Essential Tips for Managing Legal and Regulatory Requirements in Singapore Company Registration

Singapore company registration is an exciting endeavor, but several important compliance standards must be met. Singapore is renowned for its pro-business environment, open and efficient economy, and zero-tolerance policy against corruption.

The Singaporean government has lowered red tape to simplify business transactions and enable business registration. These specifications ensure your company runs efficiently and according to national laws.

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Essential Tips for Managing Legal and Regulatory Requirements in Singapore Company Registration

  • Employment Laws 

Due to Singapore’s strong focus on labor, companies must abide by several employment-related rules and regulations. This includes maintaining fair employment practices, offering required benefits to workers, and ensuring that the Employment Act—which sets forth the fundamental terms and conditions of employment—is followed. 

  • Consider the advertising regulations

All advertising in Singapore is governed by the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS). Under the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the rights of consumers, ASAS serves as an advisory council.

Guidelines for all advertisers are provided by the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice. Through self-regulation against the background of national and international law and practice, such as the International Code of Advertising Practice released by the International Chamber of Commerce, it promotes ethics in advertising.

The core principle of the Code is that all advertisements must be legitimate, respectable, truthful, and honest. There are particular rules regarding:

  • advertising food and beverage products to children
  • social media and interactive marketing communications 
  • ads and promotions related to gambling.

Although the Code is not legally enforceable, ASAS has the authority to ask violating marketers to change or remove any advertisement that violates the Code. Additionally, ASAS has the authority to punish violating marketers by denying them access to advertising space or removing their trading privileges. Instances of severe non-compliance may result in negative publicity for marketers.

  • Resident Director and Company Secretary 

A company must have at least one director who is a citizen of Singapore. A minimum of one director needs to be a Singaporean citizen. They must be at least eighteen years old, not have been declared bankrupt, not be accused of misconduct, and be in good physical and mental health to carry out their responsibilities. Additionally, a Singapore resident company secretary must be appointed by any company operating in Singapore. His or her duties include adhering to Singapore’s reporting and regulatory requirements and the position cannot be left vacant for more than 6 months. 

  • Data Protection 

Data protection is paramount in an increasingly digital world. The Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), which controls the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data, is mandatory for businesses operating in Singapore. A company must appoint a single Data Protection Officer to comply with PDPA. 

  • Financial Reporting and Taxation 

Singapore has an attractive corporate tax structure, but businesses must pay their taxes on time. To comply with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regulations, businesses that meet the GST registration threshold must file annual tax returns and provide accurate financial reporting. To make sure that tax laws are followed, it is advisable to hire a professional accountant or tax advisor.

Every year, corporate tax returns must be submitted by November 30 if filing physically, or December 15 if filing online. 

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  • Consider privacy and data protection

The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) oversees Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). The Act has specific guidelines on the gathering, using, disclosing, and handling of personal data in Singapore and supports sector-specific legislative and regulatory frameworks, such as the Insurance Act and Banking Act.

Every organization and company engaging in activities related to the gathering, using, or sharing of personal information is required to abide by several data protection requirements, such as:

  • letting people know why you plan to gather, use, or disclose their personal information.
  • only collecting, using, or disclosing personal data for purposes to which an individual has given consent.
  • enabling a person to revoke consent for the use or collection of their data. 

To ensure compliance with the Act, all businesses and organizations must appoint a data protection officer, who may be an employee or a third party.