Establishing a company in Singapore

Singapore is comprised of a single island located in the southern end of Malaysia. It is considered one of the largest and most important financial centers in Southeast Asia and generally the world. It is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, made up of the mega-city of Singapore and some additional outlying residual vegetation left from the original rainforests of the island. The population is very heterogeneous, including natives and workers from many different origins, although the large majority is either Chinese or Malay. The official languages are English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil.

The climate is typified by tropical rainforest weather reaching high temperatures throughout the year, with high humidity levels and torrential amounts of rain – so no need to pack warm clothes.

The night life in Singapore is vibrant and very diverse, including restaurants, bars, museums and other attractions. The Singapore Botanical gardens cover hundreds of acres, including exhibits of rare plant varieties of the Southeast Asian rainforests. The Singapore Zoo covers 280 acres and is considered the best in the world with 20% of its inhabitants endangered animals.

Development of the island began after the British signed an agreement with the natives and began building a port there is 1819. Five years later it became an official UK territory after it was bought from a local sultan. After the 1959 elections it gained its independence and became a sovereign state within the British Commonwealth. Today it is a unitary parliamentary republic, meaning it functions as a free democracy but still retains some totalitarian elements that are strictly defined in regards to law making and civil rights. It is subject to some criticism as these are usually traits associated with weak countries. Surprisingly, the citizens are reasonably happy, its economy is booming, and its legal system fair and generally uncorrupted.

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Three things you did not know about Singapore:

  • Singapore is increasing its land by bringing soil and dirt from nearby countries and creating new platforms for residential construction.
  • It is one of the important stops in the Formula 1 Gran Prix tour. The event is held in the streets and includes endless additional events, drawing in visitors from around the world. This is the first street course for such an event in Asia.
  • Surprisingly, it has an active regular army considered one of the most technologically advanced in Asia. Singapore spends 4.9% of its GDP on defence. Mandatory enlistment age is 18, excluding people with a criminal record (although there is almost no crime there!), or those that are needed for their family’s livelihood.

Singapore’s economy

Since gaining its independence from the UK, Singapore has underwent a massive and rapid economic overhaul. Today it has a developed, competitive and innovative market and boasts a huge scope of trade. Its port is ranked one of the five largest and busiest in the world, and this miniscule state is ranked 14th in export and 15th in import. Also, its economy relies greatly on large international conglomerates that have local offices and are active there. There is also extensive tourism and a financial industry that is clearly evident in the number of international banks, investment funds, foreign investments and excellent business environment thanks to its location, low taxes, advanced infrastructure, little corruption and skilled work.

For additional information about establishing offshore companies in Singapore:

General
Type of company
Resident, Private Limited Non Resident, Private Limited
Relevant Companies Law

The Companies Act
 

Offices
Singaporean law requires companies to provide local an office address
Language of original incorporation documents
English
Finance and Taxation
Currency
SGD
Corporate tax rate
17% on income from within Singapore Full exemption up to 100,000 SGD 50% exemption on additional 200,000 SGD
Standard share capital
No legal minimum required by law
Office Holders
Secretary
Obligation to appoint company secretary
Required
Obligation to appoint local secretary
Required
Type of entity that may function as company secretary
Individual
Director
Obligation to appoint company director
Required
Obligation to appoint local company director
Required
Minimum number of directors
1
Type of entity that may serve as company director
Individual and/or company
Shareholders
Obligation to register shareholders
Required
Obligation to register local shareholders
None
Minimum number of shareholders
1
Type of entity that may register as shareholder
Individual and/or company
Type of shares
Registered shares
Accessibility of Information
Company registrar
Information regarding office holders accessible to the public
Annual Assembly and Reporting
Obligation to hold annual assembly
Not required
Obligation to prepare financial reports
Required
Obligation to submit financial reports
Required