The importance of a corporate bank account in Singapore
It is crucial for all business owners to bear in mind that the company is an independent entity; it is a standalone structure from the personal finances of the entrepreneur and it needs a separate and dedicate corporate bank account. Although it seems apparent, there are many reasons why business owners need to separate their personal and business finances: Building business credit history, better recordkeeping, tax computation, and streamlined accounting.
Singapore is a growing financial center of international reputation servicing not only its domestic economy but also the entire Asia Pacific region. This has generated a strong ecosystem of local and foreign banks focusing on assisting SMEs and MNCs operations.
There are quite few options to choose among when deciding to open a Corporate Bank Account, the most frequently selected local banks include: DBS, OCBC, UOB. Among the international banks in Singapore, Maybank, Standard Chartered, and CitiBank (CitiBusiness) all offers banking solutions to Singapore businesses. Each bank differs in their respective account opening requirements and fees which vary in terms of required minimum deposits, transaction fees, currencies, etc.
Some of the most frequently asked questions about Bank accounts
- Can the account be opened without being physically present in Singapore?
Nowadays it is technically possible to open the account remotely; however, physical presence is strongly recommended for all the banks to avoid delays.
- Is there a minimum initial deposit required?
Yes, on average the minimum initial deposit varies from S$1,000 to S$10,000.
- Is there a minimum balance required?
Bank accounts tailored for entrepreneurs and startups may offer solutions with no minimum balance requirement. However, for multi-currency accounts it is often required an average monthly balance of S$ 5,000 to S$10,000.
- Are debit/credit cards available?
Almost the totality of corporate bank accounts offers the possibility to apply for a debit card at no annual fees. On the other end, Credit Card are often subject to approval from the bank depending on the credit score and average balance on the account.
What are the typical documents requested by banks to open an account?
Typically, in Singapore, businesses are required to provide a comprehensive set of documents to the bank to kick start the application:
- Corporate Bank Account Opening Forms
- Board of Directors Resolution sanctioning the opening of the account and the signatories to the account (to be prepared by your company secretary)
- Certified True Copy of Resolution sanctioning the opening of the account and the signatories to the account (Most banks already have a form ready for this so you only need signatures from the board)
- Company documents: Certified True Copy of Certificate of Incorporation, Certified True Copy of Company’s Business Profile from Company Registrar, Certified True Copy of Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA)
- Certified True Copies of Passport (or Singapore IC) and Residential Address Proof of the Directors, Signatories, and Ultimate Beneficiary Owners. If you are based in Singapore, it is sufficient to bring the originals to the meeting with the bank.
Additional documents may be required by the bank on a case-by-case basis.
The business account are supplemental solutions to your bank accounts
Companies have two main options to consider when selecting a Business Account – either a traditional Singapore bank or a fintech provider that provides online corporate deposit accounts.
MBiA has partnered with AirWallex to launch a fully operating Business Account, an all-in-one virtual account that allows businesses to start receiving and sending payments within two weeks from the incorporation of the entity – with no monthly fees, and no initial deposit.
Find out more here: Young Businesses – Solutions by MyBusiness in Asia