Work

The language used for business and education in Singapore is English.

Remuneration packages in Singapore are offered strictly based on merit. Nationality does not come into play.

Applications are done online. You may find out more on the Immigrations and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website.

Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) holders who wish to work in Singapore should apply for a Work Pass – an Employment Pass (EP), S Pass or Work Permit (WP). Each application would be assessed on its own merits. However, LTVP holders are not allowed to work in objectionable occupations such as dance hostesses, masseurs, etc.

Applications for an EP or S Pass will be assessed based on prevailing criteria (i.e., educational qualifications, salary, occupation, and experience).

Applications for a WP will depend on the LTVP holder's relationship to their sponsor:

  • If they are a parent/parent-in-law of the sponsor, they must be from an approved source country and meet the prospective company's dependency quota. The foreign worker levy will apply.
  • If they are a spouse or unmarried child of the sponsor, there is no need for foreign worker levy to be paid. Their employment will not be counted towards the company's dependency quota. They do not need to be from an approved source country.

All applicants must fulfill these requirements: 

  • Must be a Private Limited Company registered with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. Applicant need not register the company first. If registered, it must not be more than six months from date of application.

  • Company must have at least S$50,000 paid-up-capital. A bank statement, from the Singapore-based company bank account, of at least S$50,000 is required for verification.

  • The business must not be illegal.

  • Applicant must hold at least 30% of shares in the company.

In addition to the above criteria, there are other requirements to fulfil. Visit the Ministry of Manpower website for more details.

Applicants can submit the application form at any SingPost office. An acknowledgement letter will be sent by mail within two weeks.

As the approval of an EntrePass application requires additional assessments, inputs from Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board (SPRING), and the processing time may take about six weeks from the date of receipt of the application.

If successful, you will be issued with an Approval-In-Principal (AIP). You are to register the company/business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Upon receipt of the company's Business Profile/Instant Information with ACRA, the applicant needs to send/fax the following documents to the Work Pass Division for processing of the EntrePass:
- A copy of the company's Business Profile/Instant Information; and
- Approval In-Principle Letter.

Documents can be sent to:
Work Pass Division
Ministry of Manpower
18 Havelock Road
Singapore 059764

Singapore's taxation rate is one of the most competitive in the world. After deducting personal reliefs, personal income taxes are levied on a graduated scale which starts at 0% and is capped at a favourable 20%. There is no tax on income derived and received outside of Singapore, and no capital gains or estate taxes to worry about.
 

Chargeable Income (SGD$) Rate (%) Gross Tax Payable (SGD$)
First $20,000
Next $10,000
0
2
$0
$200
First $30,000
Next $10,000
-
3.50
$200
$350
First $40,000
Next $40,000
-
7
$550
$2,800
First $80,000
Next $40,000
-
11.5
$3,350
$4,600
First $120,000
Next $40,000
-
15
$7,950
$6,000
First $160,000
Next $40,000
-
17
$13,950
$6,800
First $200,000
Next $120,000
-
18
$20,750
$21,600
First $320,000
Above $320,000
-
20
$42,350
 

The EntrePass is an Employment Pass for foreign entrepreneurs who would like to start businesses in Singapore.

You will need to pay taxes, and the amount of tax that you pay depends on how much you have earned and on your tax residency in Singapore.

As a resident, you will be taxed on all income earned in Singapore and any overseas income that was brought into Singapore prior to 1 Jan 2004. Your income, after deduction of tax reliefs, will be taxed at progressive resident rates. The foreign-sourced income (with the exception of those received through partnerships in Singapore) brought into Singapore on or after 1 Jan 2004 is tax exempt.

Tax implications at a glance

If your period of stay (including work) in Singapore  Resident status   Tax implications
Is 60 days or less Non-resident Your short term employment income is exempt from tax. 
Is 61 to 182 days in a year Non-resident Your income earned in Singapore will be taxed at 15% or progressive resident rates, whichever is higher. Director's fees and other income earned in or derived from Singapore are taxed at the prevailing rate of 20%
Is at least 183 days in a year Resident for that year All your income will be taxed at progressive resident rates.  You may claim tax reliefs.
Is at least 183 days for a continuous period over two years Resident for both years  As above
Covers three consecutive years Resident for both years  As above

Please refer to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore's website at www.iras.gov.sg for more information.

If you wish to take up employment in Singapore, your employing company will need to complete the Letter of Consent (LOC) application form and submit it to MOM. There is no salary criterion for the LOC. The processing time for the LOC is about three weeks from the date of the receipt of the application and the outcome will be mailed to the employer. You may begin employment once the employer has received the LOC. Renewal of the LOC is required when the Dependant Pass is renewed. The LOC ceases to be valid when the Dependant Pass is cancelled or when you are no longer employed by the company.

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