How can someone on a Dependant’s Pass set up their business in Singapore?
4 minute read
Are you currently on a Dependant’s Pass (DP) and considering setting up your own company in Singapore? If you are, the great news is that Singapore has made it easier than ever to get started with your own business.
This article will cover the most common paths and issues when starting a small business on a DP.
Setting up your business in Singapore will typically take two steps:
1) incorporating your company and then
2) getting an EP or an LOC.
Starting a private limited company
When you set up a private limited company (Pte Ltd), this means that you are creating a separate legal entity from yourself. It limits your liability as an individual – this means that if your company turns to custard, any debts or losses you incur while running your business will not impact any personal assets (such as your house) that you may own. Here’s a quick rundown of a private limited company in Singapore:
Main features of a Pte Ltd
Requirements to register your company in Singapore
Here’s what you need to incorporate your company in Singapore:
*EP Holders can be appointed Directors of the Company they are working for or with a Letter of Consent for secondary directorship. Please note however that Letters of Consent for secondary directorship are only granted in specific cases.
Once you have incorporated your company, if you are on a DP you can either work for your company via an Employment Pass or a Letter of Consent. Both have different application requirements.
Letter of Consent (LOC)
One of the ways you can work for a company in Singapore if you are on a DP is by obtaining a Letter of Consent from the Ministry of Manpower. The application is made by the company that will be the employer – in this instance, it can be the company that you have incorporated, making you an “employee” of the company. The benefit of the LOC is that there is no minimum salary requirement (unlike the EP).
Here’s what the process looks like:
Your DP will need to be valid for at least 3 months. The Ministry of Manpower takes around 3-5 weeks to issue an outcome. (Need more answers on the LOC? Click here.)
If you do not want to be ‘just’ an employee but also a director of your company, you would need to apply for an Employment Pass (EP) after you have incorporated. By doing so, you would not need a nominee director. Find out how you can go about getting an EP in Singapore here.
As mentioned above, if you choose to open your business and then remain on a DP and LOC combination (instead of an EP), you would then need to arrange for a friend who is ‘locally resident’, or a nominee director service for your company. A nominee director holds the director’s position but does not hold any powers or authority.
(Looking for someone to be your company’s nominee director? We can help you.)