Are you looking to register a company in Singapore? Read on as I walk you through the 7 important things you need to prepare to incorporate your company in Singapore!
1. Proposed Company Name
The first thing you need to think about is none other than your company name. Clearly you would want a name that sounds unique and not too similar to other companies’ names.
You will not be allowed to register a company name with ACRA (Accounting And Corporate Regulatory Authority) that is identical to what other companies are already using, so I’d suggest that you think of at least three possible names for your company before you embark on the registration process.
You might ask, is it better to choose a generic or specific name for your company?
I would recommend the former because you will have the added flexibility to grow your business model without rendering your company name irrelevant in future.
Let me use a simple example to illustrate what I mean. Say you want to start a company to help people to market their services online.
Instead of giving your company a very niche name like ‘Max Online Marketing Services Pte Ltd’, I would suggest something that is more generic like ‘Max Marketing Services Pte Ltd’. So that even if you want to provide additional offline marketing services in future, your company name will still be largely relevant to what you do.
When considering your company name, you’d also want to do a search online to see if the corresponding domain name is still available.
Say you want to register a company name called ‘KC Tan Asia Pte Ltd’, but you realised that the domain, kctan.asia has already been taken.
In this case, you may want to consider alternative company names instead where the domain name is still available. Domain names are important because that is where your potential customers will find you online.
2. Business Activities
The second thing you need to think about is the core business activity that describes what your company does. Say you are doing consultancy, is it hardware, software, business & management, human resource or marketing consultancy?
You need to decide the category for your business activities before you register your company and you can have a maximum number of two categories for each company.
You can get started by using this page on ACRA’s website to research for the right business activities for your company.
3. Paid Up Share Capital
Once you have the business activities for your company, the next thing you need to decide is the paid up share capital. This is the amount of money that your company will receive from all the shareholders in exchange for company shares.
If you are the sole owner of the company, you can indicate $1 as the paid up share capital, which is the minimum amount required.
If you want to increase this amount in future, you can do so anytime after your company has been incorporated.
4. Share Structure
The share structure represents how many shares each shareholder will receive. This is rather straightforward if you are the sole owner of the company. But if you have more shareholders in your company, you will need to give some thought to the share allocation.
5. Registered Address
Next is the registered address that you are operating your business from. If you have an office space, you can use that as the company registered address with ACRA.
If you do not have plans to rent an office and wish to use your residential address as your registered address, you can do so but you will need to apply for the Home Office Scheme with HDB first before registering your company with ACRA.
Having said that, it is important for you to bear in mind that using a residential address may not come across as professional as using a commercial address, especially when you are introducing your company to new prospects and customers.
I would suggest that you assess your company needs and you may find it more worthwhile to pay a nominal fee to subscribe for virtual office address services that allow you to use a more professional commercial address for your business.
JJ & E, for instance, is centrally located at International Plaza and they offer a variety of virtual office address services that you can subscribe for as low as $10 per month.
You can use their commercial address on your business cards and official documents. All official letters will also be directed to this address (you can get your customers to mail their cheques to this address as well) and JJ & E will help you to collect all your mail.
Whenever there are new letters received for your company, JJ & E will notify you through email.
You can then either collect the letters personally from their office or opt for their mail forwarding services where JJ & E will forward the letters to your preferred address.
Having a professional office address will serve to give your potential customers a better impression of your business and it is an affordable service that you’d want to consider for your company.
6. Personal Particulars
When registering your company, you will be asked to provide the personal particulars of all directors and shareholders of the company, including their email addresses, contact numbers, and copies of their NRIC (or passport for foreigners). So do get all these key information and documents ready.
7. For Foreigners
For foreigners who are looking to incorporate a company in Singapore, there are additional requirements that you need to take note of. For instance, it is a must to have a Singaporean director in your company.
If you are not familiar with the local regulations, I would suggest that you get professional help for your company setup. You can check out the professional services that JJ & E offers to save you the trouble of figuring things out on your own.
The above article is contributed by KC Tan, who has been helping small businesses to grow their business since 2008.