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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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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:43 pm

MarkizaPol wrote: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.


It is not worth the money to use an agency. First of all, the most they will know about your business is what you tell them. They are stupid otherwise. The only thing you _might_ find an agency useful for is to create a professional finished product for submission. But, once done, they are going to put the application in the mail or drop it in the box by the front door of MOM. They do not have any special ability to push your application though MOM, and in fact, if MOM thinks you used an agency, they may well decide you are trying to pull one over on them.

If you investigate the agencies, find out exactly what they are going to provide for the money they will charge. Ask to see copies of the documents they will prepare for submission.

For you to start up your own business, you will have to do the following:

a) Find a "normally resident" person in Singapore who has a Singpass and is willing to be your director.

b) This person forms a private limited at IRAS with her/him as a managing director and you as a shareholder ($2).

c) You prepare your application for EP that your director will submit to MOM. It is very important that you do not submit your EP application online as you will not have a chance to submit supporting documentation with it. Submit the EP application for you manually.

d) In addition to the EP application form, you will want to submit the following:

1) A business plan of not more than ten pages which:
- shows your marketing and sales plan
- shows where you are going to set up your business and why it is the right place.
- identifies your competition and how you will deal with it
- shows how you are qualified to successfully run this company
- provides 3 years of pro forma financial statements that shows how your company will start and grow to profitability
- provides a concise resume of your skills and background
- Provides evidence of money in the bank via statements or other documentation

All of this information, plus a cover letter is submitted by your director along with your EP application, manually. Be prepared to have additional questions asked, and if your EP is rejected, your director must be ready to appeal... for example, by changing projections, sales, marketing... something that makes your company and you more desirable.

I'll say it again... this entire exercise is to prove to MOM that you're not somebody trying to scam the system by getting an EP from a bogus business.

If you want to use an agency, ask they what they will want from you in order to submit your application. If they don't ask for all of the above and more, they are handing you a line of crap.

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Re: Starting a Business in Singapore and the Entrepass

Postby rschadwick » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 4:34 pm

Wow, this is a lot of information to take in. Perhaps someone can give me some advise. I'm a dependent spouse (American) currently living in Seoul, however, will be relocating to SG in a few weeks. I recently completed my Dependent Pass application, however, I started a small business while in Seoul and would like to official register it in SG. My questions;

1. Will having a Dependent Visa effect my applying for an EntrePass?
2. Should I apply for the EntrePass rather than a Dependent Pass?
3. My business is exporting tea from Korea to various locations globally. It is a new business but with potential. However, I besides eventually employing Singaporeans once revenue is generated and importing products into Singapore, based on what I read I don't believe it will be seen as a 'benefit' to Singapore.

I appreciate the help and feedback. Looking forward to a new adventure! Cheers.

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Re: Starting a Business in Singapore and the Entrepass

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 13 Feb 2015 11:00 pm

rschadwick wrote:Wow, this is a lot of information to take in. Perhaps someone can give me some advise. I'm a dependent spouse (American) currently living in Seoul, however, will be relocating to SG in a few weeks. I recently completed my Dependent Pass application, however, I started a small business while in Seoul and would like to official register it in SG. My questions;

1. Will having a Dependent Visa effect my applying for an EntrePass?
2. Should I apply for the EntrePass rather than a Dependent Pass?
3. My business is exporting tea from Korea to various locations globally. It is a new business but with potential. However, I besides eventually employing Singaporeans once revenue is generated and importing products into Singapore, based on what I read I don't believe it will be seen as a 'benefit' to Singapore.

I appreciate the help and feedback. Looking forward to a new adventure! Cheers.


You will never qualify for an Entrepass, and if by some magic you did, you would regret it, given the onerous terms of renewal. Read my very first post in this thread as I have updated the Entrepass requirements.

Your only hope of getting your business off the ground is to form a company with a local director who will then file for an employment pass for you. If you are running a business already then you may have an advantage... you'll need a business plan, pro forma financials, etc. Do a search for 'employment pass' and look for my posts... I've written on this subject a number of times. Or, look at the post immediately above yours.

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Re: Starting a Business in Singapore and the Entrepass

Postby hazyrose » Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:39 pm

I think that should be better.

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Re: Starting a Business in Singapore and the Entrepass

Postby kkboy1 » Wed, 08 Jul 2015 2:38 pm

I have a oversea friend who wants to start a business in Singapore.
What type of business can apply Entrepass ?
ECommerce Retail Business can apply?

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Re: Starting a Business in Singapore and the Entrepass

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 08 Jul 2015 3:00 pm

One that will need to hire Locals. Without which, you can pretty much forget it.

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Re: Starting a Business in Singapore and the Entrepass

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 08 Jul 2015 8:39 pm

kkboy1 wrote:I have a oversea friend who wants to start a business in Singapore.
What type of business can apply Entrepass ?
ECommerce Retail Business can apply?


Have you bothered to read this thread? Unless your company:

a) Is funded by an accredited venture capitalist
b) Holds IP property rights or patents
c) Is collaborating with A*Star
d) Is part of the Singapore business incubator program

you won't get an Entrepass. Read this thread from the beginning.

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How can we full fill these new requirements for entrepass?

Postby Umarasif » Tue, 21 Jul 2015 3:32 am

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



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


I want to start a new business in singapore. How can i fullfill any of the above requirement. Please guide if any one know?

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Re: How can we full fill these new requirements for entrepass?

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 21 Jul 2015 6:18 am

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



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


I want to start a new business in singapore. How can i fullfill any of the above requirement. Please guide if any one know?


Simple... File for an receive a patent for some kind of technology or process... or... get one of the goverment incubators to sponsor your business... piece of cake.

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Re: Starting a Business in Singapore and the Entrepass

Postby Umarasif » Wed, 22 Jul 2015 12:43 pm

What about Research?

ongoing research collaboration with a research institution recognized by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) or institutes of higher learning in Singapore.

this could be Piece of cake ???


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Re: Starting a Business in Singapore and the Entrepass

Postby sgquestions » Wed, 28 Oct 2015 11:29 am

Thank you Strong Eagle,

now I regret that I didn't check out your posts before I did my EP application. I registered my own company with ACRA with a local person 2 weeks ago, me as major shareholder and acting director.

Now I got this dreadful message from MOM "Your company's turnover does not seem to generate enough revenue .....", I will follow your advice and compile a business plan for my appeal, my question here: will it be better to do it manually (submit it myself at counter) or should it be submitted online? on top of that, as a start-up, I won't have signed contracts or whatsoever as my supporting material, but my capital and my planning.

if I submit it myself at counter, not sure if I can find the person who's in charge of my case. any suggestion? please help!!!

Thank you with great appreciation

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Re: Starting a Business in Singapore and the Entrepass

Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 31 Oct 2015 11:40 pm

Question: What is your current residence permit status?

I'll answer in a couple of ways. First, you can't be an acting director until you have an approved EP. Being a director for your own company is considered working. The local person has to be the managing director until such time as you successfully obtain EP.

Second, as you are aware, I have confirmed with MoM that they will issue EP's on a case by case basis, if the experience, skills, cash, and future potential appear to be real and realistic. When I arrived in Singapore in 2004, starting a company and getting an EP was the scam de jour... people with zero experience and zero money were making up really stupid business plans and getting them approved... and tons of unqualified people were able to scam their way in... hence the tightening of the application process.

I judge that any combination of the following things will increase your chances for EP approval.

a) Solid and demonstrable track record in the type of business you want to start, preferably as a business owner, but if not, as a senior manager in same.

b) Demonstration of solid business experience... financials, management, personnel, taxation, etc... demonstrated partly through a slick business plan, certificates, training, or other documentation.

c) Demonstration of clients, contracts, or a realistic marketing program that identifies your target market, your intended penetration and sales techniques, such that you identify a pool of customers in a given price range that satisfies the revenue projections in your pro forma financials.

d) Realistic pro forma financials that include 3 to 5 years of revenue and expense projections and your breakeven point. I judge these to be critical... false assumptions, left out factors, and inflated numbers will get you shit-canned.

e) A bunch of cash... in the bank at least... or, in one of the few cases I might recommend more than a $2 company, as the amount of cash invested in shares in your company.

f) Kind of boilerplate... and... your intent to hire Singaporeans or contract with Singaporean firms, keep your money in Singapore banks, etc.

I understand that MoM still uses Spring (http://www.spring.gov.sg/) as the vetting agency for people making application for EP like you want to do. It's been a few years for me, and, Spring was pretty much on top of understanding businesses and financial statements.

I judge that if you are trying to start a brand new business in which you have little or no experience, the hill you must climb will be much steeper for the scam reasons mentioned above. A lot of cash would probably help.

Third, I do not believe there is any way to walk in and submit a manual application at the counter. Someone please correct me if the following advice is in error... it's been a while. I do not think you can submit all the necessary documents online... there is no provision for uploading business plans, etc in the EP application.

Since you have been rejected, you have a case officer. I would contact the officer and/or MoM in general to determine how to file a written appeal, then go that route. Otherwise, documents have to be submitted through Singpost... see the instructions on the MoM website.

Good luck.

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Re: Starting a Business in Singapore and the Entrepass

Postby sgquestions » Sun, 01 Nov 2015 7:41 am

Thank you Strong Eagle, for the very very comprehensive response.

Background:
I've been in the senior management level for multi national corps for years, unfortunately the application forms takes only TWO last jobs which happened to be shitty, so didn't have a chance to pull out the big names.

I setup the company with x0,000 in capital together with a local, who's a friend too. and because the uncertainty of my EP, I have not yet to open the bank account, reasons being that if EP fails, so goes the dream of this great corp :). so No bank statement. No past tax records. No other hires.

I am convinced that the business will work and I made a clear financial projection, HR planning, breakeven, cashflow, engagement letter... etc.

The MOM suggested the following items to be prepared:
1- "Details of the employer's business activities" : I made a business plan as Strong Eagle suggested in another post
2- employment contract: I made a contract between the other shareholder and me, hiring myself as general manager in the condition if EP granted
3- employer's latest Notice of Assessment from IRAS : NA
4- Details of the employer's manpower projection : part of business planning
5- Proof of employer's ongoing business operations e.g. bank statements, sales invoices, financial statements, major client contracts secured : NA
6- Employer's CPF Form 90 for the past 3 months : NA

some items are not available for a newly setup company, so I provide as much as possible in details of the planning, now waiting for the results. I will write on the forum when I get the appeal results so people can take experience from my success or failure.

it's very unfortunate, I am coming with my partner who has a solid secured contract and corp is doing everything for him, yet i am suffering trying to stay. :x :x :x :x

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Re: Starting a Business in Singapore and the Entrepass

Postby bestar_secretarial » Sat, 07 Nov 2015 11:34 pm

Hi sgquestions,

EP application is reserved for people of higher education (at least tertiary and above) and with a good salary (I will recommend S$5.5K and above). Hope you have got those 2 items in place.


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