Is Local Director Compulsory in Singapore?

Is Local Director Compulsory in Singapore

Is Local Director Compulsory in Singapore?

Yes, Singapore companies must have at least one director who is a local resident. To qualify as a Singapore local resident, the individual must be a Singapore citizen, permanent resident of Singapore or an Employment Pass holder (the employment pass must be from the same company where the individual wishes to be a director).

In addition, the local director must be a natural person who is above 18 years of age and not a corporate entity. Foreign companies or entrepreneurs who wish to incorporate and operate a Singapore company may:

  • Have foreign executives relocate to Singapore to act as resident directors (subject to their work permit approval);
  • Or use the services of a Singapore nominee director from a corporate services company to fulfill the resident director requirement.

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Director Appointment Requirements

Under the Companies Act, every Singapore company must have at least one company director who is an ordinary resident of Singapore. Ordinary resident is defined as any person who is a Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident, Employment Pass or EntrePass holder.

Who can be a director?

Singapore allows both local residents and foreigners to be directors as long as they meet the following requirements:
  • The individual is a natural person, which means a director cannot be a corporation
  • The individual is at least 18 years old

Who cannot be a director

There are some cases where an individual can be disqualified from being a director of a company; these include:
  • Bankrupt
  • Convicted of a criminal offense involving fraud or dishonesty
  • Disqualified by an order made by the court
  • Convicted of 3 or more filing-related offenses under the Companies Act within a period of 5 years.
  • Have 3 or more High Court Orders made against him/her compelling compliance with the relevant requirements of the Act within a period of 5 years.
  • Has a company that was dissolved for reasons of security or national interest.
Once disqualified, the person will not be allowed to become a director or manage a local or foreign company unless the person seeks permission from the High Court. If the director has been bankrupt, they must seek permission from the court official presiding over the bankruptcy, also known as the Official Assignee.

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