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EP Approved, Sep 2012

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Shadowhawk
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EP Approved, Sep 2012

Postby Shadowhawk » Thu, 18 Oct 2012 11:00 am

Hi everyone,

It's been a while since I've posted on these forums, but I've been reading them extensively in the last little while to get a business up and running in Singapore. I'm happy to say that I've been successful, and I just wanted to share my details for those looking to do the same in the future as a way of paying it forward. My apologies if this infringes on forum policy.

I've been here since Feb 2012, and my contract, along with its EP, are set to expire at the end of this year. I wanted to start a one-man consulting business, but as many of you know, the change in EntrePass regulations over the past few years have made this essentially impossible. So instead, as many have suggested on this forum, I had a Singaporean start a Pte. Ltd. and hire me as an EP. During the process, there was a lot of pessimism on my part, partially because of the constant news and forum posts regarding EPs who are getting rejected and because this was a brand new company with no track record. However, we were successful in incorporating the company and getting a 2-year EP in about 2.5 weeks. Some particulars from my application, though their influence on my approval is unknown:

I am a 27 year-old Canadian with Chinese ethnicity. I have a master's degree from MIT, and approximately 4 years of experience in the job declared on my EP application. My salary puts me in the P2 EP category. The Singaporean who started the company runs another successful company started about 3 years ago. We have S$1 of paid-up capital.

Here are some bits of knowledge I picked up as a result of this experience which may be useful for those looking to do something similar:

It wasn't much of a problem to do the company incorporation and EP application ourselves. This works out to less than S$350 in application fees, and would have cost 3-4 times more if outsourced to a 3rd party. The entire process took about 2.5 weeks and was done completely online, but with a lot of phone calls to MOM and ACRA. If you are not already in Singapore, though, this will be a bit harder because you won't have an address, a phone number, etc.

Doing to EP application yourself is just about as much work as having a company (either one you are bring hired by or, I imagine, a 3rd party company helping you with the application) do it for you. It takes about 30 minutes online, and mine was processed in 2 working days.

One thing I read during the application process was that for new companies with no financial record trying to get an EP, it helps to demonstrate you have contracts showing work coming down the pipeline as proof of how the company will pay the EP's salary. However, if you apply for your EP on EP Online, there is no place for you to enter this information. A call to MOM confirmed that EP applications done on EP Online are not reviewed by human eyes, and attaching documents other than what they specifically ask for is of no use. I had gone through some pains to get a client contract in order before applying for the EP, but alas it was all for naught (and luckily was not required).

Had I been rejected for my EP, I would have tried to appeal in person at MOM with my prepared contract in hand. I figured the S$20 fee for an EP Online application was worth it as a shot in the dark - if it worked out, great; if not, there would have been further measures I could take.

Anyways, that's enough rambling for me. Again, a big thank you to those who contribute on this forum - it has been a great resource and I hope this contribution is useful for all.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 18 Oct 2012 11:53 am

Thanks for posting your experiences. Every little bit of knowledge helps.

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:15 pm

We have S$1 of paid-up capital.


Is this a typo? If so, please let us know the correct number. :lol:
Last edited by zzm9980 on Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:16 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
We have S$1 of paid-up capital.


Is this a typo? If so, please let us know the correct number. :lol:


That would be correct... that is all that is required to form a company. Used to be $2.

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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:18 pm

A call to MOM confirmed that EP applications done on EP Online are not reviewed by human eyes, and attaching documents other than what they specifically ask for is of no use.


*silence*

That silence you hear is the sound of a sub-continent full of people coming to a complete stop and scheming in their heads a way to get the ruleset MOM uses for EPOL processing.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: EP Approved, Sep 2012

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:20 pm

Shadowhawk wrote:Hi everyone,

It's been a while since I've posted on these forums, but I've been reading them extensively in the last little while to get a business up and running in Singapore. I'm happy to say that I've been successful, and I just wanted to share my details for those looking to do the same in the future as a way of paying it forward. My apologies if this infringes on forum policy.

I've been here since Feb 2012, and my contract, along with its EP, are set to expire at the end of this year. I wanted to start a one-man consulting business, but as many of you know, the change in EntrePass regulations over the past few years have made this essentially impossible. So instead, as many have suggested on this forum, I had a Singaporean start a Pte. Ltd. and hire me as an EP. During the process, there was a lot of pessimism on my part, partially because of the constant news and forum posts regarding EPs who are getting rejected and because this was a brand new company with no track record. However, we were successful in incorporating the company and getting a 2-year EP in about 2.5 weeks. Some particulars from my application, though their influence on my approval is unknown:

I am a 27 year-old Canadian with Chinese ethnicity. I have a master's degree from MIT, and approximately 4 years of experience in the job declared on my EP application. My salary puts me in the P2 EP category. The Singaporean who started the company runs another successful company started about 3 years ago. We have S$1 of paid-up capital.

Here are some bits of knowledge I picked up as a result of this experience which may be useful for those looking to do something similar:

It wasn't much of a problem to do the company incorporation and EP application ourselves. This works out to less than S$350 in application fees, and would have cost 3-4 times more if outsourced to a 3rd party. The entire process took about 2.5 weeks and was done completely online, but with a lot of phone calls to MOM and ACRA. If you are not already in Singapore, though, this will be a bit harder because you won't have an address, a phone number, etc.

Doing to EP application yourself is just about as much work as having a company (either one you are bring hired by or, I imagine, a 3rd party company helping you with the application) do it for you. It takes about 30 minutes online, and mine was processed in 2 working days.

One thing I read during the application process was that for new companies with no financial record trying to get an EP, it helps to demonstrate you have contracts showing work coming down the pipeline as proof of how the company will pay the EP's salary. However, if you apply for your EP on EP Online, there is no place for you to enter this information. A call to MOM confirmed that EP applications done on EP Online are not reviewed by human eyes, and attaching documents other than what they specifically ask for is of no use. I had gone through some pains to get a client contract in order before applying for the EP, but alas it was all for naught (and luckily was not required).

Had I been rejected for my EP, I would have tried to appeal in person at MOM with my prepared contract in hand. I figured the S$20 fee for an EP Online application was worth it as a shot in the dark - if it worked out, great; if not, there would have been further measures I could take.

Anyways, that's enough rambling for me. Again, a big thank you to those who contribute on this forum - it has been a great resource and I hope this contribution is useful for all.


:-k CBC with Masters from MIT & 4 years Experience. I reckon they were drooling in anticipation and couldn't wait to give it to you. Congratulations and thanks for sharing. It's appreciated. :wink:

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Re: EP Approved, Sep 2012

Postby Shadowhawk » Thu, 18 Oct 2012 2:20 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote: :-k CBC with Masters from MIT & 4 years Experience. I reckon they were drooling in anticipation and couldn't wait to give it to you. Congratulations and thanks for sharing. It's appreciated. :wink:


No problem! After reflecting on the application, I figured the three things working in my favour were being Chinese, going to a big-name school, and my Singaporean friend already having a good track record as a business owner. Maybe I wasn't too far off... 8-)

zzm9980 wrote:*silence*

That silence you hear is the sound of a sub-continent full of people coming to a complete stop and scheming in their heads a way to get the ruleset MOM uses for EPOL processing.


Yes, I had the same thought as well, but my theory is that even if you do a paper application, a clerk takes your paper application and enters it into EP Online's algorithm, so I'm thinking the end result is the same. It seems a bit of a waste for MOM to develop an approval algorithm that can be operated by an applicant and not make it available for use by MOM's own staff. So maybe the revelation here is that the EP approval process is algorithmic rather than on a case-by-case basis.

The machines are taking over. :o


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