Starting a Business in


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Singapore. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with between 10 and 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Singapore to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Registration on-line with ACRA including company name search and filing the company incorporation and tax number (GST)

    Agency: ACRA

    The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is the national regulator of businesses and public accountants in Singapore. Incorporation is done through Bizfile, an electronic filing system. An application for the approval and reservation of a company name is to be submitted online via Bizfile. Since 2007, Bizfile has been providing one-stop business facilitation services to customers at the point of registration. These services include reserving domain names, goods and services tax (GST) registration, subscribing for the relevant e-newsletter and registering for e-service alerts on latest government procurement opportunities, activating Customs Account and application for a corporate bank account. An application fee of SGD 15 is payable for each approved company name. It can generally be completed within an hour after payment online. Once a name has been approved, it will be reserved for 60 days. A one-time application for the extension of the reservation period by a further 60 days can be made before the expiry date.

    Entrepreneurs registering a new business can purchase the Business Profile on line at the same time of registration, when filling up the incorporation forms. The processing time is about 15 minutes from the time of successful submission of all documents and all information, and the registration fee payable is SGD 300. The ACRA will issue a notice of incorporation via electronic mail to the law firm or professional firm engaged for the purposes of incorporation upon the successful incorporation of the company together with the registration number of the company.

    The registration with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) for the goods and services tax (GST) when (a) its annual taxable turnover exceeds SGD 1 million can be done using the same online forms.

    Less than one day (online procedure) SGD 315

    Make a company seal

    Agency: Seal maker

    The company seal is generally obtained from the company seal manufacturers. Generally a market rate of SGD 40 will be charged if the seal is to be collected within 3 days or approximately SGD 70 if the seal is to be collected within 1 day

    1 day SGD 70

    Sign up for Employee Compensation Insurance at an insurance agency

    Agency: Insurance Agency

    Under Section 23(1) of the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), Chapter 354, of Singapore, every employer shall insure and maintain insurance under one or more approved policies with an insurer against all liabilities which the company may incur under the provisions of this Act in respect of any employee employed by the company unless the Minister, by notification in the Gazette, waives the requirement of such insurance in relation to any employer.

    Time and cost may depend on the arrangement between the company and the insurance agency.

    1 day no charge