Representative Office Registration Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re considering setting up a representative office in Singapore, you are bound to have questions. At Hawksford we’ll give you the answers and support your business growth.
Can a newly established company overseas register a Representative Office in Singapore?
To fulfill the requirements of establishing a Representative Office in Singapore, the foreign parent company must have been established for three years or more. In addition, the foreign parent company must have a sales turnover in excess of US$250,000 and it must also adhere to the maximum headcount of five employees.
What activities is a Representative Office allowed to conduct?
The purpose of a Representative Office is to conduct market research activities. It cannot engage in trading activities or business activities that generate profits. The staff strength should be reasonable and kept to the essential minimum. A Chief Representative Office must be appointed from the head office who is expected to relocate to Singapore.
Are we required to visit Singapore to register our Representative Office?
No, you are not required to visit Singapore to register a Representative office. We can work with you via emails and document couriering in order to get the necessary work done. However if you wish to open a bank account, a visit to Singapore might be a good idea. Almost all banks require an interview with the stakeholders and the process can go a lot smoother if there is a face-to-face meeting between you and the bank officer. For most banks, we are able to arrange the meeting at our own office. If however you are not able to visit Singapore, the bank will conduct a phone interview and the due-diligence process can take longer.
Is a Representative Office application subject to approval?
Yes, the application is subject to approval by authorities. Assuming that your overseas company is an established company and your intended activities fall within the scope of activities allowed for a Representative Office, there shouldn't be any problems with the approval process.
How long does it take to register a Representative Office?
Once the application has been filed, it normally takes about 1 week to get approval from authorities. Sometime however, the authorities may ask for additional clarifications which may delay the process by another 1-2 weeks.