Foreigners looking to start a business

As a Foreign Entity wishing to establish a presence in Singapore, what are the options?

Foreign companies interested in exploring potential business opportunities in Singapore may set up a Representative Office (RO) before committing to a business venture. It allows a foreign entity to assess the business environment in Singapore before deciding to set up a permanent establishment. A RO is a temporary set-up with no legal status so it cannot engage in any trading or business activities which yield a profit. An application to register a RO must be submitted to Enterprise Singapore.

More information on RO's can be found here.

ROs which decide to continue their presence in Singapore thereafter should register their operations with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore.

If you are certain that you wish to have or continue a business presence in Singapore, you can do so by registering a branch office or setting up a limited liability company (i.e. subsidiary company).