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  Singapore

Key Corporate Features

General

Type of entity:

Resident/Non Resident

Type of law:

Common

Shelf company availability:

Yes

Our time to establish a new company:

2 weeks.

Minimum government fees (excluding taxation):

Not applicable

Taxation on foreign income:

Varies

Double taxation treaty access:

Yes

Share capital or equivalent

Standard currency:

SGD$

Permitted currencies:

Any

Minimum paid up:

S$2

Usual authorised:

S$100,000

Directors or Managers

Minimum number:

Two

Local required:

Yes - one

Publicly accessible records:

Yes

Location of meetings:

Anywhere

Members

Minimum number:

One (Corporation) or Two (Individual)

Publicly accessible records:

Yes

Location of meetings:

Anywhere

Company Secretary

Required:

Yes

Local or qualified:

Yes

Accounts

Requirement to prepare:

Yes

Audit requirements:

Yes but small company exceptions

Requirement to file accounts:

Yes

Publicly accessible accounts:

Yes

Other

Requirement to file annual return:

Yes

Change in domicile permitted:

No

 

General Information

Singapore is situated at the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsula. Strategically located along the major shipping and air routes of Asia, it is the major nerve centre for trade and investments in the region.
Spanning just over 622 sq km, Singapore though small, is undoubtedly an advanced and bustling economy. It thrives on an excellent infrastructure, highly educated labour force, political stability and an efficient business environment. Singapore is an ideal holding company and headquarters location and a gateway for foreign investments in to the emerging economies of Asia, such as China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.

» Population
Singapore has a population of approximately 3 million people. More than 75% are Chinese with the remaining 25%, mainly Malays, Indians and others. The different races live together with mutual respect and in racial harmony. The work force is well educated and hardworking and there is a high level of managerial and technical expertise available.

» Political Structure
The People's Action Party, its single dominant ruling party since its independence in 1965, rules Singapore. There is no strong opposition party in Singapore.
The Singapore Government vigilantly plans, manages and administers the country's socio-economic development. Singapore is one of the world's most politically stable and corruption-free countries.

» Infrastructure And Economy
Singapore has an excellent infrastructure with state of the art communication facilities and road transport system. It operates busy and efficient air and seaports and is a free port with no customs and excise duties on most items.
Singapore is also one of the leading international financial centres. Offshore investors are well served by representatives of most major international banks, financial institutions, investment management companies and accounting and legal firms.
The Singapore Government actively woos foreign investments with generous tax and financial incentives. This has successfully attracted numerous regional holding companies, corporate headquarters, business and service centres, group finance and treasury centres as well as investments in high tech industries, media and communications, shipping and financial services.

» Language
The most commonly used official languages are English and to a lesser extent, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil which are also official languages.

» Currency
Singapore Dollar.

» Exchange Control
None.

» Type of Law
Common Law.

» Principal Corporate Legalisation
The Companies Act.
The Singapore Income Tax Act.
The Economics Expansion Incentive Act.

Company Information

» Type of Company for International Trade and Investment Resident or non-resident company, foreign branch operation or a representative office.

» Procedure to Incorporate
Submission of name approval, Memorandum and Articles of Association and details of shareholdings, registered office address and appointments of directors, company secretary and statutory auditors.

» Restrictions on Trading
Generally no restrictions except for financial services, education, media related or other politically sensitive businesses.

» Powers of Company
A company incorporated in Singapore has the same powers as a natural person.

» Language of Legislation and Corporate Documents
English

» Shelf Companies Available
Yes.

» Time to Incorporate
8 days.

» Name Restrictions
Name resembling names of existing companies or which are undesirable or politically sensitive will be rejected.

» Language of Name
Latin Alphabet.

» Suffixes to Denote Limited Liability
Private Limited or Pte Ltd for privately held companies.
Limited, Ltd, Company Limited or Co Ltd for public companies

» Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership to Authorities
Yes.

Compliance

» Authorised and Issued Share Capital
The standard authorised share capital is S$100,000. Minimum issued share capital is S$2.

» Classes of Shares Permitted
Ordinary shares, preference shares and redeemable preference shares.

» Taxation
22% on income sourced in Singapore. However, the effective tax rate can be reduced significantly (to 15%/10% or even 0%) for businesses that qualify for tax incentives. Foreign source income is not taxed unless remitted in to Singapore. However, with its extensive tax treaties and unilateral tax reliefs, foreign dividends received in Singapore may generally be redistributed out of Singapore tax-free to the foreign investors.
In addition, Singapore's treaties are often negotiated very favourably and offer much reduced or even nil foreign withholding taxes on royalties, interests and dividends.

» Double Taxation
Singapore has an extensive investment protection agreement and double tax treaty network. This includes most countries in the Asia-Pacific Region and countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. These countries include China, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, India, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Belgium, Finland and the United Arab Emirates.
Singapore is also one of the very few countries to have a tax treaty with Taiwan. This explains the popularity of Singapore holding companies for Taiwanese investments in to China and the region.

» Licence Fees
Minimal annual statutory filing fees of approximately S$50.

» Financial Statement Requirements
Annual audited accounts are required to be filed with the Singapore Registrar. The accounts must be audited by Singapore auditors.

» Directors
A minimum of two, one of whom must be a resident individual.

» Company Secretary
Companies are required to appoint a qualified resident company secretary, who must be a natural person.

» Shareholders
For the purpose of incorporation, a minimum of two subscriber shareholders is required. Thereafter, the minimum number of shareholders is one if the shareholder is a corporation and two if the shareholders are individuals.

 


 
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