Things to Consider When Setting Up a Nonprofit in Singapore

The Merlion fountain lit up at against the Singapore skyline.

Singapore is a great place to set up a nonprofit organization. But there are several things to consider when setting up a nonprofit in the city-state. This article will discuss some of the key things you need to think about when setting up your nonprofit. We will also provide some tips on making the process easier for you. So, read on to find out more!

Singapore city skyline at night

Get a Company Number

A company number is essential for setting up a nonprofit organization in Singapore. This number identifies your company and tracks its financial transactions. You should also use the number to file annual returns and pay taxes. So, it is crucial to make sure that you get a company number as soon as possible.

There are several ways to get a company number in Singapore. You can either apply for one through the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) website or an accountant. Once you have your company number, you will need to open a corporate bank account. This account will receive and disburse funds on behalf of your nonprofit.

Register Your Nonprofit Organization

If you plan to set up a nonprofit organization in Singapore, it is essential to register it with the authorities. It ensures that your organization is recognized and can operate legally in the country. There are a few steps you need to take to register your nonprofit:

  1. Establish your organization’s purpose and objectives.
  2. Draft your organization’s bylaws.
  3. Register your nonprofit with the authorities.

Registering your nonprofit is an essential step in establishing it legally in Singapore. By following these steps, you can ensure that your organization operates following the law and can continue to make a difference in your community.

Find a Trustee Adviser

When setting up a nonprofit in Singapore, it is essential to find a trustee adviser. A trustee adviser can help with the formation of your nonprofit and can provide advice on the best way to manage and operate your organization.

They can also guide on fundraising and compliance issues. By finding a good trustee adviser, you can be assured that your nonprofit is off to a good start.

Ensure that your organization is tax-exempt

To be recognized as a nonprofit organization in Singapore, your group must meet specific requirements laid out in the Societies Act. Your organization must have at least seven members, and all members must be Singapore citizens or permanent residents. Furthermore, your group cannot distribute profits to members and must dedicate all its resources to serving the public good.

After registering your organization, you can take a few steps to ensure it remains tax-exempt. For example, make sure that all donations are used for charitable purposes only. You may also want to apply for an exemption from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), which can be a lengthy process. However, if your group can meet all the requirements, it will be exempt from all taxes on its income and assets.

Set up your accounting and bookkeeping system properly

As a nonprofit, it’s essential to keep track of your expenses and income to report to the authorities and donors. Nonprofits should study the system of business tax in Singapore and incorporate it into their budget to ensure it is cost-effective to open in the city-state.

But you should set up a system for bookkeeping and accounting as soon as possible and ensure the proper documentation of all financial transactions. This will help ensure that your organization is run efficiently and effectively.

Develop a governance structure

A governance structure is important for any organization, but it is especially important for a nonprofit. Without a governance structure in place, the organization will be chaotic and could easily fall apart. A good governance structure will help to ensure that the organization is run effectively and efficiently.

The first thing to consider is the board of directors. The board of directors is responsible for governing the organization and ensuring that it is run effectively. They should be composed of individuals who have the knowledge and experience to make sound decisions for the organization. The board should also be representative of the community that the nonprofit serves.

The next thing to consider is the role of the executive director. The executive director is responsible for carrying out board’s decisions and managing the organization’s day-to-day operations. They should be someone who has a lot of experience in nonprofit management and who is familiar with the laws and regulations that apply to nonprofits in Singapore.

Finally, the governance structure should include provisions for committees. Committees can play an important role in helping the board carry out its duties. They can also help ensure that all stakeholders’ voices are heard.

Nonprofits in Singapore can help the environment, animals, and people by providing resources and services to those who need them most. However, setting up a nonprofit organization in this city-state is not as easy as it may seem. It will help if you consider dealing with specific laws, regulations, and tax obligations when forming or registering your group in the city-state.


We're here to offer you practical wisdom and inspiration on how to lead a more fulfilling, purpose-driven, and sustainable life. We're committed to providing the information and guidance you need to unlock your full potential and make the most of every moment.

Scroll to Top