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Can I Do Business Without Registering a Company in Singapore?

Last modified: April 20, 2024
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Can I Do Business Without Registering a Company in Singapore

Yes! You can sell products or services in Singapore without registering a company. However, there are benefits of indulging in a Singapore company registration. Doing so offers your business activities legal protection, credibility, branding. Registering a Singapore private limited company also limits your liability.

If you are doing a business in Singapore without formally committing a company registration, it is entirely legal. However, it automatically elevates you to the status of a Sole Proprietor. And your business activities are taken to be that of a sole proprietorship.


Can You Promote Your Unregistered Business Using a Name of Your Choice?

No! You cannot name your unregistered business. You have to conduct your business activities under your name.

If you want to a Name for your business, you will need to register it as a sole proprietorship or a private limited company with ACRA, the Company Registrar of Singapore.

Private Limited Company

The business owners prefer to set up a private limited company in Singapore. It limits the shareholders’ liability to the money they have used to buy its shares. The company is responsible for its losses or debts. You can form a private limited company as a sole shareholder or as part of a group of as many as 50 shareholders. You need:

  • Minimum initial paid-up capital of S$
  • At least one shareholder
  • At least one local director
  • At least one company secretary
  • Registered local address


Benefits of a Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd)

  • Pte Ltd has a separate legal identity
  • It can buy real estate and assets in its name
  • It pays corporate tax (0%-17%) on its income
  • It can distribute a tax-free dividend to its shareholder after paying company tax
  • Shares are transferable
  • Pte Ltd has credibility and can easily raise capital

However, a private limited company has to comply with strict laws and regulations related to accounting and auditing, which raises its overhead costs. There is no need to renew the company registration every year. Once a company is incorporated, it exists perpetually. It can be dissolved only through the winding-up or strike-down process.


Sole Proprietorship

A single business owner or a company can own a sole proprietorship. It is considered as a business firm and not an incorporated company. You need to renew Sole proprietorship every year. The renewal fee is $30/year.

  • It is easy to register a sole proprietorship
  • A sole proprietorship has no distinct legal identity
  • It can sue or be sued by its proprietor’s name
  • The proprietor’s liability unlimited and they are liable for its business debts and losses
  • Their personal assets are at risk
  • The proprietor has to pay personal income tax (0%-22%) on the income from the proprietorship
  • A sole proprietorship do not get any tax benefits, exemptions, or rebates that a private limited company can claim


Steps to Set up a Singapore Company Registration

You need to apply to ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Authority), the Company Registrar to register your Singapore company. There are only 2 steps to the Singapore company registration process. Appointing a registered filing agent like SBS Consulting can make the task free of any hassles.

Step 1: Company Name Registration with ACRA

Visit ACRA’s portal BizFile+ and check whether the name you intend to use for your company is available or already taken by someone for their use. Let your agent do the task and register the available company name.


Step 2: Documents for Singapore Company Registration

Provide your agent with the following documents:

  • Registered Company name
  • Brief description of business activities
  • Registered local office address
  • Particulars of shareholders/directors/company secretary
  • Foreign Business Owners: A copy of passport & proof of residential address (overseas)
  • Foreign Companies: Company Constitution (M&AA) Certificate of Incorporation
  • Singapore Residents: A copy of Singapore ID


Register Your Singapore Company

With a registered company name, your agent can apply to ACRA to form your company. Provide them with your incorporation documents.

ACRA need 1-3 days to Singapore company registration. The agency sends you an email containing Certificate of Incorporation, UEN, business profile, etc.

Now your company exists legally and can sign contracts with your vendors and to rent office space. You will need to be physically present in Singapore to open a corporate bank account. Check, if you need to get any permits or licenses before starting your business activities.

SBS Consulting provides company registration services in Singapore. As a registered filing agent, SBS can legally pay fees and submit your documents to ACRA. Our company registration packages start from S$699 only. Call us on +65 6536 0036 or email us at info@sbsgroup.com.sg for answers.

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