Singapore’s Government Agencies to know
If you are looking to incorporate a company in Singapore, you will need to become familiar with a few government agencies with which you are sure to cross path.
ACRA: the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority
ACRA is the government agency with which every company has to register and so the first you will have to deal with during your company’s registration.
ACRA has a dedicated online portal called BizFile on which every company must register (some exemptions exist). Its website is also a very useful tool to learn more about the registration process and the regulatory compliance applying to your company depending on entity type.
IRAS: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
IRAS is the agency tackling all the tax matters of your business: corporate taxes, individual income taxes, and Goods and Services Tax (GST). IRAS collects taxes that account for about 70% of the Government’s Operating Revenue that supports the Government’s economic and social programs to achieve quality growth and an inclusive society.
They can also provide useful information on other taxes (estate duty, charities, casino, trust …) which concerns Singaporean citizens or residents, as well as any tax exemption to which you may be entitled.
MOM: Ministry of Manpower
The Ministry of Manpower is your one stop to handle all your employment needs. They notably provide Singaporean work visas for the foreign workforce you may need: Employment Pass, S Pass, and also the Dependent’s Pass and Long-Term Visit Pass necessary for the family of work visa holders.
MOM can also be of great help to guide and advise you on employment practices, work safety, health requirements and such.
CPF: Central Provident Fund Board
CPF is the social security system of Singapore, thanks to which working Singaporean citizens and permanent residents can save funds for their retirement. It can also deal with healthcare, home ownership, family protection and asset enhancement.
Employers and employees make monthly contributions to CPF which are allocated to three different accounts: an Ordinary Account (for housing, insurance, investment and education), a Special Account (for old-age and investment in retirement-related financial products), and a MediSAve Account (For hospitalization expenses and approved medical insurance). A fourth Retirement Account is automatically created at age 55.
A new employer can register its company and its employees on CPF Board’s online portal and use other services such as a contribution calculator.
EDB: Singapore Economic Development Board
EDB is a governmental agency under the Ministry for Trade and Industry that develops Singapore strategies to create a sustainable economic growth.
They help companies by providing them with information, connection to partners and access to government incentives for their investment. They can assist you and your company thanks to their network and expertise.
SSG: Skillsfuture Singapore
SSG is a national movement to provide continued learning and training to local workers, wherever they are in their career path.
When you hire local staff, you need to consult SSG to apply for the Skillsfuture Development Levy, the funds of which are used to support workforce upgrading programmes. These funds also finance grants for employers who wish to send their employees for accredited training courses available for various areas of expertise.
Enterprise Singapore is a governmental agencies created in 2018 from the merge of SPRING and International Enterprise Singapore. They support enterprise growth and development and work to maintain Singapore’s position as a global trading hub. Too do so, they provide programmes and support catered to a company’s stage of growth, its industry, and relevant overseas markets.
They also assume the role of national standards and accreditation body, tasked with building trust in Singapore-made product and services and their quality.
MAS: Monetary Authority of Singapore
MAS is Singapore’s Central bank and financial regulator. Incorporating a business in the financial industry, insurance sector, asset management, etc. requires its authorization. There are also several ongoing compliance requirements from MAS to follow on an annual basis.
They conduct monetary policies, issue currency, supervise financial services and monitor financial stability. MAS plays a central role in making Singapore a financial hub in the Asian market.
Besides these agencies, you may have to refer to other authorities for registration depending on the field of your company.