Representative Office in Singapore

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Representative Office in Singapore

If a company is not ready to commit to open an office in Singapore then an option is to open a representative office in Singapore. Such a Representative Office in Singapore can be used to perform a marketing assessment. This market assessment helps the business assess the potential for the business, the overall business environment, the regulatory requirements, etc. without actually creating a new company in the territory of Singapore.

However, a Representative Office in Singapore is allowed to perform a limited set of activities and may not be advisable for investment.

What is the need to have a Representative Office in Singapore?

Foreign companies looking to test new opportunities in Singapore can open a representative office in Singapore.

A foreign company inspired in seeking potential opportunities may consider setting up a Representative Office before engaging in any form of investment. It is essential to set up a subsidiary or branch office. A Singapore representative office is a liaison office and does not hold any status in law. Representative Office cannot perform any business activities that have profit yielding nature.

The process of opening a representative office for finance industries is quite elaborative. For various other industries, the Representative Office approval process is a clear-cut process; consider the foreign company as an established entity, and the range of planned activities lies under the scope of the representative office.

Whether the status of a Representative Office in Singapore is of a Business Entity?

A Singapore representative office does not hold any legal status, and it’s just an extension of the foreign company. It cannot conduct business activities that generate profits. Since it does not carry any legal status, Representative Office does not have any authority of entering into contracts, negotiations, opening letters of credit, trading, leasing, etc. It can engage in activities like research and feasibility studies.

A Representative Office is a temporary administrative office that is assembled to manage and regulate non-commercial activities of a foreign organization.

What are the terms and conditions to open a Representative Office in Singapore?

A Representative Office in Singapore can conduct and organize the following activities

  • Gather information regarding clients and markets.
  • Carry out analysis to determine information about the product demand, estimated price, and end-user requirements.
  • Gather data regarding the process of assembling a permanent business entity.
  • Make trade contacts and handle product queries.
  • Involve in trade shows and exhibitions.
  • A Representative Office is not a detached entity from the parent company, and the parent company is entirely accountable for all the liabilities of the representative office.
  • The name of the Representative office must be the same as the parent company. If the name clashes with an already existing local company, the authorities will decide on a case by case basis.
  • A representative office has a limitation of temporary nature; it can run for a maximum of three years from the date of commencement. In case, if a parent company grants to continue operations in Singapore, then it must enrol as a subsidiary company or as a branch office. The representative office will require to renew annually in three years.
  • A representative office can have a small number of employees but must have a chief representative to oversee the activities.
  • Any alteration in the representative office, including address, registration activities, or other, must be informed to authorities in advance.
  • All the activities of a representative office must be conducted properly. The emblem and name should be present in all materials.
  • Information regarding contact details and parent company activities can be publicat the discretion of the authority.
  • A representative office is not an incorporate body.
  • No filling requirement forced on incorporated entities is applicable.
  • To export and import samples and products from the parent company, representative office needs to obtain a central registration number;
  • If the parent's company shifts then, the representative office should de-register.
  • A dormant Representative Office or an office that fails to meet with terms and conditions specified by the authorities will be de-registered.

What is the Procedure for Registration of Representative Office in Singapore?

The procedure for Registration of Representative Office in Singapore is as follows

Checklist before Filing Application

For enrolment as a Representative Office in Singapore, an entity must meet the following criteria:

  • The foreign parent company must have sales revenue of more than the US $250,000.
  • A foreign parent entity must be established for 3 years or more.
  • The recommended number of employees for a representative office should be five or below.

Filing of Application and Submission of necessary papers

  • Complete application.
  • Attested copy of parent entity certificate of incorporation or Registration certificate.
  • A copy of the parent entity with the latest annual report and audit.
  • Correctly authorized undertaking to anticipate by the Terms and Conditions governing the representative office.

All the Necessary papers should be provided in English or attested original English translation necessary papers must be presented. If your business purpose serves within the scope of allowed activities and authorities are convinced with the Paper works submitted, there should not be any issues for approval. In some cases, authorities might ask for some additional information or clarification about your application.

Approval and Renewal Information

It usually takes five business working days for approval of each application. You would be notified through email with a Letter of Approval. The registration would be valid for one year and need to be annual renewed. It is essential to complete the process of renewal within seven days before the expiry date.

Open Corporate Bank Account

Once the Representative Office in Singapore has been incorporated, a user can register and open with any local or international bank located in Singapore for a corporate banking account. The time for an opening account can be different as per banks, from 2-10 working days.

If due to some reason, a person is not able to visit Singapore, he/she can open the account without your presence.

The important necessary papers required for opening a bank account for a Representative Office in Singapore are as follows

  • Completed and signed application form.
  • Copy of the letter of approval.
  • Copy of board of direct resolution sanctioning for an opening of an account.
  • Copy of certificate of incorporation provided by a parent company.
  • Copy of Memorandum and articles of association of parent company.
  • Copy of Register of Directors.
  • Proof of beneficial ownership like a copy of Register of Shareholders or Declaration of Beneficial Ownership or Certificate of Incumbency.
  • An ID card or passport copy of directors, chief representatives, and authorized signatories.

A Representative Office in Singapore is an ideal solution for foreign companies who are interested in gaining opportunities in and around Singapore.


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What are the benefits of the Registration of a Representative Office in Singapore?

The benefits of Registration of a Representative Office in Singapore are as follows

Necessary paperation and Tax Exemption

As the Representative Office has no legal entity, it is not required to pay any taxes, file the statutory Paper works, and handle yearly filing.

Foreign Representative

Foreign companies are allowed to appoint their own representative for their office in Singapore. This means that the applicant is not required to find a Singaporean representative to hire prior to establishing this business structure in the country.

How can we Help?

Our team at Enterslice is a one-stop solution if someone is planning to obtain a Representative Office in Singapore. We ensure smooth implementation of your assistance and work in international registration and include the procurement of a Representative Office in Singapore.

We follow these simple steps for the effective execution of your order with us at Enterslice

STEP 1:Once you post your inquiry, we understand your requirement through one on one discussion with our professionals and suggest you the most apt service package offered by us at our company. At, t Enterslice will look for the best possible solutions for your questions and guide you in the best possible ways. Based on the discussion done, we will generate your order.

STEP 2:Once the order is created, you will be required to make the required payment. The amount of payment will include our services fees as well as the relevant government fees. And the list of all the required necessary papers will be provided to you by our professionals. You can make the required payment through any of the following modes

  • Bank Transfer-NEFT or IMPS
  • M Swipe (Credit or Debit Car
  • Paytm or Razor pay
  • Cash

STEP 3:Once the payment is complete one of our service professionals will review all the required necessary papers, and work will be initiated from our end.

How to reach us?

  • Fill The Form
  • Get a Callback
  • Submit necessary paper
  • Track Progress
  • Get Deliverables

Frequently Asked Questions

To fulfil the requirements of establishing a Representative Office in Singapore, the foreign parent company is required to have been established for three years or more.

In addition, the foreign parent company is required to have a sales turnover in excess of US$250,000, and it is also needed to adhere to the maximum headcount of 5 employees.

Yes, the Registration of Representative Office application in Singapore is subject to approval by the competent authorities. Assuming that the overseas company is an established company of the applicant and the intended activities fall under the scope of activities allowed for any Representative Office in Singapore, there shouldn't be any problems with the approval process.

Once the application for Registration of a Representative Office in Singapore has been filed, it usually takes about 1 week to get the approval from the competent authorities. However, sometimes, the authorities may ask for additional clarifications, which may delay the process by another 1-2 weeks.

A Representative Office in Singapore is a temporary facility provided to the foreign companies to study the business environment in Singapore. Such an officeis required to comply with activities on market research and feasibility studies.

Yes, but only cheques drawn from the banks based in the territory of Singaporeare accepted to complete the procedure of Registration of Representative Office in Singapore.

Official English translation of the Certificate of Incorporation of the parent company's (applicable to new applications only) is required. English translation of Annual Reports or Audited Accounts is required only upon the request by the authorities in Singapore.

No. The name of the Representative Office in Singapore must be the same as the parent company.

Yes, as long as leased space is meant only for the use of the Representative Office in Singapore.

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