Most companies in Singapore are registered as private limited liability companies (commonly known as private limited companies). A private limited liability company in Singapore is a separate legal entity and shareholders are not liable for the company's debts beyond the amount of share capital they have contributed (hence the term limited liability). According to Singapore Companies Act, any person (foreign or local) above the age of 18 can register a Singapore company.
A properly structured private limited company in Singapore is a very tax efficient corporate body and hence this form is the most common type of business entity registered in Singapore.
Key facts about company registration
* Company Name. The name must be approved before incorporation of the Singapore company can occur.
* Directors. A minimum of one resident director (a resident is defined as a Singapore Citizen, a Singaporean Permanent Resident, or a person who has been issued an Entrepass, Employment Pass, or Dependent Pass) is mandatory. There is no limit on the number of additional local or foreign directors a Singapore Company can appoint. Directors must be at least 18 years of age and must not be bankrupt or convicted for any malpractice in the past. There is no requirement for the directors to also be shareholders i.e. non-shareholders can be appointed directors.
* Shareholders. A Singapore private limited company can have a minimum of 1 and maximum of 50 shareholders. A director and shareholder can be the same or different person. The shareholder can be a person or another legal entity such as another company or trust. 100% local or foreign shareholding is allowed. New shares can be issued or existing shares can be transferred to another person anytime after the Singapore company has been incorporated.
* Company Secretary. As per Section 171 of the Singapore Companies Act, every company must appoint a qualified company secretary within 6 months of its incorporation. It has to be noted that in case of a sole director/shareholder, the same person cannot act as the company secretary. The company secretary must be a natural person who is ordinarily resident in Singapore.
Company registration procedure and timeline
Singapore Company Registration procedure is fully computerized by the Singapore Registrar of Companies. As a result, the incorporation process is quick and efficient without any bureaucratic red-tape involved. Under normal cirumstances, the company can be incorporated in 1-2 days.