But how do you go about opening a corporate bank account in Singapore? What are the requirements, procedures, and options available? In this blog post, we will answer these questions and provide some useful tips to help you choose the right bank for your business needs.
Requirements for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore
The requirements for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore may vary depending on the bank you choose, but generally, you will need to prepare the following documents:
- Account opening forms: These are the forms provided by the bank that you need to fill out and sign. They usually include information such as the company name, address, contact details, business activities, directors, shareholders, signatories, and beneficiaries.
- Board resolution: This is a document that authorizes the opening of the bank account and specifies who are the signatories and their roles. It can be prepared by your company secretary or by yourself using a template provided by the bank.
- Certificate of incorporation: This is the document that confirms your company’s registration with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). You can download it from ACRA’s website or get a certified true copy from your company secretary.
- Business profile: This is a summary of your company’s information that is generated by ACRA after incorporation. It includes details such as the company name, registration number, date of incorporation, directors, shareholders, and registered address. You can download it from ACRA’s website or get a certified true copy from your company secretary.
- Constitution: This is the document that defines your company’s structure, rules, and objectives. It can be based on the model constitution provided by ACRA or customized according to your preferences. You need to get a certified true copy from your company secretary.
- Identification documents: These are the documents that prove the identity and address of the directors, signatories, and ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs) of your company. They can be passports or national identity cards (NRICs) for Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs), or passports and employment passes (EPs) or dependent passes (DPs) for foreigners. You also need to provide proof of residential address such as utility bills or bank statements that are not more than three months old.
- Other documents: Depending on the bank and your business nature, you may also need to provide other documents such as financial statements, business plans, tax returns, contracts, invoices, or licenses.
Procedures for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore
The procedures for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore may also differ depending on the bank you choose, but generally, they involve these steps:
- Choose a bank: You need to research and compare the different banks in Singapore that offer corporate banking services. You should consider factors such as fees, interest rates, minimum balance requirements, online banking features, branch locations, customer service, and reputation. You can also consult with your company secretary or accountant for recommendations.
- Apply online or offline: Some banks allow you to apply for a corporate bank account online through their websites or mobile apps. This can save you time and hassle as you can submit your documents electronically and get an instant account number. However, some banks may still require you to visit their branch for verification and signing purposes. Alternatively, you can apply offline by visiting the bank’s branch with your documents and filling out the paper forms.
- Verify and sign: Whether you apply online or offline, you will need to verify your identity and sign the account opening forms in person at the bank’s branch. Most banks require that all directors and signatories be physically present in Singapore for this step. However, some banks may accept signing at their overseas branches or in front of a notary public if you are abroad.
- Wait for approval: After submitting your application and documents, you will need to wait for the bank’s approval. The approval time may vary depending on the bank’s policies and procedures, but typically it takes from a few days to a few weeks. Some factors that may affect the approval time are your business nature, industry, country of origin, source of funds, compliance checks, and due diligence.
- Activate your account: Once your account is approved, you will receive a confirmation letter or email from the bank with instructions on how to activate your account. You may need to make an initial deposit, set up online banking credentials, request for cheque books or debit cards, or register for other services.
Tips for choosing a corporate bank account in Singapore
Choosing a corporate bank account in Singapore is an important decision that can affect your business operations and finances. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:
- Know your business needs: You should have a clear idea of what you need from your corporate bank account, such as the frequency and volume of transactions, the currency and mode of payments, the type and level of services, and the budget and expectations. This will help you narrow down your options and find the best fit for your business.
- Compare different banks: You should not settle for the first bank that you come across or the one that you are familiar with. You should compare different banks in terms of their features, benefits, costs, and requirements. You can use online tools or platforms to compare different banks or read reviews and testimonials from other customers.
- Seek professional advice: You should not hesitate to seek professional advice from your company secretary, accountant, or business consultant if you are unsure or confused about opening a corporate bank account in Singapore. Beaufort can provide you with valuable insights, recommendations, and guidance based on our experience and expertise.
- Be prepared and organized: You should prepare and organize all the documents and information that you need to open a corporate bank account in Singapore before you apply. You should also check the validity and accuracy of your documents and ensure that they are consistent and updated. This will help you avoid delays, errors, or rejections from the bank.
Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore is a crucial step after incorporating your company in Singapore. It allows you to manage your business finances effectively and professionally. With Beaufort, you can streamline the process of incorporating your company and opening a corporate bank account. Even if your company is already incorporated, we can still assist you in opening a corporate bank account.
Apart from that, opening a corporate bank account also requires some research, preparation, and compliance. By following the requirements, procedures, and tips outlined in this blog post, you can open a corporate bank account in Singapore smoothly and successfully.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be physically present in Singapore to open a corporate bank account?
Most banks require account signatories and majority directors to be physically present in Singapore for paperwork signing at the time of account opening. Some banks may accept the signing of documents at one of their overseas branches or in front of a Notary Public.
Which banks are best for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore?
Some of the most popular banks for opening corporate bank accounts in Singapore include DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, and UOB.
How long does it take to open a corporate bank account in Singapore?
The processing time for opening a corporate bank account can vary depending on the bank and the complexity of your application. In general, it takes 2-4 weeks to open a corporate bank account in Singapore.
What are the benefits of opening a corporate bank account in Singapore?
There are several benefits to opening a corporate bank account in Singapore, including:
- Enhanced business credibility: A corporate bank account demonstrates your company’s legitimacy and professionalism.
- Simplified financial management: A corporate bank account helps you keep your business finances separate from your personal finances.
- Access to business banking services: Corporate bank accounts offer a range of services tailored to the needs of businesses, such as business loans, trade finance, and cash management solutions.
- Easy international transactions: Singapore is a global financial hub, so having a corporate bank account in Singapore makes it easy to conduct international transactions.