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How to Start a Business in Singapore from Malaysia?

Last modified: February 11, 2021
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How to Start a Business in Singapore from Malaysia?

Singapore is a great destination to start a new company. It allows local and foreign individuals over the age of 18 to be a business owner. Even existing local and foreign companies can also own shares in the new companies.

If you, as a Malaysian, are opting to incorporate a company in Singapore, do not hesitate. By doing so, you won’t land in an out the way place. Because, as many as half a million Malaysians live in Singapore. The national language of Singapore is Malay. It is a multi-lingual society that relies on English to connect people of different races living in this island country.

The foreigners choose to incorporate a company in Singapore because the country has transparent regulatory processes, the right infrastructure to support businesses, and a great startup ecosystem.

  • Singapore allows foreigners to own 100% of the shareholding in a Singapore company. They do not need any official permission to do so.
  • Foreigners can own only 30% shares in a Malaysian company. Beyond this limit, they need the approval of the investment committee.
  • Singapore corporate tax ranges from 0% to 17%.
  • The minimum rate of Malaysian corporate tax is 18%, and it could go as high as 24% depending on the initial paid-up capital and tax-residency of the company.
  • As a foreigner, you need to provide only one local or resident director to set up an offshore company in Singapore.
  • On the other hand, you need 2 to form a Malaysian company.

Let us see “How to start a company in Singapore?” Singapore company incorporation process is online, painless and free of red-tape. It is designed to be free of bureaucratic hurdles. You can easily form your Singapore business in 1-3 days.

As per the Company Law of Singapore, foreigners cannot self-register their businesses. They have to appoint a registered filing agent or a corporate services provider that also provide company incorporation services like SBS Consulting. Our packages start from S$699 and include ACRAs fee of S$315.

To register your Singaporean offshore company, you need:

  • Minimum initial paid-up capital of S$1
  • At least one shareholder
  • At least one local/resident director
  • At least one company secretary
  • Registered local address for the office

Local/Resident Director: You can appoint a friend, relative, or an individual who is a Singaporean or a Permanent Resident. As a foreigner, you may find it difficult to find such a person. Alternatively, you can appoint a nominee director.

Company Secretary: You need to hire at least one secretary within the 6 months of the registration date of the company. We can offer a qualified Singapore resident to work for you as a secretary who will lodge and file necessary documents with ACRA and other agencies.

Registered Local Address: You need to put a local office address on your application. Government agencies need it for official communication with you. We can assist you with our registered address service.


How to Start a Company in Singapore?

Steps in Singapore Company Incorporation Process

You need to complete only 2 steps for setting up a Singapore company.

  • Get Approval for Company Name from ACRA
  • Apply to ACRA for Company Incorporation


Company Name

We as your agent, first, visit ACRA’s website BizFile+ to make sure whether the name of your proposed company is available for your use. You need to supply us a list of 3-5 names. We register the available one by paying ACRA’s fees.


Company Registration

Secondly, we apply to ACRA to register your offshore company in Singapore. We pay ACRA’s fees of S$300. You need to supply us incorporation documents.

The Company Registrar of Singapore, i.e. ACRA, requires only 1-3 days to process it. If it gets referred to higher authorities, the approval may take up to 2 months.


Incorporation Documents

  • ACRA approved company name
  • Business activities in brief
  • Registered local office address
  • Particulars of shareholders/directors/company secretary

As a foreign national you will also need to supply a copy of your Malaysian passport and residential address-proof in Malaysia.

After successfully incorporating your company in Singapore, ACRA emails you details like, Certificate of Incorporation, UEN, and business profile. If you need its hard copy, we can pay the fees and get it for you. We can also assist in opening a corporate bank account.

SBS Consulting is a provider of corporate services like company incorporation, bookkeeping, accounting, taxation, etc. If you still have any questions about, “How to start a company in Singapore?” contact us on +65-6536 0036 or email us at info@sbsgroup.com.sg for answers.

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