Want to know more about opening a bank account in Singapore?
If you are a Malaysian or a foreigner in Malaysia but wish to open a bank account in Singapore for your business operation. Here is what you can do. Before you open a bank account, the general rule of thumb is to always reserve your decision until you first scout around and conduct a bit of research and weigh your options. This is due to the fact that the banks in Singapore offer various services to corporations. Among the features you can expect would be credit cards, multi-currency accounts and trade financing, to name a few.
Requirements For Opening a Business Bank Account
These are a few documents required to successfully open a new business bank account:
- Corporate Account Opening Form – these have to be completed and duly signed by authorised signatories of your company.
- Board of Directors Resolution – this is another important document because it states that the company is given the green light to go ahead with opening an account. You would not need to prepare an additional letter for this because most banks would already have the format. Thus, you would just need to get the necessary authorised signatures on the form.
- Certified True Copy of Certificate of Incorporation – as proof that your company has indeed been incorporated; banks need a certified true copy of the certificate of incorporation. Be mindful that only the company secretary or any one of the directors is allowed to certify this.
- Certified True Copy of Company’s Business Profile from the Company Registrar – again, this can only be certified by the company secretary or any one of the directors.
- Certified True Copy of Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.
- Certified True Copy of Passport/Singapore IC and Residential Address Proof of Directors, Signatories and Ultimate Beneficiary Owners.
Of course, each bank would have different requirements but these would be the general documents needed in order to open a corporate bank account.
Depending on each individual bank, the signatories might be required to be present when opening the account. You can easily obtain more information on the requirements from each individual bank which would also aid in your selection process. All you need to do then would be to understand your business requirement and see which bank would best fit those needs.
Hopefully, this guide will be able to aid you on your search for a good bank to service your needs.
Things to Look Out For
The bank of your choice would ultimately depend on what you want out of your bank account. However, due to the steep competition between banks and financial institutions these days, you would probably find that there are many attractive benefits for those who are looking to open corporate bank accounts. Some banks even waive bank charges for certain processes for a given time.
All these should be taken into consideration because they would go towards savings for your company. Still, it is always good to scrutinise in full detail the benefits on offer because it might turn out that subsequent charges after the waiver period is higher than normal.
The Length of Time
Fees and Deposits
Services and Features
At the end of the day, just like in any country around the world, it is highly important that banking and financial regulations are sound. Singapore, like Hong Kong is one of the preferred financial centre in Asia today. It boasts one of the most stringent banking laws in the world and that is why its financial institutions are respected all over. The processing time is short.When opening a bank account in Singapore, you would just need to be prepared with all necessary documentation and you would be able to get it approved within a number of weeks.
To find out more information about each bank, there are various forums and websites to access in order to get a hold on requirements. Alternatively, you can go to each bank branch directly to speak to the customer service officer there or try calling them during opening hours. They would be more than happy to give you assistance in opening your bank account in Singapore. Once you have all the information, you would then be able to make a more informed choice on the bank that you would want to set up your corporate account in.
In the current Internet age, internet banking is widely available in all banks including their corporate bank accounts.
If you are opening a bank account in Singapore, then you need our expertise to ensure that you open the right account, in no time at all.
Things to Look Out For - The Length of Time
- This is very subjective as all banks work on a different timeline. It also depends on the types of checks that each bank would go through for every submission. Bear in mind that the banks in Singapore are governed by stringent laws to ensure that financial regulations are upheld at all times. As such, each bank would scrutinise each application to ensure that everything is above board.However, a rule of thumb is that it would not take more than 4 weeks to get everything approved. This would be the maximum number of weeks required if the bank is not satisfied with your first application. In order to avoid a delay in the opening of your account, it is always wise to get information on the full list of documentation required before the start of the process itself.
Things to Look Out For - Fees and Deposits
- Singapore houses many local and foreign banks so you are in luck. If you are a foreigner looking to incorporate a company in Singapore, chances are you would find a bank that is also based in your home country. Some foreign banks that you will be able to find in Singapore include American Express Bank Limited, Standard Chartered Bank and Citibank Singapore Limited. A majority of the foreign banks however are not engaged in retail banking.Then it’s just a question of opening another account in the branch in Singapore. You can expect the fees and initial deposits to range between SGD1,000 to SGD100,000. At any one time, you would also need to ensure that your bank account balance is at a level which has been agreed upon with the bank. If it dips below the minimum, you will be charged additional fees on that.
Things to Look Out For - Services and Features
- Most expat companies are projected to be working in Singapore for many years. For this reason, before signing the papers for a corporate account with a Singapore bank, it is important to first learn and review the features and terms the account operates on as it will reduce unnecessary change and have a higher chance of maintaining healthy associations with the bank.In order to make a fully informed decision, it is always wise to consider the options and features that will be offered to you. As mentioned earlier, Singapore banks do offer a wide variety of services that can be utilised. These may include daily ATM withdrawal limit, freedom to move funds across countries and difference currencies such as the US dollar (USD). Some details on other services are:
- Internet Banking Facility – these are highly secure and allow you to perform certain transactions without physically having to be at the bank itself. This includes the ability to transfer funds between banks, bill payments, credit card payments and other transactions can be done online. All you basically need would be an Internet connection in order to be able to complete the transactions. Secure internet banking protocols are utilised in Singapore so you do not need to worry about the risk of losing your passwords. Personally dealing with finances thus becomes a much better experience.
- Overseas Cash Withdrawal – if you are frequently travelling on company business to other countries such as nearby Malaysia or faraway UK, this service will come in very handy indeed. Although a transaction fee would be incurred if you utilise your ATM card outside of Singapore, this feature comes in very handy indeed should there be an emergency situation which involves a need for cash.
- Inward and Outward Remittance – Companies which processes mass inflow and outflow of money will be able to benefit from such a feature. If this is the hinging factor for the setting up of your bank account, do be mindful to query on the limit of money that can be transferred via this facility. Certain banks might impose different limits.
Singapore Local Banks
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Paul Hype Page & Co. is an ACRA-certified business adviser. Our team of seasoned professional can help you set up a company in Singapore very quickly and easily following all legal entities, and offer you sound advice on how to make it successful too.
In addition to business registration, we’ll also guide you how to:
- Write a business plan – Learn how to write a compelling business plan by accessing our sample business plans, or other helpful market research information
- Perform market research – Understand your business market, learn how it can enhance your business growth, and how to properly conduct a market research for your business
- Corporate Secretary Services – If you are registering a company in Singapore, you will need a Corporate Secretary. Corporate compliance in Singapore is a complex legal requirement for all Singapore registered companies. Our company secretarial team helps our clients and their officers to fulfil their statutory obligations in an efficient manner.
- Manage your finances – We’ll offer you the best resources and information to help you fully understand all financial concepts and teach you how to perform basic accounting tasks like budgeting, bookkeeping, financial analysis, among others
To further aid you, we have provided here a resource area with industry specific information and other industry resources to help you successfully start and run your business.
- Singapore Business Opportunities
- Singapore Business Licences
- Singapore Tax Planning
- Singapore Company Incorporation
- Singapore Company Yearly Statutory Requirements
- Singapore Working Visa Guide
By Eric Eio
Managing Partner of Paul Hype Page & Co.
Eric was awarded an ACCA graduate in 2000 and also graduated from University of Sydney with a Bachelor degree in Computer Science & Accounting. Since graduation, he had worked in Big 4 as an auditor , including a one year overseas stint with Ernst & Young, Shanghai in 2005. He left his last appointment as an Audit Managerial position with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Singapore in 2008 before setting up his own Certified Public Accountant Practice – Paul Hype Page & Co. His firm is being selected to be one of the advisory panel for Singapore top 500 SME.