How to establish a Branch Office in Singapore?

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How to establish a Branch Office in Singapore?

One of the three company structure options that foreign companies can set up in Singapore is a Singapore Branch office, aiding their expansion overseas.

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Are you searching for the best corporate service provider in Singapore to set up a branch? Several companies in Singapore are related to a foreign company. But to build a branch office in Singapore, there are many factors to attend. Let us focus on certain factors which are must follow: 

Singapore Branch Office Registration Requirements:

Certain requirements have to be followed if any foreign company wishes to register a branch office in Singapore. It is recommended to avail the help of experienced corporate services firm in Singapore, such as a law firm to make the registration process easier.

  • Branch office name – The name should correspond to the original name of the foreign company. 
  • Officers – The Singapore branch must have at least one representative who is a Singapore citizen or has an employment pass and ordinarily a resident in Singapore. The representative should be 18 years and above.
  • Local Representative – The Singapore branch must have at least one representative who is a Singapore citizen or has an employment pass and ordinarily a resident in Singapore. The representative should be 18 years and above.
  • Constitution – The branch office should not have a separate constitution from the parent company. All the shareholders and the structure of the office is directed by the foreign company’s constitution.
  • Registered address – The branch must have an officially registered location in Singapore as per the requirements of the Singapore Companies Act.

Necessary documents for the Registration of a Foreign Branch:

  • Certified copies of the Certificate of Incorporation of the foreign company and the constitution of the foreign company
  • The details of the directors of the foreign company
  • A memorandum containing the appointment and details of the Singapore resident who will act as the authorized representative of the branch office.
  • A memorandum on behalf executed by or the foreign company stating the powers of the local authorized representative in the Singapore branch.
  • Details of the registered branch office address in Singapore
  • Recently audited financial affirmation of parent company
  • These are documents needed for registering a branch office in Singapore, and all the details should be in English. 

Registration Procedure and Timeline:

The registration process contains

  • Name approval
  • Entity registration

The corporate service firm you hired in Singapore will handle all the mandatory registration formalities.

Special licenses and permits for the Singapore branch office:

The Singapore branch office is limited to obtain licenses and permits for activities that are the same as the foreign company. It requires the same documents as any other local Singapore business for the licenses. The corporate service provider in Singapore will guide you through the entire process.

Bank Account Opening:

A corporate account can be opened for your Singapore branch in any of the international or local banks in Singapore. Some banks may require the director or agents to be present in person while opening the account.

Taxation of branch offices in Singapore:

Branch offices are considered as non-tax residents since their control and management takes place out of Singapore. Hence, they won’t be benefited from any tax incentives. The standard annual tax rate is 17% in Singapore.

Even though the branch office will not file the same documents as a local firm, the parent company should send the following files to its Singapore branch

  • Copies of the financial accounts and statements for the year assessment
  • Documents of their financial accounts filed with the tax authorities of the parent company.

Establishing a branch office is not an easy process to follow. You must hire a corporate service agency in Singapore to assist you at every step while opening a branch office.

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