The process of globalization has encouraged many business owners and investors to consider opening companies in foreign countries. It is not unusual today to find a foreign-owned company in almost any country in the world. However, not all legal systems allow foreign nationals to set up companies in their countries in an easy way. For example, it is much easier to set up a company in Singapore than to set up a company in any other Asian or African country. In fact, if you are properly prepared you can expect to finish this process in a day or two depending on the industry where you are planning your business ventures. The registration of companies in Singapore has been labeled as easiest by many international financial magazines.
If you are interested to set up a company in Singapore you should definitely take few things into consideration.
First of all, you need to know what is considered to be a company in Singapore. According to the law in Singapore, this is a legal business entity that is viewed separately from the directors and shareholders linked to the company. The company can be part of legal lawsuits and it can purchase and sell properties on its own. One company can be owned by at least one shareholder or a maximum of 50 shareholders. It is interesting to mention that these shareholders can be individuals or other companies/legal entities.
Another legal requirement is to have at least one resident director. This means that this director should be a permanent resident (a holder of Employment Pass, EntrePass or Dependant Pass) or a citizen of Singapore. As far as Singaporean Law is concerned all the other directors can be foreign nationals. Of course, they should be at least 19 years old, not convicted for serious financial crimes and they should not be part of companies that are still undergoing a bankruptcy process. In theory, a single shareholder can also be the director of the company in case he meets all the criteria.
Since Singapore is considered to be a country with one of the most liberal economies in the world it is no surprise that there are no limits on foreign ownership of the companies. A Singaporean company can be completely owned by foreign nationals or foreign companies and on top of that it can still receive tax incentives and be taxed as any other domestic-owned company. What is important is that foreign companies and businessmen need to appoint a professional service company that will finish the incorporation process. Foreign individuals and legal entities are not allowed to register their own businesses.
A foreign individual can register and own a company without moving to Singapore only if they select a resident director. The good news is that foreigners don’t have to know any person or company that can be appointed as a resident director and they can use the help of reputable business registrations firms that will appoint trusted nominee director.