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What is the difference between a Singapore Subsidiary Company and a Branch Office?

A subsidiary company is usually the preferred option over a branch office for the following reasons:

  • A branch is an extension of its head office and is not a separate entity.
  • A branch is required to appoint at least 2 agents who are ordinarily resident in Singapore.
  • A branch is treated as a non-resident entity and therefore is not eligible for tax exemptions or incentives that a subsidiary company (which is considered a resident entity) may be entitled to.
  • A branch is required to file its head office accounts as well as its own audited accounts.

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How many directors does a subsidiary company require?

The company must have at least one director who must be ordinarily resident in Singapore.

As a foreign company looking to register a subsidiary company in Singapore, what are our options if we do not have a local director?

There are several options you may consider:

  • If you plan to relocate one of your senior employees to Singapore, you can apply for an employment pass for this individual who can act as the local director once the EP is approved.
  • Alternatively, you can use our nominee director services.
  • You could appoint a local person you know or a local employee who is willing to act as the local director.

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What documents are required to incorporate the subsidiary company?

Typically the following documentation will be required:

  • Details of the proposed subsidiary including name, share capital, shareholder(s), director(s) etc.
  • Copy of Singapore ID (where applicable) and passport of each proposed director and individual shareholder
  • Certificate of incorporation of the parent company and company profile reflecting registered address and directors of the parent company.

* Any documents that are not in English must be officially translated into English.