How to open offshore business bank account in Singapore?

Feb 09, 2023

As a global financial center that has both economic stability and plenty of business opportunities, it’s no surprise that many companies are looking to conduct business in Singapore.


You want an efficient way to manage your finances and business transactions in the country. A offshore business bank account in Singapore is your solution.


With many benefits that offer your business flexibility, you’ll be able to manage payments and hold funds in SGD with ease.

What is an offshore business bank account?


Just like how an offshore company is a company that exists outside of the business’ home country, an offshore business bank account refers to an overseas bank account for your business.


It’s useful for businesses that conduct trade overseas to receive, hold, and send money in foreign currencies without hassle. 


If you own an overseas corporation and regularly do business in Singapore, it’s a good idea to open business bank account in the country to send and receive SGD payments with ease.


You can also utilize Singapore offshore banks to hold and make investments.

Reasons to open an offshore business bank account in Singapore?


1. Stable and safe economy

Well-known for being an economically and politically stable country, opening an offshore business bank account in Singapore can be considered a relatively low risk.


You get more convenient access to a global market through Singapore without having to worry about stability. Your business can grow steadily in Singapore, with a safe economy to ensure that the market is a good bet.




2. Fully integrated into the global financial system

Many businesses conduct trade in Singapore. Known as a global financial hub, it’s no surprise that establishing your business in Singapore will lead to opening new doors.


You’ll be better integrated into Singapore’s financial system and landscape with an offshore business bank account that allows you to easily send, hold and receive funds in SGD.


Get access to better financial support and advice while expanding your horizons.




3. Brighter investment opportunities

Diversifying your investments is easier when you have an offshore business bank account. As a growing company trying to expand into Singapore, you want to use your Singaporean account to help this growth.


Offshore banking in Singapore opens up new investment opportunities and enables you to spread your risks better.




4. Secured banking with multi-currency accounts

Opening an offshore business bank account is often done to simplify international business transactions.


When you do a lot of business in Singapore, it’s not practical to keep on doing international money transfers, which take a lot of time and money.


With Singapore offshore banks, however, you can easily send and receive money in SGD. You can reduce exchange fees and save on currency conversion rates while ensuring that all your transactions are secure and without delays.




5. Presence of leading banks in Singapore

Singapore has no shortage of options for you to choose your business banking partner.


With well-known names like DBS and OCBC as well as emerging banking providers with promise, you’ll no doubt find a reputable bank to aid you in conducting business in the country.


You are sure to have access to attractive deals, excellent services, and many more perks with Singapore’s leading banking partners.




6. Ease of access to digital bank accounts

Modern banking services have made it easy to do transactions from anywhere.


It’s no longer uncommon to make use of digital banking from web dashboards or mobile applications as opposed to having to rely on visiting a bank branch for every banking need.


Singapore offshore banks are no exception. You’ll find that most offshore banking providers in the country have accounts that are easy to access, supporting digital banking accounts that you can make use of for transactions.




7. Eases tax filing with corporate bank accounts

Along with the benefit of being able to enjoy lower taxes compared to local accounts in your business’s home base of operations, the tax filing process can be hassle-free with an offshore business bank account.


Instead of having to worry about keeping in mind currency conversion rates and international money transfer fees for tax filing purposes, paying and receiving payments in SGD will make records simpler, hence making your taxes easier to do.

Step-by-step process to open an offshore business bank account

opening offshore business account


Shortlisting banking product

The first step in creating a business bank account in Singapore is picking a banking partner that will suit your business needs.


Every country will have a number of well-known names to choose from, and opening an offshore business bank account in Singapore is no different. Common banks with attractive business account deals include OCBC, DBS, and UOB.


You also have the option of non-banking business account providers who offer modern offshore banking in Singapore. You want to come up with a list of providers and go through their individual features to find which offer is the best for your business.




Visiting the branch in person or applying online

For the most part, the process of applying for your offshore business bank account is relatively similar to applying for a domestic account.


You’ll have to prepare several documents to submit during the application process, which may include some extra ones that aren’t required for a domestic account.


Regardless, the application process for opening business bank account in Singapore can start online or by visiting a bank branch in person.


While some banking providers don’t require your physical presence, others may need an in-person visit for identity verification reasons.




Submission of documents to the bank

One of the key requirements to be able to open an offshore business bank account is the submission of your business documents to the bank.


These documents include information about the company and the board of directors, proof of identification, proof of residential address, as well as proof of source of funds.


You will be required to provide documents that prove your business is registered in Singapore along with bank statements that show your business has income.

Documents required to open a corporate offshore bank account


While requirements may vary a little from provider to provider, you’ll need most if not all of the following documents ready to open your offshore business bank account in Singapore.


Company documents

To commence business in Singapore, you’ll have to be a registered entity that has a Certificate Confirming Incorporation of Company.


Your ACRA form that confirms your registration in Singapore is required when setting up your offshore business bank account. You will also need to provide other company documents like your business profile and share certificate.




Proof of identification

When you’re opening business bank account in Singapore for an overseas business, all directors from your company will be required to submit some form of proof of identification.


These would be their original passports or ID cards. Their Taxpayer Identification Numbers, or TIN, will also be needed.




Proof of residency

You’ll need a residential address in order to open your offshore business bank account. Utility bills such as electric bills or water bills will serve as your necessary residential address proof. 




Proof of business operations

If you have a tenancy office agreement, the document can be used to prove your business is operational.




Proof of source of funds

Considering that your Singapore offshore business bank account will be used to do business in the country, you’ll need to prove that you have at least one source of funds.


If your business has been operational for over a year and has other business bank accounts, you can submit your corporate bank statements from at least the last 6 months.


Accounting documents and audit reports can also be submitted. (enter) Otherwise, you could submit bank statements from the last 6 months from individuals funding your business or a current 3-month bank reference letter.




Documents of directors, authorized signatories, beneficial owners

Other relevant documents from the personnel mentioned above such as employment letters, certificates, and licenses may also be required by your bank provider for offshore banking in Singapore.

Banks that allow the opening of offshore accounts in Singapore


OCBC

OCBC requires that you visit an OCBC bank branch in person to make an offshore business bank account in Singapore. This means that you will have to be in the country to start the opening procedure of your account.


You will also need to prepare SGD 3,000 as a deposit when you open your account. There’s an account fee that costs you SGD 38 per month, but the amount is waived for the first three months of opening your account. 




DBS

To open a business bank account in Singapore with DBS, you’ll likely have to physically come to a branch to verify your identity.


However, as DBS also offers an online application to start the process, you can potentially skip the in-person visit through a video call verification through Facetime or Skype in some cases.


A deposit of at least SGD 1,000 is required for a local currency account. 




UOB

You can begin your application process for a UOB offshore account by entering your details online, but you’ll still be required to visit a bank branch to open an account.


You will have to bring all your necessary documents with you during your branch visit, which the bank will use to begin the identification process.


There is a minimum deposit of SGD 1,000 along with an SGD 500 account setup fee for foreign incorporated companies. 




Maybank

A face-to-face meeting with all signatories involved in the opening of your account is required by Maybank.


All major shareholders and directors will have to be present in Singapore to visit a branch in the country, but the good news is that Maybank may be willing to make exceptions for minor directors who are unable to come to Singapore.


In that case, they could visit an overseas Maybank branch and have someone assist in the verification process. Regardless, a branch visit is a necessary step to open an account with Maybank, along with a deposit of SGD 1,000. 




Standard Chartered

Your business’ executive director and authorized signatory have to be physically present in Singapore for an in-person branch meeting for a due diligence meeting.


However, exceptions could potentially be made for existing Standard Chartered customers, where you might be able to go to a bank branch worldwide or do the identity verification through teleconference.


You will be required to deposit SGD 30,000 to open a Maybank offshore business bank account. 

Open a multi-currency business bank account instantly with Volopay


Given the many benefits of an offshore business bank account, it’s in your best interest to have an account that allows you to trade in SGD with ease if you conduct a lot of business in Singapore.


Not only will it open up more doors, but you’ll also be saving time and money with an SGD account. Bypass all the exchange fees for simpler business transactions within Singapore.


Look no further if you want to streamline your international finance processes. Volopay enables you to open a business bank account that supports transactions in multiple currencies.


Load, hold, and spend in SGD, USD, and many more with Volopay—all through one account. Better yet, the application process for a Volopay multi-currency business account is easy and convenient.


Everything can be done online to set up your account. In just a week or two, you’ll be able to do SGD transactions hassle-free, with the added bonus of having access to even more currencies.

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