How to Open a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore
Having set up a new company, you may now intend to open a corporate bank account in Singapore. In fact, it would be advisable for you to do that as soon as possible for practical reasons.
Why Should I Open a Corporate Bank Account?
Opening a corporate bank account would separate your personal and business finances (including your business’ assets, cash flows, expenses etc.), bringing about potential benefits to you and your business.
For one, your business’ finances can be independently managed without being mixed with your personal finances. This would better protect you from any corporate liabilities that may arise in the future, since there is a clear division between your personal and business finances.
On the flipside, if you use a single bank account to manage funds, you are essentially treating your business funds as your personal money. This way, you risk subjecting your personal funds to, for instance, creditors who may seek to pierce the corporate veil (i.e hold you liable for your company’s debts).
Furthermore, such an account would also allow you to monitor and evaluate your business performance more accurately and conveniently based on the records that are solely for your business.
Who is Authorised to Open a Corporate Bank Account?
The director(s) and authorised signatories (if any), are able to open a corporate bank account.
Considerations When Choosing a Corporate Bank Account
Given the plethora of reputable banks in Singapore, how should you go about deciding which bank to open your corporate bank account with?
Your task to decide is made harder especially since the different banks offer competitive corporate account options, each with their own distinct perks and coverage.
Here are a few tips and pointers that may help you to narrow down your options, with reference to the services offered by a few local banks:
Initial deposit amount
As a new business owner, you might be concerned with initial set-up costs. The initial deposit required for setting up an account can range from S$0 to S$3,000.
This amount is not solely dependent on the bank you approach – each bank may offer different types of corporate bank accounts, which incur different initial deposit amounts.
See the following table for example:
|Aspire Business Account||N/A|
|OCBC Business Growth Account||N/A|
|Maybank FlexiBiz Account||S$1,000|
|DBS Business Digital Account||S$1,000|
|DBS Multi-Currency Account||S$3,000|
Looking at how the initial deposit amounts vary considerably across and within the banks, this should not be the sole factor that you should consider.
Instead, it may perhaps be helpful to consider other factors before you decide on which account to go ahead with.
Besides the initial deposit, another key consideration would be the minimum balance to be maintained in your corporate bank account. This is because this may have implications on the cash flows and management of finances for your business.
In addition, falling below the minimum balance amount would incur additional fees, which will not be desirable for a new and growing business.
The table below includes certain examples:
|Bank Account||Minimum Balance||Fall-below Fee/Monthly Fee|
|Aspire Business Account||N/A||N/A|
|Maybank FlexiBiz Account||N/A||N/A|
|OCBC Business Growth Account||N/A||Monthly fee of S$10 (waived for first 2 months)|
|UOB eBusiness Account||S$5,000||S$15|
|DBS Business Digital Account||N/A||Monthly fee of S$18|
As seen from the table, while DBS’ Business Digital Account has no minimum balance stipulated, there is a monthly fee of $18 charged for the account. On the other hand, the Aspire Business Account has no minimum balance or fall-below fee requirements.
Accounts that can hold multiple currencies
The type and nature of your business is also a crucial consideration to the choice of your corporate bank account.
If your business is likely to involve cross-border transactions, you may wish to open a corporate bank account that allows for foreign currency transactions.
Here are some banks that offer multi-currency accounts for your consideration:
|Bank Account||Number of Currencies (Including SGD)|
|DBS Multi-Currency Account||13 (USD, AUD, EUR, CNH*, SEK*, NOK* etc.)|
|UOB Business Global Currency Account||10 (USD, AUD, EUR etc.)|
*UOB does not offer these currencies
As can be seen, the currencies offered by each bank may differ. Thus, knowing which currencies your business will be dealing with is definitely crucial when it comes to choosing a bank.
How Can I Open a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore?
If you have made up your mind on which bank to open your corporate bank account with, it’s time to apply for the account:
Certain banks are now offering 1-day express account opening services which can be done online, enhancing convenience for business owners like you.
Examples of bank accounts that can be opened online include DBS Business Digital Account, UOB eBusiness Account and the Aspire Business Account.
Therefore, if you are eligible to apply online, you can simply complete the online form on the bank’s website and have your corporate account opened in a day.
You may be eligible if you:
- Are a single director (who is also the only shareholder and authorised signatory) or sole proprietor; and
- Already have a personal account with that bank.
You may require the following details to apply for the 1-day express corporate account:
- Your Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) business registration number
- Your personal bank details (e.g PIN number)
Note that, depending on the bank, you may also be requested to submit additional documents.
Going down to the bank to apply
Typically, to open a corporate bank account, the director and authorised signatories need to be present at the bank. However, this again depends on the bank you are opening the account with.
For example, OCBC requires 2 directors to be present for account opening, whereas DBS’ account opening process is largely done online.
You will be required to submit a number of documents before your corporate account is set up. Generally, these may include:
- Bank Account Application Form from the bank;
- Board resolution with clear indication of any appointment of signatories;
- Certified true copies of the NRIC/Passport of directors and all authorised signatories including their residential address information;
- ACRA Business Profile Search;
- Certificate of company incorporation etc.
How Long Will It Take to Open a Corporate Bank Account?
As you might already have noticed, opening a corporate bank account can possibly happen in one day, but it may also stretch to weeks. This is largely dependent on the time taken for verification by the banks.
Overall, with proper documentation, the process should be effortless. The physical presence of directors and authorised signatories at the time of setting up an account may also prevent unforeseen delays.
Setting Up a Corporate Bank Account with Aspire
With Aspire, company directors can set up a new corporate bank account with no set-up fee, monthly fees, minimum deposit or fall-below fees. Apply online—no need to head down to a bank—with your identity documents and have your bank account set up within minutes. Click here to find out more!
- Registering a Business in Singapore: Do I Need to and How?
- Deciding Your Business Structure: A Sole Proprietorship, Partnership or a Company?
- How to Choose an ACRA-Approved Name for Your Business
- 7 Start-Up Government Grants in Singapore (and How to Apply)
- How to Open a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore
- Finding a Suitable Corporate Secretarial Firm in Singapore
- Financial Year End (FYE) Singapore: How to Decide/Change
- 8 Tips on Choosing the Best Virtual Office in Singapore for Your Business
- Company Seals vs Rubber Stamps in Singapore: When to Use What
- Incorporation: How to Register a Company in Singapore
- Guide to Limited Liability Companies in Singapore
- Starting an Exempt Private Company in Singapore: Benefits and Process
- Registration and Compliance Fees for Singapore Companies
- Setting Up a Company Limited by Guarantee in Singapore
- Why and How to Set Up a Subsidiary in Singapore (with FAQs)
- Why and How to Set Up a Branch Office in Singapore (with FAQs)
- Offshore Company: What is It & How to Set Up One in Singapore
- Trading Company in Singapore: Why and How to Set Up One
- Shelf Company: What It Is and How to Buy One in Singapore
- Special Purpose Vehicle: Do Singapore Start-Ups Need One?
- Applying for Tech.Pass in Singapore: Eligibility and Benefits
- How Can Foreigners Start a Business in Singapore?
- Foreign Companies Setting up in Singapore
- Singapore Representative Office: How Can a Foreign Company Set Up?
- Redomiciliation: Why and How to Convert Your Foreign Company into a Singapore-Registered Company
- Singapore Entrepreneur Pass: Who Is It For? How Do I Obtain One?
- Setting Up a Company in Malaysia: A Foreigner’s Guide
- Do You Need a Licence to Sell Home Bakes in Singapore?
- Legal Checklist for Setting Up a Restaurant in Singapore
- How Businesses Can Import Food into Singapore
- How to Apply for Halal Certification for Your Singapore Restaurant
- How to Apply for a Liquor Licence to Sell Alcohol in Singapore
- Public Entertainment Licence: Guide for Business Owners
- Payment Services Act Licensing Guide for Fintech Businesses
- Want to Busk in Singapore? Here's How to Get Your Busking Licence
- Guide to Writing Website Terms and Conditions in Singapore
- Do You Need a Partnership Agreement When Setting Up?
- Do You Need a Shareholder Agreement When Setting Up?
- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): Does Your Business Need One?
- Guide to VIMA in Singapore (Venture Capital Investment Model Agreements)