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While citizens of Singapore enjoy the vast wealth of advantages that come with living in such a vibrant city, with such an entrepreneurial and ambitious outlook, it is also possible to register a business in Singapore if you are an individual with – or soon to obtain – a Dependant Pass.
What Is Dependant's Pass?
A dependant pass for those individuals who reside in Singapore who have a partner or children holding an S Pass or Employment Pass can obtain a Dependant Pass for them to legally enjoy living with the resident citizen in question in Singapore.
However, please note that a partner needs to be a legally recognized spouse of the resident to qualify for a Dependant Pass. Similarly, the resident's children seeking a Dependant Pass must be aged 21 or below.
In instances where the holder of the Dependant Pass is an adopted child, the relevant adoption papers will need to be present during the time for the application of the Dependant Pass to prevent any administrative delays.
What Advantages Come With a Dependant's Pass?
One may reside in Singapore and pursue their education as long as they have a Dependant's Pass. If your employer agrees to apply for a Letter of Consent (more on that below) on your behalf, you may also be able to work and hold down a full-time position. Remember that family members can only be allowed to work if they have an S Pass or an Employment Pass.
Employment and Business Opportunities
Based on the duration of your spouse's permission, dependant's pass holders in Singapore may be eligible to obtain a job or to register a business.
Own a Business
In addition to operating a business in Singapore, if you have a Dependant's Pass, you are also qualified to acquire shares.
If a child has a Dependent Pass and is under 21, they are entitled to study in Singapore. In contrast to the examples above, a student pass doesn't require additional applications.
How to Get a Dependant's Pass?
While the paperwork necessary to get a Dependant Pass in Singapore is relatively easy, you must consider the specific eligibility criteria before applying. After all, the last thing you want is for the entire process may turn down and your time wasted.
To be eligible for a Singapore Dependant Pass, you must either be the legal spouse or child of an expatriate who already resides in Singapore.
For the spouse, this means the holder of an Employment Pass who earns $6,000 per annum or above.
In the case of children, they must be under 21 years of age – and for adopted children, the associated adoption papers need to present when applying for a Dependant Pass.
Can I Register a Business in Singapore if I Have a Dependant Pass?
A Dependant Pass holder can confidently and legally register a business in Singapore and incorporate their own company.
However, doing so follows a particular order of administration and bureaucracy. Having a Dependant Pass alone is insufficient to register a business in Singapore. Holders of Dependant's Passes (DP) must apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC) if they want to run a business in Singapore.
To register a business in Singapore, you will need to understand the necessary steps that include:
- Pick your company name
- Determine types of business structure
- Choose your SSIC codes for your business activities.
- Appointment of company director
- Work visa
- Appointment of company secretary
- Determine your financial year-end
- Decide your shareholding structure
- Your company address
- Open a bank account
For more details, you can download our Singapore company registration checklist to crosscheck the documents required to register a business in Singapore.
What Is a Letter of Consent (LOC)? How Do I Get the Letter of Consent (LOC)?
Anyone on a dependant pass who wants to work in Singapore must submit a letter of consent (LOC). This is required and will act as your authorization to work; you can get it from the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore. The application process to receive your official takes roughly three weeks.
You must be one of the following business owners to be qualified to apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC):
- ACRA-registered business' sole proprietor.
- Business partner who registered with the ACRA
- Company director who owns at least 30% of a company that registered with ACRA
To be eligible for a renewal of the Letter of Consent (LOC), you need to hire at least one Singaporean or permanent resident who makes at least the current local qualifying salary and has CPF contributions for at least three months.
The Letter of Consent will renew once until April 30, 2022, or dependant pass holders operating a business on an existing LOC may do so until it expires. After that, they must fulfill the requirements for LOC renewal or obtain a suitable work pass to keep working in Singapore.
Documents Required for Dependant's Pass Application
The following paperwork will require to apply for a Dependant's Pass (DP):
- A copy of the candidate's passport page with personal information.
- You must also submit the personal information page for the parent who shares a passport with the child.
Depending on the family member you are applying for, you might need to submit extra documents:
- You need to submit a copy of the marriage certificate for legally married spouses.
- For unmarried children under 21 years, a copy of the official birth certificate and verification of vaccination.
- For legally adopted unmarried children under 21 years, a copy of the adoption order or other relevant documents that prove adoption and verification of vaccination requirements.
Process of Letter of Consent (LOC) Application
Verify that your Dependant's Pass is valid for at least three months before applying. You must renew your dependent's pass if it isn't. It usually takes four weeks to be done.
To apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC), you need to:
- Fill out an online application to request a Letter of Consent (LOC)
- Within a week, you will receive the result of your request. Approval of your request, you can use the myMOM portal to apply the Letter of Consent.
- Three weeks later, check the progress of your application. Obtaining more information might make it take longer.
- Acceptance of LOC application, you will need to log into EP online and print the LOC.
Restrictions for Dependant Pass Holder
The most apparent restriction on obtaining and keeping a Dependant Pass is that you are the spouse or child of a Singapore Employment Pass holder. Your Dependant Pass status is dependent on your spouse's Employment Pass. Your DP and LOC also expire if the original Employment Pass does. Your spouse is the only person who can determine your status in Singapore. That means that you not only need to have this relationship in place to obtain your Dependant Pass and LOC to register a business in Singapore but also that you might lose said eligibility if the circumstances of that relationship changes – such as breaking off of the marriage.
To register a business in Singapore, you need to have a local director. Singapore law mandates the appointment of a resident director for every company. Since DP holders cannot fill this position, you must hire a Nominee Director or ask a local you know to fill it.
Sprout With Us
At Sprout Asia, we work with countless startups, businesses, and individuals in accountancy services and advise on the best way forward when finding your feet in a new territory. As such, it would be our pleasure to help you through the process of not only obtaining your Dependant Pass and LOC to register your business in Singapore but likewise to support you throughout the journey that follows.