Piloto Asia’s guide to Singapore Company Registration: Episode 2 – Post-registration matters
Now, you are some small steps away from kick starting your successful business journey into Asia.
This guide gives you a brief overview of what to expect in the various post-registration formalities, including the most common ones of – Bank account opening, GST (sales tax or VAT) registration, business license application, auditor appointment, pension board setup (locally called the “CPF” Board”) and last but not least, work visa applications for your team’s relocation.
Should you wish to refer back to required documents for incorporation and recall the expected procedures and timeline, you could revisit our first episode of the Singapore company registration guide here. If you require help in any part of the incorporation process, your professional support is always a stone throw away. Please feel free to get in touch with Piloto Asia.
You may start doing business in Singapore once you have the following two documents ready:
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business Profile
With both, you would be able to open your corporate bank account, subscribe to your business phone and internet services, or lease your corporate office. Piloto Asia would be glad to assist you in every step of the process.
Certificate of Incorporation
Upon successful registration, you will receive an official confirmation email from the Company Registrar. This email contains your company registration number, and serves as your official Certificate of Incorporation.
You do not require a hard copy of Certificate of Incorporation to conduct business in Singapore through if required, you could purchase it from the Company Registrar at S$50.
We would help you obtain your company business profile from Company Registrar, which contains the following details:
- Company name and registration number
- Previous names for the company, if any
- Incorporation date
- Registered address
- Principal activities
- Paid-up capital
- Directors details
- Shareholders details
- Company Secretary details
Upon setting up your Singapore company, Piloto Asia could help you get ready for the following items:
- Share certificates for each of your Shareholders
- Share register indicating shares allotted to each of the Shareholder
- Your company seal
- Your company rubber stamp
Opening your Corporate Bank Account
After successful registration, you may open your corporate bank account with any major banks in Singapore, including ANZ, Citibank, DBS, HSBC, ICICI, Maybank, OCBC, Standard Chartered, UOB, among others.
In general, most would require your physical presence in Singapore but some others could accept your signatures notarized or sighted by local branch staff at your home country.
Piloto Asia has established networks across major banks operating in Singapore and is pleased to advise you on the differences among them. If you are physically coming to Singapore for the account opening, we could arrange our banking partners to meet you conveniently at our office.
Goods and Service Tax (GST) registration
If your company has projected annual revenue of S$1 million or above, it is compulsory to register for GST, aka the sales tax or value added tax (VAT) in other countries. Once your firm is GST registered, you will need to charge the prevailing GST rate of 7% to your clients for the goods and services provided and remit the same to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. Our full-fledge finance team is there to assist you with your GST registration and quarterly compliance matters.
Applying for Business Licenses
Most businesses in Singapore do not require any special license to operate but if you engage in the following activities, you would need to obtain a license. Again, as a one-stop services provider, Piloto Asia is there to assist you in every step of the process.
Some examples of businesses requiring special licenses – Education institutes, employment agencies, financial services, import/export of goods, liquor / tobacco distributors, moneylenders, restaurants, travel agencies, etc
Appointment of auditor
The first phase of legislative amendments introduced by the Companies (Amendment) Act 2014 took effect on 1 July 2015. Of these amendments, the most significant is arguably the introduction of the “small company”, which replaces the exempt private company for purposes of audit exemption.
The new criteria to qualify as a “small company” (i.e. enjoy audit exemption) are as follows:
1. It is a private company and
2. It fulfills at least two of the following three quantitative criteria in each of the immediate past two financial years (FYs) and
a. Total annual revenue < SGD $10 million
b. Total assets < SGD $10 million
c. Number of employees < 50
3. Where the company is part of a Group, the above test be met on a group (consolidated) basis.
This replaces the current audit exemption for exempt private companies with annual revenue of $5 million or less for the FY. Existing safeguards are retained however, such as requiring all companies to keep proper accounting records, and empowering shareholders with at least 5% voting rights to require a company to prepare audited accounts.
Registration with Central Provident Fund (CPF)
If you intend to employ Singapore citizens or permanent residents, whether on a full or part-time, under a contract of service, you will have to get your firm registered with the Central Provident Fund Board to obtain your employer number. You will need to remit the respective social security contributions to the CPF Board on a monthly basis at the prevailing rates.
Once your company is successfully incorporated, you are ready to relocate, find a flat for long-term stay in Singapore and start you journey. In general, most entrepreneurs would go with an Employment Pass (EP) application whereas qualified entities might opt for Entrepreneur Pass for their firm’s owners or majority shareholders. Your immigration consultants at Piloto Asia are glad to provide assistance through the process.