A Representative Office (RO) is a business entity designed for foreign companies that are keen on exploring the viability of doing business in Singapore. If is also a useful vehicle for foreign companies who are interested in using Singapore as a launch pad into the Asia Pacific. Such foreign companies may wish to set up a Representative Office (RO). It has the benefit of allowing a foreign companies to assess the business environment in Singapore before deciding to set up a permanent establishment.
A Representative Office must observe the following:
- It cannot engage in commercial revenue-generating activities.
- It cannot hire more than 4 staff
A Foreign company that intends to set up a Representative Office must fulfill the following criteria:
- Sales turnover of the foreign company must be more than US$250,000
- No. of years of establishment of the foreign company must be more than 3 years
- Proposed number of staff for RO should be less than 5 people
With effect from 1 January 2012, a RO may operate in Singapore for a maximum of three (3) years from its commencement date, provided that the RO status is evaluated and renewed. ROs which decide to continue their presence in Singapore thereafter should incorporate a company to commence full business operations.