Entrepass Approval & Renewal Information in Singapore
Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) Information
The Entrepeneur Pass (EntrePass) is one of the work permits which the Singaporean government offers foreign entrepreneurs who plan to work there. Using the EntrePass makes it much easier for these entrepreneurs to start and operate a Singapore business. The government of Singapore launched the EntrePass in October 2003. This pass was introduced as a way to promote entrepreneurial activity among people living in Singapore. It was thought that in this way, the introduction of the EntrePass would serve as a boost to the country’s economy.
Those applying for an EntrePass are allowed to make a direct application to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). If the criteria for renewal have been fulfilled, the EntrePass can and should be renewed. New EntrePasses and EntrePasses which have been renewed for the first time are valid for one year. After any subsequent renewals, the duration of validity increases to two years. There is no minimum salary which must be earned by applicants. EntrePass holders who have fulfilled certain criteria may even be allowed to have some family members such as their spouse, children, or parents join them in Singapore. For those who prefer to handle the majority of their EntrePass-related tasks online, there are services and forms available online which can be used. The most important law governing all activities related to the EntrePass is the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
Those Who Are Eligible for an EntrePass
Only people who fulfill all the necessary criteria are allowed to receive an EntrePass. There are no restrictions on nationality; anyone from any country is allowed to apply for an EntrePass. A person may apply for the EntrePass if the person has already started or plans to start a private limited company which has been or will be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Should the company have already been registered, it must not be older than six months old on the date of application. If it has not been registered, the applicant may register the company after finding out about the status of the EntrePass application.
EntrePass applicants must also fulfill certain criteria which depend on what role they intend to play with regard to their business activity. An EntrePass applicant may apply as any of the following: an investor, an entrepreneur, or an innovator. Those applying as an entrepreneur must have been funded by a business angel or venture capitalist which has been approved by the government, have a proven track record of business and entrepreneurial activity, or be an incubate at an accelerator or incubator which has been approved by the government. Those applying as an innovator must have been part of a research collaboration with a Singapore-based research institute or institute of higher learning, hold an intellectual property (IP) recognized by an approved institution, or have made significant achievements in their respective field. Those who are applying as an investor must have a track record of business investment.
There are 13 different business fields in which business owners are never eligible to receive an EntrePass, even if the business owner has fulfilled all other necessary criteria. These businesses are the following: bars, night clubs, karaoke lounges, employment agencies, coffee shops, hawker centers, food courts, geomancy businesses, foot reflexology businesses, massage parlors, acupuncture businesses, traditional Chinese medicine businesses, and herbal dispensaries.
Fortunately for you, these are not the only businesses which you could potentially start in Singapore. Paul Hype Page & Co’s incorporation specialists will help you start any company in any field in an orderly and legal manner.
EntrePass Approval and Renewal
If everything necessary has been done in a proper manner and all criteria have been fulfilled, the applicant should have the EntrePass application approved. Upon approval, the applicant will receive an EntrePass which will be valid for one year. Later during that one-year span, there will be an audit conducted. This audit is intended to assess the level of progress attained by the EntrePass holder’s business. The EntrePass holder is required to supply documents which prove that the business has made the requisite amount of progress and grown at an acceptable rate. Some of the documents which may serve as such proof include research collaboration documents, tenancy agreements, staff CPF statements, and staff employment contracts. The purpose of this audit is to confirm the approval of the EntrePass. It ensures that all foreign entrepreneurs will maintain their efforts to complete whatever plans they may have had for their business ventures.
In spite of all of this, sometimes an application may nevertheless be rejected. This is where we at Paul Hype Page & Co can be of assistance. We will help you understand where you may have gone wrong and work with you to overcome any problems. Our team members can even contact the relevant government authorities if necessary.
Those who intend to renew the pass that they currently have before it expires must meet the renewal criteria. Renewals of the EntrePass are contingent on meeting the requirements stipulated by MOM. According to these requirements, the business venture must demonstrate that over a one-year period, it has met the employment requirement of a minimum number of Singaporean or local workers and spent at least a certain amount on total business spending. For example, after two years after the granting of the EntrePass, there must have been at least three local full-time employees (FTEs) or one local professional, manager, or executive (PME) hired, and total business spending must be at least S$100,000. These figures continue to rise with each passing year until they reach their respective maximums, which takes place after the eighth year. At this point, there must have been at least 12 local FTEs or four local PMEs hired and total business spending must be at least S$400,000. This structure is known as a progressive renewal framework. There are two reasons why a progressive renewal framework was implemented. The first is to encourage EntrePass holders to continue developing their business to help it grow as well as it possibly can, especially during the start-up and development phases of the business. The second is to ensure that the EntrePass holder’s business is contributing to the economy of Singapore.
How to Increase the Chances of EntrePass Approval and Renewal
There are certain ways by which the chances of EntrePass approval and renewal can be increased. In the case of approval, there are multiple criteria which may be fulfilled by those who are applying as either an innovator or an entrepreneur. While it is certainly true that only one criterion needs to be fulfilled for one to have a possibility of having the application approved, one’s odds of approval greatly increase if more than one of the criteria have been fulfilled. This would prove to MOM that the applicant is willing to go above and beyond in order to provide positive outcomes for the Singaporean economy and corporate landscape. An application can also be strengthened by submitting documents which, while not necessary, can be helpful. These documents include recent invoices issued, contracts awarded, corporate bank statements over the preceding three months, and referral letters which have been received from customers.
The chances of a successful renewal of an EntrePass can be increased if the amount of local employment created by the business is well above the required minimum, or if the total business spending is exceptionally high. This is because these two statistics reveal just how much the EntrePass holder has contributed to Singapore’s economy through business activities. Other criteria which play a role in the approval of a renewal include type of business activities conducted and percentage of shareholding of the company.
Legal Violations Related to the EntrePass
The EntrePass was created by the Singaporean government. Therefore, there are many laws related to it. These laws are part of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, the primary Act that oversees foreigners who work in Singapore. Many of these laws can also be applied to work permits other than the EntrePass.
Anyone who violates any condition of any work pass, including an EntrePass, could be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to one year, or both. Those who provide false information or make false statements during the processes of application or renewal be fined up to S$20,000, jailed for up to two years, or both. Any attempt to obtain any work pass, including an EntrePass, for a non-existent or non-operational business could bring about a fine of an amount of S$30,000, a jail term of up to two years, or both.