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Issuing invoices as a consultant

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Lamé
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Issuing invoices as a consultant

Postby Lamé » Tue, 05 Sep 2017 2:17 pm

Hi

I am here on a dependent's pass and would like to continue working for my employer in France on a consultancy basis.

MOM have explicitly stated that I do not need an employment pass, as I will effectively have no business presence in Singapore. However, to issue invoices to my employer, I appear to need some form of registration number (GST number?) otherwise my French employer will not be able to pay the invoices for my work.

Is there a way of registering such activities in Singapore without starting a company? I understand that starting a company here for a foreigner on a DP is expensive and difficult.

If not, does anyone know whether it is acceptable to start a company in a different country (e.g. UK) and use this to bill my employer whilst working as a consultant in Singapore.

I appreciate that these are rather complex questions, so if anyone knows a good employment lawyer in SG who could answer them, then I am willing to pay!!

Thanks in advance

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taxico
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Re: Issuing invoices as a consultant

Postby taxico » Tue, 05 Sep 2017 7:18 pm

Lamé wrote:Hi

I am here on a dependent's pass and would like to continue working for my employer in France on a consultancy basis.

MOM have explicitly stated that I do not need an employment pass, as I will effectively have no business presence in Singapore. However, to issue invoices to my employer, I appear to need some form of registration number (GST number?) otherwise my French employer will not be able to pay the invoices for my work.

Is there a way of registering such activities in Singapore without starting a company? I understand that starting a company here for a foreigner on a DP is expensive and difficult.

If not, does anyone know whether it is acceptable to start a company in a different country (e.g. UK) and use this to bill my employer whilst working as a consultant in Singapore.

I appreciate that these are rather complex questions, so if anyone knows a good employment lawyer in SG who could answer them, then I am willing to pay!!

Thanks in advance


incorporate/start a french company/business...? (or wherever you're from)
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

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Strong Eagle
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Re: Issuing invoices as a consultant

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 05 Sep 2017 8:33 pm

Are you saying that the French company wants to pay another company and not an individual person? That they want a legal entity to which they will issue checks?

You most certainly don't want GST registration as that is only required of companies who sell goods and services inside Singapore in excess of one million dollars.

You need to first clarify the intent of your French employer... why exactly do they want you to do this? And then you need to look at one of the easy company incorporation countries... lots of them.

Lamé
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Re: Issuing invoices as a consultant

Postby Lamé » Wed, 06 Sep 2017 8:24 pm

Hi

Thanks for the replies. The company needs a registration number on the invoices as they can't legally pay them otherwise (it's a French requirement).

I could start a company in e.g. the UK, but then I don't really know how the tax works. i.e. I earn the money in Singapore but it is paid in the UK, so where do I need to pay tax.

I read various threads concerning starting a sole proprietorship, which seems like the way to go as it is fairly cheap and quick and the tax situation seems relatively clear.

Any advice concerning this?

Thanks

Lamé
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Re: Issuing invoices as a consultant

Postby Lamé » Wed, 06 Sep 2017 8:24 pm

Hi

Thanks for the replies. The company needs a registration number on the invoices as they can't legally pay them otherwise (it's a French requirement).

I could start a company in e.g. the UK, but then I don't really know how the tax works. i.e. I earn the money in Singapore but it is paid in the UK, so where do I need to pay tax.

I read various threads concerning starting a sole proprietorship, which seems like the way to go as it is fairly cheap and quick and the tax situation seems relatively clear.

Any advice concerning this?

Thanks

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Strong Eagle
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Re: Issuing invoices as a consultant

Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 07 Sep 2017 12:59 am

Lamé wrote:Hi

Thanks for the replies. The company needs a registration number on the invoices as they can't legally pay them otherwise (it's a French requirement).

I could start a company in e.g. the UK, but then I don't really know how the tax works. i.e. I earn the money in Singapore but it is paid in the UK, so where do I need to pay tax.

I read various threads concerning starting a sole proprietorship, which seems like the way to go as it is fairly cheap and quick and the tax situation seems relatively clear.

Any advice concerning this?

Thanks


With respect to personal income tax, applicable to Singapore, and generally applicable everywhere, with a few exceptions, most notably the United States:

  1. You pay your personal income tax in the country in which you reside and where you earned your income.
  2. It does not matter what currency you are paid in.
  3. It does not matter whether your salary was paid to you in cash, in a Singapore bank, or a foreign bank.
  4. It does not matter where the legal entity that is paying you resides.

For example, you could be working for Dell Singapore, paid by Dell USA out of Austin, with your money deposited into a Swiss bank account. You would pay personal income taxes in Singapore because you are resident in Singapore and earning money. And so it will be with you even though you are not working for any Singapore entity.

I am unfamiliar with UK tax codes to any great degree but it appears that personal tax residency is similar to that of Singapore. If you are out of the country more than 183 days than you are non-resident for personal income tax purposes and do not pay tax. This is further backed up if you have a primary foreign domicile.

I cannot speak at all about forming a business in the UK, except to say that, in general, businesses are always taxed in the country of their legal entity registration. I would add that from what I have read in these forums over the years, this will probably be the last choice you will make due to the complexities and the paperwork, and the possibility that you would pay business tax.

I don't think that forming a Singapore sole proprietorship is going to fly, either. If you form it, you need to have legal authority to work for it, which means you need to get a LOC or your own EP, and if you have read the numerous threads on this subject, it is not so easy to do any more.

Were it I in your situation, I'd form my company in a tax haven, a place where you can open a company and not pay taxes, and open a bank account to easily shuffle funds. Isle of Mann, the Caymans, and many others. Google 'offshore company' and you will get a long list of firms that will supply you with shell companies ready to go.

And in your case, you're not evading taxes at all. You are legally resident in Singapore... had you formed a SP, you'd pay tax on your SP income passed through to your personal return, and if you formed a pte ltd, you would pay no taxes or very little.

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PNGMK
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Re: Issuing invoices as a consultant

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 07 Sep 2017 8:12 am

Can the French company accept an invocie in your personal name with your FID or French ID as the registration number?

You could incorporate a Pte Ltd company in Singapore and get a company number but you'll need a Singapore resident director.

Alternatively look for 'Payroll Companies' - they act as the invoice issue company to the french company and collect the funds on your behalf and pay you. The good thing is they will make sure everything is compliant to local law. I used one years ago for a very similar reason. The one I used is below but I have no particular interest in recommending them.

http://www.aberdeenconsulting.com/
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Strong Eagle
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Re: Issuing invoices as a consultant

Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 07 Sep 2017 11:51 am

PNGMK wrote:You could incorporate a Pte Ltd company in Singapore and get a company number but you'll need a Singapore resident director.


PNGMK does have a point. You wouldn't actually need to apply for EP or LOC if you let a rented director run your company. You would need to check costs and you ought to do a search on 'rented director' for more info. It might be a pricey alternative unless you are pulling in big revenues.

DannyGShields
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Re: Issuing invoices as a consultant

Postby DannyGShields » Wed, 13 Sep 2017 2:17 pm

Complicated process! Have you got a good employment lawyer yet? Have you once consulted any in France? With their tips and advice it would be easier to carry on the process here. Visit the social sites to take the reference for which lawyer to hire.


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