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Comparing Branch Office vs Subsidiary Company vs Representative Office

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When you are planning to have a set up in the Singapore then you have three choices from which you have to select any one. These options are:
1) Branch Office
2) Subisidiary Company
3) Representative Office.
We will help you in providing all the information about these three options and you can select according to your needs. A representative office can’t conduct the business activity except market research and liaisoning activities. So there are two ways in which a foreign company may carry on business in Singapore. They are by registering a branch office or subsidiary company (by incorporating a limited liability company) in Singapore.

 

 

Singapore Branch

Singapore Subsidiary

Singapore Representative Office

Legal Type

Not a separate legal entity but an extention of the parent company

Separate legal entity  distinct from its parent company

Has no legal status but just a temporary administrative arrangement

Liabilities 

Liabilities extend to parent company

Liabilities limited to subsidiary

Liabilities extend to parent company

Entity Name

Must be the same as the parent company

Can be the same or different from parent company

Must be the same as parent company plus must include 'Representative Office'

Allowed Activities

Must be the same as the parent company

Can be the same or different from parent company 

Can only conduct  market research or coordinating activities 

Validity Period

Registered forever until closed

Registered forever until closed 

Has to be renewed every year with a 3 year maximum

Normal Registration Time

1-2 days

1-2 days

3-5 days

Taxation

Taxed as non-resident entity, local tax benefits not available

Taxed as Singapore resident entity, local tax benefits available 

N/A as Rep Office cannot generate income

Annual Filing 

Must file branch office as well as parent company's accounts

Must file accounts of the Singapore subsidiary

N/A

Bank Account

Can open bank account in Singapore

Can open bank account in Singapore

Can open bank account in Singapore to run the cost centre operations. Must be funded by the parent company.

Staff Hiring

No restrictions on hiring local or foreign staff

No restrictions on hiring local or foreign staff

Chief representative must be a staff member from the parent company. Can have limited staff only.

Appointment of Officers

Must appoint at least two locally resident persons

Must appoint at least one local resident director

Must appoint a Chief Representative who will relocate from headquarters

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