The holy grail of international business banking for many is being able to open a Singapore offshore company bank account.
But, increasingly strict compliance rules, new reporting requirements, and ever-changing banking laws are making account opening far more difficult.
And, unfortunately, for the overwhelming majority of people who own offshore companies, opening a Singapore offshore company bank account isn’t something they’ll ever be able to achieve.
That said, even though Singapore is one of the most sought after (and well regulated) banking jurisdictions in the world today, it’s still possible to open accounts.
In fact, with the right information, contacts, strategies, and knowing which mistakes to avoid, pretty much anyone can open an offshore company bank account in Singapore. The problem is that few people actually have all of this information.
In this article, we’ll share how offshore companies can open bank accounts in Singapore, the critical steps business owners must take before approaching a bank, and the common pitfalls that kill applications. We’ll also share how you can get started opening a Singapore offshore company bank account immediately.
Before getting started, don’t forget to download your FREE copy of the Business Banking Starter Guide. It will help you prepare to open accounts for your offshore company in top banking hubs like Singapore.
Opening a bank account in a foreign country is no small undertaking. This is especially true when opening accounts for offshore companies and when travel is required. Given the deposit requirements, fees, and travel expenses involved, deciding where to open an offshore company bank account and which banks to approach is critical.
With this in mind, let’s look at the benefits of opening a Singapore offshore company bank account to make sure it matches your objectives:
Of course, these benefits don’t automatically mean that opening a Singapore offshore company bank account is the best choice for all business owners. Depending on your business and banking goals, there may be better banking options elsewhere.
Below, we break down who should (and shouldn’t) be opening a Singapore offshore company bank account. After that, we’ll explore how to open bank accounts in Singapore.
There are a number of considerations that will determine if Singapore is right for you and your offshore company. One major factor is: can actually afford to bank here? We’ll walk through this and several other important considerations to see if Singapore is right for you below.
While opening a Singapore offshore company bank account is theoretically possible for companies from most countries, certain countries are better suited than others. For example, companies that are registered in blacklisted or greylisted countries typically have more difficulties. Though, this is true in most international banking jurisdictions.
That said, it is possible for companies from classic offshore hubs such as the British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Marshall Islands, Nevis, and many more, to open Singapore offshore company bank accounts. What’s crucial though, is that the company is able to meet the account opening criteria for the desired bank and has an acceptable risk profile.
Opening a Singapore offshore company bank account can often come with higher minimum deposit requirements than other jurisdictions. The simple reason for this is that Singapore is a better banking hub that can afford to pick and choose who they want. So, they increase minimums to reduce the number of unprofitable client applications.
For example, an offshore company registered in the British Virgin Islands may be able to open a bank account in Panama with US $15,000 to $30,000. But, when opening in Singapore that same company could be expected to deposit between two and three times that amount, depending on the bank, banker, and perceived risk profile.
Like most banking hubs today, Singaporean banks want to see some connection to the region. Banks want to know your reasoning for wanting to bank in their country. And, having local or regional ties can help explain (and provide supporting proof) why you want to open an account in Singapore for a foreign company. Such ties can be personal or commercial and can be demonstrated in a number of ways. We share the specifics of economic substance, what works, what doesn’t, and which ties are most helpful in our premium report, Opening Offshore Bank Accounts in Singapore: Global Banking at it’s Best.
Singapore, like most jurisdictions, does not allow companies with regulated activities to open accounts locally unless they are regulated locally. For this reason, businesses that are not involved in regulated activities will have a much easier time opening a Singapore offshore company bank account.
Alternatively, businesses such as broker-dealers, transfer agents, money services businesses, or similar entities that are active in financial activities are unlikely to open accounts. This also applies to companies that have been set up to skirt regulations by claiming their company is from a country where such regulation does not exist (e.g., forex brokers in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines).
There are a number of other considerations that applicants should consider when opening a Singapore offshore company bank account. These might include such items as the nationality of the ultimate beneficiary or residency of the directors. It could also include proof of business relationships and operations. Or, banks may want to know the location of customers.
From a client perspective, these considerations make up what we call your “client profile”. To find a bank that accepts your specific client profile, you need to understand the bank’s requirements. Likewise, you need to know what their client preferences are. And of course, you should understand their application and onboarding quirks, and more. Don’t worry, we’ll share how and where to get all this information below.
But first, anyone considering opening a Singapore offshore company bank account needs to make sure they don’t fall into one important category…
In addition to anyone who can’t meet the bank’s basic onboarding and client preference criteria, there is one group in particular that may want to avoid banking in Singapore.
And, ironically, that group involves offshore companies that are registered in… Singapore.
This is due to the fact that any income remitted into Singapore on behalf of a Singapore company is subject to tax in Singapore. Currently, Singapore’s tax code does not tax the international income of Singapore companies, as long as the income stays outside of Singapore. That means, if a Singapore offshore company was to open a bank account and receive payments in Singapore, they would have to start paying tax.
For this reason, if you own a Singapore offshore company, you may want to look at opening accounts in jurisdictions outside of Singapore instead. Of course, this is not tax advice and before making any decisions related to tax or structuring you should check with a qualified advisor.
While it’s becoming increasingly difficult to open offshore company bank accounts, it’s even harder to open such accounts remotely. This is especially true if your business is high-risk. Likewise, businesses in regulated activities and have no ties to Singapore (or the region) will struggle.
That said, in some instances, business owners can open a Singapore offshore company bank account without ever visiting Singapore. But, to do so, there are specific steps that need to be followed. And, it’s important to note that this option is not available at all banks. Additionally, in order to be eligible for remote account opening, the bank may make additional requests.
Fortunately, opening a Singapore offshore company bank account remotely is currently 100% possible. To this end, our team has outlined several proven strategies that allow Singapore offshore company bank account opening remotely in our premium report, in GlobalBanks Insider.
These strategies include 100% legal methods to apply for (and open) offshore company bank accounts in Singapore remotely. And they do not include using middlemen or introducers. That means you can save thousands of dollars in travel expenses, accommodations, and wasted introducer fees.
Of course, we share all these strategies and more with the members of our international banking platform, GlobalBanks IQ. It also includes our premium report Opening Offshore Bank Accounts in Singapore: Global Banking at its Best.
GlobalBanks Insiders can access this report and the remote account opening strategies within it right now in the Insider Library.
While Singapore is one of the top banking jurisdictions in the world today, there are other options available. In fact, certain offshore companies could get more value from banking in a different country. This will depend on their client profile, business needs, and banking goals.
Yet, with account opening for offshore companies getting increasingly difficult, it’s more important than ever to know which banks to approach. Plus, you need to have the right contacts. And, you must know which account opening strategies will work best for you.
To this end, our team has prepared a premium report for offshore companies, called How to Open International Bank Accounts for Offshore Companies.
In this report, you get account opening strategies and opportunities in specific countries. You’ll also discover which specific banks to approach for offshore company banking. So, even if you decide that opening a Singapore offshore company bank account isn’t the best choice for you, there are still many other options to consider. And, ever have any questions or need more help, you can just contact our team of banking experts for support.
GlobalBanks Insiders can also access this report in the Insider Library as soon as they become a member.
If you’re ready to open a Singapore offshore company bank account or having trouble sorting out your banking options, then we’d be happy to help you.
When you join GlobalBanks IQ, you receive instant access to all of our premium reports, including the two mentioned above:
This report outlines specific banks, account opening strategies, and remote opening options. It also tells you how to avoid high fees, overcome tough paperwork requirements, and which banks to approach.
So, if you’re ready to take action and start opening international accounts now, you can access GlobalBanks IQ, our dedicated international banking intelligence platform.
GlobalBanks IQ gives you everything you need to start finding and opening accounts for you or your business today.
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And, you get access to our library of premium (members-only) reports. These include proven account opening strategies, country-specific banking options, and lists of banks for specific client types.
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To get started, click here to see if GlobalBanks IQ is the right choice for you to start accessing the benefits of international banking today.