Singapore Expats Forum

Starting a Company

Discuss your views about Singapore business & economy, current policies & issues, starting a business in Singapore.
newstart
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri, 20 Jun 2008
Location: East Coast

Starting a Company

Postby newstart » Fri, 20 Jun 2008 11:20 am

Has anyone opened a business here using a business registration company. I have been in contact with 3 and they have all suggested the best way to open a company is by using themselves as a local nomminee until such point as one of us gets our P1 work pass. Our situation is we have lived here 2 years on P1 pass which is now recinded from finishing work for our current employer. Now wishing to open our own company we have been told conflicting reports. They say we do not need to open on an entrepass, but register our company first, then get our company to apply for a work pass. Other posts here suggest that may not be the case. I am happy to apply on the entrepass but these companies have suggested not to do so. Has anyone else been in this situation, and do these companies have good reputations (obviously not named any of them, but if people here have dealt with them they will know who they are)
Letsgo

User avatar
Mathew Wong
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed, 16 Jul 2008
Contact:

Same here

Postby Mathew Wong » Fri, 18 Jul 2008 10:05 am

Actually that has been my question too and so far nobody has replied to my last post. Either I'm asking the wrong questions or most likely everybody here is busy. And I'm planning to open up a rep office only. Which got my curious as to how things like this work in Singapore. Hopefully someone will give us some info or atleast point us to some agency online.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34260
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 18 Jul 2008 10:54 am

It would appear that Strong Eagle has been slightly off the mark recently as it would appear that, upon some research, that you can go either the EP route or EntrePass route.

The EntrePass route may be used by those who are not currently in Singapore and do not have requisite educational requirement to enable them to get an employment pass

The Employment Pass route can be used by those who are "normally resident" in Singapore.

"Normally Resident" is defined as one of the following: Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or Singapore Employment Pass / EntrePass / Dependant Pass holder.

The following is taken from .'s Website

Comparison: Singapore Entrepass versus Singapore Employment Pass

Foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish their business in Singapore and also reside here have two options to choose from: Entrepass and Employment pass. Each one has its own advantage in terms of ease of approval, processing period and mandatory requirements. Every prospective applicant should choose the best option depending on their personal circumstances and exigency.
EntrePass

The Entrepass is designed to facilitate the entry and stay of entrepreneurs in Singapore to directly manage the business operations. Dependant passes will also be granted for the immediate family to live work and study in Singapore. You may leave and re-enter Singapore any time and it is renewable for as long as the business remains viable. An EntrePass is issued to persons who can present a detailed Business Plan based on reliable information.

For an Entrepass the educational qualification is of little consideration while the applicant’s

* Entrepreneurial track record
* Prospects of the proposed business
* Viability of the plan
* Efficacy of the management team
* Salary expectations (adequate to cover living costs)
* Level of paid-up capital (adequate to sustain the business during early development)
* Current citizenship

as presented in the Business Plan and the accompanying testimonials will play a significant role when governments officials determine the outcome of the application.

There is no stipulation on the minimum capital injections or minimum turnover. No local Director or Shareholder is required to form your Company in Singapore, if your application is successful.

The EntrePass application must be sponsored by a well-established Singapore registered company or the applicant must furnish a banker's guarantee of SGD $3,000 if the application is approved.

Since the Entrepass is issued based on the Business Plan, it is imperative to write a sound plan giving a detailed overview of the business operations, marketing strategy, industry / market analysis, personnel strategy, economic value to the country, and the financial planning.

EntrePass applications are jointly determined by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board Singapore (SPRING). Business Plans are assessed by SPRING, while MOM will issue the EntrePass for successful applicants. This means the minimum processing time is at least six weeks.
Employment Pass

Alternatively, foreign entrepreneurs can first incorporate a company and later apply for an Employment Pass visa via the incorporated company. The Singapore Employment Pass comes with a valid stay visa for up to two years. The immediate family of the applicant will also be provided with a Dependent Pass to live, work and study in Singapore. The application can be submitted on-line. The outcome of the application from the Ministry of Manpower is therefore obtained within a shorter period of time and the probability for approval is higher compared to an Entrepass application. However, while incorporating a company a local Nominee Director is a prerequisite until the application is approved.

The Employment Pass is approved using the following criteria, based on a point system:

* Declared Salary of the applicant
* Age
* Position
* Educational Qualifications
* Skills
* Work Experience
* State of the company

Both Entrepass and Employment Pass have their own intrinsic worth. The Entrepass application gets a fair appraisal of the proposed business from the Singaporean experts, which helps gauge the genuine company prospects locally. The Employment pass is ideal for seasoned entrepreneurs who are confident of their venture and require a quick entry to kick-start their business.


This should go a long way to solving the riddling questions that have been bouncing around here recently. However, one still needs an AIP (IPA is the correct term though) if coming here on the Employment Pass route. And that is education based unless on a P1 basis with experience to back it up.

Hope that helps.

Disclaimer: I am not recommending .'s as I have not used them. They are on my links page in my signature as others have. There are several other links contained therein as well. I've posted a link here as their information is complete and laid out well on their site.

sms

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10408
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 18 Jul 2008 12:57 pm

Interesting, SMS. Learned something today. And still I see holes.

For example, the Entrepass application requires either a local sponsor for a new company or a $3,000 letter. But the EP only requires a guarantee from the local company. So, you can effectively set up a company with a net worth of zero and guaranty an EP.

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby ksl » Fri, 18 Jul 2008 1:10 pm

What is also relevant is the business itself, because some businesses will not qualify for entrepass status, this information is also available.

Although I do know someone, that came to Singapore on a 30 day visit and registered his company first, with ACRA, and was refused the entrepass, he is still operating business, but has to leave Singapore often, quite frustrating when he is paying tax here. Maybe he should be applying for the employment pass instead :???: The only way to find out is to contact them direct, there are no guarantees even using an agent, because that's what he did.

I would suspect, that bureaucracy will tighten up, because some of these so called business start ups, contribute nothing to Singapore, they only allow the person, to wheel and deal, which is not the same has being a propective employer of locals. I don't think the food industry is covered by the entrepass, only industrial, IT, manufacturing and specialised consultancy projects in graphic design and marketing

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10408
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 18 Jul 2008 2:12 pm

Good point ksl. Form a company to run a massage parlor, then use an EP to bring in a manager to run it? Would be strange.

User avatar
Mathew Wong
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed, 16 Jul 2008
Contact:

Thank you!

Postby Mathew Wong » Fri, 18 Jul 2008 2:22 pm

Thanks for the Info SMS, it looks as if the EP is the route to go if one wanted to start immediately in Singapore.

That's a good point StrongEagle, But how does one secure a gaurantee from a local company?

thank you again for your replies.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34260
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 18 Jul 2008 6:00 pm

It would appear that the EntrePass was designed for the born entrepreneur regardless of educational level (so the ability to write a good business plan and the necessary wherewithall to survive the first year monetarily is all that's really necessary) while the EP is for the person who is already resident in Singapore but that person still has to meet the relevant EP requirements to be approved by MOM.

Some holes, but look at what being done with the level of PR's and even EP getting approved now days. They are trying their darndest to replenish the badly depleted local gene pool. :o

User avatar
shidal
Regular
Regular
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun, 05 Mar 2006

Postby shidal » Sat, 19 Jul 2008 1:45 pm

............
Last edited by shidal on Thu, 11 Feb 2010 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My mind is a beautiful place to be.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34260
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 19 Jul 2008 9:27 pm

That's about the same as having a local partner in China or Thailand! Sure to lose you money.

guitarnoise
Member
Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun, 27 Jan 2008

Postby guitarnoise » Sun, 20 Jul 2008 8:40 am

One thing to consider when going the EP route over the Entrepress. The authorities are going to look closer at your startup capital and the salary you intend to pay yourself. If you start a business with only $1 you will have a much higher chance of being turned down for the pass. On paper the EP seems an easier way to go, but be aware that the authorities may be on the lookout for people opening shell companies so they can stay in Singapore.

User avatar
Mathew Wong
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed, 16 Jul 2008
Contact:

Why would you say that?

Postby Mathew Wong » Wed, 23 Jul 2008 11:04 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:That's about the same as having a local partner in China or Thailand! Sure to lose you money.


I'm just curious as to how you've come up with this conclusion? citation please?

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10408
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 23 Jul 2008 12:50 pm

guitarnoise wrote:One thing to consider when going the EP route over the Entrepress. The authorities are going to look closer at your startup capital and the salary you intend to pay yourself. If you start a business with only $1 you will have a much higher chance of being turned down for the pass. On paper the EP seems an easier way to go, but be aware that the authorities may be on the lookout for people opening shell companies so they can stay in Singapore.


Well, this is the thing that I don't understand. Let's say you form a private limited. You put your $1 in and you get a local nominee director. You choose an industry code that you think might be relevant to the kind of work experience you have.

So, the next thing that happens is that Ajax Technologies Pte Ltd (your new company), files for a P1 EP for you. Your nominee director doesn't know a thing about the business... he is simply being paid a fee for taking on director risk so you fill out most of the form describing what the job position is and why it cannot be filled with local talent. You supply the salary to be paid. The nominee director now signs the application along with you as applicant as a true statement.

Now, the company actually has $1 in paid up capital and no bank account. Because the company was not formed under the Entrepass scheme the Govt has no idea whether there are any contracts, any business opportunities, no nothing.

I think the nominee director could be at risk for illegal activity under such a setup. There is no way that I would ever act as a director unless someone could prove that they would be able to attract the business to pay the salary necessary and/or have sufficient capital available to pay the salary.

So, again, call me confused about this aspect of getting an EP with a company that barely exists.

Edited 23/7 at 1:43 PM - I've just looked at the manual EP application form. On page 2 there are the following questions:

1B: Financial & Other Information
Paid-up Capital (S$):
Value of Turnover of the Company in the past 3 years:
(1) ____________ :S$ ____________ (2) ____________ :S$ ____________ (3) ____________ :S$ ____________
(Year) (Year) (Year)

Total Number of Employees
Local (Singapore Citizen/PR)
Foreign


So, unless MOM has just completely thrown any criteria out the window, how does a start up with 0 revenue and 1 employee (a director, actually) get an EP?

And where is the employe's place of business to be if it is a shell company with only a registered address?

As I noted before you've also got to specify a monthly salary. Then it is the employer that must sign that the document is true.

There must also be a guarantor for repatriation, typically the employer. I don't understand how the Sing govt would accept a promise to repatriate from a brand new company with no bank account and no cash.

Maybe I need to contact the folks at Rivkin to get a better understanding.

Cheers.
Last edited by Strong Eagle on Wed, 23 Jul 2008 1:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

guitarnoise
Member
Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun, 27 Jan 2008

Postby guitarnoise » Wed, 23 Jul 2008 1:17 pm

Yes, being a nominee director is an onerous task. A business consulting company will ask for a security deposit. And charge you for this service too. They're making money by taking what they see as a calculated risk. I suspect the same names turn up fairly often as nominee directors.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Business in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest