Responsive image Offshore FAQs & Guides

Responsive image Offshore FAQs & Guides

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section we’ve put together some of the most common questions asked by our customers. If you have a query that isn’t answered below, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

+ What is a Private Limited Company in Singapore?
A private limited (Pte Ltd) company limited by shares in Singapore is a business structure of choice for the local as well as foreign entrepreneurs. It can have 1 – 50 shareholders.
A Pte Ltd company, unlike a sole proprietorship, has separate legal existence from its owners. According to the law, it is a legal person. It has the rights of a natural born person. It has the right to buy and sell the property. It can sue and be sued by others. Unlike a sole proprietorship or a partnership, it limits the liability of its owners (shareholders) to the amount they have invested in the shares of the company.
1. Proof of Identity - provide the following documents for each beneficial owner and director of the
company and where applicable, for each signatory on the bank and credit card accounts.
(a) In the case of an individual:
- A NOTARIZED copy of his/her passport or I.D. card bearing the owner’s photograph and signature.
- A NOTARIZED copy of his/her National I.D. card bearing the owner’s photograph and signature.
(b) In the case of a private company:
- A NOTARIZED true, complete and up-to-date copy of the incorporation documents of the company
- A NOTARIZED copy of the passport or I.D. card bearing the photograph and signature for each of the
main shareholders of the company
Make sure you submit the ORIGINAL notary certificate or seal required above.

2. Address Verification - a copy of a recent utility bill (gas, electric, water, cable), credit card statement, or tax bill. Must not be older than 3 months from the date of application.

3. References - provide the following references for each beneficial owner and director of the company and where applicable, for each signatory on the bank and credit card accounts. A banker’s reference from a bank with which he/she has had a banking relationship for not less than two (2) years, covering in general terms the person’s financial standing and integrity.
References and Address Verification provided in a language other than in English must be accompanied by a notarized translation into English.
A director is a person appointed by the company’s shareholders or by the board of directors, who is responsible for managing and controlling the business affairs of the company. The directors are answerable to the shareholders and are legally accountable for the company’s transactions and activities. Some jurisdictions allow one company to act as director of another. This is called a corporate director. In most jurisdictions, at least one director must be appointed at the time of the company formation.
Undischarged bankrupts, persons convicted of certain offences, persons who are unfit to be directors and those who have been in persistent default with the procedural requirement of the Companies Act.
A minimum of 1 director is required (An individual who is 18 years old or older). The company must have a least 1 director who is ordinarily resident in Singapore (i.e. Singapore citizen, permanent resident, EP/DP holder).
Yes, absolutely. The formal procedure for removing the directors of the company and appointing new ones will depend on the structure of the particular Singapore company - how many directors, how many shareholders, what are the quorum requirements for corporate resolutions, etc.
A company secretary is the person appointed to ensure the company’s maintains compliance with the many statutory requirements – such as maintaining and filing statutory records and returns.
As per the Singapore Companies Act, all the companies incorporated in Singapore must employ a qualified company secretary within 6 months of incorporation.
A director can also hold the position of company secretary only if he is qualified to do so.

A person who holds shares in a company formation limited by shares is called a shareholder. The shareholder exercises control over the company’s affairs through the appointment of directors and is entitled to receive dividends from the company’s profits. In the event of a company’s liquidation, any remaining assets are also distributed to its shareholders.

A tax haven is a country where substantial tax benefits to businesses (usually – international businesses) are provided by the law. In this general sense, it's all relative: a country with a 12.5% corporate income tax may seem like a tax paradise for a business person who has been used to a 40% tax in his own country. In these terms, you can find "tax havens" in the most unusual places!
In the traditional meaning, a tax haven is a country where You can register a company which will remain totally tax-free in that country (except for fixed government fees)
An international business company or international business corporation (IBC) is an offshore company formed under the laws of some jurisdictions as a tax neutral company which is usually limited in terms of the activities it may conduct in, but not necessarily from, the jurisdiction in which it is incorporated.

A shareholder is a person (a private individual or a corporate body), who is the formal holder of shares in a particular offshore company. However, with respect to offshore companies, a distinction must be made between "holding" the shares and actually owning them. Quite often the shareholder may hold shares for the benefit and on behalf of another person. Such shareholder would be called a "nominee shareholder". In such an instance, the other person - who is accordingly the real owner of the shares - is called "the beneficial owner". Effectively, then, a nominee shareholder acts as a "shield" for the beneficial owner, preventing the general public from seeing who is the real owner of the IBC.
In the nominee shareholding relationship, the beneficial owner is the person who is the real, de-facto owner of the shares, entitled to all gains, profits and benefits accruing to such shares. The beneficial owner would also be the one who decides on the eventual sale or transfer of shares. So, not all beneficial owners are shareholders and not all shareholders are beneficial owners - while, certainly, it is also possible that both are the same person.

No. You are welcome to meet us in our office, but that does not mean that you will have to travel there to open your offshore company. Everything can be finalised by correspondence.

+ What is Offshore Banking?
Offshore banks are banks that are in a different country from that of the depositors, and therefore different jurisdiction and banking laws. Countries that allow the practice are known as offshore financial centers. Banks which offer this service exclusively to non-residents are not allowed to offer banking services to residence until they are approved by the Central Bank in order to set a clear distinction between offshore and domestic sectors. The practice of offering offshore accounts to depositors who do not live in the country is what is referred to as offshore banking.
An offshore bank account is an account opened in a bank by a non resident of the country. The typical reason for an individual or company to have an offshore account is to benefit from low tax jurisdictions among other favorable conditions for banking.
Offshore banking is available for both corporations and individuals. Any person can open such an account and the requirements to opening one are usually the same applied in one's home country. The process of opening an offshore account is a straightforward affair that can be done in a matter of days. 

The majority of banks that we work with will allow for accounts to be opened remotely. There are some banks that have a requirement for a personal visitation, but we will advise you accordingly from the beginning of the account opening process, before we submit any applications.

There are some banks that may require a skype or video conference call/interview instead.

Unfortunately we cannot guarantee the account opening. This is simply because this decision depends solely on the banks discretion.

Banks have their own internal procedures, risk management checks and KYC requirements that we are not involved in. Thus, ultimately the final decision will come from them. When applying for a bank account we assist our clients in all steps of the application process, from initial communication with the bank to get an initial review of the case, to the filing of applications and submission of all necessary documents in a timely matter.

However, it is important to note that the bank reserves the right to reject an application if they deem that you cannot satisfy their requirements.

To begin with the application, we usually request our clients to provide us with copies of the company’s corporate documents, a notarized copy of the passport of the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO), a recent utility bill as a proof of address, a bank reference letter, and a CV/Resume.

In addition, we ask our clients to fill in a questionnaire answering questions such as: What currencies do you require, the company’s activities and operations in detail, the countries in/with which the company’s activities take place, the source of incoming funds, estimated annual outgoing payments and turnover, etc.

It is also important to note that account opening forms must be signed by the client and submitted in originals.

Notarization means that any documents issued for your company will be checked by a notary (usually a lawyer) to confirm their authenticity.
An apostille is a form of authentication for your company documents, carried out by the government of the jurisdiction where your company has been incorporated and internationally recognized.
After opening your bank account, a multi-currency account can be selected, allowing you several currencies in the same account. The bank then automatically opens a ‘sub-account’ when a new currency is used, meaning you will not be liable to pay exchange fees.
The minimum balance required for an account varies greatly according to the type of account. The amount varies between a few thousand dollars to a million. Usually the minimum balance lies around a figure equivalent to 1,000 to 5,000 USD, GBP, Euro or the equivalent in other currencies.
Using wire transfers is among the preferred methods of moving money around in offshore accounts. The idea is also more convenient and safer and also opens the account up to local banking facilities.
+ What is Striking-Off?

A company may apply to ACRA to strike its name off the Register pursuant to Section 344 of the Companies Act . ACRA may approve the application if there is reasonable cause to believe that the company is not carrying on business, and that the company is able to satisfy the criteria for striking off.

The nominee director service may be used where a client doesn’t wish to be personally appointed or has to meet local requirements. The name of the director will appear in the corporate documents, in any business contract and sometimes in the jurisdiction's business register. 

Upon appointment of a nominee director, a Nominee Service Agreement will be signed between the client and the nominee. It will guarantee the client that the nominee can only act or sign documents upon the client's request and with the client's prior approval. Professional directors introduced by Ken OBC work with the highest level of integrity and confidentiality.

The nominee shareholder is appointed in order to detain shares on behalf of the owner of the company. The name of the shareholder will appear in the corporate documents, and sometimes in the jurisdiction's business register. 
Upon appointment of a nominee shareholder, a Nominee Service Agreement (declaration of trust) will be signed between the client and the nominee.
Upon selection of this option, we will send you a stamp or seal bearing the company's name and address, as well as its logo, if this option was also selected.
The annual renewal fees are the annually recurring government and professional fees that You would pay in order to continue and maintain Your offshore company in good legal standing as per the laws of the state of registration, for as long as the company continues operations. In a way, You can compare these fees to taxes and the administrative overhead, only in the case of an offshore company the figures would probably be much less.

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