Business, Corporate and Investor Services



Singapore is located at the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia and one of the original tiger economies. Singapore is now a major international financial and trading center that has a reputation for being highly regulated.


Corporate Requirements


1. Each Singapore company must have a local registered office which must be a physical address and not just a Post Office box.

2. Each company must have at least one director. A Corporate director is not permitted and the director must be either a Singapore citizen, a permanent resident or an employment pass holder.

3. For incorporation purposes, an individual subscriber is preferred. Thereafter, the share may be held by a corporate shareholder (i.e. holding company). Bearer shares are not permitted. Each private limited company must have a local company secretary and maintain accounts which must be audited by a local auditor.

4. The current law allows an exempt private company to be exempted from audit requirements in respect of a financial year, provided its revenue in that year does not exceed SGD5 million. This ruling applies for financial years starting on and after 1 June 2004.

5. Details of the company's directors, shareholders and secretary must be filed with the Registry of Companies and are on public record.

Each year, the company must submit an annual return together with audited accounts (unless exempted). Penalties apply for late filings.


Law & Taxation


Singapore has a British based legal system and corporate law operates on the common law basis. Singapore is a signatory to a number of double tax and investment protection treaties which provide some tax planning and security advantages. A Singapore company with external investments that are correctly structured and administered may not be liable for tax on profits generated from activities conducted outside of the country. From Year of Assessment (YA) 2008, companies are taxed at a flat rate of 17% on their chargeable income. A newly incorporated company that satisfies the qualifying conditions can claim full tax exemption on the first $100,000 of normal chargeable income (excluding Singapore franked dividends) for each of its first three consecutive YAs. Estate duty was abolished on 15 February 2008.