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Incorporating a Company in Singapore: What Foreigners Need to Know

If you’re a foreigner looking to set up a business in Asia, Singapore is one of the best places to start. Singapore offers a dynamic business environment, a strategic location, and government support for foreign entrepreneurs. In this article, we will be exploring the requirements for setting up a business in Singapore as a foreigner.

Business Entity Type

The first step in setting up a business in Singapore is to decide on the type of business entity. Foreigners can choose from several options, including a Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd), Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), and Branch Office.

Resident Director

If you plan to incorporate a Private Limited Company, you will need to appoint a local resident director. A resident director must be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident. The resident director will be responsible for the company’s compliance with Singapore’s laws and regulations.

Company Registration

To register your business in Singapore, you will need to submit the necessary documents to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The documents include the company’s constitution, particulars of the directors and shareholders, and the company’s registered address.

Work Pass

As a foreigner, you will need a valid work pass to work in Singapore. The type of work pass you will need depends on your business entity type and your role in the company. Foreign entrepreneurs who incorporate a Private Limited Company can apply for an Employment Pass, which is issued to professionals, managers, and executives who earn a minimum monthly salary of S$4,500 (From 1 September 2023 onward, it will be a minimum monthly salary of S$5,000) or EntrePass, which is designed for foreign entrepreneurs who want to start and operate a business in Singapore. If you are a foreigner with an innovative business idea, the EntrePass may be the perfect option for you to establish your business in Singapore.

Bank Account

Once your company is incorporated, you will need to open a bank account in Singapore. Most banks in Singapore require the company’s directors and shareholders to be present during the account opening process. You will also need to provide the necessary documents, such as the company’s certificate of incorporation, a copy of the company’s constitution, and proof of address.


All companies in Singapore are subject to corporate taxation. The current corporate tax rate in Singapore is 17%. As a foreign entrepreneur, you will need to comply with Singapore’s tax laws and regulations, such as filing annual tax returns and paying the appropriate taxes on time.

Entrepreneurs who set up a company in Singapore and obtain an Employment Pass or EntrePass have the option to apply for permanent residency (PR). These passes provide numerous benefits that allow foreign entrepreneurs to operate their businesses smoothly, even if they don’t plan to reside in Singapore permanently. However, to be eligible for PR, applicants must fulfil certain criteria, including demonstrating a minimum length of stay in Singapore. Find out more on the benefits of becoming a Singapore Permanent Resident!

In conclusion, setting up a business in Singapore as a foreigner requires careful planning and compliance with Singapore’s laws and regulations. However, with the right guidance and support, the process can be relatively straightforward. Our team of experts can provide you with a personalised consultation to guide you through the process and maximise your chances of success. Contact us today to learn more!