How to Open a Business Bank Account in Singapore

By
Writers@Aspire
Published
January 20, 2022

Opening a business bank account is probably one of the first things you'll do after starting your company or relocating to Singapore.  

Even though it looks like another formality, picking the right bank is important. Here’s an overview of the benefits of a business account and how you can select the best bank for your start-up. 

Benefits of Opening a Business Bank Account for Start-ups

  1. An additional layer of credibility: A business bank account looks more professional than your personal bank details. 
  1. Access to credit: Having a small business bank account facilitates your access to credit when you require a loan. 
  1. Simple and organised accounting: You avoid using your personal bank account for business purposes, so there’s no confusion between private and company funds.
  1. Financial security: Along with keeping your finances organised, a separate account protects your personal funds from any form of liability that your business may incur. 
  1. Account benefits: Depending on your bank or provider, business owners can access unique rewards, including cashback and low fees. 
  1. Ease of tax reporting: Tax reporting becomes easier with a separate account as your business and personal transactions will not be mixed up. 

What to consider before you open a business bank account

There are many options to open a bank account in Singapore. Traditional banks are still the go-to option, but neobanks and even online payment service providers offer more and more suitable options for a digital business account.

The Aspire Business Account is an easy, fast and transparent alternative for traditional business accounts. Benefit from cashback, lower fees and smooth integrations

The best choice for your start-up depends on many factors.

So whether you’re looking to open a small business bank account or a corporate bank account, these pointers will help you select the best account for your start-up. 

  • The bank’s credibility: Do its customers highly trust this bank? What do current and previous clients say?

  • Fees and charges: What are standard monthly fees? Do they offer waivers?

  • Account services offered: What are the features of the business account? Do they have services such as expense management, invoice management, or multi-user access?

  • Online banking options: Do they have mobile banking options, or do you have to conduct all transactions at a physical branch?

  • Introductory bonuses and offers: Does this bank offer sign-up bonuses or incentives for new customers? 

  • Software integrations: Can I integrate my accounting or payroll software with this bank account?

  • Rewards: Does this bank have a rewards programme for customers? 

Basic requirements to open a business bank account in Singapore 

  • All the completed Account Opening Forms
  • Detailed information of the company 
  • A resolution by the company’s board of directors
  • A copy of the company’s business profile 
  • A copy of the company’s certificate of incorporation from ACRA 
  • A copy of the company’s Memorandum of Articles of Association (MAA) 
  • Proof of residential address of all company directors and ultimate benefit owners
  • Passport copies or Singapore national identification cards of all company directors 
  • A minimum deposit (if applicable) 

These requirements are standard for all banks across the country. Depending on the bank of your choice, extra documentation may be needed.

Mind that all copies of documents, such as the business profile and certificate of incorporation, must be “Certified True” by the company secretary, director or other relevant parties. 

A step-by-step guide to opening a business account 

Step 1: Choose the bank you want to open an account with and ensure the bank fulfils all your business needs. 

Step 2: Complete your application online or at a physical bank branch. For foreign founders who aren’t present in Singapore, representatives are encouraged to apply in person as several banks may require authorised signatures. 

Step 3: Pay a minimum deposit, if applicable. 

Step 4: Wait for the bank to review and process your application. 

Step 5: You’ll get access to your bank account after approval. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to open a business bank account in Singapore?

Many banks in Singapore offer express account opening services, allowing business owners to open an account within one to three working days. For more complex cases and applications, opening an account may take four weeks.

Do I need to be physically present when opening a new account?

Today, most banks in Singapore allow business owners to open an account entirely online. This includes everything from application to account processing. 

In some cases, banks may still require applicants to be physically present to sign official documents. Make sure to check with your bank.

Can foreign founders open a corporate account in Singapore? 

Yes, even foreign directors may open a corporate bank account in Singapore. While the requirements are generally the same, the process may take a few weeks, far longer than for local directors. 

Where to start?

The first step to opening a business account is finding the right bank. Compare different banks to find the most suitable option for your company.

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