5 minutes

Singapore Business Incorporation: What Comes Next?

singapore business incorporation

Starting a business in Singapore is just the first step in a rewarding journey. Understanding what comes next is crucial to ensuring your business thrives in this bustling economic hub. In this article, we will focus on the various applications and registrations that business owners need for their Singapore business incorporation, providing you with the knowledge and guidance needed to carry them out. 

What else do I need to apply or register after my Singapore business incorporation? 

After the exhilarating process of company incorporation, it’s time to address various registration requirements by asking yourself some questions: 

  1. Will my company be interacting with government agencies? 
  1. Do I foresee my company’s revenue to exceed SGD1 million within the year? 
  1. Should I base myself locally to better focus on building my Singapore business? 
  1. Will my company be importing or exporting any products? 
  1. If so, what kind of products will we be importing? Do they require a license? 
  1. Should I submit a trade mark application for my unique brand name or logo? 

Post-Incorporation Applications and Registrations 

Below are some of the essential and non-essential registrations you may consider for your company, depending on your answers to the questions above. 

1. Corppass Registration 

Corppass is a digital authentication system in Singapore designed to streamline access to government e-services for businesses and individuals. During registration, you will need to provide essential business information, including your entity’s Unique Entity Number (UEN), business name, and other details. 

After successful registration, businesses can manage their Corppass accounts, including adding or removing users, changing access levels, and updating contact information. Once registered, businesses can use their Corppass accounts to access various government e-services, such as filing taxes, applying for permits, and submitting regulatory documents. 

2. Goods and Services Tax (GST) Registration 

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a consumption tax levied on the supply of goods and services in Singapore, currently set at 9%. Businesses must register for GST if their annual taxable turnover exceeds SGD 1 million. GST-registered businesses can claim input tax on purchases, reducing the tax burden. It also enhances your company’s credibility and allows it to issue tax invoices. 

To register for GST, businesses need to submit an application to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). The application can be done online, and the necessary documentation must be provided. GST-registered businesses must comply with GST regulations, including filing periodic GST returns and maintaining accurate records of all GST-related transactions. 

3. Employment Pass Application

The Employment Pass (EP) is a critical work visa for foreign professionals, managers, executives, and skilled employees wishing to work in Singapore. To qualify for an EP, applicants typically need a job offer from a Singapore company, for example, you as the director of your company. Eligibility is assessed based on factors such as qualifications, experience, and the type of job. 

The EP application is usually initiated by the Singapore company who serves as the sponsor. Employers are responsible for submitting the application and supporting documentation to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) portal online. The application typically includes details about the employer, job position, and the foreign employee. Supporting documents, such as educational certificates and the applicant’s passport, are also required. 

EP applications usually take a few weeks to process. In some cases, it may take longer if additional reviews or verifications are needed. If the EP application is approved, the MOM will issue an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter to the employer. The applicant must then collect the pass in person within six months, and medical examinations may be required. The EP is typically issued for a period of one to two years and can be renewed as long as the employment conditions are met. 

4. Customs Account Activation

If your company is engaging in international trade, it is essential to activate its Customs Account before it can start its import or export activities. This allows the company to perform various customs-related transactions, including the declaration of goods, payment of customs duties and taxes, and access to customs procedures and schemes. 

To activate a Customs Account, businesses need to complete the relevant application forms provided by Singapore Customs. They will need to submit necessary documents, such as business registration details and authorization letters if applicable. Once the application is submitted, it may take 1 to 3 working days for Singapore Customs to process and approve the request. The timeframe can vary depending on the completeness of the application and other factors. 

Businesses with a customs account must ensure compliance with Singapore’s customs laws and regulations. This includes accurate declaration of goods, payment of customs duties and taxes, and adherence to customs procedures. Having a customs account streamlines international trade processes, reduces paperwork, and provides easier access to customs services and schemes. 

5. Product-related Registrations

Singapore maintains strict regulations to ensure the safety, quality, and compliance of products available in its market. Various product-related registrations and approvals are necessary for businesses engaged in manufacturing, importing, or distributing products and we will look at 2 such products below: 

Businesses dealing with certain types of items, such as cosmetics, must register their products with the Health Sciences Authority (HSA). The HSA evaluates products for safety, quality, and efficacy before they can be sold in Singapore. 

Importers of food products need to obtain a Food Import License from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA). This license is mandatory for any entity that intends to import food into Singapore. It ensures that imported food meets safety and quality standards. 

6. Trademark Application

Safeguarding your intellectual property assets is essential for business protection and growth. Any individual or business, whether local or foreign, can apply for a trademark in Singapore. A trademark can consist of words, logos, symbols, or a combination of these elements. 

Before filing an application, it’s advisable to conduct a comprehensive trademark search to ensure that your desired trademark is unique and does not conflict with existing trademarks. This search can be done through the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). The trademark application can be submitted online to IPOS. The application must include details of the applicant, a clear representation of the trademark, and the goods or services for which the trademark will be used. 

After receiving the application, IPOS will conduct an examination to ensure that it complies with trademark laws and regulations. If approved, the trademark will be published in the Trade Marks Journal for public opposition for two months. During the opposition period, third parties can file objections to the trademark’s registration if they believe it conflicts with their existing trademarks. If no objections are raised or successfully defended, the trademark will proceed to registration. 

Once the trademark is registered, it grants the owner exclusive rights to use the trademark for the specified goods or services for ten years, renewable indefinitely. Trademark owners can take legal action against anyone who uses their trademark without permission. Singapore is a member of the Madrid Protocol, allowing trademark owners to extend their protection internationally by filing a single application with IPOS. 

Trademark owners are responsible for monitoring and enforcing their trademark rights. If they encounter trademark infringement, they can take legal action to protect their brand. Trademark registration in Singapore is a valuable investment for businesses as it provides legal protection and exclusive rights to use their brand identity. It is an essential tool in building and safeguarding brand recognition and reputation in the market. 

How Premia TNC can Help 

Post-incorporation registrations in Singapore can be complex and demanding, but they are essential for your business. With a comprehensive array of services, such as GST registration, employment pass applications, Customs Account activation, HSA cosmetic product registration and trademark application, Premia TNC ensures that your company establishes a strong foundation and is able to focus on achieving its long-term goals. 

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