If you have plans to start a company in Singapore, one of the immediate questions you might have is: how much will it cost?
First let’s take a look at the fees that you have to pay to register a private limited company in Singapore as published on ACRA’s (Accounting And Corporate Regulatory Authority) website:
- Name Approval Fee: S$15
- Registration Fee: S$300
That is a total of S$315 in fees that you need to pay to incorporate a new company with ACRA. But that’s not all.
You also need to consider the cost of maintaining your company every year as there are many other administrative matters involved in running a company.
Depending on your needs, you may find yourself hiring professional help to manage your company incorporation process as well as other relevant services that help to lessen your load as the company director. These are costs that you need to factor into consideration.
What are the four fundamental areas that you need to take note of? Let’s take a look.
1. Registered Address
You would need to have an office address in order to incorporate a company in Singapore.
If you do not have a rented office, you may choose to work from home and use your residential address as your company address, which is allowed under the HDB Home Office Scheme. You can even use your home as an office for certain approved businesses such as consultancy, eCommerce and writing-related business!
However, one disadvantage of using your home address is that it does not portray a professional image of your company as compared to using a commercial address.
One simple workaround is that you can sign up for a registered address service (also known as virtual office address).
For instance, JJ & E provides registered address services that authorize you to use their commercial address (at International Plaza) as your company address. You can then use their address to register your company with ACRA and print it on your business cards and official documents.
JJ & E will also help you to collect mail that is sent to their commercial address (such as letters from government authorities or cheque payments from your customers) and they will inform you via email so you can go down to collect it.
You can check out JJ & E’s virtual office services here.
2. Company Stamp
Some of you may think that you won’t ever need a company stamp, especially if you are running a small business. But speaking from personal experience, I would still recommend you to get one.
There may be times where you need to use your company stamp for official receipts or documents upon your customers’ requests.
I had once accepted a training engagement with a local government association and I was asked to sign on a training agreement and endorse it with my official company stamp.
So it’s always a good idea to have one ready just in case, because you won’t want to run into situations like these that require you to use your company stamp but you don’t even have one!
For me, I find that the most convenient way is to order a company stamp from my corporate service provider when I first registered my company with them.
Many company incorporation service providers do include company stamp services in their package, so just keep a lookout for that.
3. Tax Reporting
When it comes to tax matters, I always prefer to get my accountant to help me with the necessary reporting.
If you are not familiar with accounting matters yourself, I would recommend that you outsource the work to a professional accountant or tax consultant.
Inland Revenue Authority Of Singapore (IRAS) requires every company to submit their Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) every year unless your company fulfills the following criteria:
- Annual revenue is not more than $1 million for the financial year; and
- ECI is NIL for the YA. The ECI should be the amount before deducting the exempt amount under the partial tax exemption scheme or the tax exemption scheme for new start-up companies.
For most of us who are not accountancy-trained, we may not fully understand what the above means and we may run into problems of missing critical deadlines.
To minimize such risks, it is best to seek professional help to relieve yourself from the stress and work. If you do not know any accountants, you can always approach the corporate service provider who helped you to register your company.
Typically they also provide bookkeeping and tax reporting services to help you ensure that your company stays compliant at all times.
4. Annual General Meeting
As the company director, you are required to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) with all your shareholders every year. This is mandated by ACRA for all companies in Singapore. After the meeting, you will need to file the annual returns with ACRA.
This is another area that you can seek help from your professional accountant to assist you with the necessary filing.
As you can see, the above are the few fundamental areas that you may possibly need professional help when it comes to running your company.
I would recommend that you allocate a budget for it so that you don’t have to be bogged down by the work itself which takes your time away from your business.
A reasonable budget to set aside every year would be around $1,500 to $2,500 depending on how much work you want to outsource.
One of the main reasons why I engage companies like JJ & E to help me with my company incorporation is that I will have direct access to their professional knowledge and experience. I can go to them for advice on my company matters should I encounter questions along the way.
You can check out their various packages to find one that suits your needs. I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful!
The above article is contributed by KC Tan, who has been helping small businesses to grow their business since 2008.