Before opening a private bank account in Singapore do your homework or work with a professional financial advisor who is familiar with the various offshore banks in Singapore and the services each offers. Not all are licensed to offer all services. Before you open up an account in Singapore you need to determine which options offer the services you will require or which you would like to have. Here's a few tips and questions you need to ask before you open your bank account in Singapore:

When Opening Personal Accounts

Tip 1: Get a reference letter- If you are planning on living in Singapore it is helpful to have a reference letter from the company you are working for or home country banker before you begin your search for a bank. The letters of reference can be addressed to: To Whom it may Concern. You will also need a copy of your passport to open an account. If you are opening an account with substantial funds you may need documents that the funds are coming from a legitimate source. Call the bank officer you are meeting with and ask what other documents you need to bring to open an account.

Tip 2: Open a joint account- It is a good idea to open a joint account if you are living in Singapore with your partner. If you are away from Singapore a joint account allows your partner to manage the account if you are gone and close the account necessary.

Questions to ask before opening a personal account in Singapore:

• Where are the bank's branch offices and ATM's located?

• Does the bank have savings and checking accounts?

• Does the bank issue debit cards to withdraw funds at the ATM's?

 • Does the bank offer accountholders credit cards, if so how long does it take to get a card and what are the terms?

• What E-banking services are available?

• What are the minimum balances required to avoid charges?

• What can the bank offer accountholders in addition to savings and checking accounts, do they offer overdraft protection, mutual funds, loans, mortgages, and letters of credit?

• Does the bank accept foreign currency checks and if so how long does it take to credit a foreign currency check to your account?

• Does the bank charge to transfer money to and from your home country and if so what is the fee?

When Opening Corporate Bank Accounts

Opening an account for a corporation in Singapore is not difficult. Many of the banks in Singapore offer corporate accountholders features including internet banking, multi-currency accounts, trade financing, and the ability to move funds across countries. Before you select a Singapore bank, compare the various banks corporate account features and then choose the bank that best meets your particular needs.

Tip 3: Have all the requirements ready- The typical requirements for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore include:

• Completed Corporate Account Forms signed by authorized signatories as specified in a board resolution

• Board of Directors Resolution sanctioning the account and the signatories to the account

• A Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation certified by the company secretary or one of the directors

• A Copy of Company's Business Profile from the Company Registrar certified by the company secretary or one of the directors

• A Copy of Company's Memorandum and Articles of Association certified by the company secretary or one of the directors

 • Certified Copies of Passport and Residential address of Directors, Signatories, and Ultimate Beneficiary Owners

• The banks may require additional documents and typically require account signatories and majority directors be physically present in Singapore to sign paperwork. Some banks will accept the signing of documents at one of their overseas branches.