Representative Office

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.