HOME
  ABOUT US
  TAX SERVICES
  OFFSHORE SERVICES
  BANKING FACILITIES
  VIRTUAL OFFICES
  RESOURCE CENTER
  CONTACTS
 

Related Topics:

Singapore Corporate Income Tax Overview

Singapore Personal Income Tax Overview

How to Register a Singapore Company

Registering a Singapore Subsidiary Company

Registering a Singapore Branch

Registering a Representative Office in Singapore

Corporate Taxes

Our Services

Contact Us for Foreign Company Registration in Singapore

Information Index


Recent News

New Tax Reliefs Announced by Singapore Government in 2008 Budget

Benefits of Setting Up a Singapore Company

India and Singapore Further Expand Free Trade Agreement


Singapore Business Registration Options

Before embarking on a Singapore Business Registration, an important decision to make early on is to decide what legal form your business will take. In Singapore, you can choose to operate your business as a private limited company, sole proprietorship, or limited liability partnership. When deciding which category to register your Singapore business under, you need to consider the scale of your business and the amount of debt you might incur, as the liabilities for businesses are different depending upon which legal form you choose.

Recommended Notes

Deciding on the Right Legal Form for Singapore Business Registration

Private Limited Company
A private limited company ("Singapore Company") is incorporated under the Singapore Companies Act and registered with Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). As one of the types of Singapore business registration, a Singapore Company is a separate legal entity from its owners and as such the owners of the company are generally not liable for the debts of the company.

The most common type of company to be incorporated in Singapore is the private company limited by shares, commonly known as a private limited company. Shareholder's liability, in most cases. is limited to the amount they paid for.

You should choose to register a Singapore private limited company if one or more of the following is true:

  • You are a foreign entrepreneur planning to register a business in Singapore
  • Your business has the potential to grow big
  • You may need to secure a loan or an investment for your business growth
  • Your business has the potential to be sued by others
  • There are multiple people who want to own the business
  • You may sell part of your business to others down the line
  • You need to present a professional image to your potential clients or bankers
  • You are a high risk startup
  • You plan to conduct international trading
  • You plan to expand your business overseas

Registering and maintaining a private limited company involves more paperwork than sole proprietorship.

Read details of Incorporating a Singapore Private Limited Company.

Are you a foreign entrepreneur? Check out EntrePass for foreign entrepreneurs.

Popular Topic: Frequently Asked Questions on Singapore Business Registration

Generally, the selection of a entity for Singapore business registration starts with a simple question: Should you incorporate a company? If after reading the above, you decide it isn't necessary, you can register your business in Singapore either as a sole proprietorship or as a limited liability partnership.

Sole Proprietorship
A sole proprietor is an individual who runs a business on his/her own behalf. There are no other directors, shareholders, or partners involved. Sole proprietorships are often one-man show, with no other, or very few, staff. This is the simplest form of business registration in Singapore and typically used by local mom-and-pop type business activities.

The biggest problem with sole proprietorship is personal liability. A sole proprietorship is not a corporate entity and there is no distinction between personal assets of the owner and the business. If you incur significant debts, you may be forced to sell your personal assets to pay off the debt. 

As a sole proprietorship, you are limited in the amount of financial resources you have available to you. Banks and financial institutes are often reluctant to loan significant amounts of money. You are left to rely on your own savings and assets.

Sole proprietorship is be registered under the Singapore Business Registration Act except certain professions.

Limited Liability Partnership
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is a separate legal entity and was introduced in April 2005. LLP is defined under the Partnership Act and has to be registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

Limited Liability Partnership in Singapore is a relatively new type of business registration in Singapore. It operates much like a partnership, but allows members of the LLP to take an active role in the business of the partnership, without exposing them to personal liability for other partners' acts. The liability protection is generally limited only to liabilities arising out of malpractice committed by other partners. A partner will not be protected from liabilities arising from contracts or from malpractice committed by partner himself or those he or she supervises.

Many of the legal and tax issues have not yet been fully resolved.

The minimum number of partners in an LLP is two. LLP combines the limited liability features of companies with the operational elements of sole proprietorships. The members may agree on how profits and losses are to be shared and how the business is to be run.

Read details of Registering a Limited Liability Partnership in Singapore

Comparing Various Legal Forms for Singapore Business Registration

Feature Company LLP Sole Proprietorship
Number of Owners One, minimum Two, minimum One, maximum
Limited Liability Yes Yes, but not as good as Company No
Management Control Board of Directors Depends on Partners Agreement N/A
Transfership Shares are generally freely transferable Right to economic interest transferable, but not the right to participate in management and control N/A
Continuity Death or withdrawal of a shareholder does not effect its existence Depends on the agreement and number of partners On withdrawal or death, sole proprietorship ends.
Doing Business Overseas No problem Difficult Difficult

Related Topics:

Singapore Corporate Income Tax Overview

Singapore Personal Income Tax Overview

How to Register a Singapore Company

Registering a Singapore Subsidiary Company

Registering a Singapore Branch

Registering a Representative Office in Singapore

Corporate Taxes

Our Services

Contact Us for Foreign Company Registration in Singapore

Information Index


Important Resources
 
 
 
 
  © 2000 - 2010 Rights Reserved. AsiaBusinessFormation.com