Representative Office Registration in Singapore

Staff Writer

February 21, 2022

What’s in the article?

A representative allows you to evaluate and judge yourself of doing business in the country before committing to any huge investments. It is an ideal platform for foreign companies who are interested to do business in the country. It is a short-term through which you can promote your business and work with local agents and professionals. Foreign companies can register themselves to test their business in Singapore.

The representative office is considered as a temporary set-up which is just for three years. In this period, the representative office is not allowed to carry any such task which generates profit. They are also not allowed to indulge in any kind of business activities which generates revenue for the company. The RO is allowed to carry out activities like market research and feasible studies. The RO does not possess any legal identity in the corporate association of Singapore and it’s just an extension of the foreign company. The Representative office Singapore is not allowed to participate in contracts, negotiations, and leasing.

Taxation of Representative office in Singapore

If a representative office is engaged in any kind of revenue-generating business, it does not need to file for annual tax returns. The income earned by the staff of the representative office including the Chief Representative is subjected to Singapore Personal Tax.

Key Facts about the Singapore Representative Office Registration

  • The Name of the RO must be same as the name of the parent company.
  • The time period of the RO is 1 year but it is extendable to 3 three years.
  • The RO can hire the maximum of just 5 local employees in the office.
  • Sales turnover of the foreign company should be US$250,000 annually, only then the company is eligible for the registration in Singapore.
  • The parent company must have an established identity of 3 years and more.
  • The RO should have one Chief Representative who has the authority to take all the major decisions.
  • In case of any kind of changes, a one-month prior notice is required by ACRA.
  • If the name of the parent company gets changed, a certified copy of a legal name change certificate is required by ACRA.
  • All RO staff including the Chief as well is subjected to Singapore personal income tax.
  • The RO can obtain a Central Registration Number (CNR) to import and export product company samples.
  • The company needs to have a registered office address. One can use the residential address for this kind of set-up.
  • A dormant RO that does not agree to the terms and conditions by the authorities will be de-registered.
  • The RO must clearly state that it’s a representative office registered in Singapore on its business cards.

Documents required for Representative Office Registration in Singapore

  • Completed application process.
  • Registration certificate of the parent’s company.
  • Latest annual report and audited accounts of the parent company.
  • An undertaking of the company that the RO will abide by all the terms and conditions by the authorities in Singapore.

Approval and Renewal Information

The Singapore authorities take around 5 business days to approve one single application. Once your application is approved, you will receive a letter of approval via email. The approval is valid for just 1 year but it can be renewed up to 3 years.

The authority will send you a renewal notice two months prior to the expiration date of the registration of the representative office. It is compulsory for RO to complete the renewal process seven days before the expiration of the registration date. After the time period of three years, the RO must be updated to the branch office.

Corporate Bank Account

Once you get the approval and everything is set-up, you can open a corporate bank account with any local or international bank in Singapore. If you are not able to come to the country, choose a bank which allows you to open the account without your presence, for example, SCB and HSBC.

The Final Word

The business registration number must be on all letter pads, invoices, bills, and all other official documents. A representative office Singapore is a unique platform which allows you to test as well as prove your company and the brand. It is the best choice for foreign companies who want to incorporate their own and explore business opportunities in Singapore.

What's popular