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Dependent Pass Letter of Consent

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detroitechno
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Dependent Pass Letter of Consent

Postby detroitechno » Mon, 19 Jun 2017 4:35 pm

My spouse and I have been in Singapore for almost 4 years.

I am on a dependent pass and I have been working as a freelancer in my sole proprietorship on a letter of consent. I set it up using the information in this wonderful forum!

It looks like things have changed and the original thread is no longer active. I was able to renew my LOC in September of 2016. My business is doing very well!

My spouse has another job offer and is considering changing to a new employer here.

I've been speaking with agencies who tell me I cannot transfer my LOC if my wife changes jobs and I need to create a private limited and apply for my own EP.

I am a freelancer with my name as the company name + my service and a sole proprietorship is perfect for my business; I don't need to incorporate. I do not need to hire staff. I do not require any investment from a third party and a director would serve no purpose.

In a perfect world I could just renew my LOC again with my new DP. This business is my livelihood and I am looking for trustworthy advice on how to continue my business if my wife takes the new job.

I cannot find any updated information on this in the forum so I was hoping someone here can help.

Does anyone have any advice on continuing sole proprietorships for dependent pass holders?

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Re: Dependent Pass Letter of Consent

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:45 pm

detroitechno wrote:My spouse and I have been in Singapore for almost 4 years.

I am on a dependent pass and I have been working as a freelancer in my sole proprietorship on a letter of consent. I set it up using the information in this wonderful forum!

It looks like things have changed and the original thread is no longer active. I was able to renew my LOC in September of 2016. My business is doing very well!

My spouse has another job offer and is considering changing to a new employer here.

I've been speaking with agencies who tell me I cannot transfer my LOC if my wife changes jobs and I need to create a private limited and apply for my own EP.

I am a freelancer with my name as the company name + my service and a sole proprietorship is perfect for my business; I don't need to incorporate. I do not need to hire staff. I do not require any investment from a third party and a director would serve no purpose.

In a perfect world I could just renew my LOC again with my new DP. This business is my livelihood and I am looking for trustworthy advice on how to continue my business if my wife takes the new job.

I cannot find any updated information on this in the forum so I was hoping someone here can help.

Does anyone have any advice on continuing sole proprietorships for dependent pass holders?


I've been thinking on this one for a while. Here goes, various thoughts, large and small.

You say, "I've been speaking with agencies who tell me I cannot transfer my LOC." Which agencies are those? If you look at the official MoM website, there is absolutely nothing that suggests you cannot once again apply for a LOC. In fact, the website says that a LOC can be renewed with a DP so I'd certainly travel down this path as a starting point.

http://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permit ... or-replace

Second, I judge that it is harder to get a LOC these days because the pass has been abused. I suspect that the pass was created with the thought in mind that trailing spouses of professional expats could find at least a semi-professional job with a LOC. But with the expansion of the pass to both LTVP and LTVP+, my guess is that many more spurious "pretend businesses" popped up; further, I suspect that people also wanted to do things like being a part time maid... hence, the stepped up vetting of LOC applications.

Bottom line: If you've got a thriving business, document it. You paid income tax on your earnings. Document it. You may not have directly hired staff but document any outside contract type people you have used (accountants, lawyers, etc), as well as how much money you keep in local banks. The point is to convince the authorities that your business is real and thriving.

Another option is to apply for EP for your sole proprietorship, especially if you can meet the EP minimums for income. This way, you are pulled out from under your spouse's EP and are on your own. In the years that I have moderated these threads I have seen only a few people go this route with success, and, there is nothing on the MoM website that would prohibit an EP being granted to a SP... it's just that most businesses incorporate.

And, that is something you should also consider, especially if your other avenues of approach fail. You _temporarily_ use the services of a resident director to form the company and apply for an EP for you. As soon as you have the EP, you become the director. You own all the shares, and your total "investment" would be about $2. It's your company, you are the director, you own it.

It costs money to set it up ($300+ in ACRA fees, $1500 to $3000 for your rented director and setup of company), and it costs more to report it (annual BizFile filings, recording of minutes, etc), and I judge that if you do go this route, you will have essentially created a solid foundation for your thriving business. No more reliance on a DP/LOC, and a pte ltd is viewed as having more "gravitas" meaning that future EP renewals will be more favorably looked upon.

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Re: Dependent Pass Letter of Consent

Postby detroitechno » Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:17 pm

I really appreciate your response. I figured they tightened down the LOC applications because of "abuse".

My website shows lots of local somewhat high profile clients and I've even done charity work on several occasions when I was getting started.

I initially called MOM and asked if I could renew my sole proprietorship if my wife changed jobs. She said "no, you cannot transfer it and you will have to apply for your own EP."

It seems a little too much for Singapore to be shutting down successful sole proprietorships run by DPs so I emailed them... They replied and asked me for my FIN...

They responded "you can appoint an Employment Agent to submit a new Letter of Consent application online for you under your sole proprietorship."

I have taken note of your advice on incorporating and it would be the next logical step for me. It would allow me to branch out. I dream of having my own EP here. But right now I'm taking the path of least resistance. If my end of year is fantastic then I am definitely incorporating.

I will have to look into what an employment agent is... but at least it seems like I can continue my business without too much hassle.

Thanks again for your help!

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Re: Dependent Pass Letter of Consent

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:22 pm

Always query MOM until you get two agreeing bits of advice from two different sources. Otherwise, you might find yourself sucking hind t.. :-|

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Re: Dependent Pass Letter of Consent

Postby detroitechno » Fri, 30 Jun 2017 2:16 pm

I'm trying to stay optimistic about my situation sundaymorningstaple.

Can anyone offer me insight into what they mean by "appoint an employment agent"?

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Re: Dependent Pass Letter of Consent

Postby ecureilx » Fri, 30 Jun 2017 8:55 pm

detroitechno wrote:I'm trying to stay optimistic about my situation sundaymorningstaple.

Can anyone offer me insight into what they mean by "appoint an employment agent"?

Get somebody who has better expertise on WPOL.

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Re: Dependent Pass Letter of Consent

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 30 Jun 2017 9:22 pm

detroitechno wrote:I'm trying to stay optimistic about my situation sundaymorningstaple.

Can anyone offer me insight into what they mean by "appoint an employment agent"?


I am pretty sure that a licensed employment agent is nothing more than a person who works for a licensed employment agency. For example, Acme Pubs Pte Ltd might engage an employment agent to find bar workers and waitresses. For a fee, the agency/agent finds the warm bodies to fill the positions, then applies for the work permits on behalf of Acme Pubs. Not just anyone can do this... they must be licensed by MoM... hence, either the employer or the agent can file for a permit.

I judge that you have been told to engage an employment agent to get around the chicken and egg problem in applying for a LOC for your own SP. How can you apply for a LOC for the SP you own when you don't have any work permit to work for the for the SP, and therefore cannot work for the SP to apply for the LOC so that you can work for the SP under a LOC? Yah? It's been a while and I do recall posts for LOC rejections for this reason.

It's sort of like trying to apply for an EP for a pte ltd you own when you have no EP to work for the company so that you'd have legal standing to apply for the EP. You solve that problem by renting a director.

For the LOC, the licensed employment agent does it for you and voila!... no chicken, no egg... and maybe a LOC.

I'd do a search for a few agencies... smaller... and see who will do this for you, and for how much. This will probably give you an opportunity to present financials, taxes paid, etc, in support of a LOC, via the agent.


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