Opening a corporate bank account suitable for your needs is an important step in establishing and growing your company. The good news is that there’s a broad range of accounts for Singapore businesses, including SME accounts from major local, regional and international banks, and non-bank providers which have varied features, fees and service options.
Use this guide to get an overview of the best business bank accounts in Singapore, and to help you pick the perfect match for your specific needs.
Here’s an overview of the accounts we’ll review - there’s more detail coming up later on each.
|Non-bank providers||Minimum balance||Monthly account fees||Currencies supported||Payment options||Notable features|
|Wise Business||No minimum balance|
No monthly account fee
One time 54 SGD fee for full account services
|50+ currencies supported||Send international payments from 0.41%|
International debit cards for 4 SGD/each
Withdraw up to 350 SGD/month fee free
|Aspire Business account||No minimum balance||12 SGD/month upwards||Local receiving accounts in SGD, USD and IDR|
Free local transfers
International payments 3x cheaper than banks
Broad range of account options
Virtual and physical cards available
|Bank business accounts||Minimum balance||Monthly account fees||Currencies supported||Payment options||Notable features|
|DBS Business Account||10,000 SGD||50 SGD annual fee||13 currencies supported|
Some free local payments depending on type
30 SGD international transfer fee
|Extra charges apply if you want to transact in a branch|
|OCBC Business Account||1,000 SGD|
10 SGD monthly fee
15 SGD fall below fee
Some local payments may be free or included in your account package
International transfers - 1/8% commission (min S$10, max S$100) + agent fee + cable fee
|Extra charges may apply if you want to transact in a branch, depending on your account details|
|Maybank Flexibiz||1,000 SGD||10 SGD fall below fee||SGD||0.125% commission (minimum S$20, maximum S$100) + agent fee + cable fee||Aimed at startups and new businesses|
|UOB Business Account||5,000 SGD|
35 SGD annual fee
15 SGD fall below fee
|SGD||International transfers may not have an upfront fee, although exchange rate markups will still apply||Some fee waivers are available for new customers|
Before we consider the features and fees available from different business account providers, it’s worth getting an overview of things to think about when choosing the best service for you.
Eligibility - Banks and specialist account services set their own eligibility rules, which may include specific countries of residence or having an entity legally registered in Singapore, for example.
Registration fees - If you’ve not registered your business yet, you may be able to do so for a favourable price by going through your chosen account provider.
Minimum initial deposit - When choosing your account provider, check the minimum initial deposit requirements suit your situation. Some accounts have no minimum deposit - making them more suited to businesses in their infancy - while others are more restrictive.
Minimum monthly balance and fall below fee - Another important feature to check is the minimum daily or monthly balance. It’s common to find that fall below fees will apply if you don’t maintain a fixed balance - which can eat into your profits.
Monthly maintenance fees - Banking isn’t free, so some costs are to be expected with any business account. Check what fixed fees are applied to accounts you’re interested in - and whether these fees buy you any useful perks like free transfers or lower payment costs.
Online banking features - As a business owner you’re busy. Make sure you’re choosing a corporate account which has easy access to online and mobile banking to cut your admin time. It’s also worth checking the support on offer if you have questions or if anything goes wrong.
Features - Many account providers offer a range of products to suit businesses of different sizes, which come with different features. Check you can access all the services you need, like credit or working capital, international payments or accounting integrations.
We’ll kick off our overview with some non-bank providers. Wise is a fintech company, not a bank - but Wise Business is basically multi-currency banking without a bank. And because Wise is a specialist in borderless transactions and currency conversion, you don’t even need to have a Singapore business to get SGD bank details - Wise is available globally.
Illustration of Wise Business products
Open your Wise Business account online or in the Wise app, to hold and exchange 50+ currencies, and get local bank details for 9 currencies. You can send payments to 80+ countries, and get international debit cards for your team for easy business spending. Wise also has business friendly perks like cloud accounting integrations, and batch payments so you can pay up to 1000 people internationally with one of the fairest exchange rates around.
Aspire¹ business accounts allow customers to integrate with their accounting software, to manage their money, pay bills, issue corporate expense cards, and earn cashback on digital spend.
Illustration from Aspire's homepage
There’s no monthly service fee², no minimum balance, and it’s free to send and receive payments locally. You’ll just pay a small fee when sending or receiving international transfers to your account.
DBS has a range of SME banking options, as well as corporate accounts for larger enterprises. One good option for smaller businesses is the DBS Business multi-currency account³.
You’ll have easy access to online and mobile banking solutions, but it’s worth knowing that you’ll have extra fees to pay if you want in branch services.
If your account is fully locally owned and registered you may be able to complete registration online - more complex businesses will need to register and then talk their needs through with a DBS representative.
Business bank accounts from OCBC include products aimed at new businesses and entrepreneurs, and accounts for larger businesses with specialist needs.
We’ve picked out the OCBC digital business account⁴ as one to consider. You’ll benefit from no fall below fee or minimum balance, and a relatively low monthly charge of 10 SGD⁵. Sending local transfers is usually free, and as the account is aimed at startups there are also lots of useful tools for new and growing companies.
Flexibiz⁶ accounts from Maybank have no fall below fee and can be opened by a range of business types, including charities. You’ll need a 1,000 SGD deposit to get started⁷, and can access mobile and online banking solutions easily.
Because Maybank has branches and partners throughout the region you can access some instant and 24/7 payment services between Singapore and Malaysia, as well as other major payment destinations in Southeast Asia.
If you need a more comprehensive account package you could also take a look at the Maybank PremierBiz account as an alternative with extra features.
The business account UOB recommends for startups and new businesses is the UOB eBusiness⁹ account. This account allows customers to manage their money online and using the UOB BizSmart digital banking tools.
There are also free local payments, and dedicated support from FX experts when you need to send money internationally¹⁰.
Opening your business account shouldn’t be too much of a headache - as long as your business is registered and you’re able to provide all the required paperwork to get started.
The exact process to follow depends on the bank or account provider you choose.
Online services will usually allow you to upload images of all your documents for a faster verification, while traditional banks may require you to attend a branch.
To give a couple of examples, you can register for a Wise account by completing your business and personal details online. Aspire also offers users the opportunity to get verified online. The paperwork you need varies, but will usually include¹¹:
- User proof of address, identity and a selfie
- Business Certificate of Shareholding
- Business Constitution or Memorandum and Articles of Association
- Proof of ID for business director and majority shareholders
- Board resolution (not required for sole proprietors)
Finding the right business account is essential. You’ll be able to arrange and manage your money more easily, and cut the costs of day to day banking and financial services.
The right account for you may come from one of Singapore’s traditional banks - or from a non-bank provider like Wise or Aspire. Traditional banks can offer a broader range of services including in person transaction options - but may have higher fees compared to non-bank and digital alternatives.
Check out the options, features and fees for a range of account providers, including regular banks and modern online alternatives like the Wise Business account to make sure you get the right account for your business.
- Aspire - Pricing
- DBS Business multi-currency account
- OCBC Business Banking Singapore
- OCBC Business Banking Singapore - pricing
- Maybank Singapore - Flexibiz Account
- Maybank Singapore - Current account fees
- Maybank Singapore - Outward Remittance
- UOB eBusiness Account
- UOB Business - Business FX Rates & Hedging Solutions for SMEs
- Aspire - Which documents do I need?
Sources checked on 08.11.2022
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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