A Singapore representative office is an office established by a company to conduct marketing and other non- transactional operations, generally in a foreign country where a branch office or subsidiary is not warranted. Representative offices are generally easier to establish than a branch or subsidiary, as they are not used for actual “business” (e.g. sales).
A Singapore representative office has no legal status and it is merely an extension of the foreign company. Since it lacks a legal status, a representative office is prohibited from conducting any business activities which can yield profit, sign contracts, negotiating or opening Letter of Credit, getting involved in trading, leasing a warehouse, etc. It can only engage in activities such as conducting market research and feasibility studies.