Entrepreneur Pass

Are you an entrepreneur looking to set up a business in Singapore? If so, you may be eligible to apply for an Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass).

After the enhancement of the EntrePass scheme in 2017, it is now easier for international entrepreneurs to start a business in Singapore.

Application / Renewal Rates for Foreign Workers

New Application Renewals
EntrePass Application (including preparation of Business Plan) $3000 $500
Prepare justification paper for Appeal (If required) $500 – $1000
Dependent Pass application for spouse / children $ 300
Long Term Visit Pass for Parent / Step Children $ 300

The fee quoted above are excluding GST & out-of-pocket expenses such as market analysis fee, translation fee, MOM fee , etc.

What is an EntrePass?

The Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) is a business visa designed for foreign entrepreneurs, innovators and experienced investors who wish to relocate and start a business in Singapore. It is open to all nationalities and is a scheme with the intention of attracting talent to the country and add to Singapore’s economy.

Benefits of an EntrePass

  • You do not need to set up a company before the EntrePass application
  • No paid up capital required before the application
  • An innovative or entrepreneurial business idea holds priority before educational qualification
  • EntrePass holders can bring their spouse and children into Singapore through the application of Dependant’s Pass or Long Term Visit Pass
  • EntrePass holders are eligible to apply for permanent residency in Singapore
  • You enjoy relatively low income and corporate tax under the scheme

Eligibility Requirements for an EntrePass

To be qualified for an EntrePass, you must:

  • Be 21 years old and above, with relevant qualifications and experience
  • Have an entrepreneurial and innovative business proposal that will create local employment
  • Relocate to Singapore to run the new business
  • Register the business as a Singapore private limited company
  • Runs a company that is either yet to be incorporated or has operated for no more than six months at the time of your EntrePass application (if the company has been established for more than six months, you should consider applying for an employment pass instead)
  • Hold at least 30% of your new company’s shares

In addition to the above requirements, you must also meet the eligibility criteria under one of the three categories below:

  1. Entrepreneur
    • Your company must have raised at least S$100,000 in funding from a Singapore government accredited venture capitalist (VC) or business angel
    • Your company must be incubated by a government supported incubator or accelerator
    • You must have an extensive business network and a strong entrepreneurial track record
  2. Innovator
    • Your company must hold intellectual property
    • Your company must have research collaborations with Singapore universities or research institutions under the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
    • Your must hold a record of achievement in your area of expertise
  3. Investor
    • You must have a promising track record of business investments

If you do not meet all the criteria in any category above, we advise that you consider applying for a Singapore Employment Pass instead.

Businesses Not Eligible for an EntrePass

Note that not all types of businesses are eligible under the EntrePass scheme.

According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the following businesses do not qualify for the EntrePass scheme:

  • Coffee shops, hawker centres and food courts
  • Bars, night clubs and karaoke lounges
  • Foot reflexology and massage parlours
  • Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture, and herbal dispensaries
  • Employment agencies
  • Geomancy businesses

What Documents do You Need to Prepare for an EntrePass Application?

Before applying for an EntrePass, the applicant should prepare the following documents:

  • A completed EntrePass application form
  • A copy of educational certificates
  • A passport-sized photograph taken within the last three months
  • A copy of the passport personal particulars page
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or contracts with potential clients for the new business, if any
  • Brochures, press releases, or any business collaterals from previous or existing business ventures, if any
  • A 10-page business plan

Note: All documents must be in English, or translated into English by a certified translation body.

Business Plan for EntrePass Application

The proposed business plan will serve as the key requirement for the EntrePass application. Thus, the comprehensive business plan should demonstrate the applicant’s professional business experience, outlines its goals and objectives, and a detailed plan and strategies in meeting the requirements set by MOM.

The business plan must include the following information:

  • Applicant’s profile
    • The applicant’s professional experience, such as employment history, role in growing business and a track record in business start-ups
    • The applicant’s awards and recognition from a national body, credible organisation or recognised media
    • The applicant’s special skills or resources, such as intellectual property, technology, networks, and financial
    • The applicant’s academic qualifications
    • The applicant’s role in societies and organisations
  • Business Idea
    • Product and service offered
    • Market analysis
    • Supporting documents (e.g. licensing agreements, product certifications and endorsements)
  • Implementation Plan
    • Market plan
    • Operation plan
    • Financial projections
    • Profile of management team

Applying for EntrePass

The EntrePass application can be made by the applicant or an agency on behalf of the candidate.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. The EntrePass application form is submitted, along with its supporting documents. MOM may take up to eight weeks to process the application. The processing period may be extended if any further clarification is required.
  2. Upon approval of the application, an in-principle approval letter (IPA) will be issued. The EntrePass applicant will have thirty days to register the company with ACRA.
  3. The EntrePass applicant will also have six months to enter Singapore and request for the EntrePass to be issued.
  4. The applicant may be required to register his or her fingerprints and photos taken for the issuance of EntrePass.
  5. The EntrePass card will be delivered within 4 days.

What Happens If the EntrePass Application is Rejected?

In the event that the EntrePass application is rejected by the MOM, the applicant can file an appeal within 90 days of the rejection notice. MOM will then take up to eight (8) weeks to process the appeal application.

Note: Please do not hesitate to bring your situation to us in the case of an unsuccessful application. Timcole, a professional firm with vast experience in work-pass services, can assist in investigating why your EntrePass application is rejected. Based on the reasons provided by the MOM, we will refine your application and business plan and submit an appeal on your behalf.

How can Timcole Increase Your Chance with Your EntrePass Application?

Timcole can assist in your EntrePass application by:

  • Advise and assist in the preparation of your EntrePass application and ensuring that all necessary supporting documents are included to minimise delays and maximise approval
  • Prepare a comprehensive business plan on your behalf, based on the information you have provided on your new business
  • Submit and track your application status on your behalf
  • In the case of a rejection, Timcole will review and explore the reasons with the relevant authorities and file an appeal on your behalf

Renewing of EntrePass

A new EntrePass will be valid for one year. The first renewal will be a one year extension with subsequent renewals being valid for 2 years.

To be eligible for a renewal of an EntrePass, the EntrePass holder must meet the following criteria:

  • Show documented proof of ongoing business activity as presented in the original business plan
    • Most recent audited financial statements
    • CPF statements of company’s employees
    • Employees’ educational certificates
    • Tenancy agreements
    • Company’s ACRA registration information
    • Company’s bank statements for the past 3 months
    • Recent invoices or contracts
  • Own 30% of company’s shares
  • The company must meet the minimum annual total business spending (TBS) and local employee requirements according to the MOM regulations (see table below for more details)
Number of years holding an EntrePass Minimum Annual Business Spending Number of Local Employees
1 0 0
2 S$100,000 3 local full-time employees
or
1 local professional, manager or executive
4 S$200,000 6 local full-time employees
or
2 local professional, manager or executive
6 S$600,000 9 local full-time employees
or
3 local professional, manager or executive
8 or more S$400,000 12 local full-time employees
or
4 local professional, manager or executive

 

According to the MOM, a local full-time employee is defined as a Singapore citizen or permanent resident earning a monthly salary of at least S$1,100 with CPF contributions of at least 3 months. A local professional, manager or executive is defined as a Singapore citizen or permanent resident earning a monthly salary of at least S$3,600 with CPF contributions of at least 3 months.

The company’s minimum annual business spending excludes the following expenditures:

  • Expenses due to purchasing royalties or franchises and technical know-how fees from overseas companies
  • Expenses due to work outsourced overseas
  • Payments to company’s EntrePass holder(s)

Renewing Procedure of an EntrePass

3 months prior to the expiry of the EntrePass, you will receive a renewal form from the MOM. After completion of the renewal form, you must mail it, along with supporting documents listed above, to the below address:
Work Pass Division, Ministry of Manpower, 18 Havelock Road, Singapore 059764

The renewal process will take around 8 weeks.

Applying for Singapore Permanent Residency

EntrePass holders are eligible to apply for Permanent Residence (PR) in Singapore. It is advisable to wait for at least six months to meet one of the assessing criteria requiring a submission of a minimum six months payslip and preferably an IRAS tax assessment.

The PR application is made through the Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Worker scheme at the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA). ICA will evaluate according to the applicant’s personal particular, background, length of stay, and also, the financial state of the applicant’s business.

It is strongly advised to hire the professional service of a corporate service provider to review your PR application. At Timcole, we provide expert guidance to assure a smooth execution of your PR application.

Applying Passes for the Family

An EntrePass holder can bring certain family members into Singapore by applying for them a Dependant’s Pass or Long Term Visit Pass.

Eligible family members to apply for a Dependant’s Pass include:

  • Legally married spouse
  • Unmarried children under the age of 21 years (including those legally adopted)

To qualify for the application of Dependant’s Pass, the EntrePass holder must meet the Year 2 renewal criteria.

Eligible family members to apply for a Long Term Visit Pass include:

  • Common-law spouse
  • Unmarried handicapped children above the age of 21 years
  • Unmarried step-children under the age of 21 years
  • Parents

In order to be eligible for the pass applications, the EntrePass holder must meet a minimum annual business spending and local hiring requirements as seen below:

Family Member Minimum Annual Business Spending Local Hiring Requirements
  • Common-law or legally married spouse
  • children
S$100,000 3 local full-time employees
or
1 local professional, manager or executive
  • Parents
S$200,000 6 local full-time employees
or
2 local professional, manager or executive

 

According to the MOM, a local full-time employee is defined as a Singapore citizen or permanent resident earning a monthly salary of at least S$1,100 with CPF contributions of at least 3 months. A local professional, manager or executive is defined as a Singapore citizen or permanent resident earning a monthly salary of at least S$3,600 with CPF contributions of at least 3 months.

The company’s minimum annual business spending excludes the following expenditures:

  • Expenses due to purchasing royalties or franchises and technical know-how fees from overseas companies
  • Expenses due to work outsourced overseas
  • Payments to company’s EntrePass holder(s)

Notifying Changes with the MOM

An EntrePass holder must notify the MOM if there are any changes in:

  • Business activity
  • Company name
  • Company’s financial information
  • Company address
  • Salary
  • Occupation
  • Residential address
  • Personal particulars

EntrePass Card Replacement

If a EntrePass card is lost, stolen or damaged, the holder must apply for a replacement within a week. A police report (in English) must be included in the application if the card was stolen.

If the EntrePass holder is overseas during the event, he or she must notify MOM immediately and a letter will be issued to allow the holder to enter Singapore.

Otherwise, replacement card applications can be completed through EP Online. For the application, the holder will be required to submit a fee of:

  • S$60 for damaged cards; or
  • S$100 for first lost card and S$300 for any subsequent lost cards

Upon approval, the EntrePass holder has 4 working days to collect the new card at the Employment Pass Services Centre.

Cancellation of EntrePass

EntrePass holders must cancel their EntrePass if they cease business operation. The cancellation is immediate and all family passes associated with the EntrePass will also be cancelled.

Upon cancellation of the EntrePass, the EntrePass holder must pay any outstanding income taxes and receive tax clearance from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

The EntrePass holder must also return his or her card to MOM within 1 week of cancellation.

How Timcole can Help You

Timcole is one of the leading company incorporation and accounting firm based in Singapore. Our wide range of professional services serve as a one-stop solution for your business, offering you the most affordable price for services conducted with the highest level of excellency.

Our 8 years of experience in work pass applications can assure you a smooth and stress-free process. Contact us to find out more on how we can help you with your company today.