How to Open a Company and Business Bank Account in Singapore

Goh Jun Cheng

In the past few decades, Singapore has risen to become one of the world’s leading financial hubs, offering a stable economy, robust infrastructure, and a business-friendly environment.

If you’re considering establishing a business in Singapore, this guide will help you understand the process of setting up a company and opening a business bank account.

Step 1: Preparing to Incorporate Your Company

Before you begin the process of registering your company, you need to have the following:

  1. Company Name: Your company name must be unique and not infringe on any existing trademarks. You can check the availability of your chosen name on the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) website.
  2. Company Structure: You need to decide on your business structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, or private limited company). For foreign businesses, a subsidiary company or branch office might be suitable.
  3. Registered Address: The company must have a local registered address in Singapore. It can’t be a P.O. Box.
  4. Company Secretary: Singapore law requires every company to appoint a secretary within six months of incorporation. The secretary must be a Singapore resident.
  5. Shareholders and Directors: A minimum of one shareholder and one director is required. The director must be a resident of Singapore. Foreign companies can appoint a local resident director.
  6. Paid-up Capital: The minimum paid-up capital for a company is S$1.

Step 2: Incorporating Your Company

Once you’ve prepared everything, you can proceed to incorporate your company. This is done online through ACRA’s BizFile+ system.

  1. Log in to the BizFile+ portal using your SingPass ID.
  2. Submit an application for your company name.
  3. Once your company name is approved, you can then register your company by providing the necessary details and documentation.
  4. Pay the necessary fees.
  5. Your company should be incorporated within a few hours, and you will receive an email notification confirming the successful registration.

Step 3: Opening a Business Bank Account

After successfully incorporating your company, you can proceed to open a business bank account. While Singapore has numerous banking institutions, the requirements for opening a business account are generally similar.

  1. Choose a Bank: Major banks in Singapore include DBS, OCBC, and UOB. Each bank has different account types, so make sure to pick one that suits your business needs.
  2. Prepare the Necessary Documents: Typically, you’ll need your company’s Business Profile from ACRA, certified true copies of your company’s constitution, passport/identity card copies of directors, shareholders, and signatories, and residential address proofs.
  3. Application: Some banks allow online applications while others may require a physical meeting.
  4. Minimum Deposit: Be prepared to deposit the minimum amount required by the bank. This can range anywhere from S$1,000 to S$10,000 depending on the bank and the type of account.

Final Thoughts

While the process might seem daunting at first, setting up a company and a business bank account in Singapore is relatively straightforward thanks to the country’s business-friendly policies.

Always ensure you comply with all legal and regulatory requirements, and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice if needed. Singapore’s business environment is designed to be supportive and nurturing for both local and international entrepreneurs.

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