Company incorporation Singapore can be tricky for foreigners. Let us read more about how a foreigner can act as a Foreign Director in a Singapore Company.

Yes, a Singapore company can appoint a foreign individual as a foreign director. However, not all of its directors can be foreign directors.

Who Can be a Director in a Singapore Company?

As per the Company Law, at the time of company incorporation Singapore you must have at least one local or resident director (Singaporean, Permanent Resident, or holder of an EntrePass). In addition, it can appoint as many local and foreign directors as it wants.

  • The foreign individual has to be over the age of 18 years.
  • The appointee cannot be an undischarged bankrupt or convicted of any malpractice.

The company directors are responsible for holding Annual General Meetings and filing of annual returns to ACRA. They also need to ensure, through company secretary, that the company maintains an updated statutory register at the company's registered address.

The directors are expected to protect the interests of the company and abide by ethical business practices. They are also expected to use their powers for the benefit of employees and shareholder. They can be sued for the breach of or failing in their duty.

How Can You be the Foreign Director of Your Singapore Company?

Singapore allows any individual, local or foreign, over the age of 18 to indulge in a company incorporation Singapore. The local business owners have no difficulty in acting as the resident director of their companies.

However, a few foreign business owners face difficulty in appointing a local or resident director. If they cannot find such a person, they have to appoint a nominee director.

After the company incorporation Singapore, the company secretary can apply to MOM and acquire an Employment pass for them. This pass allows them to relocate to Singapore. Their own company can then employ them as the foreign director.

However, this does not mean that they can replace the nominee or local/resident director.

Foreigners leaving abroad can also be registered as the director of a Singapore company. They do not need an Employment Pass for such an appointment. It also means they cannot work in Singapore.

In the case of foreign board directors, their income from the company is subject to withholding tax depending on the residency status.

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