Foreign Companies that wish to register an office in Singapore can choose to setup a Subsidiary Company, a Branch Office or a Representative Office.
Note that most foreign companies prefer to register as a subsidiary company in Singapore.
Comparison – Subsidiary vs Branch office vs Representative Office
Overview of Representative Office
Foreign companies whom wish to explore the viability of doing business in Singapore, may set up a Representative Office (RO) in Singapore. A RO will allow a foreign company to study the business environment in Singapore prior to making any investment. However, an RO is only temporary and is subject to renewal.
Your RO can only carry out the following activities:
Your RO MUST NOT conduct any of the following: activities (directly or on behalf of the parent company)
If you wish to ship, transship or store goods in Singapore, you should get your parent company to appoint a local agent or distributor. You cannot use your RO to carry out these activities.
If you wish to carry on operations in Singapore, you should register a branch office or incorporate a company with ACRA (Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority).
ROs in banking and insurance
ROs in all other industries
Requirements and Application Procedures
All new applications must be accompanied by the following documents:
Application for Renewal
For applications for renewal, you are not required to submit the parent company`s latest annual report and audited accounts but IE Singapore has the right to request for it, if necessary.
Compliance With Laws
The ROs registered with IE Singapore must comply with the Terms and Conditions as stipulated by the Board.