Frequently Asked Questions

Explore our FAQ section for answers to common queries.
Find information on a wide range of topics and get the help you need.

How do I register my business in Singapore?

All businesses in Singapore must be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) – with a few exceptions.

Before doing so, you should first consider the business structure which would best serve your company’s objectives, whether it would be a sole proprietorship or incorporation to form a limited liability entity.

The documents and information required for registration differs depending on your business formation. Once you have gathered the required information, you can then make an online application via the BizFile+ website.



How much does it cost to incorporate a company in Singapore?

Incorporating a company is different from forming a sole proprietorship or partnership. It is a legal entity, separate and distinct from its shareholders and directors. In Singapore, ACRA charges a fee of $15 for a business name application and $300 for company registration, which comes to $315 in total administrative fees.

While this may be slightly more costly than other business structures, registering as a company offers several benefits, such as tax exemption for start-ups. Despite the fast and affordable process, company incorporation services may be more complicated due to compliance requirements.

You may wish to engage in the company formation services offered by trusted professional firms like Margin Wheeler.

What are the benefits of a professional incorporation service?

With many legal and accounting terms, compliance requirements, and documents to prepare, incorporating a company in Singapore can be a daunting process for many business owners.

By outsourcing this to a professional service provider, you can free up precious time for you to focus on building your business. Apart from this, you can also enjoy fringe benefits such as receiving incorporation and company secretary advice – which adds value to your business. 

At Margin Wheeler, you will find a range of affordable service packages to help you with your company formation.

What happens if Register of Nominee Directors is not prepared?

Local companies incorporated under the Companies Act should keep and be able to produce a register of its nominee directors and any other related documents to the Registrar, an ACRA officer, or public agency when required.

This register should be kept in the company’s registered office, and should it not be available for inspection, under section 386AL(7) of the Companies Act, the company and every officer of the company can be fined up to $5,000.

Are there any exemptions from maintaining a Register of Nominee Directors?

There are a few locally incorporated companies that are exempted from maintaining a Register of Nominee Directors. These include:

  • Singapore’s financial institutions

  • Public companies whose shares are listed for quotation on an approved stock exchange in Singapore

  • Companies wholly-owned by the Government in Singapore, a statutory body established by or under a Public Act

  • Companies listed on foreign stock exchanges outside of Singapore and which is subject to regulatory disclosure requirements and those related to adequate transparency

What risks does a nominee director in Singapore take?

The nominee director runs the risk of being taken to task should a company, or its other directors break the law. Therefore, it is imperative that he or she monitors the activities of the company closely to ensure that it complies with any regulatory requirements.

In view of such liability, Margin Wheeler conducts a comprehensive KYC review before entering into a nominee director service agreement with companies.

Can the Nominee Director manage my company or sign documents?

No, the Nominee Director cannot manage and be involved in your company’s operations.?

As an exception, the Nominee Director can sign a contract or invoice if the document is deemed acceptable to us, for an additional fee.

Who will be liable if I do not comply with statutory requirements?

Directors of the company are legally responsible and accountable for complying with the requirements of the Singapore Companies Act. Failure to adhere to the statutory compliance requirements is an offense and may result in fines or prosecution.

What are the role and responsibilities of a Nominee Director?

Our Nominee Director will not have any financial, management, or operational interest in the company.?

The Nominee Director’s main role is limited to comply with the statutory requirement of having a local resident director for your Singapore company.?

If the foreign client is no longer reachable, the Nominee Director will be required to bear the company liquidation charges.

Are the service fee and security deposit the same?

The security deposit should not be confused with the service fee or any other fee. The security deposit is your money that is temporarily held in our custody for the duration that you engage our Nominee Director Service.?

The security deposit will immediately be refunded to you upon the termination of our Nominee Director Service.

Why do you need a security deposit but other companies do not need to?

We understand that our competitors may not collect a security deposit, but it should be noted that these companies may outsource their Nominee Director services.

In the long run, the risk may be higher (e.g. Nominee Director may stop providing service and is nowhere to be found).

Why is an extra security deposit required when my Company is GST registered or needs to hire local employees?

The extra security deposit is required as there are additional responsibilities for the Nominee Director to bear when the Company is GST registered or hiring local employees.

GST registered businesses are required to pay the GST one month after the end of the accounting period covered by the return. If the tax is not paid or is paid late, penalties will be imposed.

Additionally, employers who do not pay, underpay, or are late in contributing to their employees’ Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts may face stiffer penalties, including being jailed.

The additional security deposit levies act as a safeguard for the Nominee Director should such situations come to pass.

Am I allowed to terminate the Nominee Director Service anytime?

Yes, you can terminate the Nominee Director Service anytime by providing us with the details of an alternate local resident director.

What are the additional duties of a corporate secretary in Singapore?

A corporate secretary’s functions consist mainly of administrative duties and statutory obligations. One major aspect is to maintain and update the statutory registers of a company and comply with its constitution, while ensuring accounts are properly prepared and filed. Beyond these core duties and responsibilities, a company secretary takes on multiple roles within the company - from administrative to advisory to fiduciary roles, their duties are far-reaching. Therefore, it is important to appoint the right person when incorporating your business in Singapore. You may also engage a professional services firm to undertake this essential role.

Can I change my company secretary in Singapore?

There might be several valid reasons for a company to contemplate changing its corporate secretary. Should a company need to exit its secretary and engage the services of a new one, the change will be done in a few steps.

First, FORM 45B, The Consent to Act as Secretary, should be signed by the new secretary to demonstrate consent to taking the position. There should be a Directors’ Resolutions in Writing (DRIW) recording the resignation of the former corporate secretary and the appointment of their replacement, as well as a resignation letter of the previous secretary.

And finally, a lodgement must be prepared to inform ACRA about this resignation and appointment.

Should I engage in a professional corporate secretary service?

Many businesses opt to outsource the functions of a corporate secretary because it is cost-effective and convenient.

At Margin Wheeler, our team of experts will perform your company’s corporate secretarial services for you. There is also a wide range of complementary services, such as professional consultation on company secretary issues and auto filing reminders.

ACRA issues thousands of summons to companies that have violated or failed to comply with the statutory obligations under the Companies Act; engaging in such services ensures compliance with regulatory requirements.

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