Required Documents and How to Open a Business Account in Singaporean Banks

Written by
Ekky Pramana
Last Modified on
March 7, 2024

Who doesn't know Singapore? This country adjacent to the island of Batam reaches a GDP per capita of USD 72,766,000 from its statistical agency report (Singapore Department of Statistics) in 2021. GDP or Gross Domestic Product is the total value of production and services produced by all citizens or companies in one country.

This figure is higher compared to 2020 which is USD 60,752,000. The country that is ranked 2nd in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business category for the 2020 period, implements the Tourist Refund Scheme strategy or claims for a 7% Good and Service Tax refund that you pay when you buy it at a store with the Tax Free logo.

Singapore's economic system has been forged to become the main pillar of the economy in the Asian region, one of the indicators is its banking system which holds an important role in guaranteeing profits and customer substantial data. Moreover, banking institutions in Singapore allow foreign companies to conduct international transactions to various destinations with competitive fees, through a fast and secure system.

If you are interested in expanding to Singapore, and trying to open a company account there, then take a look at the article below!

Terms & Conditions of Opening a Business Account in Singapore

Singapore's export growth percentage, which grew around 33.6% at the end of July 2022, also boosted the government's revenue forecast for 2028, which was released at SGD 137,005. This is because the Singapore government not only opens up opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs to do business on a massive scale, but also provides remission in their tax system.

The most important component in opening a business account in Singapore is the document requirements, we will describe some of them:

  1. List of Shareholders and Directors;
  2. Copies of Singaporean National Identity Cards or Passports Of All Directors;
  3. Copies of Company Deeds and Articles of Association;
  4. Foreign-Owned Singapore Company Registration Certificate;
  5. Company Domicile Permit;
  6. Actual Beneficiaries;
  7. Ultimate Beneficial Owner background information in the form of a website or CV;
  8. Professional Background Information of Core Executives;
  9. Decisions of the Board of Directors of the Company;
  10. Proposed Business Activities;
  11. Business Model or Profile;
  12. Overview of the Business Plan;
  13. Company's Target Market;
  14. List of Potential Suppliers or Vendors;
  15. Anticipated Banking Transaction Activities;
  16. Reference Letter from Previous Business Banking Relationship (Optional); and
  17. Other Company-Specific Documentation.

At the verification stage, the bank will ask for original documents or additional company documents, so don't forget to prepare both copies and the original documents.

Process for Opening a Business Account in Singapore

The procedure for opening a Singapore business account will largely depend on the Bank and the type of account you choose. However, the general registration steps can be summed up in the following list:

  1. Choose the bank and the account type (choose the currency and variant of the business account of the bank);
  2. Fill in the account opening form required by the Bank;
  3. Prepare company legal documents and supporting documents notified by the Bank;
  4. Include the Decision of the Board of Directors which approves the account opening and the account signing;
  5. Provide proof of identity and residential address for each of the company's shareholders, ultimate beneficial owners, and a list of directors; and
  6. Submit all documents along with the initial minimum deposit.

Your application form will be reviewed in approximately 1 to a maximum of 4 weeks. During the process, the Bank will notify the lack of documents and other requirements that must be submitted. If the document requirement is complete, the Bank will approve your application, and provide all the facilities offered, such as account numbers, debit or credit cards, passbook, as well as the benefits and terms of use.

Advantages of Having a Business Account in Singapore

Most banks in Singapore do not charge account registration fees (with certain conditions) to their customers. Usually, the monthly administration fee is charged from SGD 10 to SGD 40 per month. Some banks, however, exempt monthly fees to the customers from startups, small companies and traders that fulfill the qualifications. So that they can focus more on their business needs, not on banking costs.

Like the account registration fee, the minimum threshold set applied by each bank also differs. Some Banks set a minimum threshold balance regulation of SGD 1,000 and even up to SGD 3,000. If the balance is below the minimum threshold, the penalty fee will be around SGD 15 to SGD 35. 

Some banks even offer initial deposits for corporate business accounts for as low as SGD 500, and also waive the minimum average monthly balance requirement and monthly administration fees within a certain period of time.

Free transfer fee is the best service that is commonly used to transfer SGD funds from one bank to another. If the transfer is made beyond the country's territorial limits, an additional fee of SGD 10 to SGD 40 will be charged.

Things to Consider If You Want to Open a Business Account in Singapore

There are several factors to consider before opening a company account in Singapore, including:

  1. The account holder must have a corporate entity in Singapore;
  2. Make sure whether the Bank provides virtual account opening service, or your in-person presence is required to represent the company in the account opening process;
  3. The Board of Directors is required to sign certain documents from the Bank;
  4. General minimum initial deposit of USD 1,000 to SGD 3,000 and minimum retained balance of USD 1,000;
  5. Transactions are limited to several countries, this refers to Singapore's political and security defense regulations;
  6. Transfers of large sums of money from company accounts to personal accounts are restricted, unless it is for the interest of the company; and
  7. Bank policies regarding the daily and monthly transfer limits will vary.

Alternative to Bank Account Opening for Companies in Singapore

Those are some requirements on how to open a business account in Singapore. For growing businesses that want to expand into the Singapore market but do not yet have an entity or do not yet meet the required documents to do it, there are various financial technologies that can help your business to overcome this.

One of them is the all-in-one finance platform Aspire. It provides a multi-currency account solution that can be managed through one Aspire dashboard, covering currencies from Indonesian Rupiah, USD, to Singapore dollar / SGD, and many others. Aspire accounts can be used to receive or send funds via virtual accounts or other bank accounts, and will be directly linked to the company's budgeting reports.

For your business transfer needs, Aspire also provides virtual account transfer facilities for expense management or company receivables. All of this can be accessed without having to go through the complicated process of opening a conventional bank account. Check the Aspire feature page to find out other features that can be used to help manage and streamline your business operations finances. 

Keep Aspiring with Aspire!

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About the author
Ekky Pramana
is a seasoned writer specialising in business finance and management. With a writing history at Tech in Asia, Teknoverso, and various other publishers, he leverages his market expertise to empower and educate first-time founders in managing their businesses better.
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