A foreigner, who would like to set up his own company and be present in Singapore to actively manage its operations, should apply for an EntrePass from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). For more information on the EntrePass, please refer to the MOM website.
A person intending to incorporate a company is required to engage the services of a professional firm (e.g. lawyers, accountants, chartered secretaries) to submit the online application on his behalf if any of the company officers or shareholders does not have SingPass. Only an individual with SingPass can proceed to submit any online transactions or perform the required endorsements via BizFile (ACRA’s online filing system). They will need to log in to BizFile using their identification number (NRIC or FIN no.) and SingPass.
If the foreigner wishes to incorporate the company with no intention to stay on in Singapore to manage its operations, then he does not need to apply for an EntrePass. However he will need to have at least 1 locally resident director to manage the operations. The foreigner without SingPass has to engage the services of a professional firm to file the application online.
The Company may commence business once it has been registered with ACRA. This is on condition that the Company does not require any license/approvals from other government agencies in order to carry out the business activities.
Foreigners employed as an employee
Any foreigner who wishes to work in Singapore as an employee, including as a salaried director, would have to apply for an appropriate work pass eg. an Employment Pass from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Foreigners incorporating a company without applying for an EntrePass
A foreigner is required to submit his EntrePass application with MOM. Upon approval of his EntrePass application, he may then proceed to incorporate the company with ACRA. He may also apply for an EntrePass if he owns a company registered with ACRA for not more than 6 months at the point of his EntrePass application. This is subject to MOM’s assessment and approval. Please refer to the MOM website for information on the EntrePass.
Taken from https://www.acra.gov.sg/components/wireframes/howToGuidesChapters.aspx?pageid=1241#1246