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Compare Branch Office vs Representative Office vs Subsidiary Company

A foreign company planning to set up an office in Singapore has three options:
  1. Branch Office;
  2. Representative Office; or
  3. Subsidiary Company.
A Representative Office is not allowed to engage in any business except market research and liaisoning activities. Two of the ways in which a foreign company may carry on business in Singapore are by registering a Branch Office or by incorporating a limited liability company (i.e. Subsidiary Company) in Singapore.
Singapore Branch Office Singapore Representative Office Singapore Subsidiary Company
Legal Type Not a separate legal entity but an extension of the parent company Has no legal status but just a temporary administrative arrangement. Requirements: Parent Company must have sales turnover of more than US$ 250,000/- with years of establishment of at least 3 years. Separate legal entity distinct from its parent company
Liabilities Liabilities extend to parent company Liabilities extend to parent company Liabilities limited to subsidiary
Entity Name Must be the same as the parent company Must be the same as parent company plus must include 'Representative Office' Can be the same or different from parent company
Allowed Activities Must be the same as the parent company Can only conduct market research or coordinating activities Can be the same or different from parent company
Validity Period Registered forever until closed Has to be renewed every year with a 3 year maximum Registered forever until closed
Taxation Taxed as non-resident entity, local tax benefits not available N/A as Rep Office cannot generate income Taxed as Singapore resident entity, local tax benefits available
Annual Filing Must file branch office as well as parent company's accounts N/A Must file accounts of the Singapore subsidiary
Bank Account Can open bank account in Singapore Can open bank account in Singapore to run the cost center operations; must be funded by the parent company Can open bank account in Singapore
Staff Hiring No restrictions on hiring local or foreign staff Chief representative must be a staff member from the parent company. Can have limited staff only. No restrictions on hiring local or foreign staff
Appointment of Officers Must appoint at least one locally residing authorised representative Must appoint a Chief Representative who will relocate from headquarters Must appoint at least one local resident director

  • Registration and Setup of a Entities in Singapore
  • Registration and Setup of a Branch Office in Singapore
  • Registration and Setup of a Entities in Singapore
  • Registration and Setup of a Representative Office in Singapore
  • Registration and Setup of a Entities in Singapore
  • Registration and Setup of a Subsidiary Company in Singapore
  • Registration and Setup of a Entities in Singapore
  • Comparison of Singapore Branch Office vs Subsidiary Company vs Representative Office