Moving or expanding your operations abroad can be the perfect way to take advantage of thee opportunities that a changing market presents. As Singapore takes it place as the new center of Asia’s financial markets, it seems obvious to consider it as the next step in your global expansion strategy.
Knowing this, the government of Singapore has introduced a new way for businesses and entrepreneurs to enter the market. Here, we look at the EntrePass, it’s advantages for global entrepreneurs, and how you can take advantage of global expansion support services to streamline your Singapore adventure.
What is an EntrePass Singapore?
If you are an entrepreneur, experienced innovator, or investor looking to start a business or relocate to Singapore, the Entrepreneur Pass or EntrePass is for you.
The EntrePass is a special visa to draw talent and entrepreneurs, particularly in the tech or clean energy industry, to Singapore. It aims to stimulate innovation in Singapore and strengthen its hold as a regional business hub.
Who is eligible for an EntrePass?
Foreign nationals who wish to apply for an EntrePass must meet the basic eligibility requirements below:
- You must be of legal age (21 years old or above) with ample qualifications or experience that is related to the business you are setting up.
- Your business should be registered in Singapore as a private limited company. If your company is already registered, it must not be more than six months old on the date of application.
- Your business should have the ability to create jobs in Singapore.
- You must physically be in Singapore to run the company.
- As the applicant, you must hold at least 30% of shares in your proposed business.
Depending on the stream you are applying for, you would need to meet specific requirements whether you are an entrepreneur, innovator, or investor.
Entrepreneurs need to have their company funded by a government-accredited venture capitalist or angel investor with a secured funding of at least SGD 100,000. Your company should also be part of a government-recognized incubator or accelerator. Furthermore, you must have proven entrepreneurial experience and an extensive business network.
If you are applying in the innovator stream, your intellectual property needs to be unique. In addition, you must have research collaborations with a research institute under Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) or a Singapore university. Beyond that, your company also needs to have outstanding technical achievements and experience in your field of business.
If you are applying in the investor stream, you need to have a proven investment track record and professional experience as a senior executive or higher.
Singapore EntrePass Benefits
The EntrePass scheme has gone through a few changes in an effort to attract more global talent to Singapore. The enhanced EntrePass is a seamless pathway for foreign entrepreneurs or investors to relocate or launch a start-up in Singapore. There are four key benefits for applying for the enhanced EntrePass visa.
- No minimum Paid up Capital – under the latest EntrePass scheme, candidates do not need to have minimum paid-up capital. It reduces the expense of setting up a company in Singapore and gives entrepreneurs time and freedom to test their idea before committing capital.
- Validation of Past Experience – With the new evaluation criteria focusing on past experiences, more early-stage international talent with an impressive history can be eligible for the EntrePass scheme and can leverage government investment programs and the low tax rate even though they have yet to secure funding.
- Longer Validity – The EntrePass is valid for more than eight years depending on the number of full-time employees and business spending. It allows global companies to focus on their business and hire employees without having to worry about renewal requirements.
- Spouses and Dependents – Additionally, EntrePass candidates can bring family members to Singapore within their first year via a Dependent’s Pass or Long-term Visit Pass.
What are the requirements for an EntrePass?
When applying for an EntrePass, you will need to prepare the following documents:
- An entrepreneurial and innovative business proposal that can create more jobs in Singapore, which must include:
- Offered products and/or services
- Market analysis
- Operations plan
- Profile of management team
- A filled EntrePass application form
- Passport-size photo taken in the last three months
- A photocopy of your passport data page
- Documentary proof of your previous employment or businesses ventures (in English)
- Copies of your diplomas or other educational certifications
- Supporting documents such as licensing agreements and product certificates
How to apply for an EntrePass?
A candidate or an official representative of the candidate has the right to apply for an EntrePass. To apply for an EntrePass, the following guidelines must be adhered to:
- Complete the EntrePass application form along with the supporting documents required and pay the application fee.
- Submit the application online and include a screenshot of the banking page confirming payment. If your application is approved, you will receive an in-principle approval letter from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) online. You must register your company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) within 30 days, only if you have not already registered. (Note: Your EntrePass should be issued within six months of receiving the approval letter).
- Next, you must register your fingerprints and photo upon the issuance of your EntrePass within two weeks after the pass is issued.
- You will then receive your EntrePass card via email to your registered address after four working days, once registration or document verification has occurred.
FAQs EntrePass Singapore
How long is the validity or duration of an EntrePass?
Your first EntrePass is valid for one year. If you want to renew your pass, you have to do it three months before its expiry. You will be given a one-year extension if you meet the renewal criteria. After that, the validity of subsequent renewals will be two years.
Here are the renewal criteria you must meet based on the number of local jobs created and business spending in Singapore.
|Number of years holding an EntrePass
|Number of local jobs created
|Minimum total business spending (SGD)
|3 FTE (Full Time Employees) or 1 PME (professional, manager or executive)
|6 FTEs or 2 PMEs
|9 FTEs or 3 PMEs
|8 or more
|12 FTEs or 4 PMEs
How much does the Singapore EntrePass cost?
The application fee costs SGD 105 per pass. If your application is approved, the issuance fee is SGD 225 for each pass, with an additional SGD 30 for each multiple journey visa.
How long will it take to get an EntrePass?
According to MoM, the general processing time for an EntrePass is around eight weeks. In case your Short-Term Visa Pass expires before your application is approved, you are not able to extend it.
Overall, the entire process of getting an EntrePass and registering your business can take up to 18 to 42 weeks, depending on how quickly you go through the processes and get the pass issued in Singapore. However, even if an EntrePass is approved, it does not guarantee that your business registration and license will be approved.
How to check the status of the EntrePass application?
You can check the status of your application online at the Ministry of Manpower.
INS Global in Singapore
If you are considering setting up a business in Singapore, INS Global has the expertise and resources to help you. We specialize in international business expansion and we are able to assist your business in an array of different areas.
Whether you are looking to hire staff in Singapore without setting up an entity or looking to recruit top talent, INS Global can assist you. Get in touch with us today to learn more!