Singapore Sole Proprietorship Registration: A Complete Guide

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Singapore Sole Proprietorship Registration

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Singapore is renowned for its business-friendly environment, strategic location, and robust legal framework, making it a prime destination for entrepreneurs. Among the various business structures available, a sole proprietorship is often preferred for its simplicity and ease of setup. This guide provides a detailed overview of the steps and considerations involved in registering a sole proprietorship in Singapore.

What is a Sole Proprietorship?

A sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business entity in Singapore. It is owned and managed by a single individual who has complete control over the business. However, the owner is personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business. This structure is suitable for small-scale, low-risk businesses and offers several advantages, such as minimal regulatory requirements and ease of management.

Advantages of a Sole Proprietorship

1. Simplicity and Ease of Setup

Registering a sole proprietorship in Singapore is straightforward and can be completed quickly, often within a day. The regulatory requirements are minimal compared to other business structures.

2. Full Control

As the sole proprietor, you have full control over all business decisions, allowing for quick decision-making and flexibility in managing the business.

3. Lower Costs

The costs associated with setting up and maintaining a sole proprietorship are relatively low, making it an attractive option for new entrepreneurs.

4. Tax Benefits

The income of a sole proprietorship is taxed at the personal income tax rate of the owner, avoiding double taxation.

Steps to Register a Sole Proprietorship in Singapore

1. Eligibility Criteria

Before you start the registration process, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a Singapore citizen, Singapore permanent resident, or an EntrePass holder. Foreigners without these statuses must appoint a local manager.
  • You must be at least 18 years old.

2. Choose a Business Name

Selecting a suitable business name is crucial. The name must be:

  • Unique and not identical or similar to existing business names.
  • Free from vulgar or obscene language.
  • Compliant with the guidelines set by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

You can check the availability of your desired business name and reserve it through ACRA’s BizFile+ portal.

3. Appoint a Local Manager

If you are a foreigner without permanent resident status or an EntrePass, you need to appoint a Singaporean resident director. The local manager will be responsible for ensuring the business complies with local laws and regulations.

4. Register Your Business

The registration process can be completed online through ACRA’s BizFile+ portal. Here are the steps involved:

  • Log in to BizFile+: You will need a SingPass account to log in. Foreigners who do not have a SingPass can use a CorpPass.
  • Reserve Your Business Name: Submit your chosen business name for approval. Once approved, the name will be reserved for 120 days.
  • Submit Registration Details: Provide the necessary information, including the business address, details of the sole proprietor and local manager, and the nature of the business.
  • Pay Registration Fee: The registration fee is SGD 100, which covers a one-year registration period. You can also choose to register for three years for SGD 150.

Upon successful registration, you will receive a business registration number (UEN) and a business profile from ACRA.

5. Comply with Legal Requirements

After registration, you must comply with the following legal requirements:

  • Business Licenses and Permits: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need specific licenses or permits. Check with relevant authorities to ensure compliance.
  • GST Registration: If your annual turnover exceeds SGD 1 million, you must register for GST with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
  • Work Pass: If you are a foreigner who wishes to run a business in Singapore, you must obtain the appropriate work pass, such as an EntrePass, Employment Pass, or a Dependant’s Pass with a Letter of Consent.

6. Open a Business Bank Account

Opening a business bank account is essential for managing your business finances. Here are the steps to open a bank account:

  • Choose a Bank: Singapore has a variety of local and international banks. Research and select the one that best suits your business needs.
  • Prepare Required Documents: Generally, you will need the following documents to open a business bank account:
    • ACRA business profile
    • Identification documents (passport and work pass) of the sole proprietor
    • Proof of business address
    • Other documents as specified by the bank
  • Submit Your Application: Visit the bank in person to submit your application and required documents. Some banks may offer online application options.
  • Wait for Approval: The bank will review your application and notify you once the account is ready for use.

Maintaining Your Sole Proprietorship

1. Renewal of Registration

A sole proprietorship registration is valid for one or three years, depending on the registration period chosen. You must renew your registration before it expires to avoid penalties.

2. Updating Business Information

Any changes to your business details, such as business address, contact information, or local manager, must be updated with ACRA through the BizFile+ portal.

3. Compliance with Tax Obligations

Ensure that you comply with all tax obligations, including filing annual income tax returns and GST returns if applicable.

4. Maintain Proper Records

Keep accurate and up-to-date records of all business transactions, expenses, and financial statements. This is essential for tax filing and business management.


Setting up a sole proprietorship in Singapore is a straightforward process that offers many advantages for small business owners. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully register your sole proprietorship and start your entrepreneurial journey in one of the world’s most vibrant business hubs. Remember to comply with all legal requirements and maintain proper records to ensure smooth operation and growth of your business. If you have any doubts or need assistance, consulting with a local business advisor or legal professional can provide valuable guidance.


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