How to open a business bank account in Singapore

Panna Kemenes

Singapore is welcoming more and more international businesses to the republic. As a result, banks in Singapore are also becoming easier to work with.

The US has a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Singapore since 2004 which supports a close and cooperative trade relationship.⁴ Sales of services in Singapore by majority US-owned affiliates already reached $88.1 billion in 2018.⁵

Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore as a US citizen is a straightforward process once you know the requirements.

Read on for information about what business types are welcome, the process for opening an account, and a rundown of which banks to consider.

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Can I open a business bank account in Singapore from the US?

Yes, you can open a business bank account from overseas. While many banks will require your presence, some will not. Companies incorporated in Tax Haven Countries will need to provide a Certificate of Incumbency that is less than one year old.

Companies incorporated in other jurisdictions, such as the USA, UK, or Indonesia, will need to submit an official document from the Government and/or the Registrar of Companies.

If you’re opening an account from the US, or outside of Singapore, all documents must be signed in the presence of the bank’s staff at an international branch, a notary public, or the High Commissioner of Singapore.

Additionally, all documents must be submitted in English. It’s the company’s responsibility to ensure that translation is correct. The company will also need to produce the original passport of all authorised signers, Directors, and Ultimate Beneficial Owners for the bank staff to verify.

A stress-free solution to getting Singapore business account details is to open a Wise Business account. With Wise Business you can get a Singapore account number. This means your customers can start paying you like a local straight away. You can also pay your suppliers and employees in Singapore with ease, and convert USD at the real mid-market rate.

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Can I open company bank account in Singapore online?

Yes. Some banks, including DBS, will allow you to complete the process of opening a business bank account entirely online, however these account types will often be somewhat limited.

Many of the banks that don’t require your physical presence will still require either a phone interview or your presence at an international branch.

What’s the process for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore as a US citizen?

The process for opening a business account in Singapore is fairly easy, even as a US citizen. Most banks will require the account signatories and the company’s majority directors to be physically present in Singapore to sign paperwork at the time of opening.

However, some of the larger international banks, like HSBC and Citibank, will allow you to sign the necessary documents at one of their overseas branches, or in the presence of a notary.

While the exact required paperwork varies from bank to bank, typically you’ll need the following:

  • Completed Corporate Account Opening Forms, signed by signatories.
  • A Board of Directors Resolution, sanctioning the account opening and the established signatories to open it on behalf of the company. This must be prepared by your company’s secretary.
  • A certified true copy of Resolution, sanctioning the account opening and the signatories to open the account on behalf of the company. This is typically a standard form created by the bank that must be signed.
  • A certified true copy of Certificate of Incorporation, certified by a company director.
  • A certified true copy of Company’s Business Profile from Company Registrar.
  • A certified true copy of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA).
  • Certified copies of the Passports or Singapore ICs, as well as residential address proof of the directors, signatories, and ultimate beneficiary owners.

If you’re physically present in Singapore, the bank will typically be happy to make copies for you if you bring originals.

Can I open a corporate bank account in Singapore with a foreign corporate entity?

Singapore is home to many of the world’s major banks, and in general they will be happy to open a corporate account for any any entity, whether Singapore or offshore, as long as the correct paperwork has been submitted and is satisfactory.

What are the typical corporate entities in Singapore?

Many types of businesses are based in Singapore, including Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), sole proprietorships, and partnerships.

Foreign companies looking to establish a formal presence in the republic have two options:

1. Foreign companies can create a subsidiary company

A subsidiary company is a private, limited company that is incorporated in Singapore, whose parent company is a shareholder. This option makes the most sense for small and mid-sized companies.

2. Foreign companies can open a branch office

A parent company can open a branch office registered in Singapore instead of creating a separate entity as in the option above. However, in this option, the liabilities of the branch office are extended to the parent company.

Which business bank should I choose in Singapore?

While there are many banks to choose from in Singapore, some of the most reputable for business bank accounts include local banks such as:

DBS Bank

DBS’s minimum account setup fees start from S$2,500. DBS requires a minimum average balance of S$50,000 - S$250,000 depending on the business type.¹ An account with DBS comes with a debit card, credit card, checkbook, and access to online banking.


OCBC typically requires the executive director, as well as an authorized signatory, to be present to open an account. However, an account at OCBC does not carry a setup fee. There is a monthly account fee of S$38, which is waived for the first three months. There is also a service fee of S$35 if the monthly average balance falls below S$5000 per month.²

Some international banks that are trusted for corporate banking include:

What types of business banking fees are there in Singapore?

Opening any traditional bank account comes with a wide range of standard fees. Business accounts in Singapore often have minimum balances, which rage from S$5000 to S$10000 depending on which bank you choose, with “fall-below” fees that can be up to S$50. You’re likely to also face annual account fees or even monthly account fees.

For US citizens doing business in Singapore, it’s often important to keep an eye on foreign transfer fees. DBS, for example, can charge a handling commission between S$5-35 on foreign transfers.³

    💡 If you’d like to avoid these international charges, consider using Wise to fund your business bank account from abroad. Wise uses the real mid-market exchange rates to convert your money from one currency to another. That means that, unlike a regular bank transfers, there’s no hidden markup on the currency conversion rate.
    Wise Business offers one account for over 50 currencies, and all the tools to make managing business finances easier.

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  1. DBS fees
  2. Business Banking Pricing Guide - 1 Account Charges
  3. Fees and Charges for Overseas Funds Transfer | DBS Singapore
  4. Singapore Free Trade Agreement | United States Trade Representative
  5. Singapore | United States Trade Representative

All sources checked September 28, 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 Wise Payments 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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