Registering a Branch Office in Singapore

Last modified: December 12, 2015


Establishing a Singapore company setup in the form of a Branch Office is advantageous to the foreign corporation. Such a business entity is considered as the legal extension of the foreign-registered parent company. A branch office is not an independent entity and its parent company is liable to its losses and debts.

Procedure for Singapore Branch Office Registration

ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority), the Company Registrar of Singapore, governs all the business entities in Singapore. This agency has advised foreign entities to take professional assistance from Singapore incorporation services to register a new business in Singapore.

These firms assign an expert to take the charge of the Singapore incorporation process for their clients. During the process, the entrepreneurs have to complete two procedures.

  1. Select a name for the proposed company and get it verified by the ACRA
  2. Apply to ACRA to register the new company

ACRA reserves the right of rejecting any company name that it deems unsuitable for the purpose. The name should be unique and should not copy logos and trademarks of other companies. The intention is to avoid the confusion among the investors. It also cannot use words or terms blacklisted by the authorities. The approval of name takes only a few hours and the registration of company needs only 1 – 3 days.

Requirements for the Registration of Singapore Branch Office

  • Company Name: The important aspect of the Singapore company setup is choosing a name for the proposed company. The name of a branch office must match that of its foreign-registered parent company. It helps the investors in making their decisions.
  • Officers of a Brach Office: ACRA stipulates that a branch office must employ at least 2 Singapore residents. The term Singapore residents cover Singapore citizens and permanent residents and individuals having valid work permits like Employment Pass and EntrePass.
  • Business Activities of a Branch Office: The Company Law of Singapore allows a branch office to continue the activities and the functions that are stated in the Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A) of the foreign-registered parent company. A branch office does not need a separate M&A of its own.
  • Registered Office Address: A corporate must supply registered local address of its Singapore branch office at the time of registration. Singapore officials visit this place for the purpose of inspection. The company is expected to store its books of accounts and other journals at this place.

Documents for Incorporation of a Singapore Branch Office

It is important to note that the incorporation documents that one needs to submit to the ACRA must be in English.

  • The Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A) of the parent company
  • Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation of the foreign-registered parent company
  • Registered address of the branch office
  • The particulars of the agents who will work in the branch office
  • The particulars of the directors of the parent
  • A memorandum detailing the powers of the Singapore branch office

Post Company Registration Activities

After registering a Singapore Branch Office, the registrar sends an Email to notify and confirm it. It also acts as the Certificate of Incorporation. However, paying a small amount of fee is necessary to get a hard copy.

The Singapore incorporation services also assist their clients in,

  • Opening a corporate bank account in a local branch
  • GST (Goods and Services Tax) registration
  • Business licenses and permits

These firms also help the new Singapore company setup in filing of its annual report and account summary to the concerned authorities. It is necessary for the foreigners to hire incorporation services. For registering company in Singapore, one needs to visit BizFile portal, log into it using SingPass ID, and do it online.