Entrepreneurship seems to be the buzz word in Singapore nowadays, with many people rushing to create new companies. If you’re getting ready to make that first step and create your own start up, you might be confused by the many different types of business structures available to you.

Here’s all you need to know about being your own boss and setting up a company in Singapore:

Things You Need To Consider to Set Up A New Company

  1. Are you alone in this venture, or do you have partners?
  2. Are you willing to risk unlimited liability, or do you want to limit liability?
  3. Are you willing to be taxed at a personal level? Or would you like the venture to carry the tax burden?

Things You Need To Set Up A New Company

  1. Singapore Citizens/PR

    If you’re a Singapore citizen who has forgotten your Singpass password, it can be reset most Community Centres and locations here or reset it online.

    An online payment method

    Details of all the partners in the new venture (I/C Number., Address, Name, Contact No.)

  2. Foreigner
    An Entrepass which you must apply for
    An online payment method

Different Business Structures

  1. Sole Proprietorship

One of the most common forms of business in Singapore, a Sole Proprietorship is a business run by a single person. The business and the owner are considered the same legal entity. The owner is personally liable for all debts and losses of the business. Profits are taxed at the owner’s personal income tax rates. Sole proprietorships need to be renewed every year.

Set-up Fee: $65

  1. Partnership

A business that has between 2 – 20 partners. The business and its owners are considered the same legal entity and the partners are each personally liable for the partnership’s debts and losses. Profits are taxed at each partner’s person income tax rates. Partnerships need to be renewed every year.

Set-up Fee: $65

  1. Company

A business that is a separate legal entity from its shareholder and directors. The business is considered a separate legal entity from its shareholders. Shareholders are not personally liable for debts and losses of the companies, though they may lose as much as they had invested. The rules on companies are set out in the Companies Act. Profits from a company are taxed at the corporate tax level. It should be noted as well that the annual filing procedures for a company are probably the most sophisticated among all the business structures mentioned.

Set-up Fee: $315

  1. Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

A structure that was not available in Singapore till just a few years back, an LLP provides the partners with some rights of a partnership and some rights of a company. LLP’s do not have unlimited liability, like a company their partners are not responsible for any debts or losses that the business incurs on a personal level unless the partner is personally responsible.

LLP profits are also taxed on a personal level instead of the corporate level, thus combing the best elements of a partnership and a company.

Set-up Fee: $165

  1. Limited Partnership

Limited Partnerships is the newest business structure available in Singapore. With a minimum of two partners, a minimum of one as a general partner and a minimum of 1 as a limited partner. General partners are liable for all debts and obligations while limited partners have their obligation limited to the amount they contribute to the business. In most other aspects, though, this is similar to a partnership.

Set-up Fee: $65

How To Set Up Your Company

Go to ACRA website and click under the appropriate tabs and follow the instructions.

For more articles on how to avoid startup mistakes and entrepreneurship, read more here!

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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