Business structure in Singapore

Incorporating a foreign company

Representative Office

Its only business must be the management of the company’s interests or those of its subsidiaries. It is not allowed to engage in business or any operations entailing income. Unlimited liability. The application may be submitted through the IES (www.iesingapore.gov.sg).

Branch

100% parent owned. This is only advisable for very specific cases (for 100% owned by the parent company.
This is only advisable in highly specific cases, for example, for tenders in infrastructures requiring this. The parent company takes on all the branch’s obligations and is more complicated to run than a private limited company (Pte Ltd). This requires two persons in charge, resident in Singapore. The business done has to be the same as the parent company’s. Unlimited Liability. The tax system applied is that of a non-resident company (it is not eligible for local tax rebates).

Singapore has a generally acknowledged sound and efficient legal system

Incorporating a business under Singapore law

Limited Liability Company

In the form of a private limited company Pte Ltd (Private Limited).

Partners: at least one. This can be 100% foreign (natural or legal).

Minimum capital of one share and capital paid up in accordance with the agreement between the founder members

One of the managers has to be resident in Singapore (but can be foreign).

Can perform all kinds of business except for financial and insurance

Joint venture

This is a very common form for doing business in both Singapore and the rest of Asia.

There is an arbitration tribunal

It must have the legal form of a private limited company (Pte Ltd).