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Entity Types, Grants & Loans

Brief of different types of Business Firms & Entities, SME Grants & Loans in Singapore

In these free guides, you will get a complete overview of different types of Singapore business firms and entities, along with their respective benefits and features. According to their nature of structure, all of these firms and entities have to comply with annual regulations and applicable various tax rates.

Making choice of the perfect business structure is the secret of successful entrepreneur.


The most common type of Business Firms and Corporate Entities in Singapore are:

Society:

 

Who needs to register the business / entity in Singapore?

If you wish to carry out an activity on a continual basis for the purpose of profit, you must register the business entity with ACRA. Foreigners can register a company and own 100% of its shareholding. Please refer to “Before You Start” for essential information on starting a business in Singapore.

Can foreigner operate business / entity in Singapore?

If you are a foreign entrepreneur residing in Singapore and wish to start and operate a business here, you can apply for an Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Eligible foreign entrepreneurs can apply for the EntrePass before incorporating a company with ACRA, or within 6 months after incorporating a company with ACRA.  For more information on what businesses are eligible and the application requirements, please visit MOM’s website.

If you are a Dependant’s Pass (DP) holder who wishes to start a business in Singapore, you can apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC) from MOM to run your business, after registering the business with ACRA. For more information on the eligibility and application requirements, please visit MOM’s website.

FIN holders are advised to check with the relevant pass issuing authority (e.g. MOM/ ICA) on their eligibility before registering or taking on an appointment (e.g. authorised representative)

What are the factors to consider when choosing a business structure?

The type of business structure you choose depends on your business needs. You should consider the following factors to determine the best structure for you:

  • How much capital are you prepared to invest?
  • How many owners will there be in the business?
  • What liabilities and responsibilities are you prepared to assume?
  • What risks are you prepared to take?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different business entities?
  • What is the source and feasibility of manpower to the business?
  • What type of entity is feasible to your nature of business?
  • Is the business entity easy to close?

Requirements for local residency

One of the requirements of setting up a business in Singapore is that one of the directors/authorised representatives/general partners/managers must be a local resident.

If you are a foreign entrepreneur looking to set up a business entity in Singapore, you must appoint a locally resident director/authorised representative to manage the company or business if you wish to continue to reside outside Singapore.

A Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or an EntrePass/Employment Pass holder can be appointed as a locally resident authorised representative.  FIN holders are advised to check with the relevant pass issuing authority (e.g. MOM/ICA) on their eligibility before registering or taking on appointment (e.g. Director, Secretary).

As a foreigner, you may choose to register any type of business entity provided you are able to fulfil the local residency requirement for the entity selected:

Types of entity
Local residency requirements
            Details
Sole-Proprietorship
And
Partnership (General)

At least 1 locally resident authorised representative*

Foreigners residing overseas must appoint at least one locally resident authorised representative.

Foreigners who wish to be present in Singapore to manage the operations of a sole proprietorship or a partnership must seek approval from the Ministry of Manpower after registering the sole proprietorship or partnership.

FIN holders are advised to check with the relevant issuing authority (e.g. MOM/ ICA) on their eligibility before registering or taking on appointment (e.g. Owner, Partner, Director, Secretary)

Local Company

At least 1 locally resident director

Foreigners residing overseas can own shares of a Singapore-registered company and may be appointed as a foreign director of the company.

FIN holders are advised to check with the relevant issuing authority (e.g. MOM/ ICA) on their eligibility before registering or taking on appointment (e.g. Owner, Partner, Director, Secretary)

Foreign Company

At least 1 locally resident authorised representative*

For more information, please refer to Registering a Foreign Company.

Limited Partnership (LP)

At least 1 locally resident general partner or local manager

Foreigners residing overseas must appoint a locally resident general partner or local manager.

Foreigners who wish to be present in Singapore to manage the operations of an LP must seek approval from the Ministry of Manpower after registering the LP.

FIN holders are advised to check with the relevant pass issuing authority (e.g. MOM/ICA) on their eligibility before registering or taking on appointment (e.g. Owner, Partner, Director, Secretary)

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

At least 1 locally resident manager

Foreigners residing overseas must appoint a locally resident manager.

Foreigners who wish to be present in Singapore to manage the operations of an LLP must seek approval from the Ministry of Manpower after registering the LLP.

FIN holders are advised to check with the relevant pass issuing authority (e.g. MOM/ICA) on their eligibility before registering or taking on appointment (e.g. Owner, Partner, Director, Secretary)

*The authorised representative must be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident or an employment pass holder. This authorised representative has personal liability for the appointment.

 

Source of Information, Guidelines, Compliance, Laws, Rules & Regulations is from the relevant authorities of Singapore
Details of Source Name of Authorities
  • Corporate matters such as Companies, Businesses, etc
  • Registration of Societies
  • The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
  • The Registrar Of Societies
  • CPF matters
  • CPF Board
  • Fair Employment Practices (FEP)
  • Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP)
  • Immigration matters & Student Passes
  • Immigration Checkpoints Authority (ICA)
  • Taxation and GST
  • The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)
  • Skills Development Levy (SDL)
  • SkillsFuture Singapore Agency
  • Work Passes
  • The Ministry Of Manpower (MOM)
  • Grants / Funding
  • Enterprise Singapore – SMEPortal
Please CONTACT us when you would like to know more about which type of business structure would be your right choice then our professional team would assist you at any time.

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