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freelance writing while on DP

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addiegirl
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freelance writing while on DP

Postby addiegirl » Fri, 09 Nov 2012 4:33 am

hello guys, i searched through the forum but can't seem to find a situation similar to mine and i'm hoping you can answer my questions.

i have a dp and am not working in any sg company at the moment. i used to be a freelance copywriter on oDesk (an online work platform) and i write sales copies and promotional materials for companies based in the UK and US. it's only part time, just a couple of hours per day and income is only about $500 per month.

I want to go back to writing but i don't want to break any laws. do i need some sort of permit to do it? i can't possibly get a work pass since i'm not working under a singapore entity or can i?

also, i'm currently writing a book. if i want to publish or self publish here in singapore, do i need a permit?

thanks in advance you guys... and please don't flame me. im new. :(

offshoreoildude
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Postby offshoreoildude » Fri, 09 Nov 2012 10:03 am

My view is;


Overseas online work - if paid overseas and for the amount you're talking about - not a problem. IF paid locally you might raise a red flag. It might not be strictly legal but if there's no contract in Singapore and you're not 'employed' in Singapore it probably goes below the radar.

Booking writing - no issue. All published books in Singapore however need approval from a government authority - can't remember the name (Median and Print?). You might be better off publishing outside Singapore.
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taxico
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Postby taxico » Fri, 09 Nov 2012 10:28 am

MICA newspaper permit... (only for all "regular" publications if i'm not wrong!)

my wife has it for the local rag she publishes. her books don't have one.

this permit, however, is obtained by the publisher - usually not a contributing writer.

addiegirl
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Postby addiegirl » Tue, 13 Nov 2012 6:28 pm

thanks for the info... i appreciate it a lot. :)

Jellyhead
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Postby Jellyhead » Wed, 20 Mar 2013 2:33 pm

Thanks for beginning this thread Addiegirl - I have similar issues.

I have worked as a journalist in Singapore for magazines under both an EP and DP but now want to set up as a freelancer for a range of media, PR and corporate projects not just in Singapore but in the region and beyond!

My issue is that I believe this is not allowed for expats - I appreciate the various reasons for this but don't intend to stir up trouble and believe that my 20 years experience means that I am uniquely placed for this job i.e. a fellow Singaporean journalist wouldn't necessarily be able to do what I can do.

I want to set up a sole proprietorship and to pay tax but think there is a good chance that my application will be rejected. Some accountancy firms have even advised me to 'rename' what I do in order to avoid detection.

My question is - is there a way to work on projects with Singapore companies legitimately?

Addiegirl - I have also been told that as long as my work is for overseas clients/businesses then I don't need to declare the work at all. Whilst this is great news, I was also advised that it's worth saving aside the equivalent of what you would pay in tax just incase the Singapore government does catch up with you....it will at least minimise the problem and stress if that were to happen.

Offshoreoildude - great info and advice on the book thing. I too am writing a couple of books and don't want to be caught up in red tape regarding their publication here.

Thanks for any further advice peeps - and thanks for the info so far!

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 21 Mar 2013 4:21 am

Jellyhead wrote:Thanks for beginning this thread Addiegirl - I have similar issues.

I have worked as a journalist in Singapore for magazines under both an EP and DP but now want to set up as a freelancer for a range of media, PR and corporate projects not just in Singapore but in the region and beyond!

My issue is that I believe this is not allowed for expats - I appreciate the various reasons for this but don't intend to stir up trouble and believe that my 20 years experience means that I am uniquely placed for this job i.e. a fellow Singaporean journalist wouldn't necessarily be able to do what I can do.


Actually, under the list of occupations that MOM supplies for DP/LOC, there is, amongst other things: reporter, editor, copywriter, senior editor, etc. Thus, I believe this will not be an issue.

http://www.mom.gov.sg/Documents/service ... on_A-I.pdf

http://www.mom.gov.sg/Documents/service ... on_J-R.pdf

http://www.mom.gov.sg/Documents/service ... on_S-Z.pdf


I want to set up a sole proprietorship and to pay tax but think there is a good chance that my application will be rejected. Some accountancy firms have even advised me to 'rename' what I do in order to avoid detection.

My question is - is there a way to work on projects with Singapore companies legitimately?


If you look at some of the threads about forming a business and then getting a LOC, you will see that it can be done. I am of the opinion that it will be much harder to do as a sole proprietorship. Instead, consider a private limited. Also, your chances for approval will be much higher if you can demonstrate that you have work in hand, or will as soon as you are approved to work. If you go asking for a LOC and have to work you may be rejected.

Addiegirl - I have also been told that as long as my work is for overseas clients/businesses then I don't need to declare the work at all. Whilst this is great news, I was also advised that it's worth saving aside the equivalent of what you would pay in tax just incase the Singapore government does catch up with you....it will at least minimise the problem and stress if that were to happen.


There is nothing to "catch up" with. If all your work is done for foreign clients in a foreign country, and nothing ends up in Singapore, and you are paid other than in Singapore, you do not need to declare. As a matter of fact, you can be paid in Singapore as well but I wouldn't press the issue.

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04.aspx?id=104

If you have overseas contracts and you want to freelance locally as well, then I would declare all income in Singapore, and pay tax in Singapore instead of the home country. This makes you a tax contributor.

Offshoreoildude - great info and advice on the book thing. I too am writing a couple of books and don't want to be caught up in red tape regarding their publication here.

Thanks for any further advice peeps - and thanks for the info so far!


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