10 Steps to Stay Compliant for New Businesses

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Last updated: February 17, 2020

Perhaps you’ve just started a business in Singapore, and are not familiar with all the requirements a business needs to comply to. Here are 10 of the most important compliance requirements you need to adhere to:

Registering of local address

Your company must have a local, physical address in Singapore as the registered address. The location must be open and available to the public during normal office hours.

Appointment of director(s)

At least one resident director needs to be appointed in the company. Unlimited number of additional directors (resident or non-resident) may be further appointed. Requirements of being a director:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must not be bankrupt
  • Must not have have malpractice charges

Director(s) of the company are required to disclose any material personal interest that is related to company affairs, or any information that may be perceived as conflict of interest.

Appointment of auditor

Within 3 months of incorporation, you also need to appoint an auditor for the business. However, small companies can qualify for audit exemption provided they fulfil the following requirements:

  • Limited to 50 employees
  • Total annual revenue must not exceed S$10 million
  • Worth of total assets must not exceed S$10 million

Company Secretary

Within 6 months of your business’ incorporation, you need to appoint a company secretary. Find out more about company secretaries and what they do here. Leftright Corporate provides company secretary services should you need them.

Registration of GST

If your company’s projected or actual annual revenue is more than S$1 million, registration for Goods and Services Tax (GST) is needed. GST registered companies are required to charge their customers/clients tax (7% as of now) for the goods and services delivered, and this amount will be given back to tax authorities. For more information on GST for Singapore companies, click here.

Business Licenses and Permits

Possession of business licenses might be necessary for certain operations in Singapore. Such business activities include restaurants, sites of education, travel agencies, financial services and import/export related industries. Refer here to learn more about business licenses and whether you need them.

Registrable controllers

A register of registrable controllers for your business must be kept in order to maintain beneficial ownership information. This information must made available upon request to public agencies. For foreign companies, a public register of members and shareholders (if your company offers shares) in addition to the register of controllers must also be maintained.

Accounting Records

Accounting records detailing transactions and financial position of your company need to be kept for at least 5 years after transactions have been made.

Filing of annual returns

You need to file your annual returns with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and annual tax returns with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). Find out more about annual filing requirements here.

Company Particulars

Any changes in company particulars must be reported to ACRA within specific allocated timeframes. Failure to update particulars will result in penalties. In addition, the company’s Unique Entity Number (company registration number) must be published on all official company correspondents.

Running a business can be fun, but compliance matters might get tedious and even become draining. Let us help you with the mundane tasks so that you can focus on what really matters. Contact us for more information.

Make sure your company is compliant

Your focus should be on your business. Appoint a registered company secretary to handle everything else.