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Steps to open a bank account in Singapore

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So you have an idea. You’ve got your company ready to go. You’re feeling good. Next step: time to open a bank account. Don’t make the mistake of using your personal bank account to receive and pay business expenses. A bank account is necessary not only for security but for easier access and control of your business funds.

But how do you open a bank account in Singapore? Where should you start? Here’s a quick guide on the things you need in order to open an account with banks in Singapore.

Opening a bank account in Singapore

The paperwork

Here’s a list of the documents that are typically required by all Singapore banks in order to open a company account.

  • A completed Corporate Account Opening Form duly signed by authorized signatories of your company or startup
  • A Directors’ Resolution will be needed to prove that the company was given the go ahead to open a bank account. Most banks already have a form ready for this so you only need signatures from your board
  • To prove that you are indeed incorporated, you need the Certified True Copy of the Company’s Business Profile from the Company Registrar (note that only a member of the board or the company secretary like Sleek can certify this document)
  • Certified True Copy of Passport/Singapore IC and Residential Address Proof of Directors, Signatories and Ultimate Beneficial Owners

Your company secretary is likely to be a valuable ally in getting your required documents together as they likely had these on hand at your incorporation. They can also act as a signatory to help open the account – however most banks require the presence of at least two signatories when opening the account.

What bank should I choose?

There are quite a number of banks to choose from in Singapore but we’ve rounded ‘em all up and selected four of the more popular ones.This is not a list of “the best banks” but rather a list of banks where we found opening a bank account for startups to be easier. Our roster includes the following: 

OCBC

SG Business Growth Account (For customers residing in Singapore)

  • Initial deposit: SG $500
  • No minimum balance for the first 6 months, thereafter monthly average balance of SG $3,000

SG Business Entrepreneur Account (For foreigners residing abroad)

  • Initial deposit: SG $3,000
  • No minimum balance for the first 6 months, thereafter monthly average balance of SG $5,000

US Business Smart Account 

  • Initial deposit: US $500
  • No minimum balance for the first 6 months, thereafter monthly average balance of US $1,000

OCBC or the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation is the result of a merger between three local banks. They currently own Great Eastern Holdings which is the largest insurance group in Malaysia and Singapore. OCBC offers a wide array of services including three different business accounts for startups in different stages.

 

They have something for brand new businesses, for ones that are growing and are expecting more transactions, and a business account for established businesses. While the high maintaining balance can be daunting, the account has plenty of free transactions which you can’t find on other accounts.

Account features

  • Free business accounts setup (exceptions: CHF/JPY/EUR accounts)
  • Free business internet banking and digital tokens
  • Free business mobile banking
  • Free business debit cards (SG) with free personalisation of company’s logo
  • Xero Accounting direct bank feeds enabled

Book an appointment with a Business Banking Manager who specialises in account opening to walk you through the application process. Click here to send an enquiry today.

 

*Additional eligibility criteria may apply, all account openings are subject to the bank’s conditions.

 

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UOB

eBusiness Account

  • Initial deposit: $1,000
  • Daily balance: $5,000

The UOB or the United Overseas Bank has presence all over Southeast Asia and China. With branches in 19 countries, it’s another bank you might want to consider opening an account with. The UOB has three different types of accounts for different banking needs. As a business, you should be looking at their operating accounts which are tailor-made for businesses.

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Maybank

Flexibiz Account

  • Initial deposit: $1,000
  • Daily balance: Not applicable

Maybank is another big name is banking in Southeast Asia. Maybank is the fourth largest bank in Southeast Asia by assets. Maybank provides investment banking, corporate banking, insurance and consumer banking among other things to 20 different countries. Maybank has 4 different business accounts to choose from. The most popular account is Flexibiz and it has no monthly fees which can prove beneficial for startups that are a bit low on cash.

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DBS-Bank-AV

DBS

Apply online or walk in to the branch

DBS is the Development Bank of Singapore. It has different branches all over South and Southeast Asia and even in China. With over 100 branches, DBS is considered the largest bank in Southeast Asia. The best part about opening a company account with DBS is that they can process your application really fast. While DBS requires the authorized signatories and executive director to be present for a face-to-face meeting, exceptions can be made on the bank’s discretion. DBS also offers online application where you can save time and effort in visiting their branches. All account openings are subject to the bank’s conditions.

 

 

DBS offers two different type of accounts:

Standard accounts without any relationship manager support:

1. $10,000 min. balance
2. Initial deposit of $3,000
3. $35 fall-below fee
4. Free online banking & debit card

Relationship manager supported account:

1. One-time setup fee: SG$500 (Operating accounts only).

2. $50,000 Min balance to maintain monthly; fall below fee of $80 – Operating accounts.

3. One-time setup fee: SG$2500; Monthly fee US$200 (investment holdings and holding

accounts).

4. Free Online banking and Debit card.

5. Supported by product specialist: Trade and cash management.

6. Supported by a relationship manager.

 

 

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WorldFirst

  • Free sign-up
  • No minimum transfers​
  • No monthly fees​
  • No annual transfer limits​

World Account is a cross-border payments platform brought to you by WorldFirst

 

WorldFirst is market-leading international FinTech business. An expert in international currency transfers, WorldFirst’s corporate and e-commerce solutions enable SMEs and online market place traders to expand internationally. Fully regulated and licensed by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). 

 

 

However, one must note, this virtual bank has its’ limitation when compared to a traditional bank, which means it does not provide cards such as credit or debit cards.

 

World Account FAQ 

 

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Currenxie

If you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional bank account, Currenxie is a Hong Kong based financial institution that offers virtual accounts covering over 30 countries and 18 currencies. Currenxie‘s Global Account™ allows users to collect and send payments around the world, conduct foreign exchange, and access trade financing from a single digital platform. 

 

Users do not need to be physically present to apply for an account, and the service is popular among eCommerce and trading companies seeking cost effective cross-border payments and remittance of profits from online marketplaces and payment gateways. Unlike a bank, Currenxie will not hold long-term deposits, but there is no cost to maintain an account.

 

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Neat Logo (Black)

Neat

Neat offers a modern alternative to a corporate bank account, built for entrepreneurs.

 

Open a multi-currency account online and get access to a HKD & USD account in Hong Kong and a EUR & GBP account in Europe.

 

The Neat Business Account allows companies to receive payments from customers and payment gateways, make payments to employees and suppliers globally, and access Neat Mastercards for online and offline spending as well as ATM withdrawals. What’s more, the Neat account seamlessly integrates with Xero.

 

Neat supports companies incorporated in both Singapore and Hong Kong and there is no minimum balance or signup fees.

 

It takes just 15 minutes to sign up. Open your business account here

Next steps

While the opening and document gathering part can be quite tricky, opening a bank account can be quite straightforward. At Sleek with every incorporation we can introduce you to our network of bankers in order to help with your bank account opening. Get in touch to learn more.

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