DP- working for my own company

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midnightmoon
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DP- working for my own company

Post by midnightmoon » Sat, 02 Jul 2022 6:57 pm

I am relocating from the UK, my husband on an EP, I am currently on a DP.
I run my own online company with international clients- I only work online. I am receiving conflicting information from both Singapore companies I have enquired with and online and wondered if anyone could shed some light. I've seen a similar thread on here but it either wasn't for someone with their own company or it's from several years ago and I understand things have changed in recent years.

Is there a way to stay on my DP, have my business located in the UK and work remotely from Singapore? At the moment I have been told I need to change to an EP and register my company in Singapore given that technically I am working in Singapore- however I doubt I will meet their minimum requirements of income and therefore not gain approval for the EP (which is the only reason I am against registering the company there).
If anyone can point me in the right direction that would be most appreciated.

Myasis Dragon
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Re: DP- working for my own company

Post by Myasis Dragon » Sun, 03 Jul 2022 2:17 am

Where is your company currently registered? Are you planning on leaving the company registration there?

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Re: DP- working for my own company

Post by midnightmoon » Tue, 05 Jul 2022 12:46 am

Currently registered in the UK. I am open to where the company is registered- where ever it makes most sense given my circumstances.

Myasis Dragon
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Re: DP- working for my own company

Post by Myasis Dragon » Wed, 06 Jul 2022 1:13 am

The basic rules for working for a foreign company without a work permit are:

1. The company must have no legal presence in Singapore.
2. The company must not provide goods or services in Singapore.
3. You must not be servicing any clients in Singapore when working for the foreign entity.
4. As a Singapore resident, you will pay taxes on your earnings that you make from your remote company.

Now, most often, the circumstance is that a trailing spouse leaves a job in the home country but continues to work for that foreign company remotely. For example, an accountant leaves her firm but continues to work from Singapore, handling the same job functions.

So, at first blush, it would seem that you meet all the criteria. The catch, however, is that this is your own company, and the question is: Would allowing your own company to be classified as remote open the flood gates such the Singapore authorities all of a sudden found themselves with tons of Indian DP's running their companies back in India from the comfort of Singapore.

I don't think this will prove to be a problem. First, even if it is your own company, you are still not displacing any Singaporeans by working remotely, and that is the essential criteria of whether or not a work permit is ever required... will you replace a Singaporean.

Second, if registered in the UK, your business is tax resident in the UK, and Singapore, like most all other countries is always interested in ensuring that businesses and individuals pay tax somewhere. So, it is a registered foreign company and pays foreign taxes; there is nothing to differentiate the company in Singapore's eyes just because the DP happens to own it.

And third, you will be paying personal income tax to the Singapore government and this is always a good thing in their eyes.

Edited to add: And fourth, when I have made inquiries to MoM about working for remote companies, not once have they ever included the words, "unless you own the company". Because, really, it makes no difference with respect to the criteria that are used to exclude remote work from work permit requirements.

So, my SWAG is that you don't have an issue, that you can work for your company so long as the remote company criteria are met. I cannot advise you about the tax consequences in the UK except to say that if you have a registered UK company earning money, you are probably going to be taxed.

The alternative is to form a company in Singapore, apply for work passes, etc. This is substantially more complicated but would move your business tax base out of the UK and into Singapore, where corporate taxes are low.

You can search my threads here to find more information about how you file your Singapore personal income taxes and how you classify yourself with respect to your foreign company (employee or contractor).
midnightmoon wrote:
Sat, 02 Jul 2022 6:57 pm
I am relocating from the UK, my husband on an EP, I am currently on a DP.
I run my own online company with international clients- I only work online. I am receiving conflicting information from both Singapore companies I have enquired with and online and wondered if anyone could shed some light. I've seen a similar thread on here but it either wasn't for someone with their own company or it's from several years ago and I understand things have changed in recent years.

Is there a way to stay on my DP, have my business located in the UK and work remotely from Singapore? At the moment I have been told I need to change to an EP and register my company in Singapore given that technically I am working in Singapore- however I doubt I will meet their minimum requirements of income and therefore not gain approval for the EP (which is the only reason I am against registering the company there).
If anyone can point me in the right direction that would be most appreciated.

midnightmoon
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Re: DP- working for my own company

Post by midnightmoon » Wed, 06 Jul 2022 8:28 pm

That's so so helpful, thank you.

The only point I have been informed may be an issue is your #3- 'servicing clients in Singapore', as I am located in Singapore whilst taking calls, but as I mentioned these are people outside of Singapore, online and not face-to-face.

So from what you've mentioned, and obviously I am seeking advice elsewhere too, is that you see no obvious issue with the business remaining located in the UK, paying UK business tax and paying my personal tax as a DP in Singapore?
Because that would seem to make my life a whole lot easier given my timeline!

Thank you, I will check out the other threads mentioned

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Re: DP- working for my own company

Post by Myasis Dragon » Wed, 06 Jul 2022 11:05 pm

"servicing clients in Singapore" would be more clear if it said, "servicing Singapore based clients."

It's not about where you are working, it's where the clients are located that you are servicing. If any clients exist in Singapore, then you're out of luck.

And yes, I am saying that I don't see an issue. You can always ask MoM.

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Re: DP- working for my own company

Post by midnightmoon » Thu, 07 Jul 2022 12:02 am

I'm so grateful for you taking the time for such thorough responses! You've been more helpful than the companies I've contacted. Thank you

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Re: DP- working for my own company

Post by midnightmoon » Thu, 07 Jul 2022 5:21 pm

I have just had a very helpful conversation with IRAS who informed me that, as you mentioned in other threads, I would only be required to file income online (form B).

However conversations with an accounting firm this morning, though I am assuming from his discomfort when I relayed your information that he was 'maybe' ensuring I gave him my business; would be that I require an LOC and then to incorporate in Singapore. But I really don't see, from research and from the info you've given on other threads, that this would be necessary given that I am not servicing anyone located in Singapore and have no legal presence.

I can't seem to find the relevant information on MOM's website- it's also unclear whether the LOC is required

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Re: DP- working for my own company

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 07 Jul 2022 9:13 pm

The accounting firm was trying to pull a fast one.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

Myasis Dragon
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Re: DP- working for my own company

Post by Myasis Dragon » Thu, 07 Jul 2022 11:00 pm

SMS is correct. You don't need anything, other than playing nice with the IRAS folks.

In my view, the accounting firm was either trying to pull a fast one or incompetent or both.

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Re: DP- working for my own company

Post by midnightmoon » Fri, 08 Jul 2022 5:24 pm

As I suspected then! Jeez.

Thank you once again

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