Starting a Business in Singapore: A Foreigner’s Guide


Starting a business in Singapore as a foreigner can be a daunting task, but with the right guidance and support, it can be a monumental achievement. Singapore is renowned for its business-friendly environment and strategic location, making it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs from all over the world. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the process of setting up a business in Singapore and offers practical tips on how to navigate the various regulations and procedures.

Singapore Company Incorporation 

The first step in starting a business in Singapore is to incorporate your company. This process involves registering your business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and obtaining a business license. There are several types of business structures available in Singapore, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Each structure has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and it is essential to choose the one that best suits your business needs.

Types of business structures available in Singapore

  • Sole proprietorship: This is the simplest and most straightforward business structure. It is suitable for small businesses with a single owner and does not require any registration with ACRA.
  • Partnership: A partnership is a business structure where two or more individuals share ownership and management of the business. Partnerships are required to register with ACRA, but they do not have limited liability.
  • Limited liability company (LLC): An LLC is a separate legal entity from its owners and offers limited liability protection. LLCs are required to register with ACRA and must appoint at least one local director.

Incorporation process 

The incorporation process involves the following steps:

  • Choose a company name: Your company name must be unique and cannot be identical or similar to an existing company name.
  • Appoint directors: LLCs must appoint at least one local director, who must be a resident of Singapore.
  • Register with ACRA: Submit the necessary documents, including the company’s memorandum and articles of association, to ACRA for registration.
  • Obtain a business license: Once your company is registered, you will need to obtain a business license from the relevant government agency.

Nominee Director Services 

Another important aspect of starting a business in Singapore as a foreigner is appointing a nominee director. A nominee director is a local Singaporean who serves as a representative of your company and acts as the point of contact with government agencies and other local organizations. Nominee directors are especially useful for foreigners who do not have a local presence or do not meet the residency requirements for becoming a director of a Singapore company.

Benefits of Nominee Director Services

  • Compliance with local regulations: Appointing a nominee director ensures that your company complies with local regulations and laws regarding the appointment of directors.
  • Facilitation of business operations: A nominee director can help facilitate business operations by serving as a liaison between your company and local organizations and government agencies.
  • Privacy and confidentiality: Appointing a nominee director can help protect your privacy and confidentiality as a foreigner doing business in Singapore.

Choosing a Nominee Director Service Provider 

When choosing a nominee director service provider, it is essential to select a reputable and reliable company. One such company that offers excellent nominee director services is 3E Accounting Pte Ltd. They have a team of experienced professionals who can help you navigate the complexities of appointing a nominee director and ensure that your company is in compliance with local regulations.


Starting a business in Singapore as a foreigner can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide and working with reputable service providers like 3E Accounting Pte Ltd, you can ensure that your business is in good hands.