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The General Partnership in Singapore

The General Partnership in Singapore

The Singapore general partnership is one of the simplest entities that can be established in the city-state. It is characterized by a minimum of two members with equal rights and obligations in the business.

If you want to set up a company in Singapore in the form of a general partnership, you can rely on our local consultants for guidance.

Partnerships in Singapore

Partnerships in Singapore fall under the regulations of the Partnership Act issued in 1994. The legislation defines partnerships as the relation between two or more persons carrying out a business with the purpose of making profits. The association must be registered according to the provisions of the Singapore Companies Law or any other corresponding legislation. Investors who want to open this type of company in Singapore must know that there are three types of partnerships available in this jurisdiction:

  • general partnerships,
  • limited partnerships,
  • limited liability partnerships.

For more information on the Partnership Act, you can ask our specialists in company formation matters. You can also request our services if you want to open a company in Singapore.

You can watch the video below for information on how to open a general partnership in Singapore:

Open a company in Singapore as a general partnership

The Singapore general partnership must have a minimum number of two partners and a maximum number of 20. General partnerships with more than partners must re-register as a company. The general partnership has no distinct legal status from its founding members and the partners have unlimited liability for the Singapore company’s debts and responsibilities. The following requirements apply when opening a partnership in Singapore:

The following steps must be followed in order to register a general partnership in Singapore:

  • reserve the name of the partnership,
  • submit information about the partners or managers,
  • submit proof of residential address of the partners,
  • a consent to act as a manager for the Singapore partnership,
  • a declaration of compliance.

The documents must be submitted to the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. Our company formation consultants in Singapore can help you set up a general partnership.

The main characteristics of a Singapore general partnership

As a business form, the partnership is a non-corporate entity which means it is not delimited from the people setting it up. This means that the liability of the business will fall onto its members. Apart from this, here are other aspects to consider:

  • the partners can be held personally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership;
  • it cannot own any type of property in its own name;
  • it is also possible for the members to be corporate entities, Singapore or foreign companies;
  • the partnership must have a registered address in Singapore.

If you are wondering if it is worth setting up a company in Singapore under a general partnership, you should note that such an entity is better for a small business.

Resident member requirements in a general partnership

When opening a general partnership in Singapore, at least one of the members must reside in the city-state. However, it is also possible to set up such an entity with foreign partners, provided that a local officer is appointed. The main purpose of the officer is to act as a liaison between the business and the authorities.

In the case of foreign citizens, these can be holders of resident, employment, or dependent passes. If you need support in creating a general partnership, you can rely on our company formation officers in Singapore.

The partnership deed in Singapore

One of the main advantages of opening a general partnership is the minimum documentation that needs to be drafted, namely the partnership deed or agreement. In it, the members must state:

  • their names;
  • the legal address;
  • the object of activity;
  • the duties, responsibilities, and rights of each participant;
  • other important resolutions they decide on.

This document alongside the personal information of the members must be filed with ACRA for registration, which can be completed in a matter of days.

Another important thing to consider about general partnerships is that they need to be renewed. This can be done for:

  • 1 year;
  • 3 years.

If you need assistance in registering such an entity, our Singapore company registration consultants can represent you during and after its establishment.

Registration with other authorities

Just like any other business, A Singapore general partnership also has specific obligations, such as those related to employment and payment of social security contributions. For this purpose, it must register with the Central Provident Fund. Also, as a taxpayer, it must register for tax and GST with the Inland Revenue Authority, as it needs to file a yearly income tax return indicating its income and expense deductions, if any.

Considering partnerships are usually created by professionals, they may also have to register with the required associations and organizations regulating their activities.

You can consult with our local agents on these aspects.

Taxation of general partnerships in Singapore

The Singapore general partnership does not pay income tax on its income. Each partner will be taxed on their share of the income resulting from the partnership. If the partner is an individual, the personal income tax applies, while for companies acting as partners in a general partnership, the corporate tax will apply. Also, should it make VAT-taxable supplies, this levy must also be considered.

How many partnerships operate in Singapore?

Singapore is a great state in which small businesses thrive. As a matter of fact, the number of such entities was 143,370 in August 2023. Out of these:

  • 16,972 were limited liability partnerships;
  • 686 were limited partnerships;
  • during the same month, 1,802 sole proprietorships and partnerships ceased their activities.

If you want to start this type of company and need assistance you can contact our experts in opening companies in Singapore.