Overseas business owners who have set up a company in Singapore and want to relocate to the country to manage that business have a choice between applying for the entrepreneur pass and the employment pass. Each type of pass has its own pros and cons and hence many foreign entrepreneurs are often confused which type of pass they should be applying for. However, what entrepreneurs should note is that the type of pass that is appropriate for them depends upon several factors including the rules and regulations governing each work pass.
For example, if the entrepreneur wants to relocate to Singapore almost immediately after completing their company incorporation, then it is mandatory for them to apply for the entrepreneur pass only. Officially known as the Singapore Entrepass, foreign business owners are supposed to apply for the entrepreneur pass if they are applying immediately after company registration. However, if the foreign business owner is ready to wait at least six months since the company has been incorporated, then they may apply for the employment pass as well. Of course during those six months the Singapore Company needs to be operational and also should be able to meet all its goals as set in the business plan.
As per the above mentioned rules, if you cannot wait to relocate to Singapore, then you have no option but to apply for the entrepreneur pass. However, if you feel you can manage the Singapore business from overseas for the first six months then you may look at the other pros and cons of each type of work pass. Those applying for the entrepreneur pass need to invest at least SGD 50,000 as paid up capital in their newly incorporated company in Singapore. If you feel you cannot invest that much amount in the beginning, you can register a company with the minimum paid up capital requirement of only SGD 1 and then after six months apply for the employment pass for relocation. Typically the employment pass would imply that you are going to be working as an employee under your own company in Singapore. Since all employment passes need to be endorsed by a Singapore employer, your company based in Singapore would become the endorser. Therefore that company needs to be fully operational and in good standing in the country so that the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore may consider your application as a legitimate requirement.
by Bryan B Wong