AVERAGE WAGES

THE SAIL

Career, Jobs, Employment in Singapore

  • Average Wages in Singapore
  • Central Provident Fund (CPF)
  • Employment for Foreign Spouse
  • Employment Pass, EntrePass, S Pass
  • Income Tax
  • Job Hunting
  • Setting Up Business in Singapore
  • Specialized Professions

Singapore is an open economy with strong presence in the service and manufacturing sector. Manufacturing is the economy’s main engine of growth, with electronics accounting for nearly half of the sector. The chemical industry is the second largest manufacturing sector, and Singapore is also the third largest petroleum-refining center in the world. Singapore’s workers are among the world’s best for productivity, work attitude and technical skills. They speak English proficiently, and are dedicated, hardworking, and keen to upgrade their skills and knowledge.

The government is focusing its efforts on five industrial clusters: electronics, chemicals, engineering, IT, and biomedical sciences. Singapore relies on foreign workers and talents at both ends of the skills ladder. Singapore aims to continue to lure global talent and top management to its shores, most significantly in IT jobs and in the technology industry, and has introduced a new class of taxpayers, called “not ordinarily resident,” who will earn tax exemptions on income earned outside of the country.

Recent evidence has shown weaker economic performance with unemployment rates reaching the highest levels in many years. On the contrary, Singapore’s unemployment rate is still lower than that of other developed countries.

Foreign talents remain an important resource to Singapore as many companies face problems employing suitable employees to facilitate regionally and locally in the expansion of businesses or replacement requirements.

Some suitable career opportunities in the financial sector includes treasury and risk management, funds management, general debt issuance, investment analysis, corporate financial, venture capital, cross- border electronic banking, insurance, investment banking and tax planning. Other service industries include transport, logistics, media and advertising, F&B, wholesale and retail, healthcare, education, social/ community services. In a trying time in Singapore, it is relatively more difficult to find a suitable job, but like our prime minister always remind people not to be complacent and to lower our expectations and after all, finding a job is all about managing our own expectations.

The management culture in Singapore is that the government financially supports many of the large corporations in Singapore, and the people generally work well under pressure as ‘time is money’ to many. Expatriates who live and work here can easily get adapted to the lifestyle and work-style in Singapore.

Average Wages in Singapore

You can find the average wages of specific occupations in Singapore. The result will show the Median monthly gross wage which includes all remuneration received by an employee before deductions of the employee’s CPF contributions and personal income tax. It includes overtime payments, commissions, allowances (e.g. shift, food, housing and transport) and other regular cash payments; but excludes employer’s CPF contributions, bonuses, other lump sum payments and payments-in-kind.

CENTRAL PROVIDENT FUND (CPF)

Central Provident Fund (CPF)

CPF is a comprehensive social security savings scheme to which both employers and employees have to contribute. CPF takes care of members’ needs in retirement, healthcare, home ownership, family protection and asset enhancement.

Foreigners only need to begin their monthly contributions to the CPF after having assumed permanent resident status. During the first two years as a permanent resident, contribution rates to CPF are reduced. Permanent residents can withdraw their savings at age 55, after a Minimum Sum in their Retirement Account is set aside. Members can also withdraw their CPF savings if they are permanently incapacitated or will leave Singapore and West Malaysia permanently. If members do return to Singapore, they must reimburse the CPF Board for the amount they had withdrawn with interest.

If you have left Singapore and West Malaysia permanently and have no intention of returning for further employment or residence, you may apply for the withdrawal of your CPF savings

For more information on CPF contributions, kindly contact CPF Board at:

Main Office

Central Provident Fund Board CPF Building 79 Robinson Road, Singapore 068897 Fax: (65) 6225 8732 Website: http://www.cpf.gov.sg

Call Centre 1800 227 1188 (local) (65) 6227 1188 (overseas)

Service Centres

CPF Service Centre CPF Building 79 Robinson Road #02-00, Singapore 068897 Fax: (65) 6229 3177

CPF Bishan Service Centre 3 Bishan Place #01-01, Singapore 579838 Fax: (65) 6253 3931

CPF Jurong Service Centre 21 Jurong East Street 13 #01-01, Singapore 609646 Fax: (65) 6561 4102

CPF Tampines Service Centre 1 Tampines Central 5 #01-01, Singapore 529508 Fax: (65) 6780 3700

CPF Woodlands Service Centre 900 South Woodlands Drive #01-02 Woodlands Civic Centre, Singapore 730900 Fax: (65) 6767 9250

EMPLOYMENT FOR FOREIGN SPOUSE

Employment for Foreign Spouse

A foreign spouse who wants to work in Singapore requires a valid work permit. It takes about two weeks to process an application. Please be aware of the following:

  • Until the pass/ permit is issued, the foreign spouse cannot commence employment;
  • Someone in Singapore on a Social Visit Pass is not allowed to work, even casually;
  • Applications who are keen can make a trip to MOM, The Employment Pass Department and obtain a brochure on “A guide to applying for the Employment Pass”, which stipulates the eligibility and procedure.

You can also obtain this free guide from any Contact Singapore Centre.

EMPLOYMENT PASS, ENTRE PASS, S PASS

 

The Sail Employment Pass

The Sail Employment Pass

The Sail Professional Pass

The Sail Professional Pass

The Sail Skilled and Semi Skilled Workers

The Sail Skilled and Semi Skilled Workers

The Sail Trainees and Students

The Sail Trainees and Students

The Sail Family Members

The Sail Family Members

The Sail Exceptions and Working While on Visit Pass

The Sail Exceptions and Working While on Visit Pass

Eligibility for Employment Pass

Employment Pass

Who is eligible

To be eligible, you need to:

  • Earn at least $5,000 a month.
  • Hold an Employment Pass.
From 1 January 2018, work pass holders will need to meet a minimum salary criteria of $6,000 to enjoy dependant privileges.

Older, more experienced applicants are expected to command higher salaries to qualify, in line with their work experience and skills sets.

Existing EP holders whose passes expire:

The Sail Existing EP Holders Whose Passes Expired


Who is eligible
For more info, read the  FAQ on update to EP salary criteria

The Employment Pass is for foreign professionals who:

  • Have a job offer in Singapore.
  • Work in a managerial, executive or specialised job.
  • Earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $3,600 (more experienced candidates need higher salaries).
  • Have acceptable qualifications, usually a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialist skills.

Application for an Employment Pass is open to all nationalities.

Use the Self-­Assessment Tool (SAT) to check if the candidate qualifies for the pass.

Note on salaries:

  • Young graduates from good institutions can qualify if they earn at least $3,600.
  • Older, more experienced candidates need higher salaries to qualify.

Note on acceptable qualifications:

  • We don’t have a list of approved institutions. Instead, we evaluate each application on its own merit, based on a wide range of criteria such as global and country rankings, and enrolment standards.
  • Candidates without acceptable qualifications may not necessarily be rejected. Similarly, having acceptable qualifications does not guarantee approval.
  • We look at other factors such as proven track records and exceptional skill sets on a case-by-case basis.

Self­-Assessment Tool (SAT)

We encourage you to use the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) to get an indication of whether a candidate meets the Employment Pass requirements. Candidates can also use the tool to assess their eligibility.

If the SAT shows that the candidate is not eligible, you shouldn’t apply for the Employment Pass because it will be rejected.

If the SAT shows that the candidate is eligible, there is around a 90% chance that the candidate will get a pass.

Who can apply

As part of the Fair Consideration Framework, you may be required to advertise your job opening on the Jobs Bank before you can submit an Employment Pass application. The advertisement must be open to Singaporeans and run for at least 14 days.

For Employment Pass applications filed from 1 October 2015, the accompanying advertisements must include published salary ranges. Read the full requirements.

An employer or authorised third party has to apply for a candidate’s Employment Pass.

If you are an overseas employer that does not have a registered office in Singapore:

  • You need to get a Singapore-registered company to act as a local sponsor and apply on your behalf.
  • The local sponsor must apply manually.

The candidate will still need to meet the Employment Pass criteria.

Eligibility for EntrePass

This work pass is intended for serial entrepreneurs, high-calibre innovators or experienced investors that want to operate a business in Singapore.

Who is eligible

EntrePass is open to all nationalities.

You can apply for an EntrePass if you:

  • Have started, or intend to start, a private limited company registered with ACRA.
    • If registered, the company must be less than 6 months old on the date you apply.
    • If not registered, you can do so after you know the outcome of your application.
  • Meet any of the following minimum eligibility criteria for application as an entrepreneurinnovator or investor.

Entrepreneur

Your company raised funding of at least $100,000 from a government investment vehicle, venture capitalist (VC) or business angel that is recognised by a Singapore Government agency.

Examples include:

  • Vertex Ventures
  • SGInnovate (formerly Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd)
  • Qualified investors on the StartupSG Equity Scheme
    • Accel-X, August Capital Partners, BAF Spectrum, Green Meadows Accelerator, Jungle Ventures, Majuven, Med-tech Alliance, Singapore Medtech Accelerator, TNB SPRING, TRIREC, Venturecraft Group, Wavemaker, Zicom MedTacc.
  • Venture partners on the Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF) scheme
    • Venture Capital Partners: Bioveda Capital, Extream Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures, Jungle Ventures, Monk’s Hill Ventures, New Asia Investments, Raffles Venture Partners, Tembusu ICT Fund I, Walden International.
    • Corporate Venture Capital Partners: CapitalLand Limited, DeClout Limited, Wilmar International Limited, YCH Group Limited.

Requirements

You must submit a shareholder certificate and other relevant documentation to support your application.

Your company is an incubatee at an incubator or accelerator in Singapore that is recognised by the Government.

Examples include:

  • Incubators or accelerators in SPRING Singapore’s Startup SG Accelerator Programme
    • AITVentures, Declout Investments, EnchantVC, JCS Venture Lab, Jungle Ventures, Mediapreneur, SEAMO Ventures, Silicon Solution Partners, ST Electronics (Training & Simulation Systems), Supply Chain & Logistics Innovation Playground, TNB Accelerator, Trendlines Medical Singapore, Velocity Accelerator, Venturecraft.
  • Accredited Mentor Partners under Startup SG Founder
    • ACE Ltd, Advanced New Technology Incubator, FocusTech Ventures, JCS Venture Lab, NTUitive, NUS Enterprise, SMU IIE, Quest Ventures, AIRmaker, TAGPASS, The FinLab, TNB Ventures, Trendlines Medical, Tri5 Ventures, Velocity Accelerator, Polytechnic Consortium (comprising Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic).
  • SGInnovate-linked incubation or acceleration programmes.

You have significant business experience or network and promising entrepreneurial track record of starting highly-scalable businesses and want to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Singapore.

Requirements

You must fulfil any of the following:

  • You have founded and sold a tech company.
  • You have raised significant funding from investors for a current or past venture.
  • You have been or are being incubated by an internationally renowned incubator or accelerator.
  • You have strong industry networks and business contacts that are related to your proposed business.
  • You have substantial track record related to your proposed business.
  • You have received recognition by a national body, recognised media publication or credible industry organisation for your professional, business or entrepreneurial achievements.

To find out more, you can contact IMDA at info@imda.gov.sg, SGInnovate at info@sginnovate.com or SPRING at smeinfoline@spring.gov.sg.

Innovator

You or your company holds an intellectual property (IP), registered with an approved national IP institution, which delivers a significant competitive advantage to your proposed business that cannot be easily replicated.

Requirements

You must fulfil all of the following:

  • Your IP must be registered with an approved national IP institution.
  • Your IP delivers a competitive advantage to your proposed business and cannot be easily replicated.
  • One of the shareholders or the company must be the owner of the IP.
  • Expired IP can be considered as long as one of the shareholders is the inventor of the IP.

Your company has an ongoing research collaboration with a research institution under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), an Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) in Singapore.

Examples include:

  • A*STAR Research Institutes
  • Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) entities
  • Institutes of Higher Learning (e.g. National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore Management University, the Polytechnics)
  • Recognised non-profit and private sector research groups (e.g. Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory)

Requirements

You must fulfil all of the following:

  • The research collaboration must be related to your proposed business.
  • The research institution needs to provide a contact person to verify details of the research collaboration.
  • You must be involved with ongoing research collaboration.
  • Contract of services is not considered to be research collaboration.

You have exceptional technical or domain expertise in an area related to your proposed business.

Requirements

You must fulfil all of the following:

  • Your area of expertise must be related to your proposed business.
  • You have outstanding achievements or received international recognition in your area of technical or domain expertise.

To find out more, you can contact IMDA at info@imda.gov.sg or SPRING at smeinfoline@spring.gov.sg.

Investor

You have a good track record of investing in businesses and want to grow new or existing businesses in Singapore.

Requirements

You must fulfill all of the following:

  • You are willing to invest a substantial amount of money in a local company.
  • You have a track record in one of the following:
    • In investing in and driving the growth of highly-scalable businesses.
    • Substantial experience as a senior management professional or executive in a large corporation.

To find out more, you can contact SPRING at smeinfoline@spring.gov.sg.

You do not need to meet all of the criteria for each respective profile or type but having more qualifications would help your application.

You can find out more about the requirements of the participating government or government-linked agencies on their respective websites:

Businesses that are not eligible

The following businesses are not eligible for an EntrePass:

  • Coffee shops, hawker centres, food courts.
  • Bars, night clubs, karaoke lounges.
  • Foot reflexology, massage parlours.
  • Acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, herbal dispensing businesses.
  • Employment agencies.
  • Geomancy business.

The Sail Business Met One of These Criteria

The Sail Business Met One of These Criterias

The Sail Business Met One of These Criterias

Eligibility for Dependant’s Pass

Eligible Employment Pass or S Pass holders can bring certain family members to Singapore on a Dependant’s Pass.

You can apply for a Dependant’s Pass for your family if you meet these requirements:

For dependants of EntrePass holders, refer to these requirements.

From 1 January 2018, work pass holders will need to meet a minimum salary criteria of $6,000 to enjoy dependant privileges. Please read the FAQs for more information.

You can get a pass for the following family members:

  • Legally married spouse.
  • Unmarried children under 21 years old, including legally adopted children.
If your family members are not eligible for a Dependant’s Pass, they might qualify for a Long Term Visit Pass.

Working in Singapore

Dependants of Employment Pass holders can get a Letter of Consent to work in Singapore if they find a job here.

Dependants of S Pass holders will need to apply for a Work Permit, S Pass or Employment Pass instead. They will have to meet the eligibility criteria for these passes.

Note:

  • Dependant’s Pass holders who get an Employment Pass or S Pass are required to cancel the Dependant’s Pass.
  • For S Pass dependants who get a Work Permit, the Work Permit’s validity period will be tied to that of the S Pass holder’s pass.

S Pass

Eligibility for S Pass

Only eligible candidates will be considered for an S Pass. Criteria include a minimum salary of $2,200 and acceptable qualifications. Use the Self-Assessment Tool to check a candidate’s eligibility before you apply.

Who is eligible

The S Pass is for mid-skilled foreign employees (e.g. technicians) who meet these criteria:

  • Fixed monthly salary of at least $2,200. The salary should reflect work experience. Older, more experienced applicants need higher salaries to qualify.
  • A degree or diploma. We may consider technical certificates, such as courses for qualified technicians or specialists. The certification should include at least 1 year of full-time study.
  • Years of relevant work experience.

Application for an S Pass is open to all nationalities.

Use the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) to check if the applicant qualifies for the pass.

Note: You cannot employ foreign workers to work at a food stall in a hawker centre, coffee shop or food court. Such operations are small scale and should be manned by owners or family members.

Who can apply

An employer or authorised third party has to apply for a candidate’s S Pass.

Self-Assessment Tool

We encourage you to use the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) to get an indication of whether an applicant meets the requirements. Candidates can also use the tool to assess their eligibility.

If the SAT shows that the candidate is not eligible, you shouldn’t apply for the S Pass because it will be rejected.

If the SAT shows that the candidate is eligible, there is around a 90% chance that the candidate will get a pass.

Passes for family members

Pass holders who have a fixed monthly salary of at least $5,000, are eligible for a Dependant’s Pass for their spouse and children.

From 1 January 2018, work pass holders will need to meet a minimum salary criteria of $6,000 to enjoy dependant privileges. Please read the FAQs for more information.

Employers can submit the application together with the S Pass application or separately at a later date.

 

Medical insurance

The requirement to purchase and maintain medical insurance is a Condition of an S Pass. For medical insurance policies taken up or renewed on/or after 1 January 2010, the insurance coverage must be at least $15,000 per year for each worker’s inpatient care and day surgery during his/her stay in Singapore.

Passes for family members

S Pass applicants whose fixed monthly salary is at least $4,000 a month may apply for the Dependant’s Pass (DP) for their family members. The DP application and supporting documents may be submitted together with the S Pass application or separately.

S Pass holders who earn less than $4,000 per month are not allowed to bring in their dependants, i.e. spouses (legally married) and children.

However, if the children of such S Pass holders wish to study in mainstream public schools in Singapore, they will have to pass the Admission Exercise for International Students (AEIS) or Supplementary Admission Exercise for International Students (S-AEIS). For more information on the tests including registration details and test dates, please visit the Ministry of Education’s website.

INCOME TAX

Income Tax

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) acts as an agent of the government and administers, assesses, collects and enforces payment of taxes. The IRAS also advises the government and represents Singapore internationally on matters relating to taxation.

A Singapore citizen or a Singapore Permanent Resident who returns to work here will be liable to pay income tax. You will be required to complete and submit the relevant tax form that will be mailed to you.

Your employer may furnish your salary details to IRAS directly and this portion of your income need not be included in your tax return. However, you must still submit the tax form and report other income you received in Singapore in the previous year.

Should your employer not give IRAS your salary details, you should be issued with the IR8A form, which is the form that shows the gross employment income that you have earned in the previous year. You must include the IR8A with your completed tax form. The chargeable income, that is, your income after deduction of personal reliefs, will be taxed at resident rates of between 0% and 20% from Year of Assessment 2007. The resident rates only apply to a taxpayer who is considered a tax resident, that is, he has been in Singapore for more than 183 days or can prove so by other qualitative means in the previous year.

Non-Resident

A person is considered a non resident when working (or living) in Singapore for less than 183 days per year. A non resident’s employment income is taxed at 15 percent or the resident rate, whichever is higher. Only income derived in Singapore will be taxable. Non residents will not be considered for Personal Reliefs.

  • Foreigners who are working in Singapore on a Employment Pass will be taxed regardless of the time spent working here.
  • Foreigners who has rental income from a property in Singapore, director’s fee or all other incomes will be taxed at 20 percent of the respective income.
  • Foreigners who are on short term employment of less than 60 days per calendar year are exempted from income tax for their employment income.
  • Foreigners whose main country of residence has an Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement with Singapore are exempted from income tax for their employment income.

Reliefs and Rebates

As a tax resident, a person is taxed on all income earned in Singapore including overseas income which is transmitted, remitted or otherwise brought into Singapore.

There are personal reliefs given under the Income Tax Act. Income without personal reliefs are taxed on a graduated scale from 0% – 20%.

Tax reliefs and rebates are given in recognition of a person’s efforts. Instead of compensating for certain type of expenses fully, reliefs and rebates are given to promote certain social objectives.

There are reliefs available to encourage family formation, retraining, training and upgrading of skills as well as reliefs given to those serving National Service.

Submitting Your Income Tax

You can submit your tax return by post or through e-filing at www.iras.gov.sg, or by phone. If you fail to submit your return by 15th April or to pay your taxes within the specified due date, you will be penalised. To avoid late payment penalties on your tax payable, you may arrange to pay your taxes by GIRO or log on to do it electronically at www.iras.gov.sg for immediate payment. Do remember to print the acknowledge copy for your own records.

For more information, please contact:

Taxpayer Services Centre Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore 1st Storey, Revenue House, 55 Newton Road, Singapore 307987 Website: www.iras.gov.sg

IRAS Hotlines

The Sail IRAS Hotline

There are many different sources in which one can embark on a job search in Singapore. The most common ways are the newspapers, online job sites and depending on headhunters for referrals.Job Hunting

THE SAIL CORPORATE INCOME TAX RETURN

THE SAIL CORPORATE INCOME TAX RETURN

JOB HUNTING

Job Hunting

There are many different sources in which one can embark on a job search in Singapore. The most common ways are the newspapers, online job sites and depending on headhunters for referrals.

Newspapers

Most companies in Singapore still hire candidates through advertisements placed in newspapers. It is because the newspapers have been an effective mean of job matching for employers and employees. The widely used newspapers is The Straits Times, jobseekers should keep exceptionally close watch especially on the Saturday copies as there always more job advertisers. Other newspapers include TODAY.

Online Job Sites

The other commonly used source nowadays would be the websites, for a start, you may check our jobs section:

Singapore Jobs Classifieds Career and Jobs section in the Singapore Expats Classifieds

Company Websites

Certain companies may post available positions on their websites. Try Googling to find the companies or industries you want to work for and you might find luck.

Cold Letters

It is never wrong to take the imitative writing to the desired company you wish to work for available positions. If you do not know the name of the Human Resource personnel, contact the receptionist for the email, name of even contact number of the person-in-charge, so you would know where you letter or call is heading.

Employment Agencies / Recruitment Firms

These private commercial firms that match employers looking for employees. They would advertise on behalf of the Company and manage the interviews with the candidates. The recruitment process is mostly managed by the Employment Agency.

Career Fairs

There is a Career Fair at times, do look out in the Straits Times newspapers for such events.

Online Websites

Employers can also target their candidates by advertising online, you can do so at our site – it is immediate and works for employers 24/7.

SETTING UP BUSINESS IN SINGAPORE

Setting Up Business in Singapore

Business firms can be sole proprietorships or partnerships. Any individual may start his own business by registering with the Registrar under the Business Registration Act. Up to a maximum of 20 persons may operate a business as a partnership. A partnership must also be registered with the Registrar. Sole proprietorships and partnerships are not corporate bodies. Sole proprietorships and partnerships do not need to submit their annual accounts but they must renew their registration every three years. Some businesses such as banks, manufacturing of cigarettes, optical discs require special licenses.

Companies may be registered as branches of foreign companies, private limited or public companies. Any two or more persons may form an incorporated company by registering under the Companies Act. A company may be limited by share, limited by guarantee or unlimited.

For private limited companies, the number of shareholders is limited to a maximum of 50. Public companies may have more than 50 members and they can raise capital by offering shares and debentures to the public.

A public company must register a prospectus with the Registrar before making any public offer of shares and debentures.

The term, “Foreign Companies”, refers to companies incorporated outside Singapore and such companies wishing to set up a branch in Singapore must be registered as foreign companies under the Companies Act.

If you represent a foreign company and wish to only set up a representative office (RO). You would need to register your representative office with International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore). IE Singapore registers representative offices from the manufacturing, trading, trade logistics and trade-related services sectors for a nominal fee of S$200. Setting up a representative office is a good way of exploring business opportunities in Singapore or in the region.

Representative offices can only undertake promotional and trade liaison activities on behalf of its parent company. The representative office cannot conclude any contracts or even provide consultancy for a fee, undertake transshipment of goods, open or negotiate any letters or credit. More details information is listed below.

Representative Office In Singapore

Here are the steps and guidelines on how a foreign firm can set up a Representative Office in Singapore.

Representative Offices in banking, finance, insurance and legal industries – To set up, you need to register with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). More details can be found at:  www.mas.gov.sg.

You will need to meet the guidelines and criteria set out by MAS.

Representative Offices in all other industries – To set up, you need to register with International Enterprise (IE) Singapore. More details can be found at: www.iesingapore.gov.sg.

Your Representative Offices can only carry out the following activities:

  • Market research
  • Feasibility studies
  • Liaison work on behalf of parent company

Your Representative Offices cannot conduct any of the following activities (directly or on behalf of the parent company):

  • Trade in goods or services (including import or export)
  • Lease warehousing facilities
  • Lease office to other establishments for a fee
  • Conclude business contracts
  • Issue invoices and receipts
  • Issue and receive letters of credit
  • Provide services for fees

If you wish to ship, transship or store goods in Singapore, you should get your parent company to appoint a local agent or distributor. You cannot use your RO to carry out these activities.

If you wish to carry on operations in Singapore, you should register a branch office or incorporate a company with ACRA.

Step by Step Setting up a Business in Singapore

A branch of a foreign company can be registered via BizFile+ using SinggPass or CorpPass upon the approval of its name.

The person registering the branch of a foreign company is advised to engage a registered filing agent (e.g. law firm, accounting firm or corporate secretarial firm) to submit an online application on your behalf.

Requirements for registering a Branch of a Foreign Company

Under the Companies Act, the minimum number of authorised representatives required is one.

The branch of a foreign company must have at least one authorised representative who is ordinarily resident in Singapore.

Being “ordinarily resident in Singapore” means the authorised representative’s usual place of residence is in Singapore. A Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or an EntrePass holder can be accepted as a person who is ordinarily resident here.

Registration fees

The Sail Setting up Business Registration Fee


The application is usually processed within 15 minutes after the name application fee is paid. 

Processing Time

It may take between 14 days to 2 months if the application needs to be referred to another agency for approval or review. For example, if the intention of the branch of a foreign company is to carry out activities involving the setting up of a private school, the application will be referred to the Ministry of Education.

For more information on the different referral authorities, please access this link: Referral Authorities

The branch of a foreign company may commence business once it is registered with ACRA. This is on condition that the branch does not require any licences/approvals from other government agencies in order to carry out the business activities.

Company name reservation

An approved company name will be reserved for 120 days from the date of name approval. No further extension of name reservation period is allowed.

Alternate address

The directors, authorised representatives and other company officers may report an alternate address with the Registrar at a fee of $40. The alternate address must be located in the same jurisdiction as the individual’s residential address. Therefore if the officer is locally resident, his alternate address cannot be a foreign address. The alternate address cannot be a P.O. Box address and must be an address where the person can be contacted.

Free Business Profile

From 2 June 2017, the newly registered branch of a foreign company will receive a free Business Profile – an electronic report containing business registration information of that entity. Upon successful registration, an email with a URL to download the free Business Profile will be sent to the Registered Filing Agent who filed the registration on behalf of the company.

For more information, visit www.acra.gov.sg/Free_Business_Profiles.

Tax and CPF Contributions

Under Singapore tax laws, tax is chargeable on the income of any person (including a company) accruing in or derived from Singapore or received in Singapore from outside Singapore. A company means any company incorporated or registered under any law in force in Singapore or elsewhere. Contact the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore for more information.

If you employ staff, you need to contribute to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) for your employees. For more details, please contact CPF Board.

Self-employed persons who have registered businesses as sole proprietorships need to contribute to their Medisave accounts with the CPF before they can renew their business registration. The amount payable is computed by the CPF based on their business earnings.

The Registry of Companies and Businesses has produced a guide titled “A Good Start”. It contains comprehensive information on setting up a business in Singapore and is obtainable from leading bookstores at S$15.

For more information on the following, please contact:

CPF Contribution/Medisave CPF Board 79 Robinson Road CPF Building, Singapore 068897 Tel : (65) 1800 226 3877 Fax : (65) 6229 3880 / 6229 3881 / 6258 2778 Email : cpfboard@cpf.gov.sg Website : www.cpf.gov.sg

Personal, Corporate and Business Taxation Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore 55 Newton Road, #23-00 Revenue House, Singapore 307987 Tel : (65)-1800-6356 8300 Website: www.iras.gov.sg

Businesses Serving Liquor on its Premises Customs & Excise Department Liquors Licensing Board 55 Newton Road, #02-01 Podium Block Revenue House, Singapore 307987 Tel : (65) 6272 8222 Fax : (65) 6250 8663 Email : ced_controls@ced.gov.sg Website : www.customs.gov.sg

Food Businesses Food Control Department Ministry of Environment 5 Maxwell Road, #18-00 Tower Block, MND Complex, Singapore 069110 Tel : (65) 6325 2579 Fax : (65) 6324 4563 Email : contact_env@env.gov.sg Website : www.env.gov.sg

Music and Entertainment Businesses Licensing Unit Police Cantonment Complex 391 New Bridge Road Block B, #02-701 Singapore 088762 Tel : (65) 6835 0000 Fax: (65) 6226 2254

Registry of Companies and Businesses 10 Anson Road, #05-01/15 International Plaza, Singapore 079903 Tel : (65) 6248 6028 Fax : (65) 6225 1676 Website : www.acra.gov.sg

SPECIALIST PROFESSIONS

Specialized Professions

Jobseekers have to understand that certain specialized professions require professional registration before you can start work in Singapore. Professional registration is not associated with your residency or citizenship status.

These professions are governed by local regulations that all registered professionals must adhere to. The specialized professions include accountancy, architecture, dentistry, engineering, land surveying, law, medicine, pharmaceutical and nursing.

For more information, please contact:

Employment Pass Department Ministry of Manpower 9 Maxwell Road, #03-01 Annex A MND Complex, Singapore 069112 Tel : (65) 6438 5122 Fax : (65) 6293 2138, (65) 6296 2086 Email : mom_epd@mom.gov.sg Website : www.mom.gov.sg

Accountancy Public Accountants Board 55 Newton Road, #02-06 Revenue House, Singapore 307987 Tel : (65) 6351 4380 Fax : (65) 6351 4379 Email : pab_ enquiries@pab.gov.sg Website: www.pab.gov.sg

Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore 20 Aljunied Road, #06-02 CPA House, Singapore 389805 Tel : (65) 6749 8060 Fax : (65) 6749 8061 Email : enquiries@icpas.org.sg Website : www.accountants.org.sg

Architecture Board of Architects 5 Maxwell Road, #01-03 MND Complex, Tower Block, Singapore 069110 Tel : (65) 6222 5295 Fax : (65) 6222 4452 Email : boarch@singnet.com.sg Website : www.boa.gov.sg

Engineering Professional Engineers Board 5 Maxwell Road, 1st Storey, MND Complex, Tower Block, Singapore 069110 Tel : (65) 6222 9293 Fax : (65) 6222 9471 Email : registrar@peb.gov.sg Website : www.peb.gov.sg

Land Surveying Land Surveyors Board c/o Singapore Land Authority Land Survey Department 8 Shenton Way, #28-01 Temasek Tower, Singapore 068811 Tel : (65) 6323 1786 Fax : (65) 6323 9801 Email : mlaw_lsb_enquiry@mlaw.gov.sg Website : LSB Home

Law Board of Legal Education Subordinate Courts Building Conference Room, 9th Floor 1 Havelock Square, Singapore 059724 Tel : (65) 6534 1831/2 Fax : (65) 6538 7757 Email : lawsoc@lawsoc.org.sg Website : www.lawsoc.org.sg

Medicine Singapore Medical Council 16 College Road, #01-01 College of Medicine Building, Singapore 169854 Tel : (65) 6372 3061/2/3/4/5 Fax : (65) 6221 0558 Email : MOH_SMC@moh.gov.sg Website : www.moh.gov.sg

Nursing Singapore Nursing Board 16 College Road, #01-01 College of Medicine Building, Singapore 169854 Tel : (65) 6372 3082, (65) 6372 3082 Fax : (65) 6221 1160 Email : snb_contact@snb.gov.sg Website : www.snb.gov.sg

Pharmaceutical Singapore Pharmacy Board Harrower Hall 14 College Road, Singapore 169853 Tel : (65) 6223 7777 Fax : (65) 6325 1618 Website : www.spb.gov.sg

Dentistry National Dental Council 16 College Road, College of Medicine Building, Singapore 169854 Tel : (65) 6372 3076 Fax : (65) 6221 1275 Website : www.ndc.com.sg

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