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Comprehensive Guide for the Opening Corporate Bank Account in Singapore

Opening Corporate Bank Account in SingaporeThe purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of requirements for opening corporate bank account or company bank account Singapore and to assist you with choosing a bank for the banking needs of your Singapore company. The focus is on banking needs of small to mid-size companies for open company bank account in Singapore. Note that the information presented here is for general guidance only for local or foreigner open bank account in Singapore. Once you have narrowed down your choice to a few banks, you should confirm the account features with the bank(s) directly to ensure you are aware of their latest policies and offerings. Banks work in a very competitive environment and periodically make adjustments to their offerings to stay competitive.

If you are looking to open company bank account Singapore for your offshore company (i.e. BVI company and etc), please refer to Bank Account Opening Guide for Offshore Company
Generally, banks in Singapore require you as a foreigner open bank account in Singapore to have the following items (after opening company in Singapore) in order to open a corporate bank account for your Singapore-incorporated company:
– A resolution by the board of directors approving the opening corporate bank account and specifying the signatories to the account. Alternatively, the board can use the pre-approved format prescribed by a bank that simply requires the signatures of the directors.
– Standard account-opening forms signed by the above mentioned authorized signatories
– Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation
– Copy of Company’s Business Profile from ACRA
– Copy of Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA)
– Copies of passports (or Singapore national identification cards) and proofs of residential addresses for directors, signatories, and ultimate beneficial owners.
– Copy of Certificate of Incumbency of the holding company (applicable for corporate shareholder only). Certificate of Incumbency is An official document that lists the names of incumbent directors and officers within an organization, and their corporate position within it. An Incumbency Certificate is used as confirmation of the identity of the signing authorities of a company and to prove that they are authorized to enter into legally-binding transactions on the company’s behalf.

Most banks require that the account signatories and directors to be physically present in Singapore for the signing of official documentation at the time of opening of corporate bank account. However, some banks accept documents that are signed in-person at one of their overseas branches or witnessed by a notary public. Additionally, the banks may require additional documents on a case-by-case basis for open company bank account in Singapore.

Be forewarned that all banks in Singapore must comply with stringent laws and regulations. They therefore will carry out a comprehensive series of checks and investigations on their potential clients before opening a new account for a company. This is not only to safeguard their risks against any potential default, but also are a part of their regulatory compliance and stringent anti-money-laundering policies— as you may know, Singapore is very serious about combating terrorist financing and other transactions of illegal or doubtful nature. Thus, a company involved in dealings that are not above-board will not find it easy to engage in such transactions.

Depending on the amount of investigation that a bank carries out to confirm the identity and/or creditworthiness of the directors, secretary and the company itself, it may take between few weeks and three months to open a new company bank account. The processing time can be longer for opening corporate bank account without physically presence in Singapore.

Lastly, we highly recommend that you be present in Singapore to complete the corporate bank account opening process to avoid any delay. A bank always reserves the right to request that the beneficial owner be physically present prior to the approval of a bank account opening application.

For companies with the following board composition:
– one foreign director and our nominee director
– one local director

We can assist with the first bank account opening including preparation of board resolution and signing of bank account opening forms in our office, free of charge, especially with UOB Bank.

For companies with the following board composition:
– two or more foreign directors and our nominee director
– more than two directors without engaging our nominee director services

we can assist with the first bank account opening including preparation of board resolution free of charge especially with UOB bank and signing of bank account opening form, if required, at a fee from $100 (W/GST $107) depending on the bank, after the board resolution has been signed and verified, authorising the nominee director or secretary to sign the documents.

Most banks in Singapore will require the physical presence by at least one director hence at least one director (excluding our nominee director) will need to be present for the account opening process.

For clients who are arranging for the first bank account opening with their own preferred bank without requiring any of our assistance, please be reminded to let us have a copy of the signed banks standard form containing the resolution to open the account, for our records.

For clients who are arranging for the first bank account opening at their own bank without physical presence, please check if it is permissible by the bank. If you require our nominee director or secretary to provide outgoing services to sign any documents at any bank branch, our fees wil be from $250 (W/GST $267.50) per visit.

For bank account opening process, we can only provide documents certification services including copy of passport/NRIC only if the bearers are present in our office and the original documents are produced. Extra charges will apply. For companies with corporate shareholders, the banks will require the registration documents of the corporate shareholders and they must be notarised by a notary public, practising accountant or lawyer who are registered and searchable via their professional website. If we are required to provide further certification on these documents, we will require the local director (other than those using our nominee director services) to also certify on them and our extra charges will apply.

For opening of bank account with certain banks is free of charge if the Company is incorporated by 3E Accounting. Please refer to Singapore Company Incorporation for the details.

The key features of each Singapore banks are highlighted as follows for your references.

For more information about local banks in Singapore, please refer to Comparison of features of the local banks in Singapore – DBS, OCBC, UOB

UOB Bank
– Initial deposit is $1,000 for SGD account.
– Opening corporate bank account in our office / remotely and free of charges
– Internet banking is available
– Debit card or ATM card is available for SGD account

DBS Bank
– Initial deposit is $3,000 for SGD account and US$1,000 for USD account.
– Minimum 1 director and the bank signatory must presence at the DBS branch for opening of bank account.
– Local director and foreign director can presence separately at the DBS branch for opening of bank account.
– Internet banking is available
– Debit card or ATM card is available
– Thoroughly assessment will be performed on the Company by the DBS bank officer. High rejection rate for newly start up foreign-own company. (Unless the owner of the Company has good personal banking relationship with them)

OCBC Bank
– Initial deposit is $3,000
– Opening corporate bank account must be complete in OCBC branches. We will charge $200 (W/GST $214) for signing of the bank account opening form at Novena OCBC branches. Extra charges are applicable to assist with opening of bank account with other OCBC bank branch.
– Internet banking is available
– Debit card or ATM card is available

State Bank of India, Singapore (“SBI Singapore”)
– Initial deposit is $2,000 for SGD account and US$5,000 for USD account.
– $20 service fee is chargeable if average monthly balance falls below SGD 2,000 and US$ 5,000.
– Annual maintenance fee of $50 is chargeable.
– Internet banking is available for statement viewing only.
– Debit card or ATM card is available

Standard Chartered Bank (“SCB”)
– Initial deposit is $30,000 for SGD account and USD account.
– $100 service fee is chargeable if average monthly balance falls below $30,000.
– Opening corporate bank account at SCB branch is available and $200 (W/GST $214) charge is applied for signing of bank account opening form.
– Internet banking is available
– ATM card is available

HSBC Bank
– For opening the HSBC corporate accounts, the client needs a initial deposit of USD 100k and a monthly balance of USD 100k. The estimated turnover required will be USD 3 million a year.
– You are recommended to have physical office and having 3 years of business operation in Singapore before opening corporate bank account with HSBC.
– High rejection rate for small newly start up company.

Virtual Corporate Account Opening in Singapore

Other than the traditional banks in Singapore, you can opt to setup a virtual corporate bank account in Singapore.

Airwallex

  1. What is Airwallex?
    • Airwallex is a multinational Fintech company offering financial services.
    • Airwallex founded in 2015 in Australia, it sells foreign exchange transactions for companies through banking network and its API.
  2. What is a Airwallex corporate account?
    • The corporate account opening process is done fully online.
    • The online application is free and only takes 10 minutes to complete.
    • Customers can create free global accounts in 11+ available currencies online and pay like a local in 140+ countries
    • Customers can issue free Borderless Visa cards instantly to save on local and international transactions.
    • Customers can integrate seamlessly with global platforms like Shopify, eBay, Amazon, PayPal etc.
  3. Requirement for director and shareholders:
    • Do not need to be physically present in Singapore at the time of account opening.
    • Supported trust structure setup.
  1. Documents/information needed:
    • NRIC / Passport of all directors
    • Passport of all shareholders who ultimately own 10% or more of the company

 

Aspire

  1. What is Aspire?
    • Aspire is the all-in-one finance operating system for businesses.
    • Aspire is headquartered in Singapore and backed by leading venture capital firms and private investors.
  2. What is a Aspire corporate account?
    • The corporate account opening process is done fully online.
    • The online application is free and only takes 5 minutes to complete.
    • Customers can create SGD virtual account
    • Customers can issue free Visa cards
    • Customers can use Paynow function
  3. Requirement for director and shareholders:
    • Do not need to be physically present in Singapore at the time of account opening.
    • Supported trust structure setup.
  1. Documents/information needed:
    • NRIC / Passport of all directors
    • Passport of all shareholders who ultimately own 10% or more of the company

 
Do not hesitate to contact us at 3e@3ecpa.com.sg should you have any queries for the opening corporate bank account always.