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How to Incorporate Your Startup in 2023

Updated: May 19, 2023

For the aspiring entrepreneur.

With its strategic geographical position and competitive tax rates, Singapore is an excellent place to start a business. Do you have a promising business idea you can’t wait to implement and get started with? Put your ideas into fruition and incorporate a new startup company, by doing the following:

1. Deciding on a suitable company name to be approved by ACRA

Your name should not be similar to any other names currently in the ACRA database that may be subjected to a name complaint. ACRA is the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore, which regulates business registration, financial reporting, public accountants and corporate service providers.

2. Appoint at least one director of the company.

This director has to be locally resident in Singapore, at least 18 years of age and should not be an undischarged bankrupt or disqualified previously. A locally resident director in Singapore refers to a Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident, and Singapore Work Visa holders (Employment Pass or EntrePass). You may appoint more than one director in your company as long as you meet the minimum criteria of one locally resident director.

3. Appoint at least one shareholder in the company.

The shareholder should hold at least 1 share of SGD 1 in paid-up capital. Paid-up capital refers to the amount of money a company has received from shareholders in exchange for shares of stock. This shareholder can either be a local or foreign individual or entity. It is not compulsory to have any local shareholdings in contrast to the directorship requirements.

4. Appoint a company secretary.

It is also a requirement for all companies in Singapore do so within 6 months from the date of incorporation. Accread (to include link) provides you with a named secretary and fulfils the mandatory duties undertaken by a company secretary. Do note that if your company only has one director, the same person cannot be appointed as the secretary.

5. Understand your operating requirements in relation to your specific business activities.

Some types of businesses may require specific licenses to operate, and some may have different employment criteria such as work passes requirements. You may want to understand your requirements first before proceeding to start running your startup officially.

6. Identify a registered address for your company.

It is a requirement on ACRA that you must state the company’s local business address and this must be a physical location.

7. Understand your tax incentives as a new startup company.

In Singapore, there are corporate tax exemptions available for newly incorporated companies subjected to certain conditions and requirements. These tax exemptions can potentially reduce 75% of your first SGD 100,000 and 50% of your next SGD 100,000 of your company’s chargeable income. You may speak to us for advice on your tax exemptions before proceeding to set up your company.

8. Consider hiring a certified professional accounting firm.

An accounting firm takes care of your incorporation, secretarial and accounting needs. This is not only cost-efficient, it would also ensure that you do not have to worry about the complexity of such compliances and fear of meeting certain filing deadlines which may incur heftier fines and penalties!

Do you need more expert advice?

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