Some business activities in Singapore are subject to regulation by government authorities. Even if your business firm has been registered you cannot begin operation or provide service unless your company receives the necessary approval or license from the relevant government authorities before company Incorporation.
Private schools, video companies, travel agencies, liquor distributors, moneylenders, banks, financial advisers, childcare centres and importers, wholesalers and retailers of liquor licenses are some examples of businesses that need permits to operate.
You must have a registered office address and the office must be open to the public for a minimum of three hours per day during normal business hours on weekdays.
The business registration number issued by ACRA must be on all letterheads, invoices, billings or other documents used for official business communications.
If your business activities involve import, export, and transhipment in and out of Singapore, you will need to register your company with the Singapore Customs and obtain a CR Number or commonly known as Custom Registration. The central registration number is mandatory for Singapore companies or organizations engaged in trading activities.
- Singapore Goods and Services Tax Registration
Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax on the supply of goods and services in Singapore and on the import of goods into Singapore. Goods exported from Singapore and international services provided from Singapore are exempt from GST. The current rate is 8% and will be 9% from 1st January 2024
All Singapore businesses must register for GST if their annual taxable revenue is more than S$1 million, or currently making taxable supplies and the annual taxable revenue is expected to be more than S$1 million. The business is expected to register for GST within thirty days from the time it is deemed liable.
You may also choose to register for GST voluntarily. Approval for voluntary registration is at the discretion of the Comptroller in IRAS. Once approval is given, you must remain registered for at least two years.
- Registration of Singapore Central Provident Fund (CPF)
The Central Provident Fund or CPF is a compulsory pension fund scheme in which the employer and employee contribute a percentage of the monthly salary to the fund. CPF contribution by the employer is mandatory for all local employees who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents earning more than S$50 a month. The maximum CPF contribution rate for employer and employee is 17% and 20% respectively and can be lower depending on certain factors such as employee age, permanent resident status, etc. CPF contribution for foreign employees is not required.