Getting your business incorporated is just the first step! Though your start-up may be a lean, two-person outfit, you will still need to be on top of Singapore’s various compliance requirements. In this article, we bring you a glimpse of what’s to come after incorporating a start-up in Singapore.
Incorporating a company doesn’t end with deciding on a company name and paying a registration fee. In fact, there’s plenty of paperwork and checks involved, even for a country as business-friendly as Singapore.
Within 18 months from your date of incorporation, you may be required to hold your first Annual General Meeting (AGM). Subsequently, AGMs may be held at yearly intervals of not more than 15 months. (ACRA)
Your company may also be required to file Annual Returns with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). If you fail to file your company’s Annual Returns on time, this could affect your company’s compliance rating on ACRA’s Business Filing Portal. Imagine a red cross next to your company’s name! This could signal to potential clients that your company’s books are not in order. (ACRA)
If you are a foreigner looking to start and operate a new business in Singapore, the EntrePass is just the pass for you! The EntrePass is targeted at eligible entrepreneurs, innovators and investors who have started or intend to start a private limited company in Singapore. To obtain an EntrePass, the authorities will look at whether you have:
- Raised funding of at least $100,000 from a government-recognised venture capitalist, incubator or accelerator; or
- An intellectual property (IP) that delivers a significant competitive advantage to your new business; or
- An ongoing collaboration with a local research institute
In a move to attract more promising foreign start-up talent, the Singapore government has broadened its evaluation criteria since August 2017 to include relevant considerations such as entrepreneurial and investment track record, business network and key achievements.
While you’re busy working on your business strategies, do not forget to ensure that you meet your tax obligations on time. Regardless if your company is dormant or in a loss situation, all companies in Singapore are required to submit the following forms to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) every year:
- Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) – to be submitted within 3 months after the end of your business’ financial year
- Form C or Form C-S – to be submitted by 30 November every year, or 15 December if you e-file
However, these requirements may be waived if your company meets certain criteria.
Employees’ Income Information
As an employer, you will be required by law to prepare the necessary forms for each of your employees such as the Form IR8A, Appendix 8A, Appendix 8B or Form IR8S (where applicable) by 1 March each year. Your employees will then file their taxes based on the information you provide in these forms.
Alternatively, register your company for the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS), which ensures that you submit your employees’ employment income information to IRAS electronically. Come March, you then simply have to inform your employees of their respective filing obligations.
At your AGMs, you will be required to prepare and present before your company’s shareholders financial statements that give a true and fair view of the financial position and performance of your company.
In addition, you will be required to maintain a system of internal accounting controls and keep proper accounting records. To ensure a competent and adequately resourced finance function for your business, hire a qualified accountant and auditor, or engage professional services!
Corporate Service Provider
To keep your business’ compliance status in tip-top shape, consider engaging a one-stop professional corporate service provider that can provide you with all the support you need. Services may range from keeping and maintaining of statutory books and registers, to helping you meet the various statutory compliance deadlines, as well as the preparation of AGM documents. Besides leaving you with more time and resources to focus on your core business, this ensures that your start-up would never miss a submission or statutory filing.
Corporate Services Singapore offers a complete suite of solutions, such as company registration, corporate secretariat, outsourced accounting, audit, tax and other professional corporate services, to ensure that your business runs smoothly from Day 1. To keep up with the latest updates on regulations while remaining compliant, get in touch with us today!