FAQs

Central Provident Fund FAQs

Can I use my CPF for Health Care?

Your monthly contributions to your Medisave Account help you build up savings for your healthcare needs. Medisave can be used to pay for your own or your dependant(s)’ hospitalization expenses as well. In addition, it can also be used for certain outpatient treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.

You can also use your Medisave savings to pay the premiums for MediShield or private medical insurance plans under the Private Medical Insurance Scheme (PMIS).

Can I use CPF For Owning A Property?

Your Ordinary Account savings can be used to buy a home under the CPF housing schemes. You can buy an HDB flat under the Public Housing Scheme, or a private property under the Residential Properties Scheme. Your CPF savings can be used for full or part payment of the property, and to service the monthly housing payments. If you buy a flat under the Public Housing Scheme, you will need to be insured under the Home Protection Scheme.

From 1 July 2006, the Board no longer approves application under the Non-Residential Properties Scheme (NRPS). If you are currently using CPF to service your non-residential properties, you will not be affected by the policy change.

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.

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Company Directors and Shareholders FAQs

What are Company directors’ responsibilities?

The directors duties, responsibilities and liabilities specified in the Act as well as under the common law where applicable, include the following key administrative and substantive duties, that is, to:

  • discharge their responsibilities in the company;
  • ensure that they have a reasonable degree of skill and knowledge to handle the affairs of the company;
  • act honestly and be reasonably diligent in discharging their duties and act in the interest of the company without putting themselves in a position of conflict of interest.
  • employ the powers and assets that they are entrusted with for the proper purposes of the company and not for any collateral purpose;
  • to comply with all the requirements and obligations under the Act including those in respect of meetings, requisitions, resolutions, accounts, reports, statements, records and other documents on the company, filing and notices and any other prerequisites; and
  • account to the shareholders for their conduct of affairs of the company and make such disclosures that are incumbent upon them under the Act.

What is a share certificate?

The certificate constitutes proof of share ownership. Persons owning shares in a company are called “shareholders”.

How are shares issued?

When you set up a company, you will decide on the number of share capital and its value per share. This is then included in the company’s Memorandum of Association.

This sets out:

  • the amount of share capital the company will have
  • the division of the share capital
  • the founders of the company who will need to sign on the memorandum and state the number of shares subscribed by them

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.

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Company Incorporation FAQs

What is paid up Capital?

Paid-up capital is essentially the portion of share that the company has issued and received payment for in full.

A Singapore company can be registered with a minimum paid up capital of S$1 (Or its equivalent in any currency).

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.

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Company Statutory Compliance FAQs

What kind of secretarial services will be chargeable?

Secretarial matters of non-routine nature will be chargeable on a per request basis and all out of pockets expenses. Examples include:

  • Increase of paid-up capital
  • Change of shareholding
  • Change of M&A
  • Change of directors
  • Opening of additional bank accounts
  • Change of registered address

What are company secretary responsibilities?

The company secretary is usually responsible for establishing and maintaining the company’s records. Monitoring and ensuring compliance with relevant legal requirements, particularly under the Companies Act are adhered on a timely basis.

  • any changes in the director(s) of a company or particulars relating to director(s)
  • changes to a directors name or residential address
  • removal from office in accordance with the Act or constitution
  • appointments/resignations/deaths
  • annual return
  • change of company name
  • adoption, alteration and revocation of constitution
  • issue of shares
  • any other changes that requires updating with ACRA

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.

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Corporate Services FAQs

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.

Am I allowed to terminate the nominee director service anytime?

Yes, you can terminate our nominee director service anytime by providing us with the details of an alternate local resident director. We will do the necessary paperwork, lodge the change with authorities and promptly refund the security deposit back to you.

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.

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Corporate Tax FAQs

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+%
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Permanent Residence FAQs

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.

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GST FAQs

What is Taxable Supply?

A Taxable Supply is a supply of goods and services made in Singapore other than an exempt supply. GST is chargeable on a taxable supply of goods and services made by a taxable person in the course or furtherance of his business. However, any GST incurred by a taxable person on business purchases used in making taxable supplies can be recovered from the Comptroller of GST.

What is an Exempt Supply?

There are 2 broad categories of exempt supply. They include the sale and lease of residential properties and financial services specified in paragraph 1 of the Fourth Schedule to the GST Act. GST will not be charged on the exempt supply. Generally, any GST incurred in making exempt supplies cannot be claimed as input tax.

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.

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Personal Tax FAQs

Taxation of Overseas Income for Services Rendered in Singapore

“I am engaged by a foreign consulting firm to render my services in Singapore. Will my consultation fees be taxed in Singapore if the fees are paid to me outside Singapore?”

Yes. You are liable to pay Singapore tax for the professional services rendered in Singapore. It does not matter where you are paid.

Tax exemption for visiting professionals

“I am a visiting professional. Will I be exempt from tax if I render my services for not more than 60 days in the calendar year in Singapore?”

The tax exemption for short-term employment of 60 days or less does not apply to visiting non-resident professionals who exercise their profession in Singapore. Only visiting non-resident professionals who are employees would qualify for the exemption.

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.

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Trademark Registration FAQs

How long does the trademark application process take?

If your trademark application is in order, and there are no objections from the registrar, it will take approximately 4 to 6 months for the registration to be processed.

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.

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Work Visa FAQs

What is the base salary range must I declare to secure an Employment pass?

Depending upon your salary, education and experience declared, you will be issued with one of the following types of Passes:

  • P1 Pass: for applicants with a base salary of above S$8,000 a month.
  • P2 Pass: for applicants with a base salary between S$4,500 and S$8,000 a month.
  • Q1 Pass: for applicants with a base salary between S$3,600 and S$4,500 a month.

The final decision of which type of passes will be issued is at the discretion of MOM.

What are the employment pass eligibility requirements?

To be considered for an Employment Pass, you must have a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3,600 (effective 1 January 2017) and possess one or more of the following:

  • Generally, a recognized Diploma/Degree qualification from a reputable university
  • Professional qualifications
  • Specialist skills
  • Work related experience

Possessing a recognised qualification does not automatically guarantee a successful Employment Pass application, as the applicant may need to satisfy other criteria, such as relevant work experience or professional skills.

The Ministry of Manpower evaluates each applicant based on individual’s and company merits.

Other factors which also play a contributory role are:

  • Salary of applicant
  • Age of applicant
  • Roles & responsibility
  • Repute of the company
  • Company paid up capital
  • Applicant current citizenship

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.

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