Guide to incorporating a foreign branch office
How to register a branch office in Singapore?
STEP 1: Ensure you fulfill the requirements
Before registering a Singapore branch office, it is advised that you contact us to ensure a smooth registration process. There are regulatory requirements to be followed by all foreign companies planning to register a Singapore branch office:
Name: The name of the branch office must be in line with that of the foreign parent company.
Officers: A Singapore branch office must appoint at least one authorised representative who is legally an ordinarily resident in Singapore (Singapore Citizens/ Permanent Resident) and at least 18 years old.
Constitution: The constitution must be the same as that of the parent company. There is no separate constitution for the branch office in Singapore.
Registered Address: A Singapore branch office must have a registered office located in Singapore. Registered address must be a physical address and cannot be a PO Box. Use of residential address is allowed for certain types of business.
STEP 2: Prepare the necessary documents
- Certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation of the foreign company
- Certified copy of the Constitution of the foreign company
- Particulars of the directors of the foreign branch office/company
- A memorandum of appointment and details of at least one person resident in Singapore who will act as the authorised representative for the Singapore branch office
- A memorandum executed by or on behalf of the foreign company stating the powers of a legal permanent resident of Singapore, who will be the authorised representative of the foreign branch office.
- Details of the branch office’s Singapore registered office address
- Latest audited financial statements of the parent company
In cases where the parent company is relatively new and there are no annual reports and audited accounts, the needed information can be self-declared. Supporting details such as company brochures can be used to support the application.
- All documents must be in English or officially translated in English.
- All copies of documents must be certified true copies by a notary public, or you must bring the originals to our office for sighting.
If you are overseas, you can email us the scanned copies of documents so we can proceed with preparing the necessary incorporation documents. However, we must receive the certified true copies (or sight the originals at our office) before we can incorporate the branch. Our compliance department may ask for additional information if necessary.
STEP 3: Register as a branch with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
STEP 4: After registration with ACRA has been completed, the branch office will be granted the status of a legal entity.
Although the registration itself is typically completed in less than a day, the entire process can take up to a week to complete. This is because the signing of registration documents, name reservation, and client due diligence processes must all be completed.
The company’s representatives DO NOT need to visit Singapore for branch office registration. This is because Paul Hype Page can work and communicate with you via email or other online methods.
Branch offices set up by foreign small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are rare. Foreign SMEs tend to set up subsidiaries. This is due to the fact that subsidiaries usually have greater business flexibility, more tax advantages, fewer liabilities, and fewer obligations related to financial accounts.