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Representative Office

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Kolja
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Representative Office

Postby Kolja » Thu, 14 Nov 2013 9:24 pm

Hello everyone, the EU-based company I'm working for is considering to set up a Representative Office in Singapore in 2014.

After collecting some info on the Government websites, I'm still having doubts about the visa&employment procedures, could you help me?

- One of our agents (EU passport, < 90 days staying w/o visa) will be in Singapore from January: can he rent an office for us before the RO registration? Can the registration be made online?

- Is it necessary to indicate the Chief Representative Officer name and an office address during the registration procedure or is it possible to select them after a successful registration?

- Once the RO has been registered, how can we apply for an Employment Pass or other forms of visa/pass for our Chief Representative Officer?

- Is the RO by itself (after its registration but before the entrance in Singapore of its personnel) an entity which can ask an employment visa for its Chief Representative Officer?

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 14 Nov 2013 10:34 pm

Before addressing any of your questions, let me ask one: What will the "representative" in Singapore actually be doing?

Kolja
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Postby Kolja » Fri, 15 Nov 2013 1:02 am

Strong Eagle wrote:Before addressing any of your questions, let me ask one: What will the "representative" in Singapore actually be doing?


Hi Eagle, he will just gather info and cultivate contacts (his work will not generate revenues).
We might transform the RO into a branch office in future, if this first phase will give good results.

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Postby livingontheedge » Fri, 15 Nov 2013 11:38 pm

No he/she can't, yes it is necessary to register RO, via the RO, and yes it can.

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 16 Nov 2013 12:10 am

Here is what I know.

First, the representative office program is administered by a completely separate entity from the ACRA, the government branch that registers and monitors businesses, companies, and partnerships.

Their main website is at http://www.iesingapore.gov.sg/, and you can apply online at https://roms.iesingapore.gov.sg/. Terms and conditions for setting up a RO can be found here: https://roms.iesingapore.gov.sg/tncbusiness.aspx

Once you have your RO registered, your next step is to go to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and apply for an employment pass. Documentation requirements can be found here: http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/ ... uired.aspx

My view is that you will need to apply as an overseas employer but don't hold me to that... I've not set up a RO. http://www.mom.gov.sg/Documents/service ... _Form8.pdf

My view is also that you should get hold of a local accounting firm familiar with RO's, for two reasons. First, getting an employment pass from MOM will virtually require a SingPass, a local ID to transact business online. Even if you go the manual route, you'll still want a local address. Second, RO's are relatively few and far between, and you may need a local rep to work with MOM in getting your employment pass. There is absolutely no information that I am aware of that would shed light onto what criteria MOM would use in granting an EP for a RO... I am assuming that it would be rather automatic if IE Singapore approves your RO and you meet the other EP criteria.

As to your other questions: You should not have a problem renting a serviced office... a logical way to go for a RO... but I do not think you can engage in a lease for space without a valid work permit... your right to residency in Singapore.

You will need to supply names of at least one representative in order to register the RO and seek an employment pass. As I noted earlier once your RO has been approved and been given a UEN, your RO then applies for the EP.

I in no way endorse the company at the link below, I have never used them, and I think their rates amount to extortion (you should be able to find a local accountant to do this for half the amount shown). Nevertheless, I offer up their webpage to give you a sense of the steps and documents required. http://www.guidemesingapore.com/incorpo ... ackage-ro1

a) Register your RO with IE Singapore
b) Apply for an EP with MOM
c) Acquire a serviced office... there are lots in Singapore... from cheap to prime, class A offices... Servcorp, for example... I kept my company there for years.

Hope this helps.

Kolja
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Postby Kolja » Mon, 18 Nov 2013 5:39 pm

Thank you so much! This helps me a lot!


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