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Software Development contracting / freelancing

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

spuds
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Software Development contracting / freelancing

Postby spuds » Thu, 05 Sep 2013 10:55 am

Hi all,

I've just joined the forums but I've read a lot of the existing posts on the here and it reads like things are getting tougher for foreigner workers on a yearly basis.

I apologise to all your regular members who are probably sick of the sight of these very similar posts but currently I don't know where else to ask!

I moved here 3 months ago with my spouse (I'm on a LTVP). I'm a software engineer, predominantly .Net with 9 years experience and I have an MCPD certification. I was working as a consultant back home in Ireland before we moved. I had the intention of setting up my own business to take on contract work so I could split my year up between contracts and my own app development.

I had hoped to do the same thing here but MoM told me I can only setup a business here via an EntrePass. Which is overkill for what I would be planning to do as a sole trader / LLC.

Another option back home would have been to use an umbrella company (generally run by a recruitment firm), is that an option here? Are there are any foreign software contractors / freelancers?

In relation to looking for work, I've sent up job alerts for monster and jobs.com.sg so far are there any other reliable job sites? What reliable about recruiters? I've been burned a few times in the past by recruitment agencies so I'm, unfortunately, always slightly skeptical of them.

Thanks!

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 05 Sep 2013 11:14 am

You need to read these threads... your own company is the only way you are going to work as a contractor.

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As far as actually finding employment as a developer? I'm sure that there are some software houses around Singapore that are making it but when it comes to the MNC's, they are moving their development teams to a variety of geographic locations where specific skill sets are available in quantity.

spuds
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Postby spuds » Thu, 05 Sep 2013 1:02 pm

Thanks for the reply Strong Eagle.

I had read those threads before posting, they were predominantly based on Dependent Pass / LTVP+ holders which I'm unfortunately not. And MoM have confirmed I can't set up a company on an LTVP unless I apply for an EntrePass.

Ah well!

I'll start looking into setting up as a company back home.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 05 Sep 2013 10:02 pm

Ahhh, yes... I missed that rather important point... you are LTVP. So, you could not apply for a LOC but you could set up a company (private limited) and then apply for your own EP. Although MOM says you must have an Entrepass, skilled professionals have obtained an EP via this route.

My sense though (and that of others), is that this route is successful only with a track record, and clients or contracts on the ground ready to go. Taking a stab in the dark, trying to find clients, will be less well received. MOM is well aware that scammers will try this route just to stay in the country. No skills, no seed money, no clients, no business plan... no go.

You cannot perform any Singapore based work without a work permit. Even if a local company were willing to apply for an EP for you so could free lance (like me, for example), the problem is justifying your EP when I have no work for you to do. When I used to hire EP's, I always had something for them to do... I have no idea what the response would be if I just merely wanted to hire. And, at what pay rate?

IT/CompSci is a popular degree in Singapore... you would be carefully scrutinized. Note, too, that even if you were to find a company willing to sponsor you, none would do it for less than about 25 percent of your gross... I certainly would not.

I see that you have three options.

a) Become involved as a volunteer... there are many organizations that would drool over the prospect of having a skilled person clean up their IT world.

b) Don't work for clients in Singapore. Work for clients who have offices elsewhere but not Singapore. Work remotely. Singapore law has not totally caught up with telecommuting, but I think this is not an issue, have recommended this course of action to others, and have been supported by attorneys (not that their opinion actually means squat).

c) Use LinkedIn to find a job. The job boards are worthless... so are 98 percent of the recruiters. As I said, though, it will be a tough haul here... reduced demand, and lots of skilled locals and foreigners willing to work for a lot less than you. You really need to have a stand out skill.

spuds
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Postby spuds » Fri, 06 Sep 2013 8:22 am

...

I see that you have three options.

a) Become involved as a volunteer... there are many organizations that would drool over the prospect of having a skilled person clean up their IT world.

b) Don't work for clients in Singapore. Work for clients who have offices elsewhere but not Singapore. Work remotely. Singapore law has not totally caught up with telecommuting, but I think this is not an issue, have recommended this course of action to others, and have been supported by attorneys (not that their opinion actually means squat).

c) Use LinkedIn to find a job. The job boards are worthless... so are 98 percent of the recruiters. As I said, though, it will be a tough haul here... reduced demand, and lots of skilled locals and foreigners willing to work for a lot less than you. You really need to have a stand out skill.


Thanks for your advice Strong Eagle, I really appreciate it - there's a lot to absorb when moving to a new country and it can be quite confusing initially!

In relation to 1 of your points (and it might be useful for others in my situation):

a) I've found a few tech meetup groups here on http://www.meetup.com/find/ you can search by location and within a distance of that location too.


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