Singapore Companies

An Introduction to Singapore Companies

Singapore is regularly ranked as one of the most business friendly economies, providing companies with significant grants and incentives. An important number of multinational corporations have chosen Singapore as their regional hub in Asia.

Enjoying a stable political and regulatory environment, as well as a reliable judicial system, the city-state continues to attract investors and aims to establish itself as one of the major global business hubs.

A Singapore company is an excellent corporate vehicle for almost any purpose: trading, consultancy, holding companies for businesses engaged in equity & share ownership and investment projects, shipping companies, for treasury management, owning real estate, private yacht and intellectual property (software development, design and entertainment).

Company formation

There are various types of business vehicles which can be incorporated in Singapore. The most widely used is the private company limited by shares (“Private Limited”).

A Private Limited is a separate legal entity, has perpetual succession and has the ability to hold property and enter into contracts in its own name. A Private Limited is required to have a minimum of one shareholder (and a maximum of fifty). The shareholders can either be an individual or a corporate person and there is no restriction for the shares to be held by a foreigner (individual or corporation). There is no minimum paid-up capital i.e. a Private limited can be incorporated with a paid-up capital of S$1.

A Private Limited must have at least one director who is “ordinary resident” in Singapore. Singapore citizens, Singapore permanent residents or expatriates who have been issued with employment passes/dependent’s passes would generally be considered as “persons resident in Singapore” for this purpose. All directors must be natural persons.

Within 6 months from its incorporation, a Private Limited is also required to appoint one or more company secretaries who would normally ensure the safe custody of the statutory records and the preparation of appropriate resolutions for shareholders’ and directors’ meetings.

A Private Limited can be incorporated in less than 2 days.

Running a Company

A Private Limited is required to hold its first AGM within 18 months from its incorporation. The subsequent AGM shall be held every calendar year and the interval between AGMs shall not be more than 15 months.

Most companies are required to present accounts at the AGM which were made up to a date exceeding 6 months preceding the AGM.

There is an obligation to file Annual Returns with the Accounting and Corporation Regulatory Authority of Singapore.

For more information about Starting Running and Structuring your business in Singapore go to the relevant pages of the Mybusiness in Asia website at and watch our video here: