What to Do Next After New Company Incorporation in Singapore?
After going through the process of incorporating your company in Singapore, there are several steps to follow through before you can commence business operations. The next course of action will usually include deciding on your company’s Financial Year End (FYE), opening a bank account and more to complete. Take a look at the following post-registration requirements to fulfil after setting up your business.
1. Appoint officers for your company
In accordance with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), you are given a period of six months from your incorporation date to appoint a company secretary. The company secretary is responsible for a variety of tasks to ensure the statutory compliance of your business with the law in Singapore. This includes the upkeep of your statutory books records which includes registers of the company and minutes, filing of Annual Returns with ACRA, keep directors and shareholders abreast of changes in corporate regulations, and many other responsibilities.
Section 171 of the Singapore Companies Act stipulates that the company secretary must be a natural person living in Singapore. It is your duty as director of the company to appoint someone with the requisite knowledge and experience to discharge the functions as secretary. A professionally qualified secretary includes, but not limited to, chartered accountants, chartered secretaries and lawyers.
Should you be the sole director of your company, take note that you cannot take on the role of the company secretary. In the event that you are switching your company secretary, ensure that the position of company secretary is not vacant for more than 6 months.
A company is mandated to appoint an auditor within 3 months of incorporation, unless you qualify under the small company definition which can be exempted from statutory audit. Your company meets the definition of a small company if:
- It is a private company in the current financial year; and
- It fulfils at least 2 of the following 3 criteria for immediate past two consecutive financial years
- Total annual revenue not more than $10 million;
- Total assets not more than $10 million;
- Total number of employees not more than 50.
Should your company is part of a group, in order to qualify as a small company to be exempted from audit, take note that your company needs to qualify as a small company and the entire group must be a ‘small group’ i.e. the group’s consolidated numbers meet at least 2 of the 3 criteria stated above.
2. Acquire a business license
In order to conduct business, you will be required to get a business license for your company should you fall under any one of the following industry-specific categories:
- Food and Beverage
- Employment agency
- Financial services
- Hotel or boarding house
- Media services
- Medical clinics
- Real estate agency
- Travel agency
3. Maintaining statutory registers
In accordance with the Singapore Companies Act, it is also compulsory for every company to maintain certain statutory registers. For businesses in Singapore, this will include the Register of Business/Company Documents, Register of Members (ROM), Register of Directors (ROD), Register of Chief Executive Officer (ROCEO) if applicable, Register of Secretaries and Register of Auditors.
4. Register for CPF Submission Number as a new employer
In Singapore, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a mandatory scheme funded by contributions from employers and employees. The funds will help the employees pay for their housing, retirement and other social security needs. While it is vital to start interviewing potential candidates to grow your team, it is more important for a new employer to obtain your CPF submission number (CSN) ahead of your first hire. Companies in Singapore are required to pay the CPF contributions at the end of the month if the staff is earning more than $50 a month. The CSN will thus be necessary when you’re making CPF payment for employees who are Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents, as well as Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) for employees who are foreigners. The FWL collected by the CPF Board on behalf of Ministry of Manpower.
5. Set up CorpPass
Also known as Singapore Corporate Access, CorpPass is a single corporate digital identity for local companies to manage online transactions with government agencies. These online transactions include filing tax return with Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), making CPF payment, applying for trade licence, registering for business grant etc. You will need to set up a CorpPass account for your business in order to access the government services relevant to your business.
Take note that there are different CorpPass access to accommodate the various roles within a company. This includes Registered Officer, CorpPass Admin, CorpPass Sub-Admin, Enquiry User and User. A business owner, for instance, can register as the Registered Officer of the business entity. He can also assume the role of the CorpPass admin or appoint a maximum of two CorpPass Admins to help manage the account alongside the Registered Officer.
6. Register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) if applicable
Your business may also need to be GST-registered with IRAS. Take note that you may be liable for this under the following views:
- Retrospective view
- Where the value of your annual taxable turnover is above $1 million at the end of the calendar year.
- Prospective view
- Where your taxable turnover is expected to exceed $1 million in the upcoming 12 months. This can be forecasted through signed contracts, confirmed purchase orders, customer invoices and/or past income statements that prove the annual turnover for the past 12 months is touching $1 million and where an increasing trend is evident.
Otherwise, you will not be required to register for GST. However, there are scenarios where business owners still opt to register for GST voluntarily for business reasons, even though the turnover does not exceed $1 million.
7. Open a corporate bank account
Moving forward, you will need to open a bank account with your choice of local and international banks based in Singapore. To better manage transactions and conduct business efficiently, it is also advisable to separate your business-related finances from your personal finances. The process of opening a corporate bank account is relatively easy and can be done quickly, provided the necessary information is submitted promptly.
8. Set up a reliable accounting system
Finally, the best way to avoid the worry of irregularities in your books is to invest in a good accounting system. To comply with Singapore Financial Reporting Standards, it is always never too early to start ensuring your accounting records are accurate and up-to-date. A reliable accounting system, especially when done via the cloud, can allow you to keep your accounts updated. Keep in mind that these records will eventually be needed when you’re preparing the annual financial statements and filing your corporate tax returns, thus it is important that your finances are tracked correctly.
Whether you’re up for the challenge to manage it yourself or opting to work alongside a qualified accounting service provider, you ultimately want to get a strong head start for your business. Enlist the help of accounting professionals like Chartsworth for our cloud accounting services to make your company a success. From entrepreneurs to e-commerce businesses, we have the right solution for you. Feel free to contact us for a quote today.