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Registering sole proprietor as foreigner

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martin82
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Registering sole proprietor as foreigner

Postby martin82 » Thu, 13 May 2010 6:37 pm

Dear board,

as the new EntrePass scheme seems to be an unacceptable hurdle for me I was looking into other alternatives.

I am doing webdesign and web development and have enough German customers to make a decent monthly income in Singapore (let's hope the EUR will not drop too much thanks to bloody Greek and Spain). Additionally I have some very promising business ideas for special web services in Singapore which could possibly make me a very rich person one day ;) So obviously at first I will not be able to deposit $50.000, hire 2 locals and prove an annual turnover of $100.000 - EntrePass is just not possible for me.

Also I'm having a far distance relationship with a Singaporean girl for over a year now so it is time to take the next step and see her more regularily.

What do you think about this plan:

- I will come to SG as a tourist and register a sole proprietorship

- Since I am a foreigner I need the help of a professional registration company. After some googling I contacted . and they said my plans are valid and the procedure would cost very little (not sure if I am allowed to put prices here on the forum, it doesn't really matter to me anyways. The price sounds reasonable).

- Since I am a foreigner I need to nominate a local manager. Thankfully my girlfriend is a Singaporean, so I would nominate her.

- I will also need to provide a local business address - my girlfriend's sister runs a successfull webshop and would allow me to use her business address for my busines as well.

- After registering the sole proprietorship I would head to OCBC and open a business account (deposit $500, maintain average balance of $10.000). From their website it seems to be possible for foreigners to open an account when I come physically and have my passport number and prove of home address at hand.

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So far so good. All this would mean that I have no status at all in SG thus I will always come with a tourist visa and stay for 90 days. That is not too bad anyways because

a) the private healthcare insurance I will buy for this adventure will only insure me for 3 months abroad. After that I have to return to Germany for at least a short visit. Then I can start traveling for another 3 months as well. This perfectly fits into the tourist visa scheme of SG which also only allows me to stay 90 days.

b) my friends and relatives back in Germany will be happy to see me every now and then :)

------------

My questions:

1) do you see any major flaws in this plan?

2) After the first year the healthcare insurance would allow me to travel for 12 months. Of course I would still be in SG on tourist visa but to safe money (on flights) I would consider to just cross the border to Malaysia and get back into SG immediately every 90 days - i heard that this is common practice for many people - is this true? Would SG refuse to let me in if they see that I am constantly crossing the border?

3) if any Germans are reading this - i will pay 239 EUR / month for the private healthcare insurance. It covers pretty much everyhting at highest rates so I think it is worth the money - maybe you know a better alternative?

3) Is . a trustworthy company? I'm a bit concerned that they might say "Yes its possible, just come to our office" only because they want to earn the money from me. They might not care at all if the things I will do are legal or not. I don't want to incorporate a business and end up in a dead end not beeing able to actually RUN the business.

Thanks to everyone for taking time to read this. Any advise from this great community is greatly appreciated!

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gravida
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Postby gravida » Thu, 13 May 2010 7:14 pm

First and big mistake in your plan - you are not allowed to work in Singapore on a tourist visa.

martin82
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Postby martin82 » Thu, 13 May 2010 7:33 pm

Okay that seems to be a valid point :(

But how can anyone enforce that rule? It's not like I am going to apply for a job and earn a fixed salary. I just "happen to be" in Singapore most time of the year and send some bills to international customers which results in an income for my sole proprietor business. This income would be subject to taxation in Singapore.

How will they determine that "I have worked" in Singapore and punish me?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 13 May 2010 10:33 pm

If you saw the number of surveillance cameras in this country, and the IT technology being used, you wouldn't even ask that question. George Orwell was writing about Singapore in his book "1984".

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Postby raden888 » Fri, 14 May 2010 3:21 pm

Haven't you been reading the other threads? Singapore is one place where you do not want to break the law, they do not care if you hold an EU or 3rd world passport...

Remember, that American kid that got caught spraying paint? Even slick Willie wasn't able to get him off the hook.

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Postby Asian_Geekette » Fri, 14 May 2010 5:02 pm

martin82 wrote:Okay that seems to be a valid point :(

But how can anyone enforce that rule? It's not like I am going to apply for a job and earn a fixed salary. I just "happen to be" in Singapore most time of the year and send some bills to international customers which results in an income for my sole proprietor business. This income would be subject to taxation in Singapore.

How will they determine that "I have worked" in Singapore and punish me?


Fatal mistake! Why did you announce to the world your plans? Right now, your IP address is being tracked and recorded. All you say and do will be held against you. The latest forensics software is being used to find out where you're logging from. :cool:
My business is not to remake myself, but make the absolute best out of what God made. -Robert Browning

martin82
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Postby martin82 » Fri, 14 May 2010 6:32 pm

Hehehe :)

No worries, dudes. I'm not going to do anything illegal. Thats why I keep asking questions here PRIOR to make any possibly illegal decisions.

I guess I will swallow the bitter pill and just travel to Singapore on a tourist visa while operating my business as a German sole proprietor subject to German tax *grrrrr*

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Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 14 May 2010 10:30 pm

martin82 wrote:Hehehe :)

No worries, dudes. I'm not going to do anything illegal. Thats why I keep asking questions here PRIOR to make any possibly illegal decisions.

I guess I will swallow the bitter pill and just travel to Singapore on a tourist visa while operating my business as a German sole proprietor subject to German tax *grrrrr*


If you actually have a successfully operating business, I would apply for an Entrepass. I earlier contacted MOM after the changes were made, asking if they actually intended to restrict viable businesses which would pay taxes and earn foreign revenues even though they won't meet hiring requirements. The answer was, "we look at all cases on a one to one basis".

So, if I were you, I would:

a) Register your business, and not as an SP, but as a private limited... it is a much better thing to do if you are trying to work here permanently. Your friend is the local director, you are a shareholder, then you apply for an EP. I'll say it again... if you register as an SP, you're a local yokel,,, proof that you have no money, no staying power. Register as a pte ltd and you at least show willingness to follow a more complex business process.

b) If you get rejected, you appeal, with well done P&L, balance sheet, and biz plan that shows you have a successful business that just wants to move to SG as headquarters.

c) If appeals fail, apply for the Entrepass. Apply for an exception to capital requirements, based upon income flows and existing customers.

What you are trying to do is illegal and if Rivkin is actually telling you your plan is cool, then they are ripping you off.

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Postby morenangpinay » Sun, 16 May 2010 7:35 pm

yeah you cant work or earn a living here if you dont have the work pass. also if you frequently travel to Singapore, sooner or later the immigration officers will wonder why.

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aster
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Postby aster » Mon, 17 May 2010 11:55 am

As mentioned, register a Pte Ltd company and be the non-resident director. There is nothing to stop you from coming to Singapore for both business & pleasure.

Then one day, if you decide to move here and become a resident director, your company will apply for an EP on your behalf.

This is the normal way to do things, I don't know if you can register a SP as a non-resident.

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Postby therat » Mon, 17 May 2010 1:34 pm

http://www.acra.gov.sg/SoleProprietorsh ... ership.htm

Foreigner Registering a Sole-Proprietor/Partnership

EntrePass

A foreigner who is not a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) may apply for EntrePass from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in order to register a sole-proprietorship / partnership in Singapore.

[color=blue]A foreigner who does not apply for EntrePass may instead appoint a locally resident manager to register a sole-proprietorship / partnership in Singapore and continue to reside outside Singapore. “Locally resident”

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Re: Registering sole proprietor as foreigner

Postby tommy76 » Fri, 07 Jan 2011 1:13 am

Hi martin,

I know this is a late post. But i am in the same situation as you also from a EU-country. I just want to check with you how you did in the end?

Cheers and happy new year 2011

//Tommy


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