Sole proprietorship/ partnership in Singapore

Establishing Business and Company in Singapore

Types of Businesses and Companies:

Sole proprietorship/ partnership in Singapore

Under the business registration act, “business” includes every form of trade, commerce, craftsmanship, calling, profession and any activity carried on for the purposes of gain but does not include any office, employment or occupation, or any of the businesses specified in the first schedule of the act.

A business firm can take the form of a sole-proprietorship or a partnership. Individuals and companies may establish and own a business firm. However, a business firm cannot register another business firm as it is not a legal entity. A foreign company cannot register a business firm unless it has been registered under the companies act.

Sole proprietorship

A sole-proprietorship is a business firm owned by one person or one company. There are no partners. The sole-proprietor has absolute say in the running of the business firm.


A partnership may have between two and twenty partners. When the number of partners exceeds 20 twenty, a company must be registered instead with the partners being the shareholders.

Registering a business

We provide services to register a sole proprietorship and partnership. We also advise on whether you need licences to operate the business in question. We are able to make applications for such licences on your behalf.

A foreigner registering a Singapore business firm

A foreigner must be a permanent resident or an employment pass holder in order to engage in any business, profession, occupation or any form of paid employment in singapore.

We advise on and assist in submitting employment pass applications.

The process involves obtaining an approval-in-principle letter from the ministry of manpower (mom) to register the business with accounting and corporate regulatory authority (acra).

Upon registration of the business with acra, a copy of the certification of business registration will be sent by us to mom to finalize the issuance of the employment pass.

Business address

It is not permitted to use a p o box address as the business address. We can provide our office address as your business address.

Business manager

It is compulsory to appoint a local manager where the owner(s) is(are) “ordinarily resident” in singapore.
A person is ordinarily resident if he can provide a local residential address and prove that he is long-staying (i.e. He has the right to legally remain in singapore for a long period).
A local manager can either a singapore citizen; singapore permanent resident; employment pass holder or dependent’s pass holder.

Changes in particulars, renewal of business registration, closure of business

We provide services to update the business records with the registry, renew your business registration and to terminate the business.

Notification of any changes to particulars of the business/ owners must be filed within 14 days after date of the change.

The material in this memorandum is of the nature of the general comment only, and neither purports, nor is intended to be advice or any particular matter. Legal advice should be sought from qualified lawyers on any issues and queries relating to the topic.