Singapore Subsidiary, a Representative Office or Branch Office Incorporation

A foreign company planning to setup an office or expand their business in Singapore has several options that they may consider for their company structure. There are three types of business entity to help a foreign company decide the best structure that is most suited to their particular needs.

A key point to note is that a representative office is not allowed to engage in any business activity except market research and liaisoning activities. Two ways in which a foreign company may conduct business in Singapore are by registering a branch office or setting up a limited liability company (i.e. subsidiary company).

 Singapore Subsidiary CompanySingapore Representative OfficeSingapore Branch Office
Legal Type:Separate legal entity distinct from its parent companyHas no legal status, a temporary administrative arrangementNot a separate legal entity but an extension of the parent company
Liabilities:Liabilities limited to subsidiaryLiabilities extend to parent companyLiabilities extend to parent company
Entity Name:Can be the same or different from parent companyMust be the same as parent company plus must include 'Representative Office'Must be the same as the parent company
Allowed Activities:Can be the same or different from parent companyCan only conduct market research or feasibility studiesMust be the same as the parent company
Validity Period:Registered forever until closedHas to be renewed every year up to a maximum of 3 yearsRegistered forever until closed
Normal Registration Time:1-2 days3-5 days1-2 days
Taxation:Taxed as Singapore resident entity, local tax benefits availableNot applicable as representative office cannot generate incomeTaxed as non-resident entity, local tax benefits not available
Annual Filing:Must file accounts of the Singapore subsidiaryNot applicableMust file branch office as well as parent company's accounts
Bank Account:Can open bank account in SingaporeCan open bank account in Singapore to run the cost centre operations. Must be funded by the parent company.Can open bank account in Singapore
Staff Hiring:No restrictions on hiring local or foreign staffChief Representative must be a staff member from the parent company. Can have only five employees.No restrictions on hiring local or foreign staff
Appointment of Officers:Must appoint at least one local resident directorMust appoint a Chief Representative who will relocate from headquartersMust appoint at least one local authorised representative

* All prices exclude GST, are indicate and to the discretion of Ansunle. Please contact us for a quote.