Opening a Bank Account in Singapore – What you need to know
To operate your business in Singapore, one of the first steps post incorporation will be to open a corporate bank account. Singapore has a great diversity of business and corporate banking offers that while being advantageous, may cause you huge information overload. Piloto Asia is glad to offer the assistance you require in setting up your corporate bank account regardless of your geographical location, ensuring your effortless, smooth and easy transition into Singapore.
Opening a corporate bank account through a consultant offers you the opportunity to get an overview of the requirements in advance, together with a comparison of different product offering and charges from various banks. We would ensure you select the best bank suitable for your business needs.
Documents required for corporate account opening
While different banks may require different documents when you want to open an account in Singapore, there are general documents required to open a corporate account for your business. These include:
- Corporate account opening form. It needs to be duly filled and signed by all company authorized signatories
- Resolution form signed by the board of directors (To show that the company’s attempt to open a bank account has been approved by the board).
- A certified true copy of passport or Singapore identity card
- A copy of the company’s Certificate of Incorporation stamped as a certified true copy by the Company Secretary or Director
- A copy of company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association stamped as a certified true copy
- A copy of company’s business profile stamped as a certified true copy by the Company Secretary or Director.
- A proof of residential address of director(s)
Other than the list mentioned above, banks differ in other requirements. This is why you need to contact the banks in advance to find out their list of other requirements. It is also good to remember that banks deal with clients on a case to case basis, and may ask for additional documentations depending on the company and the industry it is in. Remember, all you need is a good bank that will suffice your needs.
Do you need to be present for account opening in Singapore?
Engaging professional corporate consultants such as Piloto Asia will save you precious time in queues and time shopping around the various banking offerings. We set up a direct meeting where you directly meet up with the bank officer at our or your local office.
1. Singapore companies
Most of the banks in Singapore require that you be present for the account opening process. They need an authorizing signatory and company officer(s) to open the bank account for foreigners or locals alike. However, there are exceptions with some banks where your physical presence is not required, if a local branch office may sight your signature or if a notary public overseas can witnesses your signature.
2. Offshore companies
The process to open an account for an offshore company remains same as that for opening a Singapore company. However, more due diligence is emphasized in this case. A greater focus is put on the Know Your Client (KYC) policies before a bank account is opened. Some banks will need additional documents like Certificate of Incumbency and Certificate of Good Standing for the company to open the bank account. We have years of experience working with all major banks in Singapore and therefore you would enjoy full peace of mind leaving this task at our hands.
Information you shall povide
From our experience assisting clients in corporate account opening in Singapore, we found the following among the most common questions required by bank officers. These questions also form a core part of our internal Know-Your-Client (KYC) questionnaire. As business owners, you should be prepared to answer them.
- What is your source of the fund?
- What is your average size of transactions?
- Where is proof of beneficial ownership?
- What are your intended business activities?
- How much is your anticipated annual turnover?
- What is the background of the beneficiaries?
- Where is some proof of bank reference letters?
Account opening timeline
Allow about three to four weeks for your corporate account opening process. Depending on whether bank officers ask for additional information or certifications but generally you could expect a timeline of no more than two months for you to start your business full fledge. This is only if you have all the paperwork ready, initial deposit required, and the account signatory/signatories. The bank will retain the certified true copies of the company documents for their records. The initial deposit for the bank account usually ranges from $ 1,000 to $100,000 depending on the bank selected. If you do not meet the initial deposit requirement, additional fees will be charged on the bank account.
Corporate Bank Account Opening Process Summary
1 Engage consultant: Corporate bank account for non residents opening can be a tedious process but not so when you have reliable consultants like Piloto Asia to assist you.
2 Meeting or conference call for KYC purposes: We will set up a meeting for you to meet the bank officer to fulfill the bank KYC requirements
3 Documents (Bank documents, company documents, passport of Shareholders and Directors) signed or witness by notary public: In cases where you are not physically present in Singapore, the passport and other documents need to be witnessed by the notary public or made legal by the Singapore Embassy in cases where there is no branch in the country you are situated.
4 Application form filled with assistance from us: we will offer assistance in filling the forms required by the bank and in compiling of all the paperwork required to set up a bank account for foreigners or locals.
5 Liaison and follow up: We will work hand in hand with the bank, following up on the progress and inform you immediately once the account is approved.