Best Corporate Bank Accounts in Singapore for Startups

Separating the business bank account from the personal account is a first step for many new business owners, as well as self-employed people, and independent contractors. In the long run, this will also make things simpler for accounting and tax purposes.

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Even for more established companies, choosing the correct business bank account might impact their financial management. Business bank accounts can help the company grow and go digital by enabling client payments, generating electronic invoicing, keeping track of cash flow, and obtaining finance for the company.

Refer to the Singapore corporate bank account opening if you wish to know more about the Singapore bank account opening process.

Factors to consider before choosing the right bank account for your business

  • Minimum Initial Deposit

The applicant should consider how much minimum initial deposit is required by the bank.

  • Monthly maintenance cost

The monthly cost charged by the bank to keep the bank account running.

  • Online Banking

The applicant must see if the bank provides benefits of Online Banking including services such as interbank transfers, online account history and transaction viewing, checkless bill payment, account notifications and reminders on their phone, and paperless statements.

  • Minimum Monthly Balance

The applicant must see how much of a cash balance they need to keep in their account each month to avoid paying a fall-below fee.

  • Multicurrency Features

Check whether the features of the business bank account allow to switch between different currencies.

  • Scalability    

How many transactions the company handles each month and what kind of business they are running (B2B or B2C) will define the kind of bank account they need.

Best Corporate Bank Accounts in Singapore

●       Citibank

Since its establishment in Singapore in 1902, US-based Citi has grown to become the nation’s top foreign banking employer.

For initial deposits from businesses, Citibank requires SGD 100,000 or the equivalent in USD. The applicant must also keep an average monthly balance of SGD 50,000 for local currency accounts and USD 200,000 for accounts in foreign currencies. There are fines of SGD100 and SGD200 if the applicant falls below the minimum.

The decision on whether to approve the request for a business loan will be made by Citibank.

Maybank is the fourth-biggest bank in Southeast Asia and the largest financial services group in Malaysia, with 2,400 locations in 20 countries. Singapore serves as its principal overseas market.

As one of the most well-liked banks for SMEs, Maybank asks for an SGD1,000 initial deposit but does not impose any fees or mandate that the applicant keep a minimum monthly balance. It is advised that first-time business owners open a FlexiBiz account rather than a PremierBiz account at this bank.

It should be noted that the applicant must put in an initial deposit of either HKD10,000 or the equivalent of SGD1,000 to open a foreign currency account with Maybank. Additionally, the company must have been in operation for at least one to three years before it can apply for a business loan from them.

●       Standard Chartered

With its headquarters in the UK, Standard Chartered has a presence all over the world, particularly in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Standard Chartered demands an initial deposit and an average monthly balance of SGD30,000 for businesses in Singapore; if the applicant falls short of those requirements, they’ll have to pay an SGD50 monthly fee.

The initial deposit for a foreign currency account must be at least USD 30,000. If they wish to bank online, the applicant will additionally have to pay a one-time cost of SGD50. They might be able to access FX spots, bonds, and other treasury services depending on the nature of the business.

The business’s size will also affect the extent of the loan it can get.

OCBC, Southeast Asia’s second-largest financial services company, and Singapore’s oldest bank, provides banking solutions that start-ups may find useful. They would need SGD3,000 in order to open a business account (a sole proprietor or owner cannot open a business account)

The SGD38 account opening cost and the SGD35 monthly fee for dropping below the average monthly maintenance balance, which is SGD500 for the first six months, are both canceled by OCBC for the first three months. Depending on the stage of growth of the company, this bank offers a broad range of options for creating a business account. 

OCBC also provides a Business First Loan for Start-Ups if the company is just getting off the ground. They could open their Business Growth Account, which has an annual cost and just requires SGD500 to open. A company debit card with its custom logo and one complimentary personal accident insurance plan are also included with this account.

The Business Entrepreneur Account might be more suitable if the business has been expanding for some time. The Business Entrepreneur account offers multiple transactions for free, although both the Business Growth and Business Entrepreneur accounts have an annual fee of SGD38.

However, OCBC’s Business Entrepreneur Account Plus might be the best option if the applicant has already established a strong foundation for the firm or is preparing to launch it in Singapore from abroad. If the balance is at least SGD30,000, all banking costs are eliminated.

Although OCBC’s online platform only offers one free security device and may incur costs depending on the service package the applicant selects, it has also been praised for being among the most user-friendly. For as long as their account with OCBC is active, new business depositors receive a 50% discount on their Singtel business plan.

One of the top banks in Asia, UOB (also known as United Overseas Bank), is dedicated to helping its clients achieve their maximum potential, whether it be in business or personally.

UOB needs a minimum initial deposit of S$1,000 but also a minimum average daily balance of S$5,000 for their eBusiness Bank Account, which is ideal for entrepreneurs. The minimum average daily balance fall-below fee is exempt for the first 12 months after account setup.

The applicant may handle all of their corporate banking through UOB from one location anytime. After registering, they will have free access to UOB Infinity’s online banking. Authorize transactions, monitor international payments, and effectively manage all of their finances in one place. The applicant will get a customizable dashboard, cash management, trade services, and a secure digital token from UOB Infinity.

With their complimentary UOB Corporate ATM card, they can effortlessly use any UOB ATM in Singapore.

However, there is an additional S$500 account set-up cost required if the applicant is opening an eBusiness bank account in Singapore for a foreign-incorporated firm.

●       DBS

DBS, one of the top banks in Asia with more than 9 million clients across 18 markets, provides business banking solutions for MNCs and SMEs.

DBS is often recognized as being the quickest and easiest to work with when creating an account; the bank claims that the process only takes five minutes. They limit the use of hard-copy documents and provide an online application option (although they would much like it if the applicant is physically present).

The applicant might complete most of their banking tasks online due to DBS’s digital banking features’ ease of use and comprehensiveness. Entrepreneurs have found it handy to be digitally connected to ACRA, as well as to have access from their mobile phones and receive a free security device.

While there is no minimum balance requirement for their digital business account, the applicant must maintain an average balance of SGD10,000 monthly to avoid the monthly SGD35 fee. They will need SGD1,000 to SGD3,000 to start their account.

But there is no minimum monthly amount required for their Digital Business account, therefore there is no falling-below cost.

However, over-the-counter transactions would cost SGD20. Additionally, DBS business accounts offer networking opportunities, a 0.3% cash-back, and free travel insurance. For new businesses, DBS also provides a venture debt financing scheme.


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