Setting up a company in Singapore seems to be so far away from a realistic goal when referring to Latin American entrepreneurs. But in fact is easier and faster than expected.
After successfully achieving the registration of PengYi Labs as a company in Singapore, we think it useful to write and share a guide on how to register a private limited company there.
Maybe you are asking yourself, why set up my company in Singapore? There are uncountable reasons, such as:
- It is one of the most digital countries in the world.
- It has an attractive taxation system.
- It is very easy to incorporate business as foreigner.
Additionally here’s our perspective on why we decided on Singapore:
When companies think of expanding overseas, they automatically think of the United States. We think they are diving into red seas, full of companies offering the same services and doing the same job.
We were not only looking to globalize PengYi Labs but also to be in the correct place at the correct moment. And we think there is an enormous opportunity waiting in Asia, where technologies and services cannot even be compared with those offered in America.
China is Asia’s market ruling economy and as attractive as it is it also represents cultural and governmental barriers. So our search was for a country that could work as a bridge to move from the West to the East and Singapore is a clear example of what we were looking for. English and Chinese speaking, startup-friendly, located in an Asia centric time zone, and already dealing with international banks. From our point of view, Singapore is a first-world country but without all its complications. We admire it especially for being a rule-following, well-functioning, modern and honest country, and society. That has a positive perception and financial stability.
Knowing all this, next you need to know what the requirements are. And here’s some quick advice! Don’t give up if you don’t meet all of them, most can be acquired along the way, just continue reading and follow our tips!
The requirements to register your company in Singapore are:
- The company needs a minimum of one shareholder. It may be a person or company. (Careful, shareholders are not eligible for applying for employment visas afterward, so keep this in mind if you are looking to obtain it)
- The company must also have a local director (a Singapore resident) and also a foreign director (Being the director enables you to apply for a visa later on).
- A Singapore adress
- And finally an available company name
We know what you are thinking, “How do I gonna get a Singapore address? And what about a Singapore director?” At PengYi Labs we asked ourselves the same questions and thankfully found out there are plenty of agencies that specialize in providing a 360º service. From providing you an address and a local director to carrying out the registration with the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Choosing the correct one was our main task.
Along the way we found out we had to, and here’s some advice before starting the process, collect the following documents and make sure to have them legally translated to English, if necessary:
- The foreign director passport picture page
- Proof of address of the foreign director (typically in form of an utilities bill)
- Documentation of the shareholder company (Certificate of Incorporation and Certificate of Incumbency)
Then, on to finding the correct agency:
There are plenty, all offering more or less the same services, all of them “best in the market” with slightly different offerings and prices but serving the same objective. We didn’t have any preference but we were looking for someone who would not make us waste time and money. After reading numerous reviews and doing research on different platforms and social media we had some video calls with several of them, and ended up choosing One Visa.
Our assigned executive and advisor from One Visa gently provided us all the incorporation process information, requirements, and pricing. And also clarified all our doubts by diligently addressing our emails, replying to our Whatsapp messages, and having video meetings wherever needed.
Once all was clear and we had all the documentation ready, we signed the first round of papers, made the payment, and delivered our future within Singapore to One Visa’s executive. The process itself starts with filing, signing, and submitting seven additional legal documents that they sent via email and the rest is just waiting until the company is registered.
Although you can do all it by yourself, we found it very useful and we highly recommend you to hire an agency that assists you all throughout the process. For example in our case, even though the ACRA faced an inconvenience with the foreign director’s passport when filling up the registration form, we didn’t even have to intervene as One Visa solved this problem in less than two days for us.
If you are looking to start expanding your business or starting a company in Singapore don’t hesitate on getting in touch with us, we can tell you more about our experience and motivate you to start moving towards it!