Having set a new business in Singapore, one of the first few activities is to open the business bank account. Opening a bank account is trouble-free in the island country, provided you have all the necessary documents and are approaching the bank in the right way.

Here is a quick guide to help you sail the corporate bank account opening process in Singapore.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Only directors or authorized signatories of the company can open the bank account. An authorized signatory can be appointed through a resolution. 
  • The physical presence of at least two officers of the company is required by most banks to open the account. However, some banks may be willing to accept documents if you sign the necessary documents in their overseas branch in the presence of a notary or provide some additional documents, depending upon a case by case basis.
  • Singapore applies stringent checks to verify the worthiness of the company and its board members. This process is not only aimed at checking the financial capability of the company but also to ensure that the organization is not involved in any illegal business.
  • Depending upon the amount of investigation, the verification process may take a week to 3 months.

Documents Required

  • Board Resolution for opening the bank account
  • Certificate of incorporation of the company
  • A copy of the business profile of the company
  • A copy of the company’s Article of Association and Memorandum
  • Copies of passport copies or Singapore National Identification Card of all directors and authorized signatories
  • Copies of residential address proofs of all directors

All the above-mentioned documents must be verified by the company secretary of the organization or by one of the directors of the company.

Selecting the Right Bank

Being the business hotspot, Singapore offers a plethora of choices, including both local and foreign banks. 

There are 3 large local banking groups in Singapore which are: (1) OCBC (2) DBS (3) UOB

Other than these, there are dozens of foreign banks operating in Singapore such as HSBC, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, etc.

The following checklist may help you in finding an appropriate bank for your company.

  • Initial deposit required – All banks require an initial deposit while starting an account with them and it can be a considering factor for you. The initial deposit varies with the kind of account you are applying for as well. 
  • Bank Reputation and Rating – Banks with high creditworthiness, domestic and international reputation and known quality of services are always the best options for business. A little bit of web research may help you with this.
  • Minimum balance needed – In addition, to the initial deposit, it is important to maintain a minimum balance in your account to ensure its smooth functioning. The minimum balance amount varies with different banks and the kind of account opened.
  • Allows foreign currencies or not – With international businesses, it is important that you go with the account that allows keeping multiple foreign currencies.
  • Bank processing fee – All banks have different processing charging depending upon the kind of account you choose and the reputation of the bank in the business circle.
  • Interest Rates – Though there is not much variation among banks in Singapore when it comes to the interest rates offered. However, if it is important for you then it is advisable to check the rates offered for deposits and foreign currencies you will hold with the bank.
  • Location and accessibility of the bank – As the rule of the thumb, go for the bank that is located close to your office so that you can approach them easily.


How long does the process take?

It takes less time to get a corporate account started if the company is owned by locals. It could be as little as 15 minutes for them. For people who are not from Singapore, it could take weeks. It also depends on what country you come from and business you are getting into.



DBS Bank

UOB Bank

May Bank

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Offline meeting is necessary for

Foreigners or locals with a complex business or more than 2 authorised signatories

Foreigners or locals with a complex business or more than 3 authorised signatories

Foreigners or locals with a complex business or more than 2 authorised signatories


How to Apply?

Offline Process

As already stated, many banks require your physical presence while opening a corporate account. Therefore, it would be helpful if you drop down to the bank to put up your application. You will be required to submit a few documents (mentioned above) along with your application form.


Is there a way to open a corporate account remotely?

In a nutshell, yes. If you are from Singapore or a PR. Though it depends on many factors, including the nature of your business. You might have to meet up with one of the representatives sent by your bank if you have some foreign directors.

Online Process

Banks such as DBS and OCBC offer a fully online bank account opening process. However, this process is normally allowed only if all shareholders and directors are based in Singapore. While applying online you may require your ACRA (Accounting Corporate and Regulatory Authority) registration number and your personal account details.

Why are things a little complicated for foreigners?

“Singapore is one of the countries with the most transparent banking systems and government regulations. Banks here have more requirements on opening bank accounts for foreign-owned companies. In particular, there are restrictions on opening bank accounts for companies with ultimate beneficial owners from Russia and the CIS countries. For these countries, banks perform more detailed due diligence, KYC. Also, banks check related parties for political exposure and companies’ involvement with sanctioned territories like Iran, Sudan, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, and Crimea, as indicated in the Corporate Sanctions Questionnaire.”

Assem Zhanaly

Financial Analyst

We can help

With our extensive banking relationships, we can help clients open a bank account smoothly and hassle-free. In case you want assistance with Singapore bank account opening, contact us and will be glad to help.