Singapore Expats Forum

Startup company in SG? Creatives? S-EP?.. help?

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

wastedcoolie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat, 08 Apr 2006

Startup company in SG? Creatives? S-EP?.. help?

Postby wastedcoolie » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 6:05 am

Greetings!

I'm chewing over an idea but I need to know if there is any *reality* to it...

The basic plan, as far as i know, is:

A UK associate who i have worked with, and for, has a pretty robust business plan drawn up for starting a small company in Singapore.
I understand that he's applying for the Entre-Pass which is most suited for someone starting up a business in SG, and is for 2 years.

So, in summary, my guess is that he wont have much trouble unless the SG authorities dont like his business plan [Does SG appreciate creative businesses?].
He plans a submission within the next few weeks, with a view to move out and start running in June.

Now, here it comes to .. me.

My associate has expressed a view to hiring me for this new company.

My background is long and varied, but all creative, covering about 8-9 years.
I'm likely to be 1/3 or 1/2 of the skillset for the operation, if i work there.

What we've surmised so far is that for this to work, he sets up his company in SG, and then i apply/he sponsors me to come over and work for him [wage isnt going to be too hot since its a startup - hopefully this may change *if* business is good].
It seems the form/visa Social-EntrePass or EntrePass [unlikely since i'd be an employee?] would apply in this case.

Is the onus actually *on him* to apply and sponsor me to come over? Whats the likely timeframe on that?


I *think* I've covered our intentions:

I work as employee for him [local rates or something] in this company in SG. Likely to be 1-2 years, depending on company success, if it really takes off or we like it so much, stay/work beyond that.


In short, we/I wish for the following timetable:

He applies for EP/company start-up in April/May in SG [local contacts not a problem].
He moves over and starts company in SG, in June.
I apply for pass/he sponsors me in May.
I move over and start work in June/July [latest].


So, i'd like to know how far off the ball i am on this.

Is it too soon to apply to work for his company in Sg if hes only starting up in June?
i'd like to get out there asap.

He is financially secure/backed [I am not so]. Do i have to be as well??
Must i have some kind of rocksolid financial background/history to even consider applying to work in SG?

i gather the S-EP, if that is indeed the correct one i should go for, is only for 6 months? So i must re-apply every 6 months for 1-2 years?

Is SG likely to say no to his company hiring someone from overseas to work in SG?

Our idea is that the local talent wont have the kind of background/experience i have to get that kind of work going in that company, although it may or may not be in the original business plan
submitted. Is that a valid argument?

I did have a business meeting with a similar company owner a couple of years back in SG and he seemed to indicate that he couldnt get the local talent and so was outsourcing overseas [india..].

so, is my idea of working for my associates company in SG, by June, pie in the sky?

Or should I sh!tcan it - its just a pipe-dream - and go back to the grind here...?

i'm not looking to get rich-quick/live-'pat bateman style' in SG, just needing a change of lifestyle/work in pastures new, and not being run ragged in soho [london] as i usually currently am...

Any ideas, advice, etc greatly appreciated as this'll be a life-changing decision i think, to leave UK for now and go for SG..

OTOH, after all that, if the company fails, but i still plan on staying in SG, what are the likely job prospects, or is my tie to the old company going to cause problems? i gather that if the company goes, my S-EP would be invalidated. Are there agencies in SG that find work for foreign
creatives?

oh, one more thing. i'm a [32, degree, etc] british born chinese, though without chinese-language skills [they got absorbed in being 'creative'...] - is this likely to cause an issue? good or bad?
effect on salary expectations? i have an islamic surname - is that going to cause an issue [like..erm.. lower paid south-asians, etc]

User avatar
jpatokal
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue, 09 Dec 2003
Location: Terra Australis Incognita

Postby jpatokal » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 2:52 pm

Sounds entirely feasible to me, assuming that your friend is on the ball and has his EntrePass application accepted. There's a major govn't push right now for more creative artsy-fartsy stuff, see eg. Creative Community for just one initiative designed to help this.

However -- instead of having the company just hire you, I'd suggest that your friend includes you in the EntrePass application and nominates you as a company director or at least shareholder when he creates his company. This way you have much stronger grounds for getting the EP, as you're a part of the company.

If you're hired and applied purely as an employee, the bar is raised because he basically needs to prove that your skills cannot be sourced locally. I'm sure what you say is true, but the issue is proving it to the bureaucrats, esp. if your salary is low and you don't have super-sexy university/work experience qualifications or whatever. Finances before you come to Singapore aren't really an issue, they're above all interested in your salary (which directly determines your type of employment pass) and your educational/work qualifications.

Once you have landed in Singapore and held the job for a year or two, it's quite straightforward to apply for Permanent Residence (PR) and after you've got that you're free to swap jobs at will. The Islamic surname will be a minus at first glance, but entering "Chinese" as your race on the many, many application forms where this is asked should help balance out things.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

wastedcoolie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat, 08 Apr 2006

Postby wastedcoolie » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 9:59 pm

Thanks for your reply jpatokal,

I'm pretty sure my associate is on the ball, as hes entirely serious about the change of scenery [he's been in SG longer and more times than i have], and he seems to have a robust backer for the project.

We both figured that now might be the right time for this kind of 'creative' venture, what with the introduction of both the Disney and Lucasfilm offices in SG.

I'm unsure that my associate would want to include me as 'part' of the company though, seeing as he's already drawn up the plan and is probably 'licking' the stamp as we speak.
Also, I'm presuming that the whole 'provide payslips/pay $3k' thing would also apply to me, which, in my estimation, might hamper rather than help.
Although, yes, I appreciate that it would put the EP application on stronger ground..
If you're hired and applied purely as an employee, the bar is raised because he basically needs to prove that your skills cannot be sourced locally.
Hmmm. This was also partially why we thought 'jump in now rather than later'. I'm aware of a few courses that have popped up in the local poly/uni's that would be teaching students my skills..
The feeling that, if i left it any later [we've mulled over this a few times in the past couple of years], my position might be replaced by eager, cheaper, locals.. [not that that isnt also happening here in the UK, lol]
which would be harder to disprove to the SG authorities..
Not sure how to get round this one.
if your salary is low and you don't have super-sexy university/work experience qualifications or whatever.
Hmmm, the low salary expectation [currently undecided sum, but hopefully enough for me to live relatively ok, whilst also paying off my liabilities in the uk] was more to help the company along/make me not look too expensive to my associate..
Qualifications and experience should be ok - 2:1 in relevant degree, 8-9 years of experience in everything from games, web, tv studios to post/music vids/viral ads/ad previz/corporate, etc.
Finances before you come to Singapore aren't really an issue, they're above all interested in your salary (which directly determines your type of employment pass) and your educational/work qualifications.
Thats good to hear for the most part, but kind of goes back to the salary issue...hmmm.
So, the higher the salary, the more likely the EP will be issued?
Is a 2:1/degree and 8-9 years experience enough to be seen as 'super-sexy'?
Once you have landed in Singapore and held the job for a year or two, it's quite straightforward to apply for Permanent Residence (PR) and after you've got that you're free to swap jobs at will.
great!
The Islamic surname will be a minus at first glance, but entering "Chinese" as your race on the many, many application forms where this is asked should help balance out things.
Yeah, i have a mixed family background which explains the surname and it did suddenly cross my mind about how the races are dealt with in SG [i'm not reflecting anything bad on SG, just aware that south asians appear to be happier with lower salaries/positions ala the Generalist IT job category..] - but as you say, me being able to tick Chinese in the box would do much to balance that.
I've noticed i've obviously been readily accepted in sg based on my looks, though when the credit card came out i get double-takes.
Which, post 9/11 i've had increasingly in the west as well .. lol.. ish..

Very interesting. I think, personally, i need to weigh up the abilities of my associate to pay me enough/look good enough for SG to give me an EP, with that of possibly getting a better wage packet in the uk [but offset with the higher cost of living in london]...

hmmm

User avatar
jpatokal
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue, 09 Dec 2003
Location: Terra Australis Incognita

Postby jpatokal » Mon, 17 Apr 2006 8:32 pm

wastedcoolie wrote:I'm unsure that my associate would want to include me as 'part' of the company though, seeing as he's already drawn up the plan and is probably 'licking' the stamp as we speak.
Also, I'm presuming that the whole 'provide payslips/pay $3k' thing would also apply to me, which, in my estimation, might hamper rather than help.
Although, yes, I appreciate that it would put the EP application on stronger ground..

Not necessarily -- for example, a Singaporean company can have a foreign director (non-Singaporean, not based in Singapore), who doesn't even need to be paid a salary. But if said director wants to come to Singapore, the mere fact that he is a director will help. Obviously there are various legal implications to be being one, for both you and your associate, so if you decide to pursue this route you need to talk to him ASAP.

Thats good to hear for the most part, but kind of goes back to the salary issue...hmmm.
So, the higher the salary, the more likely the EP will be issued?
Is a 2:1/degree and 8-9 years experience enough to be seen as 'super-sexy'?

Sounds pretty solid to me. But yes, there's a direct correlation between salary and not just the odds of getting the EP, but your rights once in Singapore. The two basic cutoffs are S$2500 and S$3500. Under S$2500, you can only qualify for a Work Permit, which is kind of a semi-skilled thing and places obligations on the employer too, and is generally not good. S$2500 to S$3500 (plus a uni diploma) qualifies you for a "Q"-type Employment Pass, and S$3500+ should get you the "P2" pass. S$7000+ gets you the "P1" treatment, where they roll out the red carpet for you at Changi Airport and bring you to immigration with a stretch limo full of Singapore Girls. Capitalism, learn to love it!

Very interesting. I think, personally, i need to weigh up the abilities of my associate to pay me enough/look good enough for SG to give me an EP, with that of possibly getting a better wage packet in the uk [but offset with the higher cost of living in london...

All things being equal, I'd say go for it. Your qualifications now that you've spelled them out look good enough that I don't think you'll have major issues getting the permits -- and above all, you know you'll regret it if you don't take the plunge.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

wastedcoolie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat, 08 Apr 2006

Postby wastedcoolie » Tue, 18 Apr 2006 8:45 pm

Thank you again for your advice!
Not necessarily -- for example, a Singaporean company can have a foreign director (non-Singaporean, not based in Singapore), who doesn't even need to be paid a salary. But if said director wants to come to Singapore, the mere fact that he is a director will help. Obviously there are various legal implications to be being one, for both you and your associate, so if you decide to pursue this route you need to talk to him ASAP.

Interesting. This may be the way that he is working with his backer, perhaps.
Sounds pretty solid to me. But yes, there's a direct correlation between salary and not just the odds of getting the EP, but your rights once in Singapore. The two basic cutoffs are S$2500 and S$3500. Under S$2500, you can only qualify for a Work Permit, which is kind of a semi-skilled thing and places obligations on the employer too, and is generally not good. S$2500 to S$3500 (plus a uni diploma) qualifies you for a "Q"-type Employment Pass, and S$3500+ should get you the "P2" pass. S$7000+ gets you the "P1" treatment, where they roll out the red carpet for you at Changi Airport and bring you to immigration with a stretch limo full of Singapore Girls. Capitalism, learn to love it!

LOL, yes, I had a read through the MOM site and noticed these thresholds.
Again, i'll probably have to consult my associate as i'm unsure of the figures on his side..
All things being equal, I'd say go for it. Your qualifications now that you've spelled them out look good enough that I don't think you'll have major issues getting the permits -- and above all, you know you'll regret it if you don't take the plunge.

Heh, I've been through a couple of failed venture startups which hasnt exactly filled me with hope for any new projects like this, but this whole idea is just so tempting, and also perhaps very achievable this time..
Everyone has told me i'd regret it if i dont take the opportunity..
Afterall, i'm not getting any younger, and working on and off outside of the corporation means i didnt exactly get on any promotional ladder either ...
Had a couple of 'grass-isnt-necessarily-greener' exchanges with my friend whos been in sg for some years though, but weighed against the way i feel working here, it doesnt seem too bad at all..

Thanks again, jpatokal!


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Careers & Jobs in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests