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Company Relocation to Singapore

5 min read|Last Updated: July 19, 2022|
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If you’re a planning to relocate a foreign company to Singapore, you would have most likely heard of our favourable tax regime, ease of doing business, our strong government support, top IP framework, regional hub status or many other perks.  

Now, let’s tackle the big questions on relocating your company from overseas to Singapore. Are you setting up a new entity, or re-domiciliating? What happens to your assets? Can directors relocate there? 

Ask yourself these questions before relocation

There are always many things to consider when you relocate a foreign company to Singapore. The best is to have a local professional service provider support you in your move- just like what Butlerapp did with us.

“ You exceeded my expectations on the ease of settling up my company in Singapore! The support from your Corporate specialist Team was exceptional. Thank you. ”

Ask yourself (or a good corporate service provider like Paul Hype Page) these questions:  Some recommended solutions would be: 
1. Are there any existing contracts you’ll need to move?  1. Review existing contracts and negotiate with counterparts, obtaining consent to transfer to new entity. 
2. Do you have an existing banking solution overseas that you would like to adopt in Singapore?  2. Look out for a branch in Singapore and enquire with your banker if an account can be transferred. Otherwise, approach a corporate service provider for a new account opening. 
3. Will employees or directors be moving to Singapore?  3. The company or an appointed employment agency can assist you with the application of work visas and dependent visas for directors, employees and their family members 

What type of company structure is best? 

You have the option of setting up a subsidiary, a branch office, a representative office, or consider inward redomiciliation 

Branch Office  Subsidiary or New Company  Representative Office 
Legal Type:  Not a separate legal entity, liabilities of a branch extend to its head office  Separate legal entity distinct from its parent company  Has no legal status, merely an administrative arrangement and liabilities of a branch extend to its head office 
Entity Name:  Must be the same name as the parent company and sign contracts under the parent company name   Can be the same or different from parent company  Must be the same as parent company plus must include ‘Representative Office’ 
Allowed Activities:  Limited to the same range of activities as the parent company   Can be the same or different from parent company  Can only conduct market research or feasibility studies 
Validity Period:  Registered forever until closed  Registered forever until closed  Has to be renewed every year up to a maximum of 3 years. RO status is evaluated and renewed yearly.  
Taxation:  Taxed a flat corporate tax rate of 17% as non-resident entity, local tax benefits and exemption not available   Taxed a flat corporate tax rate of 17%  as Singapore resident entity, local tax benefits available   Not applicable as representative office cannot generate income 
Annual Filing:  Must file branch office as well as parent company’s accounts  Must file accounts of the Singapore subsidiary only  Not applicable 
Bank Account:  Can open a new corporate bank account in Singapore or use the same as the parent company   Can open bank account in Singapore  Can open bank account in Singapore to run the cost centre operations. Must be funded by the parent company. 
Appointment of Officers:  Must appoint at least one local authorised representative  Must appoint at least one local resident director  Must appoint a Chief Representative who will relocate from headquarters 

You may also wish to refer to the related guide foreign company options in Singapore for more information. 

Alternatively, in 2017, the Singaporean government introduced an inward re-domiciliation regime as an amendment to the Singapore Companies Act. This regime is for business owners who wish to relocate a foreign company to Singapore, but do not wish to create a subsidiary company or branch office. Foreign companies relocating to Singapore under this regime must comply with a minimum of two of the following requirements: 

  • The turnover for each financial year must not exceed S$10 million. 

  • The total value of all assets held by the company at the close of each financial year must not exceed S$10 million. 

  • The company must have 50 or fewer employees at the close of each financial year. 

FAQs

If I want to relocate my staff from HQ to Singapore, what is the minimum salary I should offer them for them to qualify for an Employment Pass?2020-11-13T10:39:46+08:00

S$4500. 

Can a foreigner be appointed as the manager of the company branch?2020-11-13T10:39:26+08:00

Yes, as long as the foreigner has an Employment Pass or a Dependent Pass. 

If I set up a subsidiary company in Singapore, must I use the same name as its parent company?2020-11-13T10:39:01+08:00

No, you can use a different name for your subsidiary company. 

What are the options for me if I want to expand my business to Singapore?2020-11-13T10:38:10+08:00

Getting started step by step 

Step 1: Register your selected business structure. The most popular being to register a new company. To do so, foreigners will need:  

  • an appointed agent

  • a local director

  • a company secretary

  • a registered address

Step 2: Apply for work visas for directors, employees or family members. This will be employment passes, dependent passes or others.  

Step 3: Transfer business assets and liabilities. This includes contracts, intellectual property, plant and machinery etc. 

Step 4: De-register your foreign company 

Step 5: Take note of the next compliance requirement your new Singapore company has to adhere to.  

Wan Yi

To make things easier, Paul Hype Page & Co has operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand; our partner network extends throughout Asia. If your company is relocating within, communications are facilitated much easier. Regardless, Paul Hype Page has been assisting foreigners with setting up in Singapore since 2008. Contact us at any time to hear of our solutions. 

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Join the discussions

  1. Muhammad Hussain March 23, 2020 at 10:48 am - Reply

    dear sir
    i want to start own business in Singapore. how to start the procedure to make company in Malaysia. please reply me instantly

    • Kumaran Tiwiyah April 7, 2020 at 9:48 am - Reply

      Hello Hussain,

      The requirements for starting a company in Singapore include a number of shareholders between one and 50, a director who is a local, a registered address located within the country, an amount of paid-up capital which is at least S$1, a company name which has received approval from ACRA, and a company secretary who is a resident of Singapore.

      In Malaysia, the company registration requirements include a director who is at least 18 years old and may either be a local or foreigner (Malaysia-based companies may be completely foreign-owned; thus, directors do not have to be local), a minimum of one shareholder, paid-up capital of at least RM2, a copy of all NRICs and passports of the company’s directors and shareholders, a company secretary, an approved company name, and a registered office address located in Malaysia.

      For further information on either of these topics, contact us at any time.

      Thank you for your questions.
      Paul

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