Setting Up a Real Estate Company in Singapore
Many foreigners are opting to live in Singapore and it is a good business opportunity when it comes to setting up a real estate company. For definition, a real estate agency, also known as a real estate brokerage, is an agency involved in the business of helping potential clients buy or sell houses.
Estate Agent License
Companies, partnerships, and non-individual sole proprietorships involved in the business of buying, selling, and leasing of properties must apply for the estate agent license. This is issued by the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), and can be applied on the website.
The criteria for New Estate Agents are as follows, among others:
Must be a registered entity with ACRA
Must have a Key Executive Officer (KEO) who satisfies the requirements of the Estate Agents Act and Regulations (as below)
Must not hold a moneylender’s license
None of the estate agent’s directors or partners or sole-proprietor or KEO hold a moneylender’s license, or are an employee, director, or partner of a licensed moneylender
The estate agent’s KEO and all directors or partners or persons responsible for the management must fulfil the fit and proper criteria under the Estate Agents Act.
CEA shall determine if the person is fit and proper for registration after considering all relevant facts and matters. In the circumstances listed below, a person shall not be fit and proper for registration, unless CEA determines otherwise:
- Where the person has been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or fraud, or any offence under the Estate Agents Act
- Where the person has had a judgment entered against him / her in civil proceedings that involve a finding of fraud, dishonesty or breach of fiduciary duties on his / her part
- Where the person is an undischarged bankrupt or has made a composition or arrangement with his / her creditors
- Where CEA takes the view that a person is not fit and proper after considering any other relevant facts or matters
As for the appointed KEO, he/she must fulfil these requirements, among others:
Have a minimum of 4 GCE ‘O’ Levels passes or equivalent
Possess a pass in the Real Estate Agency (REA) examination in the 2 years immediately before the application for a license
Be a sole-proprietor, director or partner of the estate agent
Have at least 3 years’ experience in estate agency work
Have concluded at least 30 transactions in the last 3 years as or on behalf of a licensed estate agent or have at least 3 years of experience in managing the business of a licensed estate agent as an executive director, a chief executive, key executive, key executive officer, partner or sole proprietor