If you are a large foreign company, a branch office is the better option for you, but if you are a small or midsize foreign company, a subsidiary company is the better option (the liabilities do no extend to the parent company).
The actual registration process takes only a few hours, as it is computerized, but there are some considerations which may stretch the timeline to a day or several days. These considerations are:
- Approval of name: The name should be approved beforehand. If there are no objections, you can reserve the name of your under an hour. However, if there is a conflict with an existing name, or if there is need for a review from other authorities, the process can be delayed for a few days or weeks.
- Signing of registration documents: This is a quick and easy process if you are in Singapore, but if you are located overseas, the process can take few days to complete.
- Client due diligence process: From July 2015, the regulations of the Corporate Service Providers in Singapore require that all firms must undergo the process of Know Your Customer (KYC). The time it takes depends upon the complexity of your company’s structure.
Yes, at least one local resident is required. A resident can be either one of the following:
- A Singapore citizen,
- A Singapore permanent resident, or
- An employee holding an Employment Pass.
No, you don’t need to be in Singapore to set up your branch office. We can work with you via couriers and emails.
However, if you need to open a bank account, it is a good practice to visit Singapore, since majority of the banks here requires an interview with the stakeholders. A meeting in person with the bank officer would make the process a lot smoother. There are some cases in which the interview can be held over the phone, but the process would become slower. If you need a speedier process, we recommend that you visit Singapore to open your bank account.
If you are a foreign company looking to expand your business in Singapore, you need to register your branch in Singapore. For this, you have two options: registering a branch office or registering a subsidiary company. A branch office acts like a branch of the parent company, while the subsidiary company acts like a limited liability company.
Most foreign companies prefer a subsidiary company for its tax incentives and the limited liability it offers.