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How to Register Trading Company in Singapore?

Last modified: March 23, 2018
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Register-Trading-Company-in-SingaporeSingapore’s port has long been revered for its strategic location. It is positioned at the crossroads of 200 shipping routes with a good connectivity of 600 ports in more than 120 countries. And, this is why traders from both East and West find it to be an ideal destination for import-export business. It is worth mentioning that the city-state is one of the largest exporters in the world and of late, it is the home to more than 3,000 foreign and domestic logistics and supply chain management companies. These compelling reasons persuade every global trader to register a trading company in Singapore.

What are the procedures for starting a trading business?

Step 1: Register the company with the Company Registrar i.e., ACRA (Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority)

Step 2: Register the trading company with Singapore Customs

Step 3: Apply for Business license or permit

Registration with ACRA

Singapore company registration with ACRA is completed in two simple steps viz. company name approval and company registration. The entire process is done electronically using the BizFile portal of ACRA. For this, you must have a SingPass ID to get the jobs done through this portal. In this line, foreign traders are advised to hire a reliable Singapore incorporation service.

The company name gets approved in just one hour as long as you adhere to the statutory obligations. It will be reserved for 60 days of the period. Upon the approval of name, file the application form along with supporting documents via BizFile. Usually, the company is registered within 1 to 3 days unless your application needs a review from external authority.

Singapore Customs Registration

Every trading company in Singapore dealing in import and export business must activate an account with Custom’s office. Or else, they are not allowed to start business operation. Once you submit the application, the account activation with Singapore customs is done in a day or two. At the end, you will be issued an approval letter from Customs office and its validity corresponds to the existence of your company.

Issue of permits and license

In order to carry out a smooth dealing of import and export goods into and out of Singapore, your trading company must obtain an IN or OUT Permit (whichever applicable) through the TradeNet. While IN permit is applicable for the business dealing in import of goods in Singapore, OUT permit is needed for export for goods outside of Singapore.

When and Who to Apply for OUT Permit in Singapore?

  • If your goods are controlled (e.g. liquor, cigarette, tobacco etc.) and are transported using rail or road, you must obtain OUT permit before the goods are exported out
  • If your exported goods are non-controlled and are shipped via sea or air, OUT Permit must be obtained within 3 days of export.
  • If your goods have been previously imported under the Temporary Import Scheme, you must get the OUT permit before exporting goods.
  • Get the OUT permit before exporting goods, if you are exporting goods under the Temporary Export Scheme.

An exemption may apply to imported and exported items (uncontrolled) of a total value of more than S$400 on the CIF (Cost, Insurance, Freight) under special circumstances.

Special Requirement for Imported/Exported Goods in Singapore

  • Controlled goods in terms of trading companies are those whose import/export are subject to the control of Controlling Agencies. Apart from having IN/OUT permit, one must obtain an additional permit to import/export controlled goods in Singapore. Get the permit from respective controlling agencies by simply submitting an application through TradeNet. Drugs, cigarettes and other tobacco products, animals, food products and petrochemicals are some good examples of controlled goods.
  • Import of high-technology items in Singapore may require ICDV permit (Import Certificate and Delivery Verification). You may obtain this permit from the Singapore Customs Office. Imported high-tech items backed by ICDV must be imported directly to Singapore, without diverting to any other country.
  • Strategic Goods Control (SGC) must be obtained by those trading companies who want to export, transship or bring in transit strategic goods that are used in weapons.
  • In some cases, you may be asked to issue a Certificate of Origin (CO) when you deal with export of goods that are made in Singapore.

Custom/Excise Duty, Fees, Tax in Singapore

It is a fact that when you register a trading company in Singapore, some of the key concerns of your would be the tax, fees, and customs & excise duty. Get some advice from an accounting service in Singapore.

  • Do note that dutiable goods are subject to custom and/or excise duties. Dutiable goods include- alcoholic liquors, tobacco products, motor vehicles and petroleum products.
  • Imported goods that are meant for local consumption are subject to 7% of Singapore GST (Goods and Service Tax).
  • In the course of obtaining permits and license with Singapore Customs, you are charged with a certain amount of procedural and administrative fees.

From above details, you might be getting a thorough idea on how to register a trading company in Singapore. If you are still finding difficulties in figuring out the essentials and obligations of it, you may take the assistance of a good corporate firm in Singapore. Their experts will guide you throughout the process of taking the leap of faith onto the shore of this business destination.

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