SP Services
Company Registration Global Registration

How to buy Shelf Company in Singapore?

How to buy Shelf Company in Singapore?

Shelf companies are a legal entity that is created and operational but remains dormant until a time where the buyer purchases the shelf company to do business. This company is acquired by such directors who don’t wish to go through the entire process of company formation. In this article, we shall discuss more about this company.

An Overview on Shelf Companies

Shelf Companies are incorporated with a resident company secretary, a nominal director, and a single shareholder with one share. These companies can be bought by foreigners as foreign shareholders can hold 100% of the company’s shares. Upon purchase, the company can be immediately operational.

For a foreign entrepreneur, Singapore is a great place to invest. Foreign investors can buy an already existing company or set up a new company. The decision depends upon the intent of the investors.

Benefits of buying Shelf Company

The benefits of buying this kind of company is given below-

Benefits of buying Shelf Company
  • Bypass registration process

Setting up of a new company requires incorporation of the company with accounting and corporate regulatory authority. It includes arranging a director and a qualified secretary resident in Singapore. Further, a local Singapore address and a Sing Pass[1] or Corp Pass ID may be required.

When you buy a shelf company, you can bypass the registration process for the incorporation of a new company. You can start operations immediately.

  • Less time required for preparing documents

The incorporation of a new company includes preparing documents like shareholder’s agreement, company constitution etc. Since the documents required are prepared upon already during the company’s incorporation therefore, you are only required to amend them to suit them to your needs. The process is not long. As a result, you can obtain a fully operational company and can company with requirements for bidding or entering into a contractual relationship with other parties quicker.

  • Easy to obtain business loan approval

Shelf companies have an established longevity and operating history; therefore it has increased chances of getting loan approved from local banks and potential investments. It is due to the fact that businesses and individual feel more confident while dealing with companies that have been incorporated since long time.

  • Start your business real quick

Incorporation of a new company takes some time. You may be required to go through the entire process and there are certain post incorporation compliances as well that needs to be followed. If you are planning to start business with immediate effect, Shelf Companies can be the real solution. 

Buying Shelf Company in Singapore

Buying process is mentioned below:

Process of Buying Shelf Company in Singapore
  • Choose a Shelf Company

The process of buying begins with choosing. Choose the company that you want to buy. For instance if you choose the company based on the date of incorporation then the older the company, the more expensive it would be.

One can choose such company based on its name however, don’t worry if you don’t find a company name which you like. It is because you may change the name of the company later. The seller can also provide the name changing service free of cost.

  • Negotiate with the seller

Companies sell shelf companies with additional services provision. There are companies that do that. You may negotiate with the seller for including more value added services. As stated earlier, some sellers provide name change of the company at no charge at all. Some offer assistance with opening a Singapore bank account. During negotiations, sellers want to be sure that there are no debts or liabilities incurred by the company in question.

  • Sign transfer agreement

Contract for sale shall be drafted in order to transfer the ownership of the company from its existing owner to the buyer. Once the contract is signed, the shares in the company will be transferred to the buyer or to the appointed persons. The new shareholder shall then be the new owner of such company. 

Statutory Obligations

As stated at the start of this article, when this Company is dormant, the seller who is the original owner of the company should strictly comply with the statutory requirements in order for the company to be operational immediately. As a buyer, when you buy the company, you must also abide by the same obligations. Below we have discussed the obligations or requirements.

The statutory requirements are as follows:

  • Determine the beginning and the end of the financial year of the company;
  • Convene Annual General Meeting ever year;
  • Meet all the accounting requirements;
  • Ensure annual returns filing;
  • Annual financial statements filing;
  • Also ensure corporate tax filings.

What are the features of Shelf Company?

The main features of this type of company are as follows:

  • It is an established company;
  • Minimum paid-up capital of US$1;
  • Ready to go company books and company seal;
  • Minimum presence of one shareholder;
  • Flexible to conduct anonymous business operations.

Cost of buying Shelf Companies in Singapore

The cost of shelf companies in Singapore may range from 2,500  dollars To 20,000 dollars included with the sale and the date of its incorporation. It may be noted that old companies tend to more expensive.

Shelf Company vs. New Company in Singapore

The decision of opening new company or buying shelf companies is based on the choice of investor that how he would want to use the entity. In case you seek specialized assistance to come to a conclusion then you may request for the services of Singapore company formation agents who will provide you with information on each type of company thereby helping you in arriving at an informed decision.


There are multiple reasons for you to proceed with buying a Shelf Company in Singapore if you are wising to buy a company abroad. Keep yourself informed about all the necessary information before buying the same. The statutory requirements etc. should be met after you buy the company.

Read our article: Company Incorporation in Singapore: A Comprehensive Guide

Ashish M. Shaji

Ashish M. Shaji has done his graduation in law (BA. LLB) from CCS University. He has keen interests in doing extensive research and writing on legal subjects especially on corporate law. He is a creative thinker and has a great interest in exploring legal subjects.

Business Plan Consultant

Trending Posted

Startup CFO

Our Awards Our Awards

Top 100 Companies in Asia - Red Herring
Top 100 Companies in Asia - Red Herring

Red Herring Top 100 Asia enlists outstanding entrepreneurs and promising companies. It selects the award winners from approximately 2000 privately financed companies each year in the Asia. Since 1996, Red Herring has kept tabs on these up-and-comers. Red Herring editors were among the first to recognize that companies such as Google, Facebook, Kakao, Alibaba, Twitter, Rakuten, Salesforce.com, Xiaomi and YouTube would change the way we live and work.

Top 25 in India - Consultants Review

Researchers have found out that organization using new technologies in their accounting and tax have better productivity as compared to those using the traditional methods. Complying with the recent technological trends in the accounting industry, Enterslice was formed to focus on the emerging start up companies and bring innovation in their traditional Chartered Accountants & Legal profession services, disrupt traditional Chartered Accountants practice mechanism & Lawyers.

Top 25 in India - Consultants Review

In the news