This page explains the general GST registration process and matters pertaining to the GST registration of overseas entities and joint ventures.

GST registration process

The GST registration process depends on the type of registration and constitution of your business. You are encouraged to familiarise yourself with the steps below and prepare all the required documents before starting the application process on mytax.iras.gov.sg.

Step 1: Determine the type of GST registration

You must determine if you are applying for compulsory or voluntary GST registration.

Please refer to our webpage on Do I need to register for GST for more details.

Step 2: Complete e-Learning course

The e-Learning course provides basic knowledge of the GST regime, allowing businesses to correctly identify the GST treatment on commonly encountered scenarios. It also explains the filing process of GST returns, provides compliance tips and provides an overview of taxpayer’s tax obligations. We encourage all businesses applying for GST registration to go through the course. For voluntary GST registrants, the company director, sole-proprietor, partner, trustee and/ or preparer of GST returns must complete the e-Learning course - "Overview of GST" - and pass the quiz within the course. However, this is not required if:

  • The company director, sole-proprietor, partner or trustee of the business has experience in managing other existing GST-registered businesses; 
  • The person preparing your GST returns is an Accredited Tax Advisers (ATA) or Accredited Tax Practitioners (ATP); or
  • The business is applying to be registered under the Overseas Vendor Simplified Pay-only Registration Regime.

Step 3: Submit your application for GST registration

All applications for GST registration and relevant supporting documents must be submitted online via  mytax.iras.gov.sg.

Things to note:  

  • You must first be authorised in Corppass (for any of IRAS’ digital services e.g. e-Filing of Corporate Tax, e-Submission of Employment Income, etc.) by the business to access the GST registration digital service on mytax.iras.gov.sg.  
  • If none of your employees or third parties (e.g. your tax agent) has a Corppass account, please refer to our webpage on Corppass on how to register for Corppass.
  • You will be required to attach  supporting documents (PDF, 910KB) at the end of the application process. Please prepare the required documents in softcopy before starting the application process.
  • If you are registering for GST on a voluntary basis, you are required to sign up for GIRO for your GST payment and refund. Please mail the completed original copy of the GIRO application form to 55 Newton Road Singapore 307987 after submitting your GST registration application online.
If this is your first time applying for GST registration, please refer to the detailed step-by-step video guide.

Step 4: Processing of GST registration application

We usually take 10 working days to process your application.

We may request for additional information and supporting documents. Applications with incomplete information or insufficient supporting documents may be regarded as withdrawn.

Processing of GIRO forms

The GIRO application form submitted will be sent to your bank for approval. The approval process may take up to 3 weeks. We will inform you separately if the bank rejects your application.

Most banks will notify the applicants directly of the approval of their GIRO applications. IRAS will not send any letter for approved GIRO applications.

Step 5: Receive notification of effective date of registration

If your application for GST registration is successful, we will send a letter to your registered address to inform you of your successful application.

The letter will contain the following details:

  1. Your GST registration number
    This is the number that you must print on your invoices, credit notes and receipts; and
  2. Your effective date of GST registration
    This is the date when you must start charging and collecting GST on your taxable supplies. You must not charge or collect GST before the effective date of your GST registration.

You may also view a copy of the notification letter by logging in to mytax.iras.gov.sg (select “Notices/Letters”)

You will also be notified of the approval via SMS or email if you have provided a local mobile number or email address in your application.

If you are late in your application for compulsory registration, your effective date of registration will be backdated to the date you ought to have been registered. This is determined based on when you were liable for GST registration.

If you applied for registration on a voluntary basis, you will be registered within 2 weeks from the date of the approval letter. The date of registration will not be backdated for the purpose of claiming input tax.

Please refer to our webpage on Responsibilities of a GST-registered business for information on what you must do from your effective date of GST registration.

GST registration for overseas entities

An overseas entity is one that has neither a business establishment, fixed establishment nor usual place of residence in Singapore. If you are an overseas supplier or  an overseas electronic marketplace operator registering for GST under the overseas vendor registration regime, refer to this section instead.

If you are an overseas entity importing goods for supply in Singapore, you may adopt one of the following options:

  1. Option 1: You may import goods into Singapore and supply them in your business name. If your taxable supplies in Singapore exceed the $1 million threshold, GST registration is compulsory. You may refer to our webpage to find out whether you need to register for GST. Otherwise, you may consider registering for GST voluntarily to claim GST paid on imports (subject to the input tax claiming conditions), if you are able to fulfill the responsibilities of a GST-registered business.

    If you (as an overseas entity) are registering for GST, you must appoint a local agent in Singapore, known as a Section 33(1) agent, who will act on your behalf for all your GST matters. This agent is responsible for the accounting and payment of GST.

    Please follow the GST registration process to apply for GST registration. In addition, you need to provide a letter to appoint a local agent (refer to last page of  Document Checklist (PDF, 910KB) ). 
  2. Option 2: You may appoint a GST-registered Singapore agent who will import and supply goods on your behalf. This agent, known as a Section 33(2) agent, is responsible for the imported goods as if the agent  is the principal. The agent will import goods into Singapore in its name and claim the GST paid on imports. Subsequent supplies of the goods imported will be treated as its own taxable supplies.  The agent  must account for GST on these supplies. You do not need to register for GST.

For overseas suppliers and overseas electronic marketplaces registering for GST under the overseas vendor registration regime

If you are an overseas supplier or overseas electronic marketplace operator registering for GST under the overseas vendor registration (OVR) pay-only regime, please submit an application using the OVR form.

While you do not need to appoint a local agent to handle your tax matters in Singapore, you may be required to provide a security deposit if you are registering for GST on a voluntary basis.

GST registration for joint ventures

A joint venture (JV) is a business arrangement where two or more parties (members) come together to carry out certain activities jointly.

Registered with ACRA

If registered with ACRA, a JV is a legal entity and can be registered for GST.

Not registered with ACRA

If not registered with ACRA, a JV can only be registered for GST if all the following conditions are fulfilled:

  1. The JV is a distinct, organised entity with documentary evidence governing the constitution, objects, rules and activities. Documentary evidence includes partnership agreements, JV contracts, deeds, and letters of undertaking among others;
  2. The members are carrying on a business in common under the JV;
  3. The JV is in the business of making taxable supplies;
  4. Each member is participating in the business carried on by the JV; and
  5. One member is nominated and authorised by the others as the representative member to fulfil the administrative requirements of filing and payment of GST as well as other GST obligations for and on behalf of the JV.

The same rules on GST registration for partnerships apply to JVs. To find out if your JV must register for GST, please refer to our webpage on Do I need to register for GST .

Appointing a local agent for non-resident JV members

If all the members do not have their usual place of residence in Singapore, the JV must appoint a local agent in Singapore, known as a Section 33(1) agent, who will act on the JV's behalf for all the GST matters. This agent is responsible for the accounting and payment of GST.

A duly completed letter has to be submitted to appoint a local agent (refer to last page of  Document Checklist (PDF, 910KB).

FAQs

I received a letter informing me that a security deposit must be provided for GST registration. Why do I need to provide a security deposit?

You may be required to provide a security deposit when registering for GST if at least 1 of the directors or partners of the business:

     - Has outstanding income tax/ penalties; or

     - Has been/ is a director/ partner/ sole proprietor of another business which has outstanding tax/ penalties/ returns.

However, we are precluded under the official secrecy laws from disclosing the identity of person(s) with outstanding tax matters with IRAS.

A security deposit may also be imposed for any other reason that the Comptroller deems fit. The security deposit must be in the form of a banker's guarantee or insurance bond. We may waive the requirement of the security deposit if the outstanding issues with IRAS are resolved.

I have just submitted my application form for GST registration. Should I start charging GST?

No, you should not. You should start charging GST only from the effective date of your GST registration. If your application for GST registration is successful, you will receive an approval letter informing you of this date, together with your GST Registration Number.