FAQs

Central Provident Fund FAQs (9)

Can I make Voluntary CPF Contributions?

Yes, you can make voluntary contributions to build up your retirement savings. These contributions can also be used for your housing and health care needs.

How do I check my CPF Statement of Account?

You can check your CPF Statement any time by logging in to the CPF website with your SingPass. With My Statement, you can get an overview of your CPF account balances as well as view your transaction and contribution histories.

Are there any exemptions for CPF contributions?

Yes.  Employees who are exempted from CPF contributions are:

Foreigners on Employment Pass, Professional Visit Pass or Work Permit
CPF contributions are not allowed for foreigners. Both the employer’s and employee’s share of contributions for foreign employees on Employment Pass, Professional Visit Pass or Work Permit will not be accepted.

Partners, sole-proprietors or self-employed
All Singapore citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents who derive income from Singapore or from outside Singapore through any trade, business, profession or vocation excluding employment under a contract of service are considered self-employed. Unlike employees, they do not contribute to all 3 CPF accounts. Instead, they are only required to contribute to their Medisave, which is computed based on their annual net trade income earned.

Employees working overseas
CPF contributions are not mandatory for Singaporean employees who work overseas. If you wish to continue making CPF contributions for your existing employees who are posted overseas, these are deemed as voluntary contributions. You have to register for a new CPF Submission Number (CSN) for such payments.

What is CPF?

The Central Provident Fund commonly abbreviated by Singaporeans and referred to as CPF, is a compulsory comprehensive social security saving plan. It aims to provide working Singaporeans with a sense of security and confidence in their old age.Under the purview of the Ministry of Manpower, the Central Provident Fund is administered by the Central Provident Fund Board which is a Statutory Board.

What is CPF for?

Your CPF is for your retirement. You can withdraw your CPF savings when you turn 55, after setting aside your CPF Minimum Sum. Your CPF Minimum Sum can be used to buy life annuity from a participating insurance company, placed with a participating bank or left in your Retirement Account with the CPF Board. From 62 (current draw-down age), you will receive monthly payments from your CPF Minimum Sum to help meet your basic needs in retirement.

Company Directors and Shareholders FAQs (25)

Are the directors required to maintain proper accounting records?

The directors and managers of every company are required to keep proper accounting records to sufficiently explain the transactions and financial position of the company. The records usually contain entries of all receipts and payments, details of sales and purchases of goods, record of the company’s assets and liabilities and a record of annual stocktaking if the company deals in goods. The directors must prepare a profit and loss accounts and balance sheet together with notes to the accounts giving a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company at the end of the financial year.

The director’s report attached to the accounts must be approved by the board and signed by two directors. The accounting records must be kept at the company’s registered office or at such other place as the directors think fit. The Companies Act requires the accounting records to be kept for seven years.

Who is given the role to run the company?

The task of running the company is given to the Managing Director(s). Shareholders can also but not necessarily be the directors of the company.

How often is it required for directors to hold Board Meetings?

Directors are required to hold the first Board Meeting after the company is incorporated to approve the appointment of the officers of the company and other related matters.

The directors should ensure that there are regular meetings to review the company’s financial and trading position properly. The frequency of the meetings depends upon the nature and scale of the company’s operation.

Is the shareholder the employee of the company?

No, shareholders are not the employees, but are the owners of the company.

Company Incorporation FAQs (12)

Issued Share Capital funds

Upon incorporation, the issued share capital must be paid up immediately into the corporate bank accounts.

In the unfortunate event that the company goes under, the creditor can inspect the company’s accounts and lay their claim for the balance paid up, if it has not been utilized.

Usage of Paid-Up Capital

After we have injected the money into our company as paid-up capital, how soon can we start using it towards business expenses or investment?

There is no lockup period as such. You can start using it towards your company’s needs immediately.

What is the procedure for increasing paid-up capital at a later date?

You will first need to inject the necessary capital into your company bank account and send us a copy of the bank deposit slip showing the capital injection.

Upon receipt of the proof of capital injection, we will prepare the documents and lodged with the corporate authorities.

Upon obtaining your signature on the above documents, we will be able to lodge them with ACRA and get an updated company profile showing the revised paid-up capital for your Singapore company.

Do I need to seek permission to use my residential address as my business address?

For some residential addresses, you need to seek permission from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) or Urban Development Authority. If you are not the owner of the address, but a tenant, it would be wise to check with your landlord if he allows you to use the premises as the registered address.

Company Statutory Compliance FAQs (28)

Must a Singapore company appoint a company secretary?

Singapore Companies Act Section 171 of the Companies Act requires a company to appoint a Singapore resident company secretary. All Singapore Companies must appoint a Company Secretary to handle on-going statutory compliance matters. AsiaBiz will act as the named Company Secretary for your Company to comply with the Companies Act.

What are the basic Singapore Company Compliance Requirements?

The basic compliance requirements for a Singapore Company are:
  • local registered address
  • Singapore resident company secretary
  • at least one Singapore resident director
  • appoint an auditor if there is a corporate shareholder and/ or annual turnover is above S$ 5 million
  • notify ACRA of any changes in the company’s registered particulars
  • hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) within 18 months from the date of incorporation; subsequent AGMs must be held every calendar year, with intervals between each AGM not exceeding 15 months.
  • comply with annual Statutory filing requirements of Singapore company registrar (ACRA) and Singapore tax authorities (IRAS).

Who do I file my annual accounts with?

Annual accounts are required to be filed with ACRA (Registrar of Companies) and IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore) unless exempted.

Corporate Services FAQs (28)

What are the requirements for opening a bank account?

The specific requirements for opening a bank account vary from bank to bank. Most of the local banks require that the bank signatories to be personally present for the opening of the bank account. Due to our close working relationship with some banks it enables us to handle the account opening paperwork without the presence of the client coming to Singapore.

Does AsiaBiz provide a personalized human voice answering or computer automated answering calls?

AsiaBiz has highly trained, professional staff who will personally attend to your calls using your company’s name. For a fee slightly higher than the automated computer answering service, the computerized automated answering service will also greet all your incoming calls with your company’s name, and the caller will have an option either to leave a voice mail or be automatically diverted to another telephone number specified by you. Don’t miss any more calls!

* This service will require a S$200.00 deposit and will be used to offset the call forwarding charges.

What are the documents required to open an account?

They will require the company M&A, and the incorporation certificate. Some banks however may require further documentation such as bank reference and proof of residence.

Can you forward the mails you received on our behalf?

For any arrival of postal mails including courier items and small parcels, AsiaBiz can forward the mails based on your instructions. All forwarding postage costs will be charged accordingly to you.

* This service will require a S$100.00 deposit and will be used to offset against the mail forwarding charges.

Which bank can I open a corporate account within Singapore?

Singapore has an excellent and varied choices of well-reputed local and international banks for opening corporate accounts.

Standard Chartered (www.standardchartered.com.sg)
HSBC (www.hsbc.com.sg)
Citibank (www.citibank.com.sg)
DBS (www.dbs.com.sg)
UOB www.uob.com.sg
Maybank

Corporate Tax FAQs (4)

Are there any conditions to qualify to these exemptions?

Note: *A qualifying new company must fulfill the following conditions:

  • It is incorporated in Singapore;
  • It is a tax resident of Singapore for that Year of Assessment;
  • It has no more than 20 shareholders throughout the basis period relating to that Year of Assessment;
  • All its shareholders are individuals throughout the basis period relating to that Year of Assessment OR start-up companies with corporate shareholders can qualify for the existing Start-Up Tax Exemption Scheme, provided that there is at least one individual shareholder of minimum 10% shareholding.

*A company is resident in Singapore if the control and management of its business is exercised in Singapore.

Are there any Tax Incentives for foreign companies to set up in Singapore?

To encourage foreign capital inflow into Singapore, there are tax incentives provided to various industries namely in the form of reduced corporate tax rates.

Finance & Treasury Centre Co. 10%
Fund Manager 10%/exempt
Headquarters Co. 10%
International Commodity Trader 10%
Offshore Leasing 10%
Oil Trader 10%
Securities Company 10%/exempt
Trustee Company 10%
Arts & Antique Dealers 10%
Asian Currency Unit 10%/exempt
Insurance & Re-insurance Co. 10%/exempt
Members of Commodity Futures Exchange 10%
Pioneer/Incentive Co. exempt/various
Financial Sector Incentive Co. 5%/10%
Cyber Trader 10%
Commodity Derivatives Trader (New) 5%

 

Tax Rates for Companies

“What is the tax rates for companies for Year of Assessment 2013 and for those who do not qualify for the New Start up exemption rates?”

Singapore corporate tax rate is 17%. When taking into account the rebates and tax exemptions available to resident companies, Singapore has one of the lowest effective corporate tax rates in the world.

Companies that are not eligible for full exemption may still qualify for partial tax exemption, as follows:

Taxable Income Effective Tax Rates
$100K 5.65%
$300K 5.80%
$500K 8.27%
$1M 11.41%
$5M 15.88%
$10M 16+%

Permanent Residence FAQs (2)

Am I eligible to apply for Singapore PR?

The following people are eligible to apply for Permanent Resident in Singapore:

  • Spouse or unmarried children (below 21 years old) of a Singapore Citizen/Permanent Resident
  • Aged parents of a Singapore Citizen,
  • Employment Pass (P or Q Pass) Holders
  • Investors/Entrepreneurs and exceptional artists

Feel free to consult our experts for your eligibility of Singapore PR by filing up the contact form.

GST FAQs (16)

What is needed to register for Goods and Services Tax?

GST is a self-assessed tax. This means that businesses are required to continually assess the need to register for GST. Registering for GST is compulsory when the turnover of your business is more than S$1 million for the past 12 months or is expected to be more than S$1 million in the next 12 months.

Once a person is liable to register, he should inform the Comptroller of GST within 30 days from the day the liabilities arises. If the total turnover of your company is more than S$1 million in any past 12 months and you have not informed the Comptroller of your liability, you should do so immediately.

If the Turnover of the company for the past 12 months is less than S$1 million, no action is required from you.

The only exception is if you are certain that your combined turnover for the next 12 months will be not more than S$1 million.

What should I do now if my company turnover is about to reach S$1 million?

You need to assess if your turnover in any past 12 months or the next 12 months is more than S$1 million.

  • If it is, you need to apply for GST Registration immediately.
  • If it is not, no action is required from you from this point. However, you need to continue to monitor your turnover and ensure that you register for GST once your liability arises.

You have to monitor your turnover by splitting the 12 months into 4 quarters. Quarter means a period of 3 months ending on the last date of March, June, September or December. You are required to be register for GST if:

  • At the end of any quarter, where the total value of your turnover in that quarter and the previous 3 quarters is more than S$1 million.
  • At any time, if you have reasonable grounds to believe the value of your turnover in the next 12 months will be more than S$1 million.

What is Taxable Turnover?

“Taxable Turnover” is the total value of all taxable supplies made in Singapore (excluding GST) in the course of furtherance of business. This includes the value of all standard-rated (GST at prevailing rates) and zero-rated (GST at 0%) supplies but it excludes exempt supplies, out-of-scope supplies and the sale of capital assets.

For the purpose of determining your liability for GST registration, the value of exempt supplies that are international services under Gst Act should also be excluded from your total taxable supplies.

Rules for GST Registration

“I am a director of several companies, partner of multiple partnerships and owner of sole-proprietorship businesses. What is the registration rule for each type of business engagement to determine my liability to register for GST?”

Incorporated companies are separate legal entities. The registration liability of an incorporated company will be determined on its own. It is required to register for GST if its turnover for the past 12 months is more than S$1 million or is expected to be more than S$1 million in the next 12 months.

To determine the registration liability for sole-proprietorship business, a sole-proprietor (who can be an individual or a corporate entity) will need to combine the turnover from all his trade, provision or vocation and all his sole-proprietorship businesses. If the combined turnover is more than S$1 million or is expected to be more than S$1 million or is expected to be more than S$1 million, he will be liable to register. The registration will be in the name of the sole-proprietor.

What is an Out-of-Scope Supply?

An Out-of-Scope Supply is a supply which is not made in Singapore (for example, sale of goods from China to India where the goods do not enter Singapore). Since these supplies fall outside the scope of GST, GST is not chargeable on these supplies.

Personal Tax FAQs (11)

Is income taxable as a visiting lecturer or speaker?

“I am invited by a government body/Ministry in Singapore to conduct seminars/workshops in Singapore. Is my income taxable?”

You will be taxed on the income derived from Singapore unless it is exempted from tax.

How are fringe benefits taxed?

Employer-provided fringe benefits are taxed in the employee’s hands. As a number of benefits are taxed on a concessionary basis in Singapore, it is possible to reduce an individual’s tax liability through appropriate structuring of his/her remuneration package.

What is the Singapore income tax rate?

The Singapore individual income tax rates for YA 2013 and onwards are shown below. Singapore individual / personal income taxes are charged progressively (0% – 20%), based on your chargeable income. The chargeable income is your income plus any other personal income, minus all deductions, relief’s and rebates.

Year of Assessment 2013 onwards
Chargeable Income Rate (%) Gross Tax Payable ($)
On the first
On the next
20,000
10,000
0
2
0
200
On the first
On the next
30,000
10,000

3.5
200
350
On the first
On the next
40,000
40,000

7
550
2,800
On the first
On the next
On the next
80,000
40,000
40,000

11.5
15
3,350
4,600
6,000
On the first
On the next
On the next
160,000
40,000
120,000

17
18
13,950
6,800
21,600
On the first
In excess of
320,000
320,000

20
42,350

Trademark Registration FAQs (9)

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a sign or symbol used by a person in the course of business to identify his particular goods or services as distinct form that other traders.

It must be represented graphically in the form of a letter, word, name, signature, numeral, device brand, label, ticket, shape, color packaging or a combination of all as stated.

How many classes of goods and services are there for trademark registration?

There are a total of 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services.

  • Class 1 – 34 are for goods
  • Class 34- 45 are for services

You must make sure you classify the goods or services in the correct class or classes.

Does registering my trademark in Singapore protect me overseas?

For protection beyond Singapore, you will need to apply to the appropriate authority in the country in which you want trademark protection.

Alternatively, you may apply via the Madrid protocol, and you will get protection in countries which are party to the protocol.

Must I register a trademark in Singapore before seeking protection overseas?

It is not imperative to apply for a trademark in Singapore before seeking protection overseas. However, in order to file an international application under the Madrid Protocol, you should register the trademark in the country of origin.

Work Visa FAQs (13)

What are my chances of obtaining an employment pass?

The reality is that not all EP work visa applications are approved. The Ministry of Manpower evaluates each applicant based on the individual’s and company credentials.

Factors which play a very important role are:

  • Applicant age, salary, citizenship, education, professional experience and skills
  • Roles & responsibility of applicant
  • Repute of the company and paid up capital
  • Availability of local staff and economic viability of the company to Singapore

If the initial application is rejected, we will explore the rejection reasons with MOM and if appropriate, file an appeal by addressing the issues raised by authorities. If the additional details submitted are satisfactory to MOM, your employment pass application will likely be approved. Please note that MOM will take a minimum of three weeks or more to review appeal application.

Application for Employment Pass

Can I apply for Employment Pass prior to incorporating my Singapore Company? Why do I need to appoint a resident Director?

All Employment pass application can only be submitted once the Singapore Company has been incorporated. In order to incorporate a Singapore company, you will require the following:

  • 1 Shareholder (Can be an individual or Corporation)
  • 1 Resident Director (Can be a Singaporean, permanent residence or Employment Pass, EntrePass or Dependant pass holder) AsiaBiz can provide you a nominee resident director to satisfy the statutory requirements until you secure your employment pass.
  • 1 Company Secretary name in ACRA as officer of the company (will be provided by AsiaBiz)
  • Minimum paid-up capital of S$1
  • A local registered office address (will be provided by AsiaBiz)

Once you have obtained your Singapore Employment Pass, you can act as the local resident director. All company incorporation registration process including work pass application can be handled without you having to be in Singapore.

Talk to our experts today to know about foreign company registration options in Singapore.

What is Employment Pass?

The Singapore Employment Pass (EP) is the main type of Singapore work visa issued to foreign entrepreneurs, professionals, skilled employees, managers and owners (shareholders)/directors of Singapore companies.

The EP does not fall under any quota system and is not charged a monthly levy.

Who is eligible for PEP?

The MOM has tightened the eligibility requirements to ensure that the Singapore Personalised Employment Pass remains a top-tier visa for highly qualified individuals.

The following foreigners are qualified to apply for a PEP:

  • P1 Pass holders who earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$12,000;
  • Overseas applicants who are not unemployed for longer than 6 consecutive months and whose last drawn fixed monthly salary was at least S$18,000;
  • Applicants who earn a minimum annual fixed salary worth S$144,000.

Can I relocate my family to Singapore once my Employment pass is approved?

With effect of 1 January 2018, all Singapore Employment Pass holders who earn a minimum of S6,000 per month can apply for Dependant Pass and/or Long-Term Visit Pass for their family members.

Dependant Pass

Both P1 and P2 Pass holders can apply for Dependant Pass for their:

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried, biological or legally-adopted children under 21 years of age

If you are an Employment or an EntrePass pass holder, your spouse is eligible to work in Singapore as a dependant pass holder. However, your prospective employer is required to apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC) with Ministry of Manpower. (Note: Not eligible for S Pass holders)

However, with effect of 1 September 2012, the following parties will not qualify under the Dependant Pass program:

  • Parents-in-law of P1 Pass holders
  • Parents or parents-in-law of P2 Pass holders

Long-Term Visit Pass

P Pass holders can also apply for Long-Term Visit Pass for their:

  • Common law spouse
  • Unmarried children above 21 years of age
  • Handicapped children
  • Step-children
  • Parents/parents-in-law

if they meet a minimum fixed salary of S12,000 per month.

A Snap Shot

Pass type granted to EP holder Dependant Pass Long-term Visit Pass
P Pass type Yes for

  • Spouse
  • Children below 21 years
Yes for

  • Common law spouse
  • Unmarried children above 21 years
  • Handicapped children
  • Step-children
  • Parents/Parents-in-law
Q1 Pass Type If you earn more that S$6,000 per month, you may sponsor the stay of your:

  • Spouse
  • Children below 21 years
No

 

Need help starting a business in Singapore?

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