Compliance Guide in Singapore

Introduction- Compliance Guide in Singapore

A Singapore company confers the advantage of limited liability as well as many tax benefits. However, an incorporated company also faces increased regulatory and compliance requirements.

This article provides an overview of the main compliance requirements that a company faces under Singapore law.

Key Compliances- Secretarial

  • The company must have at least one director who is “ordinarily” resident in Singapore i.e. Singapore citizen
  • A Singapore company must appoint at least 1 company secretary to ensure that the company complies with regulatory and reporting requirements in Singapore. The office of company secretary cannot be left vacant for more than 6 months at any one time. A director can also serve as company secretary if he is not the sole director of the company.
  • If the number of shareholders is 20 or less, with no corporation holding any beneficial interest in the company’s shares, it is known as an Exempt Private Company.

Taxation compliances

  • A company must be registered to collect GST if its annual turnover exceeds or is likely to exceed S$1 million from the sale of taxable goods and services. This requirement may be waived if most of the goods or services are exported or supplied internationally (“zero-rated supplies”).
  • If your company is engaged in export, import, or trans-shipment activities in Singapore, you are required to register the company with Singapore Customs as an importer, exporter, common carrier, and others. Earlier, Singapore Customs used to issue a Central Registration Number (CRN) to Singapore companies/organizations engaged in trading activities. But since January 1, 2009, Singapore Customs has implemented the use of Unique Entity Number (UEN) in place of CRN.
  • All companies must pay corporate tax on any chargeable income derived from Singapore or foreign income remitted into Singapore. Corporate tax must be filed annually by:
    • 15 December if filing online; or
    • 30 November if the company physically files the Income Tax Return.

There are also few statutory requirements for employers in Singapore as regards to their contribution per employee.

  • First is the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions, which are payable to Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. The employer is required to pay the employer’s and employee’s share of CPF contributions monthly for all applicable employees.
  • Second is the Skills Development Levy (SDL), which is used to fund the Skills Development Fund which supports workforce upgrading programmes and provides training grants to employers. Employers are required to make SDL contributions for all employees — i.e. all local and foreign employees, including casual, part-time and temporary employees.

Latest amendment

As, with effect from May 1, 2021, all companies incorporated in Singapore, except for sole proprietorships, partnerships and solvent EPCs, are required to file a full set of financial statements in XBRL format (according to a revised filing and data elements list by ACRA).


We hope that the above guide has been helpful in helping you understand some of the compliance requirements faced by incorporated companies in Singapore.

A professional corporate secretary will be able to assist you with many of these compliance requirements, such as maintaining company registers and filing annual returns, so you don’t get unnecessarily penalized for non-compliance.

Visit our site Legal updates to know about compliance requirements in other overseas locations as well.