What are the business registration options for foreign companies in Singapore?
- incorporate a private limited company,
- set up a branch office, or
- open a representative office.
Can I set up an offshore company in Singapore?
So foreign companies can set up Singapore subsidiaries by using the following two options:
- incorporate a Singapore company either by relocating its staff/directors to Singapore (in which case, the option is of Employment Pass), or
- without relocating (in which case, you can use our nominee resident director service).
Related Reading » Company Incorporation in Singapore
How to go about Singapore company registration with relocation to Singapore?
How to go about Singapore company registration without relocation to Singapore?
How to set up a Singapore Branch Office of a foreign company?
Importantly, a BO is not considered a tax-resident by IRAS and consequently, don’t enjoy any tax exemptions or subsidies available to business entities in Singapore.
In general sense, a BO is the ideal avenue for a foreign company to test waters and prepare the ground work to set-up a subsidiary at a later stage.
What are the requirements for setting up a Branch Office (BO) in Singapore?
- two Singapore resident agents (can be a citizen, PR, or an EP/DP holder)
- a registered physical office address in Singapore (cannot be a PO box)
Do note that ACRA doesn’t allow foreign companies to register their Singapore BOs themselves. Instead, you have to engage an authorised third party, like us, to do it for you.
What are the considerations while setting up a Branch Office in Singapore?
- BO’s name must be the same as the foreign company as it is just an extension of the foreign parent company in Singapore (100 percent foreign ownership)
- BO’s can’t appoint a company secretary but it is advisable to take assistance from one to fulfil all the statutory requirements
- Most importantly, audit is mandatory for Singapore BOs, even if branch office is dormant
Will a Singapore Branch qualify for any start-up exemption?
Why to set up a Singapore Representative Office of a foreign company?
What is the eligibility to set up a Singapore Representative Office?
- foreign entity’s sales turnover must exceed US$250,000
- foreign entity must be in business for more than three years
- proposed staff strength of the RO must be less than five
What are the documents required to set up a Representative Office in Singapore?
- English (or English translated) soft-copy of the foreign entity’s Certificate of Incorporation or Registration Certificate (as applicable)
- soft-copy of the foreign entity’s latest audited accounts
How to set up a Singapore Representative Office of a foreign company in Banking and Insurance?
How to set up a Singapore Representative Office of a foreign company in in Other Industries?
What activities are not permitted for Singapore Representative Office of a foreign company?
- trade in goods/services (including import or export)
- lease warehousing facilities
- lease office(s) to other establishments for a fee
- enter into business contracts
- issue invoices/receipts
- open/receive letters of credit
- provide services for fees