Congratulations, you’ve just incorporated your business in Singapore. Now the real work begins. When you decide to take your business to the next level and incorporate it, and you may feel as if one major obstacle has been cleared. Now is the moment to begin the next chapter to put together and start planning what will happen after the firm is incorporated in Singapore. Post-incorporation matters are actions that new businesses have to take before they can start working. These responsibilities might be connected to rules or the basics of their functioning.
You have a long to-do list ahead, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll walk you through the key post-incorporation steps so you can hit the ground running. From opening a business bank account to registering for taxes, obtaining proper business licenses, and setting up your accounting, there’s no time to waste. The future of your company depends on getting these fundamentals right. If you follow our guide, you’ll be poised to thrive in your new venture. The adventure is just beginning. In this article, you will find a checklist of post-incorporation things to consider that you can’t afford to miss out.
1. Register for Corporate Tax and GST
Now it’s time to make it official with the authorities. First, register for corporate tax within 30 days of incorporation. This establishes your business as a taxable entity and allows you to claim tax deductions. You’ll need details like your business registration number, so have that handy.
Next up, Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration. If your annual taxable turnover exceeds $1 million, GST registration is required within 30 days of exceeding the threshold. Voluntary registration is also allowed if below the threshold. Registering for GST means you can claim tax credits on business expenses.
Check if you need additional business licenses or permits to operate. Requirements vary by industry, so double check with the relevant government agencies. With the post-incorporation in Singapore essentials checked off, you can focus on growing your new business. The next chapter of your entrepreneurial journey awaits.
2. Setting Up Business Bank Accounts in Singapore
Now that your dream company has officially incorporated in Singapore, it’s time to take the next steps to get up and running. One of the most important things you can do is set up business bank accounts in Singapore. As a business owner, you’ll want to keep your business and personal finances separate. Opening dedicated business accounts helps maintain your company as a legitimate entity and makes accounting and tax filing much easier.
To open an account, you’ll need to provide documents like your business registration certificate, company stamp or seal, and identification for authorized signatories. Meet with a few banks to compare account features, interest rates, and fees to find one that meets your needs.
Once your accounts are set up, make sure to use them exclusively for business purposes. Deposit revenue, pay vendors and employees, and withdraw funds only for approved business expenses. Keeping clean records and separating accounts is key to running an accountable business. The effort will pay off when it’s time to file taxes or seek outside funding.
3. Securing Financing and Funding Options for Your New Company
As a new business owner, securing funding and financing should be at the top of your list. There is bag full of options you can explore:
- Banks and credit unions offer small business loans and lines of credit. Be prepared to provide financial statements, tax returns, business plans, and collateral.
- Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow you to raise money from many individual investors in terms of crowdfunding. Create a campaign to promote your business and funding needs.
- Wealthy individuals provide capital in exchange for equity in your company. Tap into your personal and professional networks to find potential angels.
- Venture capital firms invest larger amounts of money in promising startups. Be ready to give up some control and ownership. VCs expect substantial returns on their investments.
- If possible, use your own personal savings to get your business up and running. This allows you to maintain full control and ownership. Pay yourself back once profits start rolling in.
Every funding source has pros and cons. Analyse your needs, priorities, and risk tolerance to determine the right mix and match of financing for your new company.
4. Find an Office Space and Sign a Lease Agreement
It’s time to find a place to call home. Locating suitable office space and negotiating a lease is one of the first major steps to get your business up and running post-incorporation in Singapore.
As a new business owner, you’ll need to think about factors like how many staff you’ll need if you’ll need a retail location, a warehouse, or just regular office space. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you understand all of the terms and conditions.
With your new office space secured, you can concentrate on finishing it, employing people, and expanding your business. Although the post-incorporation in Singapore procedure may appear challenging, taking things one step at a time can make the process a bit easy to get settled in your new office and ready to take your business to the next level.
5. Recruit Employees, Understanding CPF and Work Passes
It’s perfect time to start building your team after incorporation in Singapore. As an employer, there are a few key things you’ll need to consider regarding employees. Any Singaporean or PR employees will need to contribute to the Central Provident Fund (CPF). As the employer, you’ll need to register with the CPF Board and deduct CPF contributions from employees’ salaries.
For foreign employees, you’ll need to apply for the proper work passes through the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). S Pass is for mid-level skilled staff. Employment Pass is for foreign professionals, managers and executives. Entry Pass is for eligible foreign entrepreneurs wanting to start a business. Requires a viable business plan and investment in the company.
These Singapore’s employment regulations from the beginning will help avoid potential issues down the road. Do your due diligence and make sure you understand the requirements for hiring both local and foreign employees. The MOM website is a great resource to learn more.
6. Applying for Relevant Business Licenses or Permits
Depending on your business activities, you may need additional permits or licenses to operate legally. The next step to take forward after incorporation in Singapore is to make it legally operational. In Singapore, some of the common ones include:
- Trade license is required for almost all businesses to legally operate. Apply through the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
- If your annual taxable turnover exceeds $1M, you must register for Goods and Services Tax (GST).
- Workplace safety and health permit is required to ensure safe working conditions. Apply through the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
- Some industries like food and beverage, healthcare, and finance require additional licenses. Check with the relevant government agencies.
Don’t delay in applying for the necessary licenses and permits. The application process can take time, so start as soon as your company is incorporated to avoid any issues. With the proper licenses and permits in place, your business will be fully legal and ready to launch.
7. Issue Share Certificates and Setting Up Accounting
It is not optional but in fact a mandatory thing in Singapore to issue share certificates. A shareholder’s ownership in a corporation’s entire number of shares, as evidenced by a legally binding document known as a share certificate. Be sure to file Form 45 and Form 49 within 14 days of appointing new officers or directors. Failure to do so can result in penalties.
Get along with a system to properly track income, expenses, accounts payable/receivable, and taxes. You can use accounting software like Xero or QuickBooks, or work with an accounting firm or you can hire an accountant to ease your work. Accurate records are essential for filing taxes, obtaining funding, and strategic planning.
With the basics of post-incorporation in Singapore properly handled, you can turn your focus to growing your new business. But don’t forget annual filing obligations to maintain your company’s good standing.
8. Ongoing Statutory Compliance: ACRA, IRAS and Beyond
Stay on top of compliance requirements. As a newly incorporated in Singapore, you now have certain statutory obligations to fulfil. The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) require annual filings and tax returns. Missing deadlines can result in penalties, so set reminders to avoid getting caught off guard.
- File your ACRA Annual Return within one month of your AGM to provide updates on your company details, directors, shareholders, etc.
- Submit IRAS Form C-S/C to report your company’s taxable income and claim any tax deductions or rebates you may be entitled to. The deadline is November 30th for companies with December 31st financial year-end.
- Issue IRAS Form IR8A to employees by January 31st detailing their income and taxes deducted for the previous calendar year.
Staying on top of ongoing compliance requirements may seem tedious, but failing to do so can lead to serious consequences. Make it a habit to jot down key deadlines and set aside time each month to ensure your company remains in good standing. The initial incorporation process may be over, but your responsibilities as a business owner have only just begun. With diligence and discipline, you’ll navigate this next chapter smoothly.
9. Build Your Online Presence
It’s ticking time to establish an online presence on Digital platform as well. A professional website is essential for any startup. It allows you to share details about your company, products or services with potential customers.
Register a domain name that matches your business name. This makes you easy to find online. Share details about your business, team, products or services, and contact information. Help visitors understand what you do and why you do it. Optimize your site for search engines by including important keywords, meta descriptions, alt image tags, and internal linking.
This will improve your ranking in search results. Engage visitors by regularly posting blog articles, news updates, or other fresh content. Give people a reason to return to your site. A professional, optimized website and active social media profiles will help establish your new company as a legitimate, trustworthy business in the eyes of customers.
10. Develop a Post-Incorporation Business Plan
Developing a solid business plan post-incorporation in Singapore is crucial. This plan will guide your next steps and help set priorities.
Clearly define your business goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve in the next 6-12 months? Follow SMART analogy to set goals. Determine your target market and ideal customer. Conduct market research to identify opportunities and key customer segments. Develop a marketing plan to reach them. Build out your operational details. Figure out where your business will operate from, equipment and tools needed, staffing requirements, and standard operating procedures.
Create financial projections. Develop a realistic budget, cash flow statement, income statement, and balance sheet. Factor in one-time and ongoing expenses to ensure you have enough capital. Connect with mentors and advisors who can provide guidance. Their experience and insights will prove invaluable as you navigate the early stages of your new business.
As the incorporation process in Singapore is now complete, your real work as an entrepreneur is just beginning.
You’ve done it, your company is officially managed to grab a badge of incorporation in Singapore. But the work isn’t over yet. Keeping up with pre-incorporation regulations was a big milestone, Singapore companies must plan for post-incorporation issues as well. Take your precious time out to put the essential pieces in place, and your new company will be on the ladder of success.
Setting up your business requires a significant amount of administrative effort. You don’t have to do everything by yourself if you want to go right into building your business. Do you need someone to guide you through all of these steps?
Shane Goh & Associates knows everything about Company Incorporation in Singapore for Singaporean & Foreigners and can provide you with information and assistance, as well as secretaries and accountants who are well knowledgeable in the legal requirements of managing an incorporated business in Singapore. The future is yours to shape, now get out there, build something great and administrative efforts rest on us.