A Post-Incorporation Guide for Singapore Startups (Part 2)

A Post-Incorporation Guide for Singapore Startups (Part 2)

Now that you are on this page, you must have read the first part of ‘A Post Incorporation Guide for Singapore Startups’. If you haven’t, please read it here. In the second part of this series, we have compiled more requirements and tasks every business owner in Singapore should fulfill after the company incorporation. 

Things Singapore startups need to do after incorporation (part 2)

Kindly note that the following steps are not arranged in chronological order. Thus, you can perform the steps out of sequence.

Set up an accounting system

It is crucial to accurately track your business’s income and expenses from the first day of its operation. This helps you stay informed about your company’s financial situation and the profitability of your business and comply with state tax regulations. Accounting software can manage these tasks for you. 

You should not delay implementing an accounting system. In fact, the accounting system for your company must be in place before you enter into any business transactions.

An alternative to implementing an accounting system is outsourcing this function to an external accounting firm. During the early stages of your business, your needs may be so limited that you may not need full-time staff for this function; in such cases, the outsourcing approach may be very cost-effective.

Obtain business licenses

Some businesses in Singapore will require you to have a license before you can start operating. Some of these businesses include:

  • Manpower Agency – regulated by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
  • Travel Agency – regulated by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB)
  • Funding services – regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
  • Food and beverage – regulated by the National Environment Authority (NEA)
  • Liquor sale & distribution – regulated by the Singapore Police

Hire staff

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to hire additional labor. Singaporeans are highly educated and have the skills necessary to fill various roles in different industries. Multiple channels to find employment for your business can be through job portals, hiring companies, or internal referrals.

Like many other countries, Singapore encourages the recruitment of local staff. However, it also opens up and welcomes foreign talent with the necessary background, experience, and skills. The hope is that these skills are shared with local staff so that a local base grows and is developed.

All staff should have legally binding contracts of employment, which must cover critical legal aspects to ensure clarity and avoid confusion. Many companies also prepare employee handbooks, which clearly outline more detailed human resource policies.

An important aspect you need to consider when hiring staff is payroll. In Singapore, there are mandatory contributions such as the Central Provident Fund (CPF) for Singaporeans and PR Singaporeans. There is also a Skills Development Levy (SDL) for all staff. It is also required that all staff receive payslips with detailed information.

Read this article for more information on hiring staff in Singapore:

A Guide to Hiring Employees for Every Business in Singapore

Apply for work passes

If you hire foreigners, getting work passes is an important step. The types of Singapore work passes available are Employment Pass (EP), S Pass, and Work Permit (WP). Each work pass has its own set of rules and conditions. Find out more about work passes to understand which one is right for you.

There is no employment quota for EP. However, for S Pass and WP, ​​companies must hire several local staff before hiring foreign staff. Depending on your situation, some options may be available to suit your business needs.

File your Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI)

Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) is your company’s taxable income after deducting all tax-allowable expenses. You or your accountant are required to state your company income in your ECI form.

If your stated income is lower than in the ECI and results in lower tax payable, IRAS will refund the tax to you. However, if your stated income is more than what is stated in the ECI and results in higher tax debt, you have one month to pay what is due.

You must file your ECI no later than three months after the Financial Year End (FYE). Your company’s accountant usually performs this task. However, if you don’t have an accountant or feel overwhelmed by the work and need a professional to help you, drop your email or book a meeting with us. 

Hold your first Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Your first AGM should be held no later than six months after the FYE. The AGM is a mandatory meeting to present your company’s financial statements to shareholders. Your financial statements must include:

  • Company’s profits and losses, sales reports, expenses, and profits
  • A balance sheet that describes assets, liabilities, and equity
  • Any changes in equity
  • Cash flow statement
  • Notes to financial statements

You don’t need to meet physically to hold an AGM. As long as there is a way to swap out your documents, that should be fine. During the AGM, you can also approve audited or unaudited financial statements, dividend distribution, the reappointment of officers and directors, and approve their salaries.

File your annual returns

Annual returns are a collection of documents that you must submit to ACRA. You need to file your annual returns no later than seven months after your FYE and after the AGM. 

Your annual returns must consist of:

  • Your company name and type
  • Registered company address
  • An updated list of officers
  • Registered fees and any changes
  • Any changes in the structure and capitalization of shares
  • Financial reports in the whole or simplified version of the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL)

File your annual tax returns (Form C-S/C)

Form C-S  or Form C is the filing standard for reporting your corporate taxes to IRAS.

You will need to file Form C-S if:

  • Your company’s annual revenue is less than S$5 million.
  • You do not claim any investment allowances, group breaks, capital allowances or losses, foreign tax credits, or any withholding taxes at source in the current Assessment Year.

If your company’s annual revenue is more than S$5 million, then you need to file Form C.  Remember to file Form C-S/C no later than November 30th after your FYE. For online submissions, you have until December 15th after your FYE.

Make sure you prepare the following documents:

  • Your company’s financial statements
  • A declaration statement
  • Tax computation and supporting schedules
  • Other claim forms, such as costs of R&D, M&A, Double Tax deductions (optional)

Get a business insurance

You will need to get general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and any business-specific insurance applicable to your business. A good insurance broker can be of great help during this process. Your insurance needs will grow as your business grows.


Congratulations! You have finished the series of A Post-Incorporation Guide for Singapore Startups. The work to grow your business is new in the beginning. There is a lot of administrative work that goes after setting up your company.

If you want to grow your company fast, you don’t have to do it all alone. Our company secretarial services can be a great help. All administrative work will be handled by us so that you will be able to focus more on what matters most in your business.

Read Part 1:

A Post-Incorporation Guide for Singapore Startups (Part 1)



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