Unlocking Success: A Step-by-Step Guide for Foreigners to Launch their Business in Singapore

A foreigner can start a business in Singapore by first obtaining an Employment Pass or EntrePass, which allows them to work and reside in the country. They will also need to register their business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and fulfill any other necessary requirements and permits depending on the nature of their business.

A more thorough response to your inquiry

A Foreigner’s Guide to Starting a Business in Singapore

Starting a business in a foreign country can be an exciting and challenging endeavor. If you are considering starting a business in Singapore, known for its robust economy and business-friendly environment, there are several key steps and considerations to keep in mind. This comprehensive guide will provide you with detailed information to help you navigate the process successfully.

  1. Obtain the necessary passes: Before starting a business in Singapore, foreign entrepreneurs must secure the appropriate passes to work and reside in the country. There are two main passes to consider:

a. Employment Pass (EP): The Employment Pass is typically sought after by foreign professionals, executives, and entrepreneurs. To be eligible, the applicant must have a job offer in Singapore or be a shareholder or director of a Singapore-registered company. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) evaluates EP applications based on criteria such as salary, educational qualifications, work experience, and skills.

b. EntrePass: The EntrePass is specifically designed for foreign entrepreneurs who want to start and operate their own business in Singapore. To qualify, the entrepreneur needs to meet several criteria, including innovative business ideas or track record, entrepreneurial experience or business-related qualifications, and sufficient paid-up capital. The EntrePass is initially valid for one year, and its renewal is subject to meeting specific requirements.

  1. Register your business: Once you have obtained the appropriate pass, the next step is to register your business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Singapore offers various business entity types, including private limited company, sole proprietorship, and partnership. Most entrepreneurs opt for the private limited company due to its advantages in terms of liability protection and ease of raising capital. During the registration process, you will need to provide details such as company name, business activities, shareholders’ information, and registered address.

  2. Comply with legal requirements: Singapore has stringent legal requirements that businesses must comply with. These include:

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a. Appointment of a local resident director: Every Singapore-registered company must have at least one local resident director who is a Singapore citizen, permanent resident, or an EntrePass holder.

b. Appointment of a corporate secretary: A company secretary, who must be a resident of Singapore, should be appointed within six months of incorporation. The company secretary is responsible for ensuring compliance with statutory requirements.

c. Fulfilling tax obligations: Singapore has a well-regarded tax system. Your company will need to comply with tax obligations, such as filing annual tax returns and Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration if your taxable turnover exceeds the threshold.

d. Obtaining necessary licenses and permits: Depending on the nature of your business, you may require specific licenses or permits from industry regulators. Examples include licenses for alcohol sale, food establishments, education centers, and financial services.

“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” – Peter Drucker

Interesting Facts about Starting a Business in Singapore:

  1. Singapore has consistently ranked as one of the world’s top countries for ease of doing business, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report.

  2. The country offers several government grants and incentives to support new startups and encourage entrepreneurship, such as the Startup SG Founder Grant and the Productivity Solutions Grant.

  3. Singapore’s strategic location in Southeast Asia provides businesses with access to a vibrant regional market of over 650 million people.

  4. The city-state boasts a well-developed infrastructure, including world-class transportation systems, cutting-edge facilities, and advanced telecommunications networks.

Table: Comparison of Singapore Business Entities

Entity Type Liability Protection Minimum Shareholders Resident Director Requirement
Private Limited Yes 1 Yes
Sole Proprietorship No 1 Not required
Partnership No 2 At least one partner
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Starting a business in Singapore can be a rewarding journey filled with opportunities for growth and success. By understanding and following the necessary steps and requirements, foreign entrepreneurs can establish a thriving business in this vibrant city-state. Remember, perseverance and adaptability are key traits for any aspiring entrepreneur.

Note: The information provided is for general guidance purposes only and may not be up to date. It is advisable to consult with relevant government agencies or seek professional advice before starting a business in Singapore.

There are other points of view available on the Internet

There are 3 ways foreigners can register a company in Singapore:

  1. Relocate to Singapore and apply with Employment Pass.
  2. Relocate to Singapore and apply with EntrePass.
  3. Run Singapore company from anywhere in the world by appointing a resident nominee director.

Response via video

In the video, it is explained that foreigners have the ability to register and own a company in Singapore. However, due to not having access to government systems, they must engage a Corporate Service Provider to aid in the registration process. Once the company is incorporated, a business bank account can be opened with assistance from a bank representative. Foreigners can then choose to run the business remotely from their home country or relocate to Singapore by applying for an employment pass. The video also notes that each year, thousands of companies are registered in Singapore by foreigners, with a significant number coming from countries like China, India, and Malaysia.

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