Singapore is a great place to do business. It is a very open economy and foreigners are free to fully own a Singapore company. i.e. own 100% of the shares of a Singapore company. The requirement is that there needs to be a local resident director in the company. Local resident director would also include any foreigner with a valid work pass who is ordinarily residing in Singapore.

There are three options which we can take

  1. Set up a New Local Singapore CompanyThis would mean that you will need to go through processes like name application, incorporation and drafting of the company constitution. The benefit is that you get to choose your company name from the onset, draft the resolution as you would like from the start and the company is working off a fresh slate. The downside may be that the registration number or UEN number will reflect that the company is newly incorporated. There may be vendors and clients who may think that the company is new in business and thus may infer that the company is less experienced in doing business. The company may be also deemed as new to some banks and the offering from the bank may be less attractive.
  2. Purchase a shelf/ dormant companyThere are dormant companies or in some cases, shelf companies for sale. There are companies that do not have business activities for the past few financial years. These companies might have accounting systems, bank accounts and any other matters related to a company already set up. This may save quite a lot of time and hassle. Also, the company registration number should show that the company has been incorporated for some time. This may give the impression that the company has been around for some time. The downside to this is that there may be some incentives for new start ups and such shelf or dormant companies may not be eligible. You may also have to change the comapany’s name, business activity code and constitution.
  3. Purchase an active companyThere are some companies that are still doing business and their owners may want to divest their interest. If you are say in the shipping and marine or food and beverage industry, you may want to purchase a company that is already in the same industry. This may allow you to have access to vendors, suppliers and clients based on that company’s goodwill. The management team may already be in place and this may leapfrog quite a lot of processes. The downside is that the company may not be eligible for start up grants and incentives. However, this may be made up by the fact that an active company may have had strong financials in the previous years and this may help in eligibility for some other grants and incentives.

If you are keen in either options, do contact us at +6582222886 (WhatsApp) or email [email protected].


When in doubt, seek legal advice or consult an experienced ACRA Filing Agent.

Yours Sincerely,
The editorial team at Singapore Secretary Services

For more useful articles and videos, visit the Singapore Secretary Services resource page.


Related articles:

Registration and Compliance Fees to register a Singapore Company with us

What is a Shareholder

What is a Director

What is a Dormant Company

Can a foreign owned Singapore company open a company bank account in Singapore?

Why Singapore is a good place to start a business

Steps to incorporate a Singapore Company

The benefits of setting up an Investment Holding Company in Singapore

How to select the right nominee director for your company

Why is Singapore a good place for foreigners to start a company

Common Tax Reliefs that will help to reduce the tax bill for New Start-Up Companies

How to set up a Singapore company. A guide for foreigners.