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Freelancing

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prochaine
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Freelancing

Post by prochaine » Sun, 21 Feb 2021 3:48 pm

Hello,

I'm on DP and would like to freelance.
When my husband set up the company, we register the my job activity (counseling/teaching) as the secondary business activity.
In this case, can I work for his company (solo directorship) and do freelancing?
If not, what are the ways to do it?
Thank you for your advice in advance.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Freelancing

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 21 Feb 2021 4:13 pm

What is the primary business activity.

prochaine
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Re: Freelancing

Post by prochaine » Mon, 22 Feb 2021 6:17 pm

It's architecture. Thank you.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Freelancing

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 22 Feb 2021 10:34 pm

You will need to get an employment pass to work for the company.

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Re: Freelancing

Post by prochaine » Tue, 23 Feb 2021 7:03 am

I'd like to work as a counsellor with individuals and groups, teaching on short-term contracts, this avoiding setting up a new company.
My understand through reading the posts is that I can only work for the existing company with EP?

with the secondary activity registered as counseling & teaching,
I would like to know
1) if DP+LOC with an exiting company would allow me to do my desired activities.
2) if EP is a way to do so.

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Re: Freelancing

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 23 Feb 2021 2:35 pm

You can try, but if they figure out the structure of the company you might not get lucky as the ruse will be obvious.

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Re: Freelancing

Post by prochaine » Tue, 23 Feb 2021 3:21 pm

Thank you for your feedbacks.
Maybe I did understand well when we were told that the primary and secondary activities do not need to be related when we set up a company?
Maybe freelancing is not the right word or I wasn't explaining well?
It is just not clear for me what is the right/legal way to offer service in the area of my expertise and bring income to the company and to myself.
Maybe obtaining EP or DP+LOC will allow me to do the desired work just like working for any other counseling firm?
I simply like to know what other do, a righteous way.

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Re: Freelancing

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 23 Feb 2021 6:55 pm

Definitely freelancing is not the correct term. You cannot work freelance on a Dependents' pass. Neither can you do so with a LoC. In order to obtain an EP you have to have a basic monthly salary of a certain amount (spelled out on the MOM site). You would also need to be a full time salaried employee on a LoC. Sadly, other's that freelance are already PR's or Citizens. The only other way is to work for a company that has no legal presence in Singapore or interaction with Singaporeans and you are not allowed to work or engage in work for any Singapore Company or individuals.

Maybe Myasis Dragon can chime in here and spell it out a bit cleaner/clearer that I do. Provided he's thawed out.

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Re: Freelancing

Post by Myasis Dragon » Thu, 25 Feb 2021 6:11 am

Choosing between a DP/LOC and an EP is a red herring here. Either one will work for you, and both will require nearly the exact same circumstances for you to be issued one or the other.

First, you say that you are on a DP. This means that your husband must be on an EP. Is that correct? And if he is on an EP, then he is one of a fortunate few who was able to form his own company and then have the company apply for an EP for himself. Is that correct? In this case, it would mean that your husband is also the director of his company, correct? And he is the sole director, correct?

About “freelancing”: By definition, it means that a self-employed individual is working on a series of short term projects of varying duration, from anywhere from a few hours a week to full time. Such people report their income to IRAS as a sole proprietor. In Singapore, only citizens and permanent residents can freelance in this manner. Up until a few years ago, a fair number of people on DP posted in our forums that they had successfully setup a sole proprietorship and had successfully applied for a EP from their SP. However, I do not think this is possible any more, given the new language on the ACRA and MoM websites. Bottom line: You can’t “freelance”, you can only work for a Singapore registered company.

In my view, the gahmen clamped down on DP’s working as freelancers because it cannot control what they are doing, no matter what their business activity codes say they were doing. I recall that one woman formed a SP, and went to work for it… cleaning houses. The gahmen is very protective of low end jobs and DP’s with an SP was a big hole in the game.

I’d say that you’re not going to be able to get any kind of a work permit through your husband’s company. As SMS pointed out, you must be paid a minimum monthly salary as an EP. If you think you can make that much each month “freelancing”, then the possibility exists, at least in theory, that you could be granted an EP in your husband’s company.

I see your LOC as being soemwhat more problematic. True, there are no salary requirements for a LOC, but on the other hand, there is no telling what kind of work a LOC might be doing. And here’s the rub for you: If your husband’s company applied for a LOC for you to be a bookkeeping assistant, it just might be granted by MoM since it’s related to the company functions. But, if it’s not related to company functions, and counselling/teaching doesn’t sound like it is, then MoM doesn’t know if you’re taking a Singaporean job. I don’t think that the chances are good at all. The problem is not the business activities that you have registered with IRAS (those are informational only), the problem is that the LOC specifies exactly the work to be performed.

As a side note, since you have specified counselling/teaching, you may run into issues with MoM asking for registrations/certifications for your work, for either type of pass. Your husband’s company may have to advertise on the job board.

Here’s another thing: If you were to get a work permit through your husband’s company (EP or LOC), then you must invoice on his company invoices. Your earnings must be recorded on the company books, deposited in the company bank account, and reported to IRAS. You must be issued a paycheck from the company bank account, and issued an IR8A. If the company is GST registered, then you must charge GST as well.

Having said that, the worst that can happen is that you are rejected. So, I’d start with the easy one. Have your husband’s company apply for a LOC for you. If that fails, and you can earn enough money, then have your husband’s company apply for an EP. If that fails, your only choice is to form a private limited, and that is a lot of work, with significant risk that you won’t be approved for the EP.

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Re: Freelancing

Post by prochaine » Fri, 26 Feb 2021 6:01 am

Thank you very much, Myasis Dragon, for your detailed advice on this. Much clearer now.
I really appreciate it.

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Re: Freelancing

Post by Myasis Dragon » Fri, 26 Feb 2021 6:57 am

prochaine wrote:
Fri, 26 Feb 2021 6:01 am
Thank you very much, Myasis Dragon, for your detailed advice on this. Much clearer now.
I really appreciate it.
So... I'm going to add that if you are willing to mix it up with the bureaucracy, then maybe you can get your own sole proprietorship. See this webpage:

https://www.acra.gov.sg/how-to-guides/s ... -singapore

Image

I'm not saying this will be easy... but they seem to have left a door open. You would need to convince MoM that you're not taken jobs from citizens.

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Re: Freelancing

Post by Myasis Dragon » Sat, 27 Feb 2021 12:38 am

In the past, there have been quite a few questions in these forums as to whether a person on a DP can work remotely for a company that has no presence in Singapore and does no business here. The answer to that question is "yes", and the DP who does so must file a tax return with IRAS as a sole proprietor.

I'm going to make a SWAG that this ability of "foreigners" in Singapore to register a SP is oriented towards this class of people... working remotely.

That doesn't mean that you cannot get permission from MoM to form a SP... just that it will take time and frustration to make it happen since your request is outside of the mainstream but not specifically prohibited. This always gets the box checkers panties in a twist.

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