Comparison: Branch Office vs Subsidiary Company vs Representative Office

This chart provides a side-by-side comparison of the three incorporation options for foreign companies intending to set up and operate in Singapore, namely: subsidiary company, representative office, and branch office.

Tax and compliance to regulatory requirements varies depending on the type of entity you choose. As company incorporation specialists, we aim to help owners choose the best option for their venture into Singapore. Please feel free to contact us via email or call us at +65-64388887 to speak to our incorporation specialists.

Types Subsidiary Company Representative Office Branch Office
Package Details with Relocation

without Relocation

Learn more with Relocation
without Relocation
Entity Name Need not be the same as parent company Must be the same as parent company Must be the same as the parent company
Allowed Activities Can conduct all business activities Can only conduct market research or coordinating activities Must be the same as the parent company
Suitable For For local or Foreign Companies that wish to expand their operations in Singapore For Foreign Companies that wish to set up temporary vehicle in Singapore to conduct research and act as liaison office For Foreign Companies thay wish to expand their operations in Singapore
Disadvantages Continuing Compliance Obligations eg Financial Reports, Audit, AGMS, etc It is a temporary vehicle and cannot generate revenue Continuing Compliance Obligations eg Financial Reports, Audit etc
Ownership Can be 100% foreign or locally owned No Ownership Owned 100% by the head office
Separate Legal Entity Yes No No
Cap on Number of Members Yes, max 50 Not Applicable Not Applicable
Minimum Setting up Requirement Min One shareholder, that can be an Individual or corporate (100% local or foreign shareholding allowed. Must have at least one resident director Must appoint a Chief Representative who will relocate from headquarters Must have two Singapore Resident Agents
Limited Liability Yes No No
Need for Audited Accounts Yes No Yes
Filing of Accounts with ACRA and IRAS Yes No Yes
Annual Filing Must file audit report of subsidiary Not Applicable Must file branch office’s as well as parent company’s audit reports
Tax Treatment Taxed as Singapore resident entity, local tax benefits available Not Applicable Taxed as non-resident entity, local tax benefits not available
Tax Benefits A subsidiary company, with at least one individual shareholder with minimum of 10 percent shareholding, is entitled to local tax incentives and rebates No Corporate tax. Employees have to pay personal tax Partial tax exemption
Cessation of Business upon Death of a Member/Partner No. Equity shares go on in perpetuity Not Applicable No
Validity Period Perpetually until deregistered This is a temporary Setup. It is intended not to last more than 3 years Perpetually until deregistered
Normal Registration Time 3 hours 3-5 days 3 hours
Appointment of Officers Must appoint at least one local resident director Must appoint a Chief Representative who will relocate from headquarters Must appoint two resident agents
Governing Body ACRA & IRAS International Enterprise Singapore ACRA & IRAS

About Rikvin

Rikvin is an ACRA registered service provider for BizFile. Rikvin is Singapore’s leading company and business registration specialist that provides company formation services and emigration assistance (i.e application of work visas – Employment Pas, Entrepreneur Pass and Permanent Residence.

Our services are custom designed for non-Singapore Residents. We offer expertise drawn from years of experience in incorporation and work pass application. To find out more on how we can help you start up your Singapore company, please contact us.