Singapore is known as a financial hub in Asia for a long time, and the country has recently been experiencing a surge in financial innovations. However, the recent report has said that the lack of economic growth in Singapore has made bank aware of the necessity for collaboration with entrepreneurs and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) to accelerate growth in the region.
If you have your own corporate in Singapore and haven’t opened a bank account yet, you may read this article until its end, because you will find the information about what business types are welcome, the process of opening a bank account, the requirements, and the banks that you can choose later. Let’s find them out!
The Types of Corporate Entities in Singapore
Singapore is home to many of the world’s major banks, and you are allowed to open a corporate account for any entity, whether Singapore or overseas, as long as the correct paperwork has been submitted and is satisfactory.
Many types of businesses are based in Singapore, such as Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), Sole Proprietorships, and Partnerships. However, foreign companies are looking to establish a formal presence in the country have two options:
- Create a subsidiary company
A subsidiary company is a private, limited company that is incorporated in Singapore, whose parent company is a shareholder. This option makes the most sense for small and mid-sized companies.
- Open a branch office
A parent company can open a branch office registered in Singapore, instead of creating a separate entity as in the option above. In this option, the liabilities of the branch office are extended to the parent company.
- Representative office
A representative office is only a short-term arrangement with a limited purpose. It has no legal status and is designed only for conducting market research or engaging in promotional activities.
Deciding the rightest entity for your business is depending on what you want to do later. Any entity that you choose, once your registration is successful, you can open a bank account for your business.
The Requirements of Opening a Corporate Bank Account
The process for opening an account may be easy, but most banks will require the account signatories and the company’s majority directors to be physically present in Singapore to sign the paperwork at the time of opening.
Some of the larger international banks, such as HSBC and Citibank, will allow you to sign the necessary documents at one of their branches abroad, or in the presence of a notary.
Generally, most banks have the required documents for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore. The documents are listed below!
- Completed corporate account opening forms, and signed by authorized signatories as per the board resolution.
- A Board of Directors Resolution sanctioning the account opening and the established signatories to open it on behalf of the company. This must be prepared by your company’s secretary.
- A certified true copy of Resolution, sanctioning the account opening and the signatories to open the account on behalf of the company. This is a standard form created by the bank that must be signed.
- A certified true copy of Certificate of Incorporation, certified by a company director.
- A certified true copy of the Company’s Business Profile from the Company Registrar.
- A certified true copy of the Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA).
- Certified copies of the passports or Singapore ICs, as well as residential address proof of the directors, signatories, and ultimate beneficial owners.
Furthermore, you can actually open a bank account from abroad. Many banks may require your presence, but some will not. However, companies incorporated in Tax Haven Countries will need to provide a Certificate of Incumbency that is less than one year old.
Companies incorporated in other jurisdictions, such as the USA, UK, or Indonesia, will need to submit an official document from the Government and/or the Registrar of Companies.
If you are opening an account from outside of Singapore, all documents must be signed in the presence of the bank’s staff at an international branch, a notary public, or the High Commissioner of Singapore.
Additionally, all documents must be submitted in English. It’s the company’s responsibility to ensure that translation is correct. The company will also need to produce the original passport of all authorised signers, directors, and ultimate beneficial owners for the bank staff to verify.
Aside from the requirement, you would want to know what local banks that would suit you!
Which Bank Should You Choose?
There are many banks to choose in Singapore, some of them are most reputable for a business bank account, including local banks, such as:
DBS’s setup fees can be from S$500 to S$1.000, and these fees can be waived on a case by case basis at the bank’s discretion. DBS requires a minimum deposit of S$3.000 – S$8.000 depending on the account type.
Account holders must also maintain a monthly or average daily balance of S$50.000. An account with DBS comes with a debit card, credit card, chequebook, and access to online banking.
OCBC requires the executive director, as well as an authorized signatory to be present to open an account. An account at OCBC does not have a setup fee, but it’s just a monthly account fee of S$38, which is waived for the first three months. The bank account must hold S$5.000 per month.
Apart from the local bank fee’s requirement, opening any bank account also comes with a wide
range of standard fees. Business accounts in Singapore usually set their minimum balances, which range from S$5.000 to S$10.000 depending on which bank you choose. Additionally, you are likely to face annual account fees or even monthly account fees.
For foreigners doing business in Singapore, it’s often important to watch out on foreign transfer fees. For the bigger banks, such as DBS, the charge is from S$10 to S$120 on foreign transfers, and in OCBC the range is S$25 – S$70.
However, opening a bank account is easy as long as you have the required documents and already have chosen the rightest bank for you. If you are still unsure, you may contact us below! Viettonkin will always be ready to assist you!