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Singapore requires its companies to have a minimum of 1 shareholder and upto a maximum of 50 shareholders. Shareholders can be individuals or corporations, whether local or foreign. Moreover, Singapore enables 100% company ownership by foreign shareholders. Now, three questions from potential shareholders usually arise:
These topics can get really confusing, especially for newly designated shareholders. Read on as we will answer all of these questions and explain them one by one and with clarity.
A shareholder can also become a director of a company. However, the mentioned roles do not necessarily give one an entitlement to EP application or any specific pass. Hence, the answer to the question is no.
If one is willing to be a full-time employee of a Singapore company, then EP can be applicable to him or her. The first thing to note here is that EP is only applicable to employer-employee relationships. You can not apply for an employment pass just because you hold shares in the company or you act as a Director of the company. Only when you enter into contract with the company for the full time employment you can apply for EP.
There is no special visa for a promoter, a Singapore company director, or a Singapore company shareholder. Anyone from any country can incorporate a company in Singapore, but that does not mean that he or she has eligibility for EP as it is controlled and has a quota.
Nevertheless, one can visit Singapore for business purposes using a social visit visa. A social visit visa allows anyone to visit Singapore for business dealings only, but EP cannot be applied purely to a company director or shareholder in such capacity. If one becomes a Singapore employee, then EP can be applied. The second thing to note here is that the approval of EP will be decided by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
A shareholder of a company can apply for EP provided that the company agrees to employ him or her. The application for EP will be filed by the employer company. Then, the application outcome will be decided based on the merits of each case, the shareholder’s background, work experience, and monthly salary.
There are several cases in which a company is incorporated by a single shareholder and director, and that person will also relocate to Singapore as an employee. In this instance, the person is acting in three capabilities: as a shareholder, a director, and an employee due to the employment contract being agreed upon in an employer-employee relationship. Once that contract has been issued and signed, EP can be applied to this person. Once approved, he or she can relocate to Singapore. This arrangement is quite common and used in many cases in Singapore.
Being an employee in Singapore means that you will:
These scenarios are what would be expected of anyone who will become an employee in Singapore. Due to these conditions, relocating to Singapore will most probably not work for those who have growing businesses in their home countries.
Those who do not want to be an employee in Singapore, but want to occasionally visit the country, can resort to the following types of visa:
Acquiring these visas does not require meeting certain conditions in terms of employment, employment income, taxes, and so on.
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