If you are an entrepreneur looking to set up a business in Singapore, you may be eligible to apply for an Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass). Find out more about the criteria, process and other information that you need to know about applying for an EntrePass.
What is an EntrePass?
The Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) scheme is designed for foreign serial entrepreneurs, high calibre innovators or experienced investors who wish to start a business and relocate to Singapore. The scheme is part of Singapore’s plan to attract talent to the country and to become a regional business hub.
How do I qualify for an EntrePass?
To qualify for an EntrePass, you need to:
- Be 21 years old and above, with relevant qualifications and experience
- Have a business proposal that is entrepreneurial and innovative in nature, and able to create local employment
- Be willing to relocate to Singapore to run your new business
- Register your business in Singapore as a private limited company
- Have a company that is either not yet incorporated or not more than six months old at the time of your EntrePass application
- Hold at least 30% of shares in your proposed business
In addition to the above, you must also meet the following minimum eligibility criteria under one of the three categories below:
- Your company is receiving at least S$100,000 in funding or investment from a third-party venture capitalist (VC) or angel investor duly accredited by a Singapore government agency
- Your company is incubated by an incubator or accelerator recognised by the Singapore government
- You have an established business network and entrepreneurial track record
- You possess intellectual property
- You have research collaborations with a Singapore-based institute of higher learning or credible research institute
- You have a record of extraordinary achievements in your key area(s) of expertise
- You have a track record of solid investments
Businesses under the following categories are not eligible for an EntrePass:
- Coffee shops, hawker centres, food courts
- Bars, night clubs, karaoke lounges
- Foot reflexology and massage parlours
- Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture, and herbal dispensaries
- Employment agencies and geomancy
What documents do I need to apply for an EntrePass?
- A completed EntrePass application form
- Documentary evidence to prove that you have fulfiled one of the eligibility criteria under the entrepreneur, innovator or investor categories
- A business plan in the prescribed format (Get your business plan framework here)
- A passport-sized photograph taken within the last three months
- A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport
- Documentary evidence of your previous employment(s) and/or business venture(s)
- Copies of relevant educational certificates, if any
If your company has been incorporated before your application is submitted, you need to supply the following additional document:
- A copy of your company’s latest business profile
In addition to the above, these other documents will be useful in solidifying your EntrePass application:
- Licensing agreements
- Memorandums of understanding with potential customers and/or suppliers
- Relevant product certifications
- Endorsements by reputable individuals/external parties
- A copy of your company’s latest bank statement
All documents submitted for an EntrePass application need to be in English, or translated into English by a certified translation body.
How do I file my Entrepass application, and how long will the processing take?
Your EntrePass application, along with any supporting documents, need to be filed with Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) via over-the-counter submission at any SingPost branch.
It takes about 8 weeks to process an EntrePass application, where it will be assessed jointly by MOM and government-partnered or government-linked agencies such as the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board of Singapore (SPRING), Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and SGInnovate.
How do I know if my EntrePass has been approved, and how do I collect it?
When your EntrePass application is approved, MOM will send an In-Principle-Approval (IPA) letter to the Singapore address provided on your application form, which is valid for 6 months from the date of issue.
To collect your EntrePass, you will need to be in Singapore and present a copy of the IPA letter, your passport, and any other documents that may be requested in the IPA letter. A one-time entry visa will be issued to you to enter Singapore to collect your EntrePass if required.
Your IPA letter may require you to go through a medical test and produce the report when you collect visa. You may opt to do the medical test in an established clinic or hospital in your home country, or when you arrive in Singapore. Do note that the medical report must be in English and submitted along with the completed medical examination form provided in the IPA letter.
Once the final IPA approval letter has been issued, you must relocate to Singapore within 6 months of the approval date.
I’ve applied for an EntrePass, but have yet to register my company in Singapore. When should I do so?
You are not required to register your company in Singapore until your EntrePass is approved. Incorporating your company after obtaining your EntrePass prevents you from incurring business registration and relocation expenses if your application is rejected.
When you have received an IPA letter from the authorities, you will be required to register your company, open a corporate bank account and inject any necessary share capital within 30 days of the letter.
Once you have registered your company, you’ll need to update your EntrePass details with MOM before your final, approved EntrePass is issued to you.
For more details on how to register your company in Singapore, please refer to our Singapore Company Registration
I have successfully obtained an Entrepass. Can I bring my family to live with me in Singapore?
The EntrePass allows you to bring your family (spouse and unmarried children under 21) to Singapore by applying for their Dependant’s Passes.
Dependant’s Passes issued to family members of EntrePass holders are valid throughout the validity period of the EntrePass and can be renewed along with the EntrePass.
To qualify for Dependant’s Passes for your family members, you need to meet the Year 2 renewal criteria for EntrePass holders (please refer to the question ‘How do I renew my EntrePass?’ for details). The application process for Dependant’s Passes takes around 16 weeks in total.
I was rejected for an EntrePass. What should I do?
If you have been rejected for an EntrePass, you can file an appeal within 90 days of your rejection notice. EntrePass appeal applications are usually processed within 8 weeks.
A professional firm may be able to file an appeal on your behalf (please refer to the next question for details).
How can a professional firm help me with my EntrePass application?
An experienced professional firm can assist you in your EntrePass application by:
- Ensuring that all required and supporting documents in your application are included and completed accurately to minimise delays and maximise application approval
- Preparing an Entrepass business plan on your behalf, in the requisite format and based on the information that you’ve provided about your proposed business
- Submitting and tracking your application status on your behalf. If your application is rejected, the firm can explore the reasons with the authorities and file an appeal if necessary
Do note that professional firms do not have any authority in the EntrePass application process, which is subject to review and final approval by government authorities.
Can I apply for Singapore permanent residence with my EntrePass?
EntrePass holders are eligible for permanent residence (PR) in due course, which is subject to approval by immigration authorities in Singapore.
When filing a PR application, you should demonstrate that you are running a viable and innovative business, and that you will not become a financial burden to Singapore.
For more information about the EntrePass scheme, please visit our EntrePass FAQ page and the Ministry of Manpower website.