Singapore

Key benefits

Singapore is one of the leading international financial centers in the region. Incorporating a company in Singapore can provide a tax efficient corporate structure in order to conduct international business.

Singapore is a city state located at the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsular with a population of approximately 4.8 million. It is known as one of the four ‘Asian Tigers’ and is the major center for business and trade within the region.

The official business language in Singapore is English but Mandarin and Malay are also widely spoken. The work force is well educated and hard working with a high level of expertise. Singapore is one of the leading international financial centers in the region and offshore investors will find most of the major banks present along with numerous financial institutions, investment management companies and accounting and legal firms.

The single ruling party since independence in 1965 is the people’s action party. the government effectively plans and manages the social and economic development of the country resulting in Singapore becoming one of the most politically stable and corruption free countries in the world.

In 2006 a study by KPMG rated Singapore as one of the most competitive business locations amongst industrialised countries in the world. The World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2011′ study has also recently concluded that Singapore is the best country in which to run a business. The study rates 183 countries on the ease of which they allow firms to operate using criteria such as how easy it is to start a business, get credit etc.

There are various benefits attached to incorporating a Limited Liability Singapore company.

Some of these benefits are listed below:

  • English is the official business language and therefore all company reports are produced in English and all information is available in English.
  • Common law is in place.
  • Singapore is a world leader in foreign trade and investment and has one of the best business environments in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Singapore is the best country in which to run a business according to a recent world bank study and it has been named as having the most open economy for international trade and investment and least corrupt economy in the world.
  • Singapore has one of the most highly developed and well-regulated financial centres in the world which has been built on the highest regulatory and prudential standards.
  • The Singaporean tax system is straightforward and stable.
  • There are no restrictions for foreigners to be shareholders or Directors of a Singapore company.
  • The incorporation process for a Singapore company is quick and efficient.
  • No minimum requirements for share capital.
  • Only one Director and Shareholder is required to form a limited liability company.
  • There is a concept of territorial taxation where foreign source trade profit is not subject to Singapore income tax if it is not repatriated in Singapore.
  • There is no capital gains tax in Singapore.
  • Foreign dividends are not subject to Singapore income tax.
  • Tax credits for foreign tax paid are available in Singapore. However, they are is subject to some conditions.
  • There are some partial income tax exemptions available in Singapore.
  • There is no net worth tax in Singapore.
  • Intensive double tax agreement system with more than 60 agreements signed and ratified with other countries.

Tax and accounting regulations

Updated on: March 5, 2014

A coherent offshore tax planning strategy is essential to maximize the effectiveness of offshore companies. Service Pro can assist by structuring the most tax efficient strategy to satisfy your requirements. Service Pro will guide you as to which jurisdictions offer the best tax structure by identifying the types of tax payable as well as applicable exemptions and incentives. Service Pro will provide tax planning advice that will identify which is the most favourable tax efficient jurisdiction in which to incorporate.

All private limited companies must comply with the statutory regulations set out by ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) and the IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore).

Corporation tax:

  • The corporate income tax rate in Singapore is 17% for 2013 & 2014 respectively.

Income tax:

  • Singapore operates a territorial taxation principle therefore income derived in Singapore is subject to tax.
  • Sales proceeds originating from outside Singapore but received in Singapore are subject to tax. Prior approval must be obtained by the Singapore Inland Revenue Authority before profit can be classified as non-Singapore Income (i.e. not derived from Singapore) and therefore be exempt from Singapore Income Tax.

Difference of tax treatment for income from different sources:

Foreign source income is exempt from income tax if it is not remitted into Singapore.

Income is not considered to be derived from Singapore if:

  • A contract is concluded and signed outside of Singapore.
  • Services rendered are outside of Singapore.
  • Capital is employed outside of Singapore.
  • If the title of goods is passed outside of Singapore.
  • Receipt of sales proceeds are outside of Singapore.
  • Payment of expenses incurred in the provision of services or delivery of goods conducted outside of Singapore.
  • Place where goods are stored and maintained is located outside of Singapore.

Capital gain tax (CGT):

  • There is no capital gains tax in Singapore.

Stamp duty:

  • Stamp duty on transactions with securities is 0.2% Stamp duty exemption applies to offshore loan agreements and some other documents.

Interest:

  • Interest received is subject to Income Tax. The tax system of Singapore does not have a separate tax treatment for foreign or Singapore source interest income.
  • Interest paid to non-residents of Singapore is subject to withholding tax of 15% unless it is regulated under a Double Tax Treaty.

Royalties:

  • Royalty income received is subject to income tax.
  • Foreign source royalty income is exempt from income tax unless remitted to Singapore.
  • Royalty paid to non-residents of Singapore is subject to withholding tax of 15% unless it is regulated a double tax treaty.

Dividends:

  • Foreign dividend income is exempt from income tax.

Tax Incentives:

The tax incentives outlined below can ensure that the effective income tax rate for small to mid-sized companies is significantly reduced.

  • 0% tax on S$100,000 taxable income – For the first three tax years after incorporation the corporate income tax rate is 0% providing the company meets the following criteria; be incorporated in Singapore, be tax resident in Singapore, has no more than 20 Shareholders at least one of which must be an individual and must hold at least 10% of shares.
  • 8.5% tax on taxable income up to S$300,000 – All Singapore companies are eligible for a partial tax exemption which translates to 8.5% tax rate on taxable income up to S$300,000. Above S$300,000 the normal tax rate of 17% will apply.

Deductions:

  • Deductions are allowed for expenses that are wholly and exclusively incurred in the production of income.
  • Expenses must be revenue in nature.
  • Expenses must be incurred.
  • Deductions must not be prohibited by the Income Tax Act.

Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Rebate:

  • Applicable for Years of Assessment 2013, 2014 & 2015.
  • All companies will receive a 30% CIT rebate, capped at $30,000 per year of assessment.
  • CIT rebate is computed on the tax payable after deducting tax set-offs. (E.g. foreign tax credit).

Income tax return:

File:

  • Form C – S (Simplified Tax Filing for Small Companies) – For companies that meet qualifying conditions.
  • Form C and Appendix on Additional Information on Income and deductions (Form IRIN 301).

Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme

The 6 activities covered under the scheme:

  • Training of employees.
  • Purchase/Leasing of PIC IT and automation equipment.
  • Acquisition/In-licensing of Intellectual Property.
  • Registration of Intellectual Property.
  • Research & development.
  • Approved Design Project.

Benefits under PIC Scheme

  • 400% tax deductions/allowances on expenditure on each 6 activities (YA 2011 to YA 2015).
  • Opt for cash payout in place of tax deductions/allowances (YA 2011 to YA 2015).
  • PIC Bonus (YA 2013 to YA 2015).

First 3 years of Income Tax Filing:

Taxable Income (S$)Tax Rate (%)
>0 – 100,000>0%
>100,001 – 300,000>8.5%
>300,001 – 2,000,000>17%

After the First 3 Years of Income Tax Filing:

Taxable Income (S$)Tax Rate (%)
>0 – 300,000>8.5%
>300,001 – 2,000,000>17%

Checklist for Reference

No.ChecklistBy
1.File ECI3 months after accounting year end
2.Prepare financial accounts 
3.Prepare tax computation and supporting schedules 
4.File Form C (with (2) accounts and (3) tax computation & supporting schedules)30 November
5.File Form C – S (for qualifying companies)30 November e-file Form C – S to enjoy extended filing due date to 15 December

1.        Taxable income

A company is liable to pay tax on income accrued in or derived from Singapore or income received in Singapore from outside Singapore in respect of:

-       Gains or profits from any trade or business.

-       Income from investment such as dividends, interest and rental.

-       Royalties, premiums and any other profits from property.

-       Other gains of an income nature.

 

2.        Not taxable income

Capital gain is not taxable. Examples of receipts that are capital in nature are:

-       Gains on sale of fixed assets.

-       Gains on foreign exchange on capital transactions.

 

Income may be exempted from tax under the provisions of the Singapore Income Tax Act. Some examples are:

-       Exempt shipping income derived by a shipping company.

-       Foreign-sourced dividends, branch profits & service income received by a resident company that satisfies the qualifying conditions.

 

3.        Tax exemptions on foreign-sourced income.

Foreign-sourced income refer to foreign income that does not arise from a trade or business carried on in Singapore.

 

3.1      Specified foreign income

Under the Foreign-Sourced Income Exemption scheme (FSIE), specified resident taxpayers who receive:

 

(a)  Foreign-sourced dividends.

For the purposes of the tax exemption, a dividend is a foreign-sourced dividend if it is paid by a non-Singapore tax resident company. This treatment also applies to foreign dividend, which may be the income of a trade or business carried on in Singapore by a specified resident taxpayer (e.g. dividends received by a bank tax resident in Singapore). In addition, there is no shareholding requirement to enjoy the tax exemption.

 

(b)  Foreign branch profits.

A foreign branch is a business operation of a Singapore company registered as a branch in a foreign country. Foreign branch profits are profits from a trade or business carried on outside Singapore by the foreign branch. It excludes non-trade or non-business income of the foreign branch.

 

(c)  Foreign-sourced service income.

Service income refers to income from professional, technical, consultancy or other services provided by a specified resident taxpayer in the course of its trade, profession or business. Such service income is considered foreign-sourced if the services are provided through a fixed place of operation in a foreign country. If the services are not provided through a fixed place of operation in a foreign country, the service income will be considered Singapore-sourced even though:

-       The income is derived from services rendered outside Singapore; and

-       Tax is payable in that foreign country in accordance with the provisions of a DTA with the foreign country.

 

3.2      Qualifying conditions.

From the 1st of June 2003 would be given tax exemption if they meet these qualifying conditions:

ScenarioIs the “subject to tax” condition met?
- The specified foreign income is taxed in country A.- The income is remitted back to Singapore from Country A.Condition is met.
- The specified foreign income is exempt from tax in Country A.- The income is remitted back to Singapore from Country A.Condition is not met because no tax is suffered in country A. However, if the tax exemption is given due to substantive business activities carried out in Country A, as a concession, the condition will be met. (See paragraph 8.2(a) on the concession).
- The specified foreign income is taxed in country A.- The income is moved or reinvested in country B.- Country B does not levy any income tax on the income.- The income is remitted back to Singapore from country B.Condition is not met because no tax is suffered in country B.

 

(a)  “Subject to tax” concession.

Some countries give tax exemption on the income of investors who carry out substantive business activities in their country as tax incentive. These investors would be liable to tax if not for the tax exemption. As a concession, specified foreign income given such tax exemption will be regarded as having met the “subject to tax” condition. This tax concession is applicable from the 30th of July 2004.

 

(b)  Foreign-sourced dividend.

The Comptroller of Income Tax (CIT) will regard the “subject to tax” condition as met although the foreign-sourced dividend may be temporarily deposited into a foreign custodian account before its remittance into Singapore. Temporarily deposited into a foreign custodian account means:

  • The dividend is remitted to Singapore within one year from the date it was deposited into the foreign custodian account, and
  • The deposit in the foreign custodian account generates no income other than the incidental interest on the standing balance.

Any interest from the foreign custodian account must be segregated and not form part of specified foreign income under the FSIE scheme.

For the purpose of this “subject to tax” condition, tax paid or payable on foreign-sourced dividend received in Singapore includes: 

  • The dividend tax, which is income tax levied on the dividend by the foreign country of source; and
  • The underlying tax, which is income tax paid or payable to the foreign countries on the income out of which the dividend is paid.

 

3.3    Foreign headline tax rate of at least 15%.

The foreign headline tax rate refers to the highest corporate tax rate of the foreign country in the year the specified foreign income is received in Singapore. It must be at least 15%. The headline tax rate need not be the actual tax rate imposed on the specified foreign income in that country.

Effective from the 31st of May 2006, the headline tax rate is the highest stipulated tax rate in the special legislation instead of the highest tax rate in the main tax legislation. This applies when:

  • The specified foreign income received in Singapore is chargeable to tax under a special tax legislation of the foreign country instead of its main legislation;
  • The special tax legislation imposes tax at a rate lower than the highest tax rate under the main legislation for other companies; and
  • This lower tax rate under the special tax legislation is not a tax incentive for carrying out substantive activities in that foreign country (e.g. special tax incentive for income derived from carrying out manufacturing activities in Special Economic Zones).

3.4    “Beneficial tax exemption” condition.

CIT must be satisfied that the tax exemption would be beneficial to the specified resident taxpayers. Where CIT considers that the tax exemption is not beneficial to them, they can claim reliefs for foreign tax paid.

 

Annual Reporting Requirements:

  • Submission of Annual Return – All Singapore private companies are required to file an annual return with ACRA which contains all information regarding the company and its financial accounts reports.
  • Submission of Income Tax Return – The deadline for submission is the 31st October.

Audit:

  • For companies with an annual turnover of over S$5 million annual audited accounts are required to be filed and must have been audited by a qualified Singaporean accountant.
  • Exempt Companies are not required to have their accounts audited and annual accounts can be filed without audit. The following conditions are required to be met: number of Shareholders must not exceed 20, members of the company should be individuals and not a corporation, annual turnover should be less than S$5 million.

Double taxation agreements:

Singapore’s comprehensive avoidance of double taxation agreements includes provisions for the exchange of information for tax purposes. Treaty partners may make a request for information for tax purposes to the Comptroller of income tax. Comprehensive agreements have been signed with the following countries:

Australia, Austria, Albania, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Libya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, UAE, UK, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

If you require a copy of the double taxation agreements between Singapore and any of the above countries please do not hesitate to contact us.

Company administration guidelines

Share capital:

  • There are no specific requirements about minimum share capital; it may be as small as S$1.00.
  • The concept of par value of shares was abolished in January 2006.
  • Shareholder must subscribe at least for one share.
  • Different types of shares could be issued by a Singapore company, namely ordinary shares, preference shares of different types, or treasury shares.
  • Proper share transfer instruments are required to register the transfer of shares in a Singapore company and stamp duties should be paid before this registration.
  • 0.2% of stamp duty is charged for buying or acquiring shares, also on mortgaging shares.

Shareholders:

  • The minimum number of Shareholders required is one and there are no restrictions on foreign individuals or corporate bodies.
  • The number of Shareholders of a private company is limited to 50.

Directors:

  • The minimum number of Directors is one.
  • Corporate Directors are not permitted in Singapore.
  • There are no restrictions for foreign nationals to act as a Director of a Singapore company however at least one of the Directors must be a Singapore citizen or resident. Service Pro can provide this service.
  • The sole shareholder could be appointed as Director if the Secretary is separate individual; by other words in a company always should be two officers at the same time.

Singapore local Director:

When incorporating a Singapore Limited Liability Company it is obligatory to have a local Singaporean Director. Service Pro can supply a local Director to fulfill this statutory requirement.

Please note that the local Director will not be involved in any financial, operational or management aspects of the company. Due to the very strict regulations in place in Singapore a security deposit is required in order to safeguard the interests of the local Director.

A new local Director can be appointed at any time. In this case the existing local Director will resign and the deposit will be refunded once the appropriate changes are made at the Company Registrar.

Restrictions on name & activity:

  • All business entities in Singapore must have an approved name prior to company registration. This can be done relatively quickly, within 1-2 working days.
  • The general rules are that the business name must not be too similar to any already in existence, must not infringe any trademarks or patents and must not be offensive in any way.
  • Government approval is generally not required for companies to do business in Singapore with the exemption of the following: banks and financial institutions, certain activities which require a license such as the operation of a restaurant or clinics etc.

Secretary

  • The company must appoint a secretary who should be a natural person residing at Singapore.
  • The sole Director cannot be appointed as a Secretary.
  • The Secretary shall be present at registered office.

Local requirements:

  • Every company in Singapore is required to have a registered office where the registers of Directors, Shareholders, Secretary and minutes of General and Director meetings are kept. All changes have to be filed with ACRA within 14 days or a month of the date of change. 
  • It is obligatory to have a Secretary. This must be a natural person who is a resident of SingaporeThe company Secretary is responsible for keeping and filing corporate documents with ACRA.
  • An annual general meeting of Directors of a Singapore company must be held within 15 months of the previous one and the audited/unaudited financial statement should be present on it for approval and further filing with Annual return.
  • As a compliance matter the Annual Return and Tax return should be filed by all companies in the necessary time.

Confidentiality:

  • Details of the Directors, Shareholders, and company Secretary are placed on public record.
  • It is permitted to use nominees to maintain confidentiality.
  • The financial statements should be filed with Annual returns, but the Exempt Private companies may file only Director’s Declaration of solvency instead.

Double taxation treaties

Global transactions across international borders have given rise to international double taxation. To mitigate the effect of this Singapore has concluded DTA’s with more than 50 partners.

Singapore has concluded four types of Double Taxation Agreements:

  • Comprehensive DTA’s which cover all types of income.
  • Limited DTA’s which cover only income from shipping and /or air transport.
  • Exchange of information arrangements which provide for the exchange of information for tax purposes.
  • Agreements which are signed but not ratified therefore do not have the force of law.

Although the general principle underlying Singapore’s DTA’s are similar the actual provisions may differ. This is because every DTA is the result of a series of negotiations between two countries which have their own set of national objectives, policies and technical considerations. Therefore various compromises and amendments are made in order to conclude the DTA. In order to fully understand the tax treatment of a specific income derived from a treaty country it is necessary to refer to the relevant DTA. Please contact us if you require specific information regarding the implementation of Double Taxation Agreement.

Comprehensive Double Taxation Agreements:

JurisdictionDate of Entry into ForceEffective Date
Albania19/07/201101/01/2012
Australia11/02/196901/07/1969
Austria22/10/200201/01/2003
Bahrain31/12/200401/01/2005
Bangladesh22/12/198101/01/1979
Belarus27/12/201301/01/2014
Belgium27/11/200801/01/2009
Brunei14/12/200601/01/2007
Bulgaria26/12/199701/01/1998
Canada23/09/197701/01/1977
China18/09/200701/01/2008
Cyprus24/11/200001/01/2002
Czech Republic21/08/199801/01/1999
Denmark22/12/200001/01/2001
Egypt27/01/200401/01/2005
Estonia27/12/200701/01/2008
Fiji28/11/200601/01/2007
Finland27/12/200201/01/2003
France01/08/197501/01/1971
Georgia28/07/201001/01/2011
Germany12/12/200601/01/2007
Guernsey26/11/201301/01/2014
Hungary18/12/199801/01/1999
India27/05/199401/04/1994
Indonesia25/01/199101/01/1992
Ireland08/04/201101/01/2011
Isle of Man02/05/201301/01/2014
Israel06/12/200501/01/2006
Italy12/01/197901/01/1975
Japan28/04/199501/01/1996
Jersey02/05/201301/01/2014
Kazakhstan14/08/200701/01/2008
South Korea13/02/198101/01/1979
Kuwait02/07/200301/01/2004
Latvia18/02/200001/01/2001
Libya23/12/201001/01/2011
Lithuania28/06/200401/01/2005
Luxembourg24/05/199601/01/1996
Malaysia13/02/200601/01/2007
Malta29/02/200901/01/1979
Mauritius07/06/199601/07/1997
Mexico08/09/199501/01/1996
Mongolia22/10/200401/01/2005
Morocco15/01/201401/01/2015
Myanmar26/06/200901/04/2010
Netherlands03/09/197101/01/1968
New Zealand12/08/201001/04/2011
Norway17/04/199801/01/1999
Oman07/04/200601/01/2007
Pakistan06/08/199301/01/1987
Panama19/12/201101/01/2012
Papua New Guinea20/11/199201/01/1993
Philippines18/11/199701/01/1977
Poland26/12/199301/01/2015
Portugal16/03/200101/01/2002
Qatar05/10/200701/01/2008
Romania28/11/200201/01/2003
Russian Federation16/01/200901/01/2010
Saudi Arabia01/07/201101/01/2012
Slovak Republic12/06/200601/01/2007
Slovenia25/11/201001/01/2011
South Africa05/12/199701/01/1998
Spain02/02/201201/01/2013
Sri Lanka01/02/198001/01/1977
Sweden14/02/196901/01/1966
Switzerland17/12/199601/01/2013
Taiwan14/05/198201/01/1982
Thailand27/04/197601/01/1976
Turkey27/08/200101/01/2002
Ukraine18/12/200901/01/2010
United Arab Emirates30/08/199601/01/1992
United Kingdom26/12/199701/04/1998
Uzbekistan28/11/200801/01/2009
Vietnam09/09/199401/01/1993

Limited Treaties:

JurisdictionLimitation of DTADate of Entry into ForceEffective Date
BahrainInternational Air Transport09/06/199501/01/1971
BrazilInternational Air and Shipping Transport20/12/201301/01/2014
ChileOperation of Ships26/11/199326/11/1993
Hong KongShipping & Aircraft30/12/200401/01/2005
OmanInternational Air Transport14/01/200001/01/1971
Saudi ArabiaAir Transport25/01/199201/01/1979
United Arab EmiratesInternational Air Transport26/07/199101/01/1971
United States of AmericaShipping & Aircraft28/07/198801/01/1987

Exchange of Information Arrangements:

JurisdictionDate of Entry into ForceEffective Date
Bermuda06/12/201201/01/2013

Agreements which are Signed but not Ratified:

JurisdictionDate of Conclusion
Barbados15/07/2013
Czech Republic26/06/2013
Ecuador27/06/2013
Kazakhstan09/04/2013
Liechtenstein27/06/2013
Luxembourg09/10/2013
San Marino11/12/2013

If you require a copy of the Double Taxation Agreements between Singapore and any of the above countries please contact us.

Last updated on 21/02/2014

Procedure of company registration

The majority of Singapore Company Incorporations are formed as private limited liability companies (commonly known as a limited liability company).

A limited liability company is a separate legal entity in its own right therefore Shareholders are not liable for the company’s debts beyond the amount of share capital they have put into the company. The name of a limited liability private company has to include the following words Private Limited or abbreviation – Pte Ltd.

Registration of a Singapore limited liability company (Pte Ltd):

The registration of a Singapore limited liability company can be completed relatively quickly as the process is now fully computerised.

Documents required for Singapore company registration:

After a consultation with Service Pro we will e-mail an Incorporation Form and Beneficial Owners Declaration Form to be completed. These forms request confirmation of the following information:

  • Company name (approval is normally given within 2 working days).
  • Summary of business activities.
  • Details of Directors.
  • Details of Shareholders.
  • Registered address.
  • Details of company Secretary.
  • Amount and currency of share capital and type of shares issued.
  • Whether any alterations to the standard Articles are required or not.

As a separate and very important step the personality of the ultimate beneficial owner should be identified by presenting the documents described below and Beneficial Owners Declaration should be signed before we can start the incorporation process.

Service Pro requires the following documents in order to fulfill our Know Your Client (KYC) obligations:

  • Copy of Passport.
  • Residential Address Proof (in the form of a utility bill, bank statement etc not older than 3 months).
  • If the Shareholder is a Corporate Entity we also require a copy of the company registration documents.

If any of the above documents are not in English they are required to be translated.

Summary of the incorporation process:

  • The client provides Service Pro the completed Incorporation Form, Declaration of Beneficial Ownership Form and required KYC documentation, also signed M&AA and consent to act as a Director if required.
  • Service Pro send client an invoice – 50% payment required upon commencement of incorporation.
  • Company name approval received (takes approximately 2 working days).
  • Company Incorporation documents are sent to the client for signing.
  • The client signs the documents and sends to Service Pro.
  • Upon receipt of the original documents the company will be fully incorporated. All post incorporation formalities will be completed.
  • Service Pro will send scanned copies and also courier the original company documents and company stamp to the client.

Timescale for incorporation:

It takes approximately 5 working days to complete the registration process for a Singapore Company. The following process of legalisation can take up to 7 working days. Once this has been completed the original documents are sent by courier.

Payment:

Upon commencement of incorporation, Service Pro will send an invoice for 50% of the incorporation fees plus additional services requested (nominees, legalisation, bank account opening etc). Upon completion, the remaining 50% is due for payment.

In the beginning of every year we issue an annual invoice to cover renewal fees which includes the registered office, company Secretary and Singaporean local Director fees (this is obligatory).

Amendments of Articles of Association

In order to start the incorporation process, the owners should decide whether to use the standard M&AA or request that it’s tailored to any specific requirements, as the Articles are the main documents that will allow managing the company in favour of specific person/s if tailored for this purpose. They may apply some restrictions on Directors’ rights to make the fundamental decisions regarding the company’s assets, activities etc.

Licensed company activities

If the company is planned to be used for the purposes that require obtaining any license or permit it should obtain them before the business will start operating. Some examples of such businesses: travel agencies, private schools, banks, video companies, liquor distributors, moneylenders and childcare centers.

ACRA has rights to refer the name approval to the relevant Regulatory Authority (MAS, MFA, MOM, MOE, STB etc) if the part of the name will include specific words like bank, school, army, Muslim, estate agency etc. In this case the completion of company registration process can delay until the license or permit will be obtained which can take from 14 days to 2 months.

In other cases, an Approval for incorporation should be obtained from relevant Authorities before an applicant can apply for registration. Service Pro will advise the client about the above requirements before we start any registration process.

If company plans to import/export goods to/out of Singapore it shall activate its Custom Account with Singapore Customs before any trading is conducted.

Post incorporation services

Service Pro provides a complete post incorporation service:

  • Maintenance of the company (filing of any necessary changes with ACRA).
  • Bookkeeping & Accounting Services.
  • Assistance in an audit process.
  • Annual Return & Tax Return Filing Services.

Service Pro also may provide the tax advising regarding future company’s activities to comply with Income Act and other relevant legislations and to avoid costly non-compliance situations with withholding tax, Good and Services Tax (GST) etc.

SHELF COMPANIES

Shelf companies are ready made companies whose primary purpose is to bypass the lengthy registration or incorporation process that can be required when forming a business.

Certain jurisdictions may take from 3 business days up to 3 weeks for the whole incorporation process to be completed. Shelf companies can be up and running within 4 business days. In some cases banks, government projects and investors will not provide credit ratings, projects or be interested to invest in newly formed companies. This is where shelf companies offer invaluable creditworthiness as they are able to show company history.

Benefits of a shelf company include:

  • Saving time involved in taking the steps to create a new company (such as filing corporate documentation).
  • Shelf companies gain the opportunity to bid on contracts. Some jurisdictions require that a company has been trading for a certain length of time to have this ability.
  • To show that the company has been up and running for some time in order to attract consumers or investors.
  • Shelf companies can gain access to corporate credit.
  • Clients generally trust companies that have been trading for a number of years.
  • Usually, the older the company, the higher it's standing in the business community.
  • Opening a bank account for a shelf company is generally a faster process.

If you require additional information please do not hesitate to contact us.

XBRL filing services

What is XBRL?

XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language, a language used in computers to present financial statements such that they can be retrieved from online records and transferred directly to users (for e.g. Auditors, Regulators & Financial Analysts) for various purposes. ACRA (Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority) implemented a new filing requirement for Singapore incorporated companies to file their financial statements in full XBRL format with effect from the 3rd of March 2014.

Applicable financial periods

The revised XBRL filing requirements are applicable for companies filing financial statements with periods ending on or after April 30th 2007.

Companies filing financial statements relating to financial periods ending before April 30th 2007 will continue to file their financial statements in PDF format and their financial highlights in respect of the financial statements in their Annual Return.

Who is responsible for the correct representation and accuracy of information?

Directors of the companies will continue to be responsible for the correctness and accuracy of their financial statements in XBRL format filed with ACRA. Therefore Directors of the company have to check the information to be filed before authorising their company or authorised persons to submit the information on behalf of the company to ACRA.

Minimise your risk

Minimise your business’ risk of non-compliance with Service Pro’s XBRL filing service; our risk-based approach is highlighted to areas with the highest probability to receive attention from regulators. This not only reduces risks of having to submit amended filing as a result of any issues, it also keeps time spent to a minimum.

We can provide explanations and feedback on any companies draft XBRL statements and assist with the internal processes & controls for continuing detail-tagging, enabling your management or compliance department to demonstrate to the audit committee and investors that the process is being conducted with precision and accuracy.

Outsourcing the filing to a Service Pro gives Directors and business owners peace of mind, knowing that their company’s compliance needs are in good hands. Outsourcing helps eliminate the hassle of figuring out how to use the online filing system, selecting the required information for disclosure, entering the information manually, and reviewing the financial statements.

Who needs to file and who is exempt?

Under the revised XBRL filing requirements taking effect from March 3rd 2014, Singapore incorporated companies which are either unlimited or limited by shares required to file their financial statements with ACRA. The companies will be required to file a full set of financial statements in XBRL format, according to a minimum requirement list within the new ACRA Taxonomy 2013.

The table below sets out the filing requirements for various types of companies:

Type of CompanyFiling of Financial Statements
Public / Private companies (limited/unlimited by shares), except those under (a) and (b):Full set of XBRL financial statements
(a) specific companies regulated by MAS, i.e. commercial banks, merchant banks, licensed insurers, finance companies regulated by MAS:

(Note: Only the above specified types of companies regulated by MAS are exempted from filing of a full set of XBRL financial statements. Other types of companies regulated by MAS, e.g. money changers, are required to file a full set of XBRL financial statements.)
Financial statements highlights (FSH) in XBRL format & PDF copy of financial statements
(b) Companies allowed by law to prepare accounts in accordance with accounting standards other than SFRS, SFRS for Small Entities and IFRSFSH in XBRL format & PDF copy of financial statements
Solvent exempt private companies (EPCs):

Exempted from filing financial statements, but are encouraged to file with following options:

  •  full set of XBRL financial statements or
 FSH in XBRL format
Insolvent EPCs:

Options of:

  •  full set of XBRL financial statements; or
 FSH in XBRL format + PDF copy of financial statements
Companies limited by guarantee:PDF copy of financial statements 
(XBRL filing not required)
Foreign companies and their local branches:PDF copy of financial statements 
(XBRL filing not required)

 

Useful links:

ACRA

Bizfile

XBRL

Filing Agent status in Singapore

Service Pro has been approved as a Filing Agent and would be happy to assist with any of your Singapore Company filing requirements upon transfer in.

In order to transfer a Singapore company under Service Pro maintenance the following documentation must be provided:

  • Financial/accounting reports for the last period.
  • All KYC documentation i.e. passport & proof of address for all relevant parties involved.
  • Complete set of corporate documents.
  • We will need to amend the registered address, registered secretary and if there are any nominee Directors or Shareholder they will also need to be altered.

Transfer process details:

1. We must receive an authorised instruction letter executed by the beneficial owner and addressed to the previous agent, informing them that the beneficial owner wishes to terminate his services with that agent and transfer the company under our management; instructing the previous agent to execute any relevant documents that may be requested in order to generate the transfer and to eventually deliver the company file.

2. Following the receipt of the signed instruction letter, we will provide the previous agent with a list of requested documents to be delivered.

3. We will then prepare the transfer documents and request the previous agent to sign them wherever applicable. If the client wishes to appoint nominees, we can also arrange for the preparation of said documents.

4. We arrange for the relevant company file to be sent and prepare a list for the received documents to ensure everything is complete. If anything is missing we can follow up with the previous agent.

5. The company is validly transferred under our management.

Please email us at info@serviceproadmin.com for any enquiries.

Or alternatively contact us to learn more about the corporate compliance requirements in Singapore.

2015 Tax calendar

Estimated Chargeable Income

  • Companies are required to furnish the ECI within three months after the end of their financial year end.

Form C/C-S

  • Paper file by 30 Nov of each year
  • e-File by 15 Dec of each year
  • If not filed within the stipulated period, then IRAS will raise their own assessment based on prior year figures or based on their own estimate.

Individual Income Tax

  • File online from 1 Mar 2015 to 18 Apr.
  • Submit a paper return by 15 Apr.

Withholding Tax

  • Payment of withholding tax must be made to IRAS by the 15th of the second month from the date of payment to the non-resident. 

 Goods and Services Tax

  • GST returns and payment are due one month after the end of the accounting period covered by the return. If you are on GIRO plan for GST payment, deductions will be made on the 15th day of the month after the payment due date.

Singapore Immigration Services

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) requires foreign highly skilled professionals, managers, executives, specialists or entrepreneurs who wish to work in Singapore to have an Employment Pass to commence employment.

Employment Pass & Dependent Pass assistance in Singapore

In order to be eligible, candidates are required to have a job offer in Singapore from a well-established Singaporean organisation, a minimum fixed monthly salary of S$3,300 (more experienced candidates requirehigher salaries) and have acceptable qualifications (reputable university degree, professional qualifications, or specialists skills).

The candidate should be assessed on eligibility through the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) prior to applying.

Candidates, planning to bring their immediate family through Dependent Pass application, need to factor in their salary, due to the fact that the EP holder’s salary is the income that is to support the family members.

For example, generally speaking, an EP candidate who wishes to bring with them 3 immediate family members, would be required to have a monthly gross salary of at least S$10,000- S$12,000, for their application to be considered by the MOM. A Dependent Pass can allow family members to live, work (through MOM consent) and study in Singapore.

Note: Due to new regulations, as part of Fair Consideration Framework, the company that wishes to employ the candidate may be required to advertise the job opening to Singaporeans on the Job Bank prior to submitting the EP application, for 14 days, where the most suitable candidate, regardless of nationality must be selected.

Overseas employers with no registered office are required to:

  • Get a Singapore-registered company to act as a local sponsor and apply on the candidates behalf.
  • The local sponsor must apply manually.

EntrePass

Eligible foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish and operate a new business in Singapore may proceed with the following:

  • Register a private limited company.
  • In less than 6 months of registration the application for EntrePass must be submitted.
  • The company must have at least S$50,000 in paid-up-capital in a Singapore-based company bank account.
  • The applicant must hold at least 30% of shares of the registered company.

The company needs to meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Has funding form Governmental-accredited VC or business angel.
  • Holds an intellectual property.
  • Has research collaboration with A* STAR or a university.
  • Is an incubate at a government-supported incubator.
  • Note: For immediate family members Dependent pass application the following must apply
  • Renewed pass.
  • Meet the minimum amount required of total business spending.
  • Create the minimum number required of local jobs.

Service Pro has experienced HR staff on hand to assist with all applications. Please see below for prices, alternatively contact us for any further information or email info@serviceproadmin.com

Fees

Service

Price (SGD)

Assistance in obtaining Singapore Employment Pass (without appeal)

Renewals (without appeal)

$575
Assistance in obtaining for each family member (without appeal)$575

Singapore travel visa services for Commonwealth of Independent States

Service Pro is proud to announce that we now provide a high quality visa service to Commonwealth of Independent State countries as well as Latvia & Estonia. With Service Pro’s assistance you can obtain a nine-week multi-entry e-visa to Singapore within 3-4 working days. An express visa may be provided in as little as 24 hours where required.

On the 1st of December 2009, Singapore Law regarding visa receipt procedures was amended. Since then, individuals wishing to obtain a Singapore visa are not allowed to do so by applying directly to Singapore embassies. Visa applications may only be submitted through official service providers, such as Service Pro.

We do not place Singapore visa stamps in an applicant’s passport; Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore approves a receipt by sending a PDF copy of a visa to the applicant. This should be printed out to be shown together with the passport and immigration card to the official authority at passport control.

It is worth noting that applicants may check the authenticity and expiry date of the visa using a free online-checker available on the official site of the Immigration & Checkpoint Authority of Singapore here.

The given Singapore visa is multi-entry and allows for a nine-week residence in Singapore. Please note that each trip to Singapore using such visa may be no longer than 30 days.

Quotation and terms for Singapore visa receipt:

CategoryFee USD

Usual procedure (CIS, 3-4 working days):

$60

Express procedure (CIS, 1-2 working days):

$80

Usual procedure (non-residents of Latvia. Estonia, 3-4 working days):

$140

Express procedure (non-residents of Latvia. Estonia, 1-2 working days):

$180

To apply for a visa, each application is required to:

  • Fill out an online form.
  • Upload a scanned copy of the external passport bio data page.
  • Attach a digital scanned color photo of the applicant.

Requirements for visa photo:

  • To apply for a visa the applicant’s photo must be taken against a white background.
  • Photo must be taken within the last 3 months.
  • The face and the head of the applicant must be shown in full on the photo.
  • Photo must be of a high quality.

Considerations for the application procedure:

  • The applicant’s passport must be valid for at least six months from the entry-date.
  • The passport must have blank pages for a stamp.
  • Each applicant including children should have separate Singapore visa.
  • Even if the child does not have his/her own passport or he/she is included into the parent’s passport, a separate Singapore visa for the child must be received. In this case a copy of the child biodata page must be attached to the parent bio data page.
  • Application for a new visa when being in Singapore is strictly prohibited.
  • The information on the valid Singapore visa must be included into the application form when applicable.
  • In case of a visa delay or denial for reasons beyond our control, applicants’ costs are not refunded.  However visa denials by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore occur very rare.
  • The final decision on visa approval and its expiry date is made solely by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore. 

Singapore visa formalities:

Step 1

Fill out an online form, attach a scanned copy of the passport and a photo.

Step 2

After filling out the form, a payment must be made. Please note we can only commence visa formalities after full payment is received.

Step 3

Upon the receipt of your application and the payment we will inform you on the commencement of  the proceedings.

Step 4

Within 1-4 days (up to the category chosen) the applicant will receive the Singapore visa to his email and will be able to check it on the official site of Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore. The applicant is not required to submit any documents verifying work status, hotel booking, insurance or travel tickets.

Service Pro will be happy to assist the residents of the following countries with obtaining a nine-week multi-entry visa to Singapore:

  • Russia
  • Ukraine.
  • Belarus.
  • Georgia.
  • Kazakhstan.
  • Azerbaijan.
  • Armenia.
  • Kyrgyzstan,
  • Moldova.
  • Tajikistan.
  • Turkmenistan.
  • Uzbekistan.
  • Latvia (only for Nepilsoņa Pase / Alien’s Passport holders).
  • Estonia (only for Välismaalase Pass / Alien’s Passport holders).

Service Pro have HR experts on hand to assist you, please get in touch by filling out the form below, or alternatively emailing info@serviceproadmin.com.