+65 64600199

As a thriving business hub with easy access to Asian markets and a favorable tax regime, Singapore has become an alluring destination for foreign companies looking to expand. Setting up a subsidiary company is one way these businesses can establish a presence in the country. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of how to open a subsidiary company in Singapore, detailing the legal requirements and procedures involved in registering your company.

Key Takeaways

  • Subsidiaries in Singapore provide limited liability protection for their parent company.
  • Understanding the differences between a subsidiary, branch, and representative office is crucial for choosing the right business structure.
  • Registration of a Singapore subsidiary company entails approving a unique company name and submitting the required documentation.
  • Post-registration formalities include opening a bank account, appointing an auditor if needed, and understanding tax benefits.
  • Ongoing compliance and regulatory requirements must be met to maintain good standing as a subsidiary company in Singapore.

Understanding Subsidiary Companies in Singapore

Subsidiary companies in Singapore assume a separate legal identity from their parent company, ensuring that the parent company’s liability is confined to its investment in the subsidiary. In fact, the subsidiary is not liable for the parent company’s debts. Consequently, subsidiaries can engage in distinct business activities and fully benefit from Singapore’s assistance schemes and tax incentives. Under certain conditions, this includes being exempt from annual audits, which simplifies operations and reduces regulatory burdens.

Setting up a subsidiary company in Singapore provides numerous benefits from the nation’s business-friendly regulations and favorable tax regime.

Key Characteristics of Singapore Subsidiary Companies

Singaporean subsidiaries are constituted as private limited companies, which means they are entitled to local tax rates and incentives. They can operate in different business sectors than their parent entities and, with the potential for foreign firms to own all shares. Smaller subsidiaries stand to benefit significantly from being exempt from annual audits, as this results in lower compliance costs.

Comparing Subsidiary, Branch, and Representative Office

Foreign entities looking to expand into Singapore can choose between three business forms: subsidiary companies, branch offices, or representative offices. Each of these structures has distinct attributes and implications regarding liability, tax treatment, and compliance. A thorough understanding of these differences will help businesses make informed decisions on the most suitable form for their Singaporean presence.

  1. Subsidiary: A distinct legal entity from its parent company, responsible for its own debts.
  2. Branch Office: An extension of the parent company, with a higher degree of liability for the parent company.
  3. Representative Office: A temporary establishment for market exploration and relationship-building, not allowed to conduct profit-generating activities.

Benefiting from Singapore’s Business Landscape

Establishing a subsidiary company in Singapore affords enterprises the opportunity to make the most of Singapore’s low tax rates, ease of doing business, and robust trade agreements. Leveraging these perks can lead to expansion and overall business growth, fostering an ideal hub for Asia-based operations.

Requirements for Establishing a Singapore Subsidiary

Establishing a subsidiary company in Singapore is subject to several statutory requirements. Following these guidelines is imperative to remain compliant and successfully set up a subsidiary in the city-state. The requirements for opening a subsidiary in Singapore include:

  1. Minimum paid-up capital of S$1
  2. Securing a local registered office address
  3. Appointing at least one resident director
  4. Appointing a company secretary within 6 months of incorporation
  5. Submitting required documents, such as the parent company’s certificate of incorporation and personal particulars of proposed directors

Requirements for opening a subsidiary in Singapore

Adhering to the subsidiary company setup process in Singapore helps ensure a smooth experience while integrating into the local business landscape. Each requirement serves a crucial purpose, as detailed below.

“The minimum paid-up capital requirement ensures that the proposed subsidiary demonstrates financial credibility.”

Having an adequate capital in place lends the company credibility and stability, attracting potential investors and clients. Furthermore, it mitigates risks and ensures that the company can sustain its operations, especially during challenging economic conditions.

Securing a local registered office address is essential as it serves as the company’s official point of contact with government authorities and stakeholders. This address must be a physical location, not a P.O. Box, and should be operational during normal business hours.

Appointing at least one resident director is crucial in ensuring compliance with Singaporean laws and regulations. It is imperative to find a qualified individual who understands and supports the company’s objectives and adheres to its policies. Singapore considers a person a resident if they hold a Singaporean citizenship, an employment visa, or are a permanent resident.

Finally, a company secretary must be appointed within six months of incorporating the subsidiary. This individual is responsible for maintaining the company’s records, ensuring compliance with statutory requirements, and assisting with communications between the company and governmental authorities.

In conclusion, a thorough understanding and adherence to the requirements for establishing a Singapore subsidiary play a vital role in the subsidiary company setup process in Singapore. By meeting these statutory obligations, foreign companies can successfully launch and sustain their expansion journey in Singapore.

Step-by-Step Guide to Singapore Subsidiary Registration

Establishing a subsidiary company in Singapore involves a seamless and efficient process. Here, we present a step-by-step guide detailing the key stages of the Singapore subsidiary company registration process.

Name Approval and Reservation

The first step to open a subsidiary company in Singapore is obtaining approval for your chosen company name from the Singapore Company Registrar. The proposed name should be unique and conform to Singapore’s naming conventions. If there are no conflicts with existing names, the approval process is typically swift – taking just 10 to 15 minutes.

Remember, a unique and compliant name is crucial for a smooth registration process.

Company Registration Documents and Procedures

Once the name approval stage is complete, the next step is submitting the necessary documents to the Registrar. These documents include:

  • Parent company’s certificate of incorporation
  • Authorization letter
  • Singapore office address
  • Directors’ consent
  • Directors’ identification and residential details
  • Subsidiary’s constitution

The registration process is facilitated online, making it convenient and time-efficient. You can generally expect the entire registration process to be completed within 1-2 days after name approval.

Understanding the Registration Fees

Registering a new subsidiary company in Singapore incurs a fee, which is currently set at S$315. This includes S$15 for name approval and S$300 for company registration. Be aware that this fee does not cover the charges that may be levied by a service firm assisting you in the process.

To successfully set up your Singapore subsidiary company, it is essential to follow the steps outlined in this guide. Adopting a thorough approach will ensure a seamless registration, allowing you to benefit from the countless opportunities Singapore’s business landscape has to offer.

Post-Registration Formalities

Once your subsidiary company is registered in Singapore, there are several post-incorporation procedures to follow. These measures will further strengthen your business and ensure compliance with the Singapore government regulations.

  1. Bank Account Establishment: Opening a corporate bank account is crucial for managing your subsidiary’s finances in Singapore. Research the banks that best meet your requirements and submit the necessary documents for account opening.
  2. Auditor Appointments: If your subsidiary is not exempt, you need to appoint an auditor within three months of the company’s incorporation. The auditor will ensure your financial statements adhere to the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS).
  3. Understanding Relevant Tax Benefits: Singapore offers various tax benefits to businesses. Familiarize yourself with these incentives, especially for subsidiaries, to optimize your tax efficiency.
  4. SSIC Code Selection: Select and register the appropriate Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) code to classify your business activities for government records.
  5. Obtaining Necessary Licenses: Depending on your subsidiary’s activities, certain permits or licenses may be required. Ensure you apply for and hold the necessary documents to carry out your business legally.
  6. Considering Essential Insurances: Crucial insurance policies protect your subsidiary from unforeseen events. Assess the risks your business may face and obtain relevant coverages such as public liability, worker’s compensation, and property insurance.

Keep in mind that every business is unique, and the post-incorporation procedures in Singapore will vary accordingly. Diligently following these steps ensures the smooth operation of your subsidiary and compliance with the rules and regulations governing Singapore.

Navigating Ongoing Compliance and Regulatory Requirements

For a Singaporean subsidiary, adhering to the ongoing subsidiary compliance and regulatory requirements in Singapore is crucial in maintaining a streamlined business operation. This section highlights the most important aspects that subsidiaries must be aware of, including annual reporting and taxation obligations, maintaining accurate company information, and Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration considerations.

Annual Reporting and Taxation Obligations

Subsidiaries in Singapore are required to submit timely annual filings with the Company Registrar and Revenue Authorities. This encompasses both the coherence of financial reporting and compliance with taxation rules. By adhering to these rules, you can leverage on Singapore’s local tax incentives and enjoy the plethora of benefits this brings to your organization.

“A successful Singaporean subsidiary must stay updated with the annual reporting and taxation requirements to maintain its competitive edge.”

Maintaining Accurate Company Information

Keeping corporate details current is critical for ensuring a subsidiary’s regulatory standing. This includes promptly updating information on changes in shareholders or directors, addressing modifications in the company structure, and any significant alterations that could impact regulatory compliance. By doing so, businesses can avoid unnecessary complications with authorities and maintain a sterling reputation in the market.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) Registration Considerations

As a Singapore subsidiary, you should be aware of the requirements surrounding GST registration. When the company’s revenue exceeds the prevailing threshold for GST, it is crucial to register for GST and abide by its obligations. This contributes to the streamlined handling of this consumption tax and supports a transparent and efficient business environment.

  1. Monitor revenue and assess whether you meet the GST registration threshold.
  2. Register for GST if the threshold is met and comply with associated requirements.
  3. Stay informed about any changes to GST regulations to maintain compliance.

In conclusion, to successfully navigate ongoing compliance and regulatory requirements in Singapore, subsidiaries must ensure due diligence on multiple fronts, including annual reporting, taxation obligations, and maintaining accurate company information. By doing so, you can ensure that your business will thrive in the ever-competitive Singapore market.

Enhancing Your Business with VOffice Virtual Services

Setting up a subsidiary in Singapore bears operational and compliance challenges. To help you overcome these hurdles and optimize operational efficiency, our VOffice virtual office services in Singapore offer comprehensive support starting at an affordable fee of $4.75/month. We furnish solutions for company incorporation, company secretarial management, compliance services, corporate bank account opening assistance, accounting, tax filings, and immigration services, offering a tailored and expedient package for businesses establishing in Singapore.

VOffice Virtual Office Services

By opting for our affordable virtual services in Singapore, you take advantage of the following benefits:

  1. Cost-effectiveness – Save on physical office expenses while still making a professional impression.
  2. Flexibility – Access to virtual office services when and where you need them.
  3. Efficiency – Streamlined processes for company formation and compliance management.
  4. Global Accessibility – Manage your subsidiary from anywhere in the world with a reliable virtual office infrastructure.

“VOffice virtual services have been a game-changer for our subsidiary’s expansion in Singapore. With their comprehensive support and affordable rates, we’ve been able to focus on business growth without being bogged down by administrative tasks.”

In summary, our VOffice virtual office services in Singapore provide an excellent solution to help you navigate the complexities of subsidiary formation and ongoing management. With our affordable virtual services, you can achieve a seamless, efficient experience tailored to your business needs.


Establishing a subsidiary company is a preferred solution for many international firms looking to penetrate the Singapore market. The process, characterized by a sequence of regulatory steps, enables companies to exploit the strategic advantages of Singapore’s business environment. By following the guidelines laid out in this article, you’ll be well on your way towards a successful subsidiary opening in Singapore.

It’s crucial to adhere to the legal procedures and requirements for opening a subsidiary in the country. Proper registration, document submission, and setting up of necessary operations in compliance with local laws is essential for finalizing subsidiary company formation in Singapore. Moreover, understanding and fulfilling the post-registration formalities and ongoing compliance would facilitate seamless business operations in this thriving economy.

At every step of the process, remember to consult the proper authorities and seek professional guidance. With a diligent approach, you shall be successful in creating a solid foundation for your subsidiary company in Singapore, positioning your business for growth and expansion in the local and regional markets.


What is the main difference between a subsidiary, branch, and representative office in Singapore?

The main difference between these three options is their legal status, liability, tax treatment, and compliance requirements. A subsidiary is a separate legal entity from the parent company, with limited liability, local tax rates, and incentives. Branch offices are extensions of the parent company and are not separate legal entities, while representative offices can only engage in market research and have no direct business activities.

What are the key requirements for setting up a subsidiary in Singapore?

Requirements include a minimum paid-up capital of S$1, a local registered office address, at least one resident director, and a company secretary appointed within six months of incorporation. Additionally, the parent company’s certificate of incorporation and proposed directors’ identification documents are required for submission.

How long does it take to register a subsidiary in Singapore?

The registration process typically takes 1-2 days after obtaining name approval, which can be expedited within 10 to 15 minutes if there are no conflicts. The entire process is completed online, making it a seamless experience.

What are the post-registration formalities for a Singapore subsidiary?

Post-registration formalities include opening a corporate bank account, appointing an auditor (if not exempt), understanding tax benefits, selecting the appropriate SSIC code for government records, obtaining necessary licenses or permits for regulated activities, and securing appropriate insurance coverage for the company’s operations.

What are the ongoing compliance and regulatory requirements for a Singapore subsidiary?

Singaporean subsidiaries must adhere to ongoing compliance obligations, including filing annual returns, tax filings, regular updates to corporate information, and appropriate GST registrations for applicable businesses. Furthermore, businesses must comply with local laws such as employment and data protection statutes.