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An Exempt Private Company (EPC) is a widely popular type of private limited company in Singapore that provides a comprehensive corporate structure suitable for businesses seeking a controlled and secure business environment. This type of **Singapore business incorporation** limits a company’s shareholders to a maximum of 20 individuals and prohibits corporate shareholders. With a legal identifier that typically ends in “Pte Ltd”, an EPC has a share capital and is unique from other company types due to its shareholder structure and financial reporting flexibility.

Key Takeaways

  • An Exempt Private Company Limited by Shares is a common type of **private limited company** in Singapore.
  • EPCs provide a secure business environment by capping the maximum number of shareholders to 20 individuals and prohibiting corporate shareholders.
  • Financial reporting flexibility is a distinguishing feature of an EPC.
  • The EPC structure offers a legal identifier typically ending in “Pte Ltd” to indicate its unique corporate structure.
  • An Exempt Private Company can be an excellent choice when seeking a controlled and secure **Singapore business incorporation** option.

Introduction to Exempt Private Companies in Singapore

An Exempt Private Company is a prevalent form of business incorporation in Singapore, setting itself apart from other Singapore company types such as Private Companies limited by shares and Public Companies. The exempt private company definition centers around the exclusiveness of its shareholder limitations, effectively minimizing the complexity of its corporate structure. When commencing the business registration Singapore process, entrepreneurs can consider utilizing VOffice’s virtual office services to address the need for a physical business address, with plans starting from just $4.75 per month.

Exempt Private Company in Singapore

Typically, the process of setting up an Exempt Private Company involves the following steps:

  1. Filing an application with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
  2. Obtaining approval for the chosen company name
  3. Submitting the necessary incorporation documents
  4. Securing the required registered business address

For first-time entrepreneurs, it is essential to understand the unique characteristics of an Exempt Private Company when evaluating the most suitable company type for their business venture. These include:

  • Maximum of 20 individual shareholders
  • No corporate shareholder allowed
  • Relaxed financial reporting standards compared to other company types

Given the exclusivity and simplicity of the Exempt Private Company structure, it is a popular choice for Singapore-based startups and small businesses.

“An Exempt Private Company in Singapore offers an attractive balance of privacy and simplicity, making it a popular business incorporation choice for entrepreneurs.”

In conclusion, Exempt Private Companies serve as a vital part of the Singaporean business landscape, offering distinctive benefits for both new and experienced entrepreneurs. Aspiring business owners should carefully weigh the advantages and key characteristics of this company type compared to other forms of incorporation. Additionally, leveraging virtual office services such as VOffice can help make the incorporation process more manageable while providing a physical address at an affordable price.

Key Characteristics of an Exempt Private Company Limited by Shares

An Exempt Private Company (EPC) in Singapore is widely acknowledged as an attractive setup for small businesses due to its unique features. The following highlights the critical characteristics that define an EPC limited by shares, including the mandatory ownership and shareholder structure, financial reporting flexibility, and the exclusiveness of this corporate format.

Exempt private company characteristics

Ownership and Shareholder Structure

One of the primary exempt private company requirements is the limitation of its shareholder count to a maximum of 20 individuals, with no corporate shareholders permitted. This condition plays a significant role in the EPC’s corporate structure.

  • Exclusivity: The focus on individual shareholders creates an exclusive environment that allows for more privacy and control when managing a business.
  • Ownership Clarity: The absence of corporate shareholders ensures the ownership structure is more straightforward, making any decision-making process more manageable.
  • Reduced Complexity: A smaller number of shareholders reduces the chances for misunderstandings and conflicts, promoting the overall success and stability of the business.

As a result, an EPC affords entrepreneurs a more controlled and private approach to business management, as long as the stakeholders adhere to the specific shareholder limitations.

Financial Reporting Flexibility

Another critical aspect of EPCs is the flexibility they receive in terms of financial reporting. Exempt Private Companies are given certain allowances due to their unique shareholder structure, which can ease some of the regulatory burdens typically associated with financial reporting. EPCs can benefit from these key financial reporting standard features:

  1. EPCs may submit simplified financial statements with less stringent disclosure requirements, provided they meet specific eligibility criteria.
  2. Audit exemptions can minimize the time, complexity, and costs related to financial reporting.
  3. The flexible structure of an EPC allows for better customization of annual financial reports, enabling businesses to adapt the documentation to their specific needs and preferences.

These allowances enable EPCs in Singapore to adhere to the financial reporting standards with fewer burdens, often saving these small businesses significant time and resources.

Exclusiveness of the Exempt Private Company Status

Exempt Private Companies are unique in their exclusiveness and orientation for controlled and private business environments. They must maintain compliance with specific regulations and requirements in order to retain the benefits of their EPC status. Therefore, it is critical for entrepreneurs establishing an EPC in Singapore to understand and fulfill these requirements diligently:

It is essential to preserve the exclusive EPC shareholder structure with a maximum of 20 individual shareholders and no corporate shareholder involvement.

By respecting these prerequisites and leveraging the advantages of an Exempt Private Company Limited by Shares, business owners can enjoy a more tailor-made business environment that caters to their specific needs and preferences in the competitive Singaporean market.

Advantages of Opting for an Exempt Private Company

An Exempt Private Company (EPC) offers several benefits to business owners and entrepreneurs over traditional private and public companies. In this section, we will delve into some of the most notable exempt private company advantages and explore how the unique attributes of these business structures can contribute to their overall success in Singapore’s competitive marketplace.

corporate tax exemption Singapore

  1. Limited Liability: The most appealing aspect of an EPC is the limited liability it provides for its shareholders. Limited liability ensures that the shareholders are only liable for the company’s debts and obligations to the extent of their investment. This keeps shareholders’ personal assets protected, making EPCs a secure option for small business owners.
  2. Ability to Extend Loans to Directors: Unlike non-exempt companies, EPCs have the unique benefit of allowing loans to be extended to their directors. This can give the company greater flexibility, enabling directors to make strategic decisions for business growth.
  3. Eligibility for the Start-Up Tax Exemption Scheme: EPCs are also eligible for the Start-Up Tax Exemption (SUTE) Scheme, which provides tax breaks to qualified businesses in their initial years of operation. This lucrative corporate tax exemption in Singapore can help reduce financial burdens on new businesses, saving them valuable financial resources to reinvest in their growth.
  4. Lower Regulatory Burden: EPCs are subject to fewer regulations and reduced filing requirements compared to other Singapore company types. This lower regulatory burden can result in time and cost savings for business owners, which they can use for activities more relevant to their business’s growth and development.

To complement the various advantages of setting up an EPC, many businesses take advantage of cost-effective solutions from companies like VOffice to cater to their virtual business address needs. By leveraging these services, EPCs can further improve their financial and operational efficiency, giving them a competitive edge in the fast-paced Singapore business landscape.

In conclusion, opting for an Exempt Private Company structure in Singapore provides significant benefits like limited liability, the ability to extend loans to directors, eligibility for the Start-Up Tax Exemption Scheme, and a lower regulatory burden. These advantages position EPCs as an ideal choice for businesses seeking a competitive advantage in Singapore.

Compliance and Regulatory Obligations for Exempt Private Companies

In Singapore, maintaining proper Singapore company compliance is imperative. Despite the numerous benefits provided to Exempt Private Companies (EPC), these companies need to adhere to various regulatory obligations, including meeting ACRA filing requirements. In addition, there are specific criteria to qualify for audit exemptions. This section will outline these essential aspects of EPC compliance and regulatory obligations.

Singapore company compliance and regulatory obligations

Annual Filing Requirements

An Exempt Private Company must fulfill specific annual filing requirements with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) to remain compliant. EPCs must file their annual returns, including their financial statements, which should be in compliance with the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS).

  1. File annual return within 30 days after the company’s Annual General Meeting
  2. File tax returns with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
  3. Update the register of shareholders, directors, and company secretaries, as well as any changes in the company’s business activities and registered office address

It is essential to meet these filing requirements not only for compliance purposes but also for retaining the EPC’s benefits, such as simplified compliance procedures and audit exemptions.

Benefits of Simplified Compliance Procedures

Exempt Private Companies enjoy several simplified compliance procedures that ease their administrative burden. For example, EPCs can file simplified annual returns for financial years ending on or after 31 August 2018, provided that they fulfill additional conditions related to their financial statements’ preparation. This advantage significantly reduces the time and cost of annual compliance for EPCs.

“Simplified compliance procedures for Exempt Private Companies in Singapore reduce the administrative burden and contribute to a more efficient business environment.”

Audit Exemptions: Conditions and Qualifications

Exempt Private Companies may be eligible for audit exemptions under specific audit exemption criteria. To qualify, an EPC must meet the following conditions:

  • Have annual revenue not exceeding S$10 million for the relevant financial year
  • Total assets of the EPC and its subsidiaries not exceeding S$10 million at the end of the financial year
  • No more than 20 shareholders throughout the financial year

Meeting these criteria exempts the company from appointing auditors to audit their financial statements, thus reducing the costs and complexity of financial reporting. Nevertheless, the EPC still needs to prepare and file unaudited financial statements in compliance with SFRS.

In conclusion, complying with Singapore’s regulatory obligations is crucial for Exempt Private Companies to maintain their unique benefits. EPCs should remain diligent with their annual filing requirements, leverage the simplified compliance procedures, and be aware of the audit exemption criteria to ensure their business remains in good standing.


As an entrepreneur embarking on the journey of starting a company in Singapore, it is imperative to grasp the unique aspects and benefits of incorporating an Exempt Private Company Limited by Shares. This structure presents notable advantages in terms of flexibility, reduced regulatory burden, and favorable tax exemptions designed to help businesses grow and thrive.

Understanding the nuances of exempt private companies enables business owners and decision-makers to adopt effective business strategies and optimize their company setup within Singapore’s thriving economy. The streamlined compliance procedures alleviate the stress associated with annual filing requirements, enabling businesses to focus on their core activities and aspirations.

Entrepreneurs considering an Exempt Private Company Limited by Shares should weigh the value of essential services for their business registration needs. In this regard, businesses can leverage virtual office solutions like VOffice, providing cost-effective means to satisfy legal address requirements in Singapore. With these efficient and economical solutions, entrepreneurs can focus on propelling their business to new heights of success.


What is an Exempt Private Company Limited by Shares in Singapore?

An Exempt Private Company Limited by Shares is a type of private limited company that has a maximum of 20 shareholders, none of whom can be corporations. It provides limited liability for shareholders and has a share capital. It is a popular form of business incorporation in Singapore, offering unique characteristics compared to other company types.

What sets an Exempt Private Company apart from other company types in Singapore?

An Exempt Private Company has a unique shareholder structure limiting the number of shareholders to 20, with no corporate shareholders allowed. It also offers financial reporting flexibility, eligibility for the Start-Up Tax Exemption Scheme, and the ability to extend loans to directors.

What are the main advantages of incorporating an Exempt Private Company in Singapore?

Some key advantages of incorporating an Exempt Private Company include limited liability for shareholders, lower regulatory burden, flexibility in financial reporting and compliance, and eligibility for corporate tax exemptions in Singapore.

What are the regulatory obligations for Exempt Private Companies in Singapore?

Exempt Private Companies in Singapore have streamlined annual filing requirements and can file simplified annual returns if they meet certain conditions. They also benefit from simplified compliance procedures and audit exemptions under specific qualifications.

How can entrepreneurs benefit from services like VOffice when setting up their Exempt Private Company in Singapore?

By using VOffice’s virtual office services, entrepreneurs can address the need for a physical business address for their Exempt Private Company at a cost-effective starting rate of $4.75/month, helping them meet legal address requirements for business registration in Singapore.