As a foreign company owner, you may want to set up a branch office in Singapore to expand your business. Opening a branch office in Singapore is one of the three available options for foreign companies who aim to compete in a larger market. Here are the processes and all that comes with it you need to understand before starting a Singapore branch office.
Singaporean law obliges all profit-purposed activities that are conducted continuously to be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore. That means company registration is a must before commencing business. Once registered, a Singapore branch office will be approved as a legal entity. Different from a subsidiary company, a branch office in Singapore is to be viewed as an extension of the foreign parent company instead of a separate entity. Because of this rule, the parent company is responsible for the branch office’s liability and debts.
To register branch company in Singapore, it is best to use the service of a professional firm in Singapore such as law firm, accounting firm, or corporate secretarial firm. Prior to registering, there are a couple of administrative requirements that need to be fulfilled.
The name of a branch office in Singapore must be the same as its parent company
A Singaporean resident is required to be hired as a staff, be it a citizen, permanent resident, or a person with an employment pass with a minimum age of 18.
Constitution and Activities
All activities, shareholders, and company structures are under the direction of the parent company with no separate constitution.
A registered office with a Singapore address that mentions the company name and incorporation place within all business correspondence is required by the Singapore Companies Act.
Once you have been able to fulfill all the administrative requirements, necessary documents for company registration in Singapore must be prepared. Make sure that all the submitted documents are in English. What a branch company needs for registration are:
- A certified copy of the foreign company’s Certificate of Incorporation and Constitution
- Foreign company’s directors’ particulars
- A memorandum of appointment regarding the resident Singaporean who is to be an authorized representative for the Singapore branch office
- A memorandum stating the powers of the authorized representative executed by or on behalf of the foreign company
- Registered office address in Singapore’s details
- Latest financial statements of the parent company that has been audited
The registration process of name approval and entity registration will be completed within 1-2 days. It will be taken care of by the professional firm service used. An e-mail confirming the registration of the branch office in Singapore will be sent. The soft copy of the certificate attached is to be kept as a proof of approval and a hard copy is not necessary in Singapore.
Once you get your branch office registered, you will want to open up a Singapore bank account. There are many local bank options to choose from, depending on your company needs and preferences. Some banks require the directors or agents to open the account.
Notes to be taken that the Singapore corporate tax rate is at 17% says A1 Business, an accounting company with 15 years plus in the industry. Reports after annual general meeting are required to be filed each year, as well as Tax Return.