The biggest hurdle for setting up a foreign-owned Singapore Crypto or Web 3.0 company (a Private Limited or Pte. Ltd. for short), is finding a local director you can trust.
Finding a local director to help set up your Crypto or Web 3.0 company in Singapore is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It is so hard; you almost give up.
One way is to engage a nominee director provided by a service company, but most service providers do not want to touch the Crypto and Web 3.0 space. With the astronomical growth of the Crypto and Web 3.0 industries in recent years, one would think that there would be more service providers willing to support the wave of the future, but the reality is the compliance industry is slow to change. At weConnect, we embrace all new industries. We have spent the necessary time to understand the ever-shifting regulatory landscape in Singapore to be comfortable with supporting Crypto and Web 3.0 companies in need of local director services.
If we become your local nominee director, we structure our relationship to only act upon your approval. This means we will sign off on all compliance items like tax returns, the annual corporate secretarial return, director resolutions, financial statements and regulatory filings with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) once we have approval from foreign directors. For all ongoing business matters, the appointed foreign directors (this is you or your boss residing outside of Singapore) registered with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) will be able to sign off on local contracts like office leases, employment agreements, customer contracts, and vendor agreements.
Some companies believe appointing a local hire as the local director is more efficient and practical but there are many public cases where the local director embezzled money or used the company’s assets for personal gain – see one example here: Local Singapore Director embezzles money Unless you 100% trust someone in Singapore it is better to start with a nominee director at first because we have much more at stake. Even one blemish on our record will end our right to offer nominee director services so our incentives are aligned with the client’s – we must be perfect. See the example here of a director losing rights for 3 years: Local resident director fined and losses rights.
We do not take this role lightly. It is particularly common for directors to be held liable for offenses carried out by the Company and as such, the local resident director will ultimately be held liable. Minor infractions could result in fines of SGD 5,000 or losing the right to offer nominee director services, while major infractions could result in imprisonment of up to 2 years. Thus, to take on this role we will need intimate knowledge of the ongoing financial position of the company. If we lose our right to offer services, we must replace our name in all our client’s registered matters so it is paramount that we ensure full compliance.
Now, once you have your Singapore Company, you will want a corporate bank account. Banks in Singapore will be conservative when it comes to opening a bank account for companies with Crypto or Web 3.0 activities. As this is a moving target, please contact us to discuss the options we have available for you today.
weConnect is a unique global provider offering employer of record and entity set up and ongoing compliance across 6 continents and our approach is no different in Singapore where we have positioned ourselves to help all clients where practically possible. Contact us below if you are a Crypto or Web 3.0 company (or any company from any industry) trying to set up in Singapore. We want to help.