Post-incorporation Checklist: Next 6 Key Steps To Take
Embarking on the journey of establishing your business in Singapore is a significant step towards your entrepreneurial dreams. The moment you successfully complete the process of company incorporation, it’s important to understand that you have merely set the stage for your business’s entry into the Singaporean market. The Companies Act of 1967 mandates that every business entity must register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) to operate lawfully in this thriving nation. However, your entrepreneurial path doesn’t end with this initial step. Instead, it marks the beginning of a series of crucial actions that will set the course for your business’s growth and success.
The next six key steps you should take to navigate the business landscape of Singapore are essential not only for complying with legal requirements but also for positioning your company to thrive and succeed. In this article, we look into what comes after incorporation to ensure your business’s solid foundation and trajectory toward prosperity.
1. Choose your company’s financial year–end (FYE)
As a business owner, you will need to file several reports with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) on an annual basis. The deadlines for filing these yearly reports will depend on your company’s financial year-end (FYE). Aside from this, your FYE will also have a direct effect on your filing of the Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) and holding of the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Businesses in Singapore are given the freedom to choose any date for their FYE.
2. Appoint an auditor
An auditor is responsible for the reporting standards of your company. Depending on the kind of business you will be operating, you will need to appoint an auditor within at least the first three months of incorporation. However, you will not be mandated to appoint an auditor if your business meets any of the following criteria:
- The total annual revenue of your company does not exceed S$10 million.
- The total assets of your company within your FYE do not go beyond S$10 million.
- The overall number of full-time employees your company has is not more than 50 at the end of your FYE.
3. Hire a corporate secretary
A corporate secretary holds main duties that involve carrying out various administrative tasks, such as drafting documents and notifying authorities of any change to the structure, name, or board of directors of your company. They are also in charge of filing any paperwork that the Singapore authorities will require. When the yearly filing and AGM are due, the company secretary is duty-bound to notify the shareholders and directors of the company.
Under Singapore law, a company needs to appoint a corporate secretary within six months of its incorporation. This secretary must be either a Singapore resident or a holder of a Singapore Employment Pass/Dependent Pass/EntrePass. For businesses that are having a hard time finding a qualified secretary, there are several firms that offer secretarial services in Singapore to help you in your search for a reliable one.
4. Issue share certificates
In Singapore, the issuance of share certificates is not optional but mandatory. The share certificate is a legally binding document that certifies the ownership of a shareholder in the number of shares issued by a company. It can be issued with or without the company’s common seal. As a business owner, you must keep track of the number of shares you have issued in total, those that you have issued to your shareholders, and those that you have kept because this data will be needed for a variety of financing purposes.
5. Set up your statutory books
Statutory books are your company’s official legal records that must be maintained at your registered office in Singapore. Since statutory books are public records that can be requested by the authorities at any time, they should be updated regularly in case an official from ACRA or IRAS decides to inspect them. The duty to compile and maintain the statutory books of your company is vested in your corporate secretary. Here are the pieces of information that should be included in your statutory books:
- Up-to-date details about the officers of your company, including your directors, secretaries, and auditors. Their dates of appointment and resignation must also be specified.
- A list of your company’s shareholders, including the number of shares they own and any latest stock transactions.
- Information on floating or fixed charges and debentures used for securing any loan made by your company.
- AGM minutes and details on any resolutions adopted.
6. Establish your accounting system
It is necessary to keep account of every profit and expense your company incurs from the day it is registered. This enables you to be informed about the profitability and financial status of your business while following Singapore’s tax requirements at the same time. Be sure to establish a reliable accounting system and stay on top of things in order to avoid getting penalised for tax evasion. The Singapore Accounting Standards particularly require every business to keep their accounting books up-to-date.
There are several different things you need to do after you have incorporated your company in Singapore. Completing these tasks may seem complicated and daunting at first, especially if you are new to business. However, they are actually quite simple and fast as long as you have the necessary documentation. Furthermore, you have the option to hire a professional corporate services firm to guide and assist you through all these tasks.
For the best and most trusted corporate services in Singapore, OneStop Professional Services is the expert you can count on! We are an established audit and accounting firm that offers an array of comprehensive and cost-effective corporate services, ranging from company incorporation and nominee director to accounting and auditing services in Tanjong Pagar. Feel free to contact us today to learn more.