Singapore Representative Office Setup

A Singapore Representative Office is an entity, which does not hold any legal status. It does not produce any revenue but works as a cost center for the parent company. Foreign companies which plans on large scale business investments in Singapore, should first open a representative office in Singapore to explore its potential opportunities.

Features of Setting up a Representative Office in Singapore:

  • It is mandatory to setup Representative Office for 3 years, with annual renewal. After this period, it should be upgraded to subsidiary company or a branch office.
  • It is merely an administrative extension of a foreign company, since it holds no legal status.
  • The company name should be similar to that of a parent company.
  • Maximum of five employees, either from local or from foreign can be appointed.
  • Lease for Office Space is allowed.
  • It is not needed, to fulfill the requirements, since it’s not an Incorporated Business entity.
  • It is not needed, to file Annual Tax returns.
  • It is not allowed, to conduct any import or export activities, lease of warehouses, offer consultancy services, conduct quality control checks or supervisory activities.
  • For import and export of sample products, central registration number should be acquired from Singapore customs.
  • Business activities, which yield to profit should not be conducted.
  • Activities relating to market research and feasibility studies should not be conducted.

Documents required for Registration of Representative Office:

  • Filled in application form.
  • Copy of Incorporation certificate or Registration certificate of the parent company.
  • Copy of the parent company’s latest annual reports and audited accounts.

If all the activities are restricted within the limitations, satisfactory documents, then it will not take time for getting approval from the concerned authorities.

Information regarding Singapore Representative Office Approval and Renewal:

The Letter of approval will be issued by the designated authorities, once the registration of Representative Office is approved, which is valid for 1 year and it can be renewed subsequently.

Since it is a temporary office, it can be renewed for the maximum of 3 years. The authorities will notify about the renewal in 2 months before it expires. It should be renewed in seven days before the expiry date.

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