can raise by issuing shares.

This capital is a mandatory requirement for any business to start their operations in Singapore as it is a crucial financial indicator of a company’s strength. Investors and creditors also often look at a company’s paid-up capital as an indicator of financial stability and the level of commitment from shareholders.

While there is no specific minimum paid-up capital requirement for private limited companies (you can even start with $1.00 SGD), a higher paid-up capital normally improves a company’s credibility and ability to attract investors. Public companies, on the other hand, may have higher minimum paid-up capital requirements to incorporate in Singapore.

Companies may also adjust their paid-up capital by issuing additional shares to increase the contributions from shareholders. Companies are required to disclose their paid-up capital in their annual financial statements that need to be filed with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) in Singapore.

It is advisable for companies to regularly review and manage their paid-up capital in accordance with their business needs and regulatory requirements.

Communication with shareholders, directors and various stakeholders

    • Serving as a point of contact for shareholders and managing communication channels.
    • Coordinating the distribution of annual reports and other relevant information to shareholders.
  • Compliance with the company’s constitution and other relevant laws
  • Identifying potential compliance risks and coming up with mitigation strategies

What is a local director and why is it a need to incorporate your business in Singapore?

In Singapore, it is also a regulatory requirement for businesses to have a local director as part of the regulatory framework that contributes to the transparency, accountability, and governance of companies operating in Singapore. It ensures that there is a responsible individual with ties to the local community overseeing the company’s operations and adherence to legal obligations.

Generally, businesses engage nominee director services to just to fulfil the requirements of needing a local director. Such personnel(s) might be required to attend meetings and sign off on important documents for the company, but they do not have real decision-making power unless specified by the beneficial owner. Nominee directors also do bear some risks and liabilities with both parties involved.

Why engage corporate secretarial firms to incorporate your business in Singapore?

Corporate secretarial firms also offer a range of services to ensure you meet all legal and compliance requirements and you will engage a team of experienced professionals who will be able to effectively fulfil all the roles and responsibilities.

Now, imagine yourself splitting time between growing your business and having to fulfil all the administrative and regulatory tasks to comply with Singapore’s regulatory requirements. This can be rather time consuming and take away time you could have spent on business growth. Another approach to this will be to hire someone in-house to manage these, but even then, this will take some time.

Instead, working with an external third-party corporate secretarial firm will cut down the time on searching for a corporate secretary and managing administrative tasks.

If you are a foreign business owner looking to expand to Singapore, you can also leverage your corporate secretarial firm’s networks to assist with requirements such as looking for a local director (via nominee director services) and local address.

Incorporate your business in Singapore with

As your business concierge for all corporate services in Singapore, our team at brings a range of expertise in the fields of accounting, corporate secretarial services, and even growth and entrepreneurship. On top of ensuring our clients can fulfil the regulatory requirements, we are able to provide advice, network and guidance for our clients to run their business operations effectively in Singapore. 

We pride ourselves as a high touch point corporate services firm and are zealous in seeing our clients grow together with us.