Setting Up a Singapore Representative Office
A foreign company interested in establishing operations in Singapore may explore business potential in Singapore by incorporating a Representative Office. It is an ideal way to assess opportunities before making any long term or large-scale business commitment. A Representative Office cannot engage in commercial revenue-generating activities.
Most Representative Offices are registered with International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) – the corresponding office registration authority.
A registration of a Singapore Representative Office is valid for a period of one year and can be renewed annually for a maximum of two years. After the two-year period, the Representative Office must convert into either a Subsidiary or Branch Office.
- An extension of the foreign parent company
- Not a separate legal identity
- Foreign parent company is liable for all acts, debts and liabilities of its Representative Office
- Cannot engage in commercial revenue-generating activities
- No filing requirements
- Curtailed from negotiating any trading instruments or leasing of warehouses
- Must appoint and relocate a chief representative staff member from head office to the Singapore Representative Office to supervise its activities
- Allowed to appoint limited number of staff, both local and foreign, to support the limited activities of the Representative Office
- Must notify authorities in advance of any changes in representatives, address or registered activities
- If parent company has a name change, the notification must be accompanied by a copy of the parent company’s Certificate of Change in Name
- Must clearly state that it is a Representative Office on all communication materials
- All staff of the Representative Office, including Chief Representative is subject to personal income tax
- Representative Office can obtain a Central Registration (CR) Number from Singapore Customs to import and export product samples
- CR Number not allowed to be used for any trading activities
- Representative Office must be deregistered if parent company becomes dormant
Documents Required for Representative Office Registration
- A certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, or registration of foreign company
- A copy of the parent company’s latest annual report
- A copy of audited financial statements
How AsiaBiz can help you: All foreign companies are required to engage a professional service agent to assist in the registration and incorporation of their Representative Offices. IE Singapore takes approximately five working days to process the registration. This process can be delayed if IE Singapore requires more information from the company. AsiaBiz offers a seamless and innovative package that facilitates a hassle-free incorporation of your Representative Office.