Rikvin has compiled a list of post-incorporation considerations to help your firm begin operations smoothly and in compliance with Singapore corporate regulations.
Licenses and Permits
Some business activities in Singapore are subjected to regulation by government authorities. Even if your business firm has been registered you cannot begin operation unless you have the necessary approval or license from the relevant government authorities.
Private schools, video companies, travel agencies, liquor distributors, moneylenders, banks, childcare centres and importers, wholesales and retailers of liquor licenses are some examples of business that need permits to operate. It may take between 14 days to 2 months to get all the necessary licenses, permits and approvals for your business. Failure to register could result in fines and delays in operating your business.
Registered Office Hours
You must have a registered office address and the office must be open to public for a minimum of three hours a day during normal business hours on weekdays.
The Business registration number, or UEN, issued by ACRA must be on all letterheads, invoices, billings or other documents used for official business communications.
Rikvin can help you with applications for permits and licenses. Submit the Singapore business license and permits enquiry online to discuss with us your needs in detail.
If your business activities involve import, export and transhipment in and out of Singapore, you will need to register your company with the Singapore Customs and obtain a CR No., or commonly known as Custom Registration. Companies engaged in export, import or transhipment activities in Singapore are required to register the company with the Singapore Customs as an importer, exporter, common carrier and others. The Singapore Customs will issue a Central Registration Number (CR No.). The central registration number is mandatory for Singapore companies or organizations engaged in trading activities.
Singapore Goods and Services Tax Registration
Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax on the supply of goods and services in Singapore and on the import of goods into Singapore. It is similar to the VAT in other countries. The current GST rate is 7%. Goods exported from Singapore and international services provided from Singapore are exempt from GST.
All Singapore businesses must register for GST if their annual taxable revenue is more than S$1 million, or currently making taxable supplies and the annual taxable revenue is expected to be more than S$1 million. The business is expected to register for GST within thirty days from the time it is deemed liable.
You may also choose to register for GST voluntarily. Approval of a voluntary registration is at the discretion of the Comptroller of The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). Once approved, you must remain registered for at least two years.
Registration of Singapore Central Provident Fund (CPF)
The Central Provident Fund or CPF is a compulsory pension fund scheme in which the employer and employee contribute a certain percentage of the monthly salary to the fund. CPF contribution by the employer is mandatory for all local employees who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents earning more than S$50 a month. The maximum CPF contribution rate for employer and employee is 14.5% and 20% respectively and can be lower depending on certain factors such as employee age, permanent status, etc. CPF contribution is not required for foreign employees.
To find out more about other Singapore company statutory compliance considerations, please visit our page on Annual Filing Requirements for a Singapore company.