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Setting Up Singapore Representative Office2021-04-16T10:50:30+08:00

RO provides those foreign companies interested in establishing operation in Singapore to explore the prospects first in Singapore market. It is also a vehicle to assess business opportunities prior to making any long term or large scale commitment. A RO of foreign commercial entity may operate in Singapore for maximum 3 years from its commencement date. Beyond 3 years, it must transition into a subsidiary or branch office.

Features of RO

The RO must confine its activities strictly to market research and feasibility studies on behalf of its parent company. It should not provide administrative support for its related branches or subsidiaries in the region, including the following allowable and non-allowable activities.

Allowable RO Activities

Conduct market research and feasibility studies on the viability of setting up a permanent entity in Singapore inclusive of the following:

  • Collect information about markets, competitors or customers.
  • Conduct research on the demand for the product or service; potential customers’ needs and price expectation.
  • Gather information on regulatory requirement related to establishing a permanent entity in Singapore.
  • Cultivate trade contacts and handle product enquiries.
  • Participate in exhibitions and trade shows.

Non-Allowable RO Activities

Render any direct or indirect revenue generation activities on behalf of its parent entity or provision of service inclusive of, but not limited to the following:

  • Engage in any trade (including import & export) or business activities.
  • Lease warehousing facilities. Any shipment/transshipment or storage of goods must be handle by a local agent or   distributor appointed by its parent entity.
  • Lease its office to other establishments for a fee.
  • Enter into business contract, issue invoice/receipt, open/receive letters of credit and contracts on behalf of its parent entity or provide services for a fee.
  • Source/procure or identify suppliers/ sources of raw materials, component or other industrial products.
  • Provide consultancy services/ project or systems implementation.
  • Negotiate sales and contracts.
  • Engage in promotional activities such as advertising and marketing.
  • Coordinating orders/ activities/ business between HQ and customers.
  • Provide service, support and manage distributors, agents, representatives and customers in the region.
  • Provide technical supervision, consultations and quality control checks on goods.
  • Provide technical sales and market assistance to distributors/ dealers and end users.
  • Provide administrative support to related subsidiaries/ branches in Singapore and the region.
  • Provide marketing services.


The foreign parent company that wishes to set up a representative office in Singapore must fulfill the following criteria:

  • The foreign parent company must have a sales turnover in excess of US$250,000.
  • The foreign parent company must have been established for three years or more.
  • The representative office of the foreign parent company must adhere to the maximum headcount of 5 employees as stipulated by the IE Singapore.

Registration Requirements of RO


Name of Singapore RO shall be the same as that of the parent company.


The parent company must hold 100% of the RO.

Chief Representative

The RO must appoint at least 1 chief representative staff member from the head office who will relocate to Singapore and oversee its activities. Chief Representative can be Singapore resident or foreigner staff member. CorpXervices can assist you in the application of Employment Pass for the chief representative relocating to Singapore to run the Representative Office operations.

Registered office

Every business registered in Singapore is required to have a registered office address and the office must be open to public for minimum of three hours per day during business hours on weekdays. The registered address must be a physical address and cannot be a PO Box. Use of residential address is allowed for certain type of business.

Our Areas

All Individual or Local business incorporate
Private Limited Company
Foreigner Business Incorporate
Singapore Representative Office

Key Contacts

Rebecca Ng

Head of Corporate
Secretarial Services

contact email


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Submit via our online form


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