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EntrePass / Incorporation

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savestheday
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EntrePass / Incorporation

Postby savestheday » Sun, 16 May 2010 10:02 pm

Hi all,

I have read through a lot of the topics on here, incl. the EntrePass sticky. All of which have been very helpful but I have a few questions that I couldn't find the answers to for my criteria. Here is some info:

- 2 x British Citizens (50/50) - We're not related
- Looking to set up a live music/dj promotions and event management company.
- $50k capital is fine
- Writing a good plan, again no problem, we would need to shorten ours to fit 10 pages. We have many benefits for Singapore - employing locals, growing industry, etc etc


1) What is the best way to go about applying for 2 EntrePasses? As I understand setting up a Pte Ltd would be the best option for us.

2) Although neither of us have degrees, we both have A-Levels and experience in our fields of about 4-5 years each. I presume that the business plan and capital will be the most pivotal point?

3) With the rule that you now have to employ two locals as part of the Q1 EntrePass. Do these have to be full-time employees or can they be part-time/flexi/contractual? Is there a minimum salary for the 2 employees?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

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Re: EntrePass / Incorporation

Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 24 May 2010 9:10 am

savestheday wrote:Hi all,

I have read through a lot of the topics on here, incl. the EntrePass sticky. All of which have been very helpful but I have a few questions that I couldn't find the answers to for my criteria. Here is some info:

- 2 x British Citizens (50/50) - We're not related
- Looking to set up a live music/dj promotions and event management company.
- $50k capital is fine
- Writing a good plan, again no problem, we would need to shorten ours to fit 10 pages. We have many benefits for Singapore - employing locals, growing industry, etc etc


1) What is the best way to go about applying for 2 EntrePasses? As I understand setting up a Pte Ltd would be the best option for us.


Yes, I am a big believer in setting up a pte ltd as you probably know from reading my posts, although that is not a mandatory requirement, and others, pre Nov, 2009, have gone the sole proprietor route. You might wish to consider an LLP which provides much the same benefits as a pte ltd.

As for process, read the main page here:

http://www.mom.gov.sg/publish/momportal ... ePass.html

and how to apply here:

http://www.mom.gov.sg/publish/momportal ... uired.html

You will note that your application is required to be submitted to a Singpost post office for processing so you will need a local contact... which is also needed for a Singapore mailing address. I am sure the accountant I emailed you about could handle these activities.

2) Although neither of us have degrees, we both have A-Levels and experience in our fields of about 4-5 years each. I presume that the business plan and capital will be the most pivotal point?


Yes, I would agree. None of us here have a crystal ball, and I would guess that the $50K requirement has cause applications to be severely reduced. My guess is that you would be approved on the basis of experience and capital, so long as the biz plan holds together.

[quote03) With the rule that you now have to employ two locals as part of the Q1 EntrePass. Do these have to be full-time employees or can they be part-time/flexi/contractual? Is there a minimum salary for the 2 employees?[/quote]

That is a tougher one to answer. There is no mention of part time/full time on the MOM page, and no minimum salary specified, although with the specified qualifications, these people will probably have an established minimum in the marketplace.

You might call MOM for info but you never know who you are going to get. You need to find someone higher up in the MOM organization; a trip and face to face would be the ideal way. However,

I'd proceed under the assumption that you will get things worked out as renewal time. For example, as an event company, you might have 8 or 10 workers for set up, only one or two in between.

Thanks for any help you can offer.


Etc: You are proposing to enter into a cut throat business in Singapore with a lot of turnover of companies and personnel. Anyone with a Mac and two speakers becomes a DJ/promotions company, and anyone with two plastic chairs and a tent becomes an outdoor event management company. It is easy for me to pick up 6 bids for stage, tenting, lighting, sound, and instruments for an event for 1,000 people. Of course, some are spotty, and the good ones, expensive.

Yes, there are quite a few events... from private parties, hotel hosted, to event and booth management for conventions, to the many outdoor events that require lighting, tentage, seating, the whole nine yards.

I think you will come in at a disadvantage. You might have the advantage in trying to get work from MNC's and expat organizations but I think you'll be hard pressed to get work from any Chinese organization. There are also quite a few long term relationships you have to compete against. And you'll have to work against companies that come in real cheap... and even though cheap aint good, a lot of stuff is bought on price.

A lot of event companies also provide all the regulatory fluff that comes with doing an event... like permits, evac plans, site license, etc. It's not a huge amount of stuff but you do need to learn the ins and outs.

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Postby savestheday » Mon, 24 May 2010 9:34 am

Thanks for your detailed response and e-mail. I think I may have thrown you a little off when I put event management there - live music/club nights would be our specialism. Although don't want to go in to too much detail on a public forum.

Just in reply:

1) Thanks for your accounts details. I also have a contact that lives there (a good friend of my brother) which could come in pretty useful.

2) Does this mean the employees don't have to be employed as soon as the business starts but as long as it is before the renewal assessment or in the second year? I will contact MOM re. hours and salary.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 24 May 2010 2:39 pm

savestheday wrote:2) Does this mean the employees don't have to be employed as soon as the business starts but as long as it is before the renewal assessment or in the second year? I will contact MOM re. hours and salary.


Your guess is as good as mine, and I bet the people at MOM will be guessing if you ask them as well. This whole policy is new and you get different answers depending upon whom you talk to.

OTOH, were you to hire 4 people 10 days before you reapply, I'm not sure how that would wash. For my company, in order to renew my EP under the old rules, I only had to note how many people were working for the company, without backup. It varied, and varies depending upon how many contracts I have going.

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Postby savestheday » Mon, 02 Aug 2010 6:01 pm

fyi - from MOM:

Employees to be full time employees which constitutes 35+ hours per week.


It is annoying that MOM state applicants will be granted 1-2 years before renewal is required. Due to the fact that if it is 1 year then 2 employees will need to be taken on in the first year but if given 2 years then surely you would only need to employ 2 staff in the second year.

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Postby sierra2469alpha » Mon, 02 Aug 2010 6:12 pm

I am with Strong Eagle on this - the new rules are a bit all over the place.

However, savethisday, are you maybe looking at the application the wrong way? I read your thread and, IMHO, a good explanation of all the questions MoM will ask might be a re-start point?

Our two businesses were pre-2009 and had no issues - both going well, employing many local Singaporeans and giving them heaps of training.

I'll also second Strong Eagle - there is SO much that is bought on price here, but I'll add to SE - even MNC's are buying work here at the moment, in various professions.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

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Postby ksl » Mon, 02 Aug 2010 7:38 pm

savestheday wrote:fyi - from MOM:

Employees to be full time employees which constitutes 35+ hours per week.


It is annoying that MOM state applicants will be granted 1-2 years before renewal is required. Due to the fact that if it is 1 year then 2 employees will need to be taken on in the first year but if given 2 years then surely you would only need to employ 2 staff in the second year.


I have a very good idea of your set up, as I have worked in the clubbing business with DJ's in Denmark. A DJ friend of min worked Singapore and Hong Kong for quite a while, he's now well established in Las Vegas the last 15 years. He's from London, you may wish to contact him with regards to the scene here in Singapore. Mike Fox was a Dj for quite a while in the far east http://djmikefox.com/ he may have some networking contacts.
Big events take place on Sentosa beach too, competition is probably very tough,with many event organisers for partying and commercial

With the new casinos and tourism push, opportunities should be more realistic around the Island.

There are plenty of Dj's to pull on board!

MOM and the rules on employment are pretty stiff, but are taken on a case by case scenario, your business plan will be monitored by spring for growth, so ideally you will pump money back into the business and employ people. What they are not looking for is people coming here just to have fun, and make a living, that is a big no no!

As you may read some entrepass holders are now finding it difficult to renew their applications, because they didn't meet expectations. A refusal can be very costly due to signed rent contracts and so on, so have an alternative plan for the worst kind of events.

Other than that go for it!

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Postby savestheday » Mon, 02 Aug 2010 9:02 pm

Thanks guys appreciate your feedback. In an ideal world I would much rather have the choice to employ part-time staff rather than full-time. However this wouldn't meet the requirements.

Even two full-time employees will be fine, although again I would rather employ these in the second year rather than the first. I just don't like the fact that if they only offer a 1 year initial pass that means in the second year I will have to employ 4 full-time staff. Which really is quite ridiculous.

I'm still working out my numbers but am in limbo on how I should document if the numbers make sense. Eg.

OPTION A

Yr1 - 0 employees
Yr2 - 2 employees
Yr3 - 4 employees

OPTION B

Yr1 - 2 employees
Yr2 - 2 employees
Yr3 - 4 employees

OPTION C

Yr1 - 2 employees
Yr2 - 4 employees
Yr3 - 4 employees

Obviously option A would be ideal but I don't think they would accept this. Option B is what I would like to apply with but I have a feeling they won't accept this either and are looking for option C.

Any thoughts?

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Postby ukdesigner » Mon, 02 Aug 2010 11:34 pm

I must admit the new rules are pretty harsh. I was given the choice of either going under the new rules or staying under the old system. The bit you do need to watch out for, other than the employing bit, is the TBS (Total Business Spend).

If memory serves it's about 100k in the 1st year and then goes up each year thereafter. I understand that they want high yield businesses but that is alot of cash. Admittedly if you pay yourself a hefty salary then I guess that would come under the TBS. Not sure if they consider owners / directors salaries as part of that figure though. I'd double check to be 100% sure.

In the past they were pretty flexible with the rules, as in if you gave a little BS in the plan, but I think they're being pretty rigid right now. Having just gone through the renewal process myself it took alot longer than in the past. I would recommend making sure that everything stacks up. I believe (and this is just personal opinion here, no great crystal ball unfortunately) that they are heavily scrutinising applications due to the backlash of the amount of foreigners here. If something doesn't add up or looks like it's been fluffed up you might catch a cold. I think above all you have to be realistic even if they aren't. Personally I think they're way off-base with the new rules but it's their country and thems the ones that makes the decisions so we abide accordingly.

Good luck and keep us posted on how you go.
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Postby savestheday » Tue, 03 Aug 2010 1:16 am

Thanks UKdesigner, I have actually read through the majority of your postings and found them really insightful. Especially as you applied yourself, which is what we are doing, albeit through a family friend in SG taking it to the post office and being the reg address.

The Total Business Spend isn't really an issue due to the nature of business we are in. It's the employment issue that could be the problem (I wouldn't even mind so much if they were just a bit clearer on the exact specifics).

We definitely will be realistic but I am keen to hear peoples thoughts on my Option A, B or C scenario above.

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Postby ukdesigner » Tue, 03 Aug 2010 1:29 am

If it was me I think I would go with option B.

However you might want to show employee salaries after say 6 months. That's a pretty realistic timeframe although I might add in freelance services or part time staff during the build up. That way you're not overly committing yourself to start with.
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Postby savestheday » Tue, 03 Aug 2010 1:42 am

Yeah I agree with that, we wouldn't be in a position to take on full-time staff straight away. I take it if we show employee salaries after 6 months but then in reality don't employ until month 8, for instance, then this won't be the biggest issue.

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Postby ukdesigner » Tue, 03 Aug 2010 2:06 am

Maybe you might want to initially propose that staff would be employed on a contractual basis. It's not ideal but it's an option. Another way would be the same basis but hired through a recruitment agency. SMS would know more about that as he's in recruitment. Not sure if they operate in a similar way to companies like manpower back home.

One advantage of that is they would be responsible for cpf etc etc. If you hire on a casual basis it's a bit harder plus paperwork might be a nightmare. See another thread about someone getting caught out by MoM who hired on a casual basis. Now they're in deep shit!

If there are agencies that do the temp thing I think I'd plump for that for a period of 6 months. Will cost more but will be a better way of managing your staffing levels initially whilst building up the business. Plus you're not paying for staff who are sitting around.

Another suggestion would ve close tie-ups with local companies, therefore allowing them to expand their workforce. Look for the companies whose services you need and maybe contact them. It might or might not help your application but it certainly can't hurt it. Shows initiative and a strong desire to succeed. Just a thought.

Apologies for any typos or strange words. Typing this on my phone :)
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Postby ukdesigner » Tue, 03 Aug 2010 2:26 am

Just another thought. What's unique about you compared to the other companies here? How are you going to attract foreigners to Singapore?

I think right now they are really pushing for companies that can bring money into Singapore from outsiders rather than taking money off the locals alone. If you have international contacts that'd be helpful and worth showing.

I've been involved with the clubbbing scene for years. I went, I clubbed, I drank and then fell down, lol. Actually there used to be an awesome club night called slinky that was pretty good. Was all over the UK and even went to Japan if memory serves. Not sure if it's still going now though. Was very high profile.
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Postby savestheday » Tue, 03 Aug 2010 2:59 am

Without going in to too much detail, the main difference we can bring is expertise, knowledge and International contacts. We also feel there is a gap in the market for doing the events regularly that we wish to provide. As well as new ventures/areas to expand in to. We're more live music than club nights but will be venturing in to both.

Although the majority of sales will be through people that are resident in Singapore, there will also be tourists currently in Singapore and people from surrounding countries visiting especially for our events.

We have been looking at both contractual and part-time for initial and ongoing staffing. It may be the case that we use both for a variety of tasks.

As far as I'm aware hiring a contactual or part-time worker shouldn't be too difficult, as you just report to CPF as you would do a full-time employee. Anyone please correct me if I'm misinformed.

Haven't really explored looking at recruitment agencies but that could possibly be an option, although I always hear using them can be expensive. I was thinking more along the lines of online jobsites/classifieds. Perhaps even through university boards for certain part-time jobs.

Not entirely sure what you mean by close-tie ups with local companies, allowing them to expand their workforce??

Cheers.


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