Singapore is the world’s easiest place to do business – The Island state has sustained this top ranking for four consecutive years in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. For many foreign enterprises and entrepreneurs Singapore is the preferred destination to locate their business. Foreign individuals and companies are free to register any type of entity in Singapore, which also allows 100% foreign ownership.
For any startup company or new set up it is essential to nurture every step of its progress in the formative years therefore, the founders or the board members would like to actively involve in the business operations. This requires appropriate visa to stay in Singapore. True to its pro-business nature, Singapore offers several options for foreigners to set up and conduct their business.
The Entrepass facilitates multiple entry and long-term stay of foreign entrepreneurs. The successful applicants can establish their venture and actively manage the daily operations of the business. At the point of application, the foreign entrepreneur must not own a business registered with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) for more than six months.
The company must have a minimum paid up capital of S$50,000 and the applicant must hold at least 30% share in the company which must essentially be a private limited entity. The pass is renewable as long as the business remains viable and generates economic spin offs for the country. Potential applicants with no formal education but with track records that demonstrate high caliber of entrepreneurial traits may also apply for EntrePass visa.
Foreign Entrepreneurs, Professionals, Managing Directors and Shareholders who wish to relocate to Singapore to be actively involved in the company operations, can apply for an employment pass. To be eligible for the employment pass, the company or business must be already registered in Singapore. Potential applicants who are not shareholders or part of the top management but have professional qualification and specialist skills essential for managing the operations of the business may also apply for EP.
Multiple Journey visa facilitates the frequent entry of business executives from visa-requiring countries into Singapore. This will benefit the foreign investors or business people who visit Singapore frequently to attend to the business or investment needs. Multiple visits, each lasting up to 30 days, are allowed during the validity period of the visa which may be for 1,2 or 5 year depending on the prevailing ICA’s guidelines.
Social Visit Pass for Entrepreneurs enables an applicant to stay in Singapore for 6 months, to explore business opportunities, conduct feasibility studies or complete negotiations. During the validity period the holder can leave and reenter Singapore without any hassle. The application for the SVP has to be furnished along with a support letter from the Enterprise Development Board of Singapore.
Foreign Entrepreneurs who, do not wish to relocate to Singapore, but has plans to remotely manage their Singapore venture must however, appoint a nominee director in order to satisfy the local resident director clause, of ACRA’s company setup rules.
Singapore Employment Pass (EP) - Work Permit for Professional Employees & Entrepreneurs Foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish their company and reside in Singapore have two options to choose from: Singapore Employment pass and Singapore EntrePass. Each one has its own advantage in terms of ease of approval, processing period and mandatory requirements.