Company Incorporation In Singapore For Foreigners

One statutory requirement to incorporate a company in Singapore is that you need to appoint a person who ordinarily resides in Singapore as director of the company. This means the director of your company needs to be a Singapore citizen, Singapore permanent resident, or a person holding an Employment, Entre or Dependant’s Pass. 

For foreigners planning to incorporate a company in Singapore, you will either run your company from overseas (and appoint a director for your Singapore incorporated company) or relocate to Singapore to run your own business (where you act as the director of your incorporated company). Should you plan to relocate, the two most viable options for you are to get either an employment pass or an entre pass! 

In this article, we break down the differences between an Employment Pass and EntrePass. We also explain which pass is best for you if you’re planning to incorporate your company in this bustling city-state. 

Employment Pass

Both employment and entre passes are work pass schemes that allow a foreign individual to temporarily reside in Singapore for about 1 to 2 years. They are also renewable but subject to their unique renewal requirements. However, employment and entre passes have different eligibility requirements. These determine under which scheme you can apply.

The Employment Pass is for foreign professionals who already have a job offer in Singapore. To be eligible for an employment pass, you have to earn a fixed salary of at least S$4,500 a month (although older and more experienced candidates need to earn higher salaries) and hold acceptable qualifications. This generally means possessing a good university degree, having professional qualifications or specialised skills. 

Eligibility For Employment Pass

Since the employment pass is for foreign professionals who have a job offer waiting for them in Singapore, you will not be able to apply for this pass at the same time you are incorporating your company. Instead, your company has to be already registered in Singapore before you can apply. 

These are the steps that you can take to incorporate your company in Singapore and relocate using an employment pass: 

  1. Incorporate your Singapore company using an appointed resident director for the time being, until you get your employment pass approved 
  2. After company incorporation, apply for your employment pass 
  3. Transfer directorship from temporarily appointed resident director to you
  4. Relocate to Singapore and begin running your business

To do this, you can use incorporation services in Singapore that can help you to appoint a resident director temporarily – so that you can incorporate your company before you secure your employment pass. 


The EntrePass is suitable for serial entrepreneurs, high-calibre innovators, or experienced investors who want to start a business in Singapore.  

To apply for an EntrePass, you have to have started or intend to start a private limited company registered with ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) that is venture-backed or that owns innovative technologies. The company must also either have been incorporated for less than 6 months on the date that you apply for your EntrePass, or if not yet incorporated, can be done so after you have received your application results. 

In addition, you have to fulfil the criteria as an entrepreneur, innovator or investor. You can find the details of each set of criteria, here

Eligibility For Entrepass

You should take note that one key requirement to apply for the Entrepass is a 10-page business plan, stating your products and services offered, market analysis, plans for operating your business, your management team’s profile, and other supporting documents. This is not required when applying for the Employment Pass. 

As such, if you wish to incorporate your business and relocate to Singapore using the EntrePass, here are the steps that you can take: 

  1. Check that you fulfil the relevant requirements to apply for an EntrePass 
  2. Write up your 10-page business plan
  3. Submit your business plan with all other required documents
  4. Incorporate your company when your EntrePass has been approved

You can use incorporation services in Singapore to assist you with drafting your 10-page business plan and walk you through your company incorporation process too. 


Whether you apply for an Employment Pass or EntrePass depends mostly on what eligibility criteria you fit. Do also consider the renewal criteria of each pass (Employment Pass renewal requires you to still be employed by the company, and EntrePass requires your business to be operating in accordance with your original intended business plan etc.) before you apply to make sure that you can keep staying in Singapore even after 1 to 2 years. 

Either way, using a trusted company incorporation service provider will greatly smoothen your relocation and company incorporation, plus ensure that you’ve settled all the things that you need! 

Express Corporate Services is a leading incorporation service provider in Singapore, offering services at highly competitive rates. To find out more about how we can help you incorporate your business and relocate to Singapore, get in touch with us here

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