Opening Your Company Bank Account
How to Open a SME Corporate Bank Account
Although different banks may have different account opening procedures and protocols, the general requirements are largely similar:
- A Board Resolution to authorize the account opening with a named bank, as well as indicating the authorized signatories to the account to be opened. In practice, a company can have their own board resolution to do so, or simply use the standard resolution provided by the bank.
- Bank Account Opening Forms to be completed, usually by the banker serving you.
- Certified Copy of your Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company.
- Certified Copy of your Company Business Profile
- Photocopies of identification documents (NRIC for Singapore residents or passports and proof of residence for foreigners) of all authorized signatories, at least 2 directors (or any number in accordance to your M&A), shareholders and ultimate beneficiary owners of the company.
- For Single-director companies, most banks require the Company Secretary to co-sign the resolutions.
- Certificate of Incorporation of the Company (required by some banks only)
Bank Account Opening Process
Typically, the directors and shareholders with significant shareholdings* need to be witnessed by the banker during the account opening session. It is thus important for the directors and shareholders to be physically present during the account opening to avoid any delays.
If anyone of the requested persons are not in Singapore, the bank usually allows for the foreign stationed individual to perform the witnessing process at an available branch in his resident country. As a result, it is important to choose a bank with presence in the country of residence of the overseas individual during the account opening period.
What do I need to know about SME Corporate Banking?
Most banks require a minimum deposit balance for a corporate account, and an assortment of service fees including Cheque fees, annual fees, fall-below fees etc.
For instance, the OCBC Business Entrepreneur Account requires an initial deposit of S$3,000 on account opening, offers six months of zero balance requirement and subsequently requires a S$8,000 minimum average balance from the 7th month onwards.
Minimum average balance is typically computed by adding up the closing balance for each day of the month and divided by the number of days in that particular month. In the event that you do not meet the minimum average balance stipulated, you will incur a fall-below fee charged by the bank.
Cheque fees may be incurred if you exceed the free Cheque quota given by the bank. For example, the OCBC Business Entrepreneur Account offers free Cheques for the first 2 years. After 2 years, the first 30 cheques are free each month, and a $0.50 fee will be charged for every subsequent Cheques.
Internet banking is typically available for SME corporate banking accounts to facilitate your ease of account checking and usage.
In the event that you like to close the bank account shortly after you open the account, early account closure fee may be levied.
How Fast Can the Bank Account be ready?
Which Bank Should I Choose?
With a plethora of highly reputable banks present in Singapore, you will be spoilt for choices in your banking selection. Local banks like OCBC has banking solutions targeted towards Singapore incorporated start-up companies that reduce the minimum average balance for a period of six months on sign up.
When choosing a bank, the number one factor will be your comfort level with the bank. It is common for business owners to continue to use the same banking institution as the one that they are currently using. Other factors may include benefits and perks, service fee charges as well as forex rates offered.
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