Singapore Representative Office

It is no secret that a lot of foreign companies’  interests are piqued by Singapore’s pro-business environment. If these  foreign companies are fascinated with the prospect of extending their  business dealings in Singapore, then setting up a Representative Office  may just be their best solution.

First off, a Representative Office is different from a  Subsidiary Office or a Branch Office as it has no legal status. The  main purpose of a Representative Office is to perform liaison  transactions, market research and build-up business contacts on behalf of its parent  company, usually as an antecedent for setting up full-scale business  activities. 

Please note that:

  •     A representative office in Singapore cannot sign contracts and  agreements, provide consultancy services nor open and negotiate any  letters of credit.
  •     A representative office is not legally authorised to enter into any  business transactions in its own capacity or on behalf of the parent  company.
  •     A representative office may allow a foreign company to  test out the business environment in Singapore before consigning any  investments or business activities.
  •     A Representative Office can only engage in promotional activities.

It may also be important to note that a Representative Office is not  under any obligation to maintain accounts or file tax returns.  Also, if upon testing out the business environment in  Singapore, the foreign company decides to maintain long term operations  in the country, they will be required to incorporate as legal entities.

To apply for the Singapore Representative Office, you need the following documents:

  •     A copy of the parent company's Certificate of Incorporation in English
  •     The parent company's latest annual report and audited accounts

However, if the applicant is unable to provide the abovementioned  documents, the applicant must send a written waiver and provide a set  of the company brochures that includes the required information.

Normally, the approval for a Representative Office takes  2-3 weeks. The Representative Office will be legally authorized to  conduct promotional activities for one year upon approval. If it wishes  to continue its promotional operations, it must re-apply for a status  continuation after the expiry of the initial period of approval.

Kindly contact us and we would gladly assist you in your  registration of a Representative Office as well as for  applying for an employment pass for you foreign personnel that shall be  stationed in Singapore.

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