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Starting a Business in Singapore and the Entrepass

Discuss your views about Singapore business & economy, current policies & issues, starting a business in Singapore.
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New Changes in Entrepass criteria

Postby boost7 » Fri, 15 Mar 2013 11:45 am

With the row of all new measures to keep and get quality FT, it seems all Entrepass holders are also getting sorted out.

Just read in local newspaper confirming that Entrepass criteria is getting tightened up from September 2013. Heads up boys, lets see what new criteria is all about.

Fingers crossed, as always it is, lets see what comes up

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Entre Pass or Company with the Nominee Diro!!

Postby FFF1234 » Sun, 05 May 2013 3:31 pm

Hi , I have been through almost most of the related topics on the subject of company formation but I am still a bit confused for my specific case. I am currently on PEP here but intend to quit my job and start my own Financial Futures trading outfit. Now reading through all about Entre Pass I am still unclear whether something like a financial trading firm will get approved in the Entre Pass regime. I recently met some of the Corporate Services firms and they all seem unanimous in stating that Entre Pass for something like a Futures trading firm will not be approved. They recommend opening a company with nominee director and then apply for EP ( in my case I am PEP but the doubt is whether MOM will be comfortable to let me work on PEP in a newly setup freshly minted company). The other thing which I am sort of unable to understand is how the capitalization of the company will work. I as an EP sponsored by that company will be allowed to hold shares in that company to capitalize it? In this case if that is not possible how would i pump the capital needed for the business? Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.
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Re: Entre Pass or Company with the Nominee Diro!!

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 08 May 2013 6:49 am

FFF1234 wrote:Hi , I have been through almost most of the related topics on the subject of company formation but I am still a bit confused for my specific case. I am currently on PEP here but intend to quit my job and start my own Financial Futures trading outfit. Now reading through all about Entre Pass I am still unclear whether something like a financial trading firm will get approved in the Entre Pass regime. I recently met some of the Corporate Services firms and they all seem unanimous in stating that Entre Pass for something like a Futures trading firm will not be approved. They recommend opening a company with nominee director and then apply for EP ( in my case I am PEP but the doubt is whether MOM will be comfortable to let me work on PEP in a newly setup freshly minted company). The other thing which I am sort of unable to understand is how the capitalization of the company will work. I as an EP sponsored by that company will be allowed to hold shares in that company to capitalize it? In this case if that is not possible how would i pump the capital needed for the business? Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.


The real question is "why would you want to put yourself through all the pain and anguish of trying to meet Entrepass requirements that can't possibly be met in your type of business?"

If you've read this thread, you know that you need a certain number of citizen hires and a certain amount of spending. If you are doing futures trading, it is unlikely you will meet the quotas.

So, yes, you will want to file to create a pte ltd and get a nominee director. You will then work for this company under your PEP.

Will this work? I don't know... and here are factors to consider.

a) MOM is well aware that unemployed PEP holders will resort to this game as a ruse to at least stay in country job hunting until the PEP expires. Thus, this is a negative factor for you.

b) People have created exactly this type of company (and situation) for the purposes of setting up professional type work, trading, forex, etc. MOM has approved such creations in the past.

c) Whether or not you get approved depends upon how well you can convince MOM that you have an actual viable business as opposed to a scam. Factors you may wish to include:

    Proof that you have experience in this line of work and are capable of running this company
    Proof that you have sufficient capital to make it go AND to support yourself until profitability
    Preparation of pro forma financials and a business plan showing how and when this business becomes self sustaining
    Some history of your ability to conduct these kinds of trades and/or potential clients for whom you will be trading
    Put enough real money into the company to show that you are serious about making work
    Note your use of Singapore lawyers, accountants, banks, etc
    Evidence of knowledge of licensing requirements, etc in Singapore to do this


This might be enough to get you what you want.

As for capitalization, consider:

a) You are the shareholder. You can put money into the company by issuing all the shares you want at whatever par value you want. So, you could put $50,000 in by issuing shares.

b) You will be the managing director (and should dump your nominee director when you are approved). As managing director, you can loan money to the company. You will have to observe the rules governing interest, etc.

Most people opt to loan money and only set up $2 worth of shares, mainly because it is usually easier to wind up a company that has no capital contributions. However, if you will be serving clients and you think that showing some "girth" in the form of capitalization will build gravitas, then you should make the capital contribution.

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Postby FFF1234 » Wed, 08 May 2013 10:37 pm

Thank you very @strongeagle.Really appreciate help. Will keep the board posted on progress.
FFF1234

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My experiences in setting up a local company

Postby DrPaulMasters » Fri, 16 Aug 2013 1:17 am

I wish I'd found this thread back in April, when I started the process of setting up my own company. Four months later, the company is up and running, but it has been an exhausting journey.

1. The Entrepass.

When I began setting up the company, a friend of mine had just had his Entrepass renewal rejected, so i was hesitant to go down this route, despite the exhortations of the agent. When I heard the new expenditure and employee requirements, I felt like I had dodged a bullet. Chiropractic is a service industry, and I'd never be able to employ ten staff members.

2. The Satellite Company

This seemed the easiest on paper, but for me to set one up, it required a round trip to the UK to for some paperwork.

3. Nominee directors

My nominee directors are worth their weight in gold, not only are we exempt from expenditure and employee constraints, the business has a local persona too.


4. ACRA Registration
When you register a company, ACRA checks the name against other registered companies. The number of companies registering every year in Singapore doubles every ten years (Source: World Bank), giving a fair number of companies to search through. This means that it can take longer than the advertised 5 days to set up the company. In my case, it took three weeks.

5. EPOL registration
The EPOL application paperwork is extremely complicated, and each time you make a mistake, you need to start the whole form over again, and not just amend it. After ten days, we had an EPOL pass

6. Employment passes
juding by how long it had taken to receive paperwork thus far, I was delighted with receiving a response after 48 hours. Unfortunately, it was a terse letter informing my company that they should seek an alternative candidate. The Immigration agent pointed out that this was an auto-rejection, as the computer had sent this message, and it probably indicated that my previous employer had made a complaint against me to extract his 454g of flesh. Apparently, this practice is quite common.

This is where the nominee directors came into their own. As locals, they have far more sway over MOM than a foreigner contesting the rejection of an Entrepass application, or a foreign corporation appealing an EP rejection. As with so much in life, its all about the networking.

I have learnt subsequently that there is a way of avoiding the auto-rejection trap, but at the time the point was moot.

7. Website
it was a shock to me to find out that the '.sg' suffix is a restricted domain name, so getting a local firm to register it was a lot easier than contracting with an offshore one. Obviously, you can host your site anywhere, but there is a limited time frame between the registration of the company and the issuance of the .sg domain for your company.

The actual content for the websitetook me about a month to write. I did have a lot of time on my hands, after all. The actual building of the website took about a day. I used a drag-n-drop builder called weebly, and copy/pasta'd a lot. Of course, the functionality of the site isn't the same as a professionally made one, so it will be replaced in the future.


9. Marketing.
Another shocker, emails are regulated. If you use email marketing, there has to be a way for people to opt out, or else you can have a fine of up to $1m, or $25 per email.


I hope these few pieces of advice have been useful for someone thinking of starting up, or who is halfway through their own process. All told, it took four months from start to finish to set up the firm; if your own process seems to have stalled, take heart. With perseverance, you can get anywhere.

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Postby MaryRR » Mon, 11 Nov 2013 10:46 pm

I will need to read through in detail a few more times but thank you for this information. When starting a business hard to decide which entity type to use.[/b]

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Postby marinabaysands » Sun, 15 Dec 2013 9:15 pm

Thank you for your helpful information! It's really help me a lot to have a overview when I want to open business in Singapore.

Could I summarize that if we want to open business in Singapore, there are the steps we must follow:

As you mentioned above, we should open private limited company in order to get Entrepass, it means only when we get Entrepass we are allowed to open business in Singapore?

We must have $50.000SGD in bank account.

We can hire temporary local people (Singaporeans, PR or EP holder) as director and after entrepass approved, we can be a director instead of local director above. This means that if I have foreign friend who is holding EP in other company in Singapore, he/she still can work as Director in my business?

Kindly help me to adjust them and modified if necessary.

Many thanks!

Jolie

We must have business plan.

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Postby MarkizaPol » Sat, 16 Aug 2014 12:32 am

Hi All,
My question is about how to get Entrepass since new changes in conditions.These ones:
1. Receives funding or investment from a recognised third-party Venture Capitalist (VC) or business angel who is accredited by a Singapore Government agency.

2. Holds an Intellectual property (IP) that is registered with an approved national IP institution.

3. Has ongoing research collaboration with a research institution recognised by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) or Institutes of Higher Learning in Singapore.

4. Is an incubatee at a Singapore Government supported incubator.

Is there anybody who gone through these rules?

We are going to open dancing studio and has everything to prepare, biz plan and pain up capital, but angency's consultant said that coz of these new rules Entrepass became almost impossible to get.For me it seems worth to try term 1. Is there any possibilities to push in through business angel who is accredited by a Singapore Government agency? Because IP is too long to get and the last two ones even scaries me just to read))

And EP also doesnt work for me, because i dont have High Education degree for my work field.

Thank you a lot for any advice and suggestions.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 16 Aug 2014 2:01 am

MarkizaPol wrote:Hi All,
My question is about how to get Entrepass since new changes in conditions.These ones:
1. Receives funding or investment from a recognised third-party Venture Capitalist (VC) or business angel who is accredited by a Singapore Government agency.

2. Holds an Intellectual property (IP) that is registered with an approved national IP institution.

3. Has ongoing research collaboration with a research institution recognised by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) or Institutes of Higher Learning in Singapore.

4. Is an incubatee at a Singapore Government supported incubator.

Is there anybody who gone through these rules?

We are going to open dancing studio and has everything to prepare, biz plan and pain up capital, but angency's consultant said that coz of these new rules Entrepass became almost impossible to get.For me it seems worth to try term 1. Is there any possibilities to push in through business angel who is accredited by a Singapore Government agency? Because IP is too long to get and the last two ones even scaries me just to read))

And EP also doesnt work for me, because i dont have High Education degree for my work field.

Thank you a lot for any advice and suggestions.


Your consultant is absolutely correct. You will never get an Entrepass to open a dance studio. The facts are:

a) No venture capitalist is going to dump money into a dance studio... unless you've got a great an unique idea... VC's expect a large return for undertaking high risk projects and I doubt you can generate enough return.

b) There is no IP associated with a dance studio... unless you've got something new and fantastic like dancing robot instructors or a patented teaching method that no one else uses.

c) A-Star will not be interested in a dance studio

d) A dance studio will not be able to get into a Singapore supported incubator.

It is quite clear that wants the Entrepass to be used only for a large scale startup or for a high tech company. You'll never qualify and even if you did, you would get killed with the renewal requirements.

Your only option is to incorporate a private limited and then apply for an EP from you company. Education is not the key factor. Your experience, your track record in running a dance studio, your business plan, and the amount of cash you have to support yourself to profitability matter more.

All you can do is try... I have no idea which way MOM would jump for a dance studio.

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Postby MarkizaPol » Wed, 10 Sep 2014 2:46 pm

Hello again))

Yes, after all researchings, it became clear that with dance studio EP is the only option.Now i'm preparing documents and my main question is how much agencies help with that questions?They charge is really expencive, may be somebody can recommend is it worth it or not?


Thank you for any advice,
Polina

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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 10 Sep 2014 8:41 pm

MarkizaPol wrote:Hello again))

Yes, after all researchings, it became clear that with dance studio EP is the only option.Now i'm preparing documents and my main question is how much agencies help with that questions?They charge is really expencive, may be somebody can recommend is it worth it or not?


Thank you for any advice,
Polina


Do you have any experience in developing a business plan? A good business plan would be a key element in convincing the government that you know what you are doing.

The agency could be a costly waste of time. Only you can know what your market will be, how you will market, how much you will charge, how many people you need to be profitable, where you will be located, what services you will offer, etc. At most the agency can only write down what you think you want to do.

Read the beginning of this thread you posted in... it's an older one about applying for an Entrepass... but much of the advice about preparing a business plan would also be applicable to you. And I've included a link that shows the outline of a business plan I used... probably not right for you, but gives you an idea of what you must do for yourself.

Biz plan sample: http://www.herberts.org/miscdocs/Sample ... ntents.pdf

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Postby MarkizaPol » Thu, 11 Sep 2014 12:41 pm

Yes, we have ready business plan. But biz-plan is not among documents that require for EP, i'm not sure how much it will help.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 11 Sep 2014 8:31 pm

MarkizaPol wrote:Yes, we have ready business plan. But biz-plan is not among documents that require for EP, i'm not sure how much it will help.


You obviously haven't been reading the various threads about getting an EP this way.

If you fail to include a business plan and other supporting evidence in your application, you will be doomed.

Don't you understand? For years, setting up a business, then getting an EP for it was a giant scam. People who had no experience, no business sense, and no money to start a business were doing exactly this to get into the country when they couldn't legitimately get in any other way.

The government got wise and clamped down on all these bogus business start ups. If you don't want your EP application to be summarily rejected, you will demonstrate your background, experience, credentials, business sense, and the money necessary to make it to profitability or you'll just be wasting your time.

Even then, with the current climate, you're no sure thing at all.

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Postby MarkizaPol » Thu, 18 Sep 2014 9:09 pm

I have read all official info about getting EP (forums, site of agencies and etc), especially the documents that require Mom site. But still i dont have clear picture how the process look like that is why my main question was is it worth to use agencies help or not. Because we have biz plan and all another support documects showing backgrounds and professionalism, having more then enough money for start up. And i just dont know how to use it the best way....
If there is someone who did get EP by themself, and ready to give this info for free ( couse agencies charge like 500$ per hour consultation) then it would be just great help. My case is not typical because i dont have High Education degree, thats why i want everything to be perfect to have higher chances for approve.


Thank you.

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Real estate for Singapore

Postby JacobDing » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 5:10 pm

If you want some kinda of business with out risk, so go for real estate business. Next few month it will a plenty of deal over there. Here is the best places for real estate deals.


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