Singapore Business Set-up

1. Starting a sole proprietorship/ partnership:

Foreigners, residing overseas and wanting to register either a sole proprietorship or a partnership, must appoint at least one authorized representative who is a local resident. The foreign owner(s) must also engage a registered filing agent, for e.g., a law, an accounting, or a corporate secretarial firm, to submit the application via BizFile+, which is Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA’s) online filing system.

Foreigners, currently residing in Singapore, must seek approval from the Ministry of Manpower, before registering a sole proprietorship or a partnership. It is necessary that at least one of the partners should have a SingPass or a CorpPass account to submit an application on BizFile+. If that is not the case, the applicants must engage the services of a registered filing agent, for e.g., a law, an accounting, or a corporate secretarial firm, to submit the application on their behalf.

2. Starting a local company:

Foreigners, wishing to incorporate a local company in Singapore, must do the following:

  • Engage the services of a registered filing agent, for e.g., a law, an accounting, or a corporate secretarial firm, to submit the online application.
  • Employ a director, who is a local resident of Singapore and must be:
    • At least 18 years old;
    • Of full legal capacity;
    • A Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or EntrePass holder.
    • Not disqualified from acting as a director of a company, for e.g., an undischarged bankrupt.
    • A director may also be an Employment Pass (EP) holder. However, an EP holder, wishing to become a director of a local company, must first get a Letter of Consent (LOC) from the Ministry of Manpower.

The foreigner may choose to reside outside Singapore after setting up of the local company. However, if he/ she wish to be present in Singapore to manage the company operations, an approval should be sought from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

3. Starting a Limited Partnership (LP):

A foreigner, wanting to register an LP in Singapore, is required to appoint a manager who is a local resident. The foreigner can continue to reside outside Singapore.

Foreigners, wishing to set up an LP and be present in Singapore to manage its operations, should seek approval from the MOM, before registration.

The foreigner must engage the services of a registered filing agent, for e.g., a law, an accounting, or a corporate secretarial firm, to submit the online application on his/her behalf.

Individuals, having a SingPass, may register the LP online via BizFile+, using their National Registration identity Card (NRIC) or Foreign Identification Number (FIN).

Any person, above the age of 18 years, can be a partner of an LP.

4. Starting a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP):

A foreigner, wanting to register an LLP in Singapore, is required to appoint a manager who is a local resident. The foreigner can continue to reside outside Singapore.

Foreigners, wishing to set up an LLP and be present in Singapore to manage its operations, should seek approval from the MOM, before registration.

The foreigner must engage the services of a registered filing agent, for e.g., a law, an accounting, or a corporate secretarial firm, to submit the online application on his/her behalf.

Individuals, having a SingPass, may register the LP online via BizFile+, using their National Registration identity Card (NRIC) or Foreign Identification Number (FIN).

Any person, above the age of 18 years, can be a partner of an LLP.