Singapore entrepreneur visa requirements | Best Guide
Singapore is one of the most sought-after countries for businesses around the world. From manufacturing to hi-tech industries, the city-state has an opportunity for everyone. Singapore also has a conducive environment for entrepreneurship. It encourages the young and the innovative workforce from across the world to set shop there? It offers several incentives to attract such talent and investments. Hence, a Singapore Entrepreneur Visa is an important milestone in the journey of any successful business house or entrepreneur. However, certain norms have to be followed and fulfilled as per the law of the land, before one can get a Singapore Visa for Entrepreneurs. Even before that, it is important to know what is entrepreneur visa.
What is entrepreneur Visa?
An Entrepreneur Visa or a Startup Visa, as it is called in most parts of the world, is a temporary residence permit that allows the individual to set shop in that particular country for a stated period in time. It is aimed at attracting entrepreneurs to build companies and raise funds. Once all the conditions are met, the temporary permit is changed to a permanent permit.
How to get entrepreneur visa in Singapore?
The most pertinent question that young entrepreneurs ask is how to get entrepreneur visa in Singapore. The premise for the entrepreneur visa in Singapore is revenue generation. Hence, the Ministry of Manpower offers founders the option to settle down in the city-state via the entrepass. There is a constant stream of innovation, investments, and revenues.
The length of the stay is dependent on the above criteria and the success of the business. The Government of Singapore has one of the most open systems of advertising for talent. They offer resources that will help young innovators build the next big thing.
What are the eligibility criteria for Entrepreneur Visa to Singapore?
One has to fulfil a list of requirements before the entrepreneur visa to Singapore is requisitioned.
The company that has begun operations shall not be less than 6 months old and must be registered with ACRA, or the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.
The following definitions of Entrepreneur, Innovator or Investor has to be met:
• Has funding from a Government-registered Venture Capitalist or an Angel Investor
• Is a participant at a government-controlled or recognized incubation centre
• Has a proven business innovation track record or a satisfactory entrepreneurial past
• Is a holder or a proprietor of intellectual property
• Has research collaboration with any of the recognized institutions in Singapore
• Has an exemplary past about innovation
• Satisfies the basic tenets of being a successful investor
The Government of Singapore expects and encourages these new startups and entrepreneurs to add to the city-state's existing technology ecosystem. This can be done through webinars, Ted Talks, Workshops. Deal-making and networking sessions are also immensely encouraged. One of the other methods that the Ministry of Manpower points out is the mentorship program that each startup must indulge in. It will encourage the local populace to match standards.
Businesses that are not eligible for the entrepass
A Singapore entrepreneur visa is held in high esteem and requires a stringent background and future goals. There is a list of businesses that are not eligible for the Singapore entrepass or Entrepreneur visa. They are:
• Coffee Shops
• Hawker Centres
• Food Courts
• Bars and Night Clubs
• Karaoke Stations
• Massage parlors and their affiliates
• Acupuncture centers and their affiliates
• Employment exchanges and agencies
Validity of the entrepass or Singapore Entrepreneur Visa
Though the primary criteria of validity for the Singapore Entrepreneur Visa are based on the startup's profitability, the usual timeline is 2 years after which it can be renewed.
The entrepreneur must register for the entrepass either before the company's formation or within 6 months of its formation. If the 6 months have passed, then the entrepreneur would have to apply for the employment pass.
Documents required for Entrepreneur visa to Singapore
There are a set of documents that are required by the Ministry of Manpower before an entrepass be issued:
• A copy of the personal page of the entrepreneur’s passport
• All past employment testimonials in English
• The business plan
It is pertinent that the business plan is provided to the authorities since the entrepreneur’s idea will grow. The business plan will also include market analysis, competition, products and services to be provided et al. This is vital to securing the coveted entrepass.
The minimum paid-up capital needs to be $50,000.
Renewal of the entrepass
The Singapore entrepass or entrepreneur visa has to be renewed after the first year. Then, after all the criteria are met, it is extended by another year. After that, the entrepreneur visa to Singapore has to be renewed every two years.
An entrepass is supposed to renew within 3 months before its expiry. The criteria for acceptance of renewal of the Singapore Entrepreneur visa are:
1 year of holding the entry pass
No criteria are enforced
2 years of holding the entrepass
3 Full-Time Employees or 1 Professional Management Executive
Total Business spending of 100000 Singapore dollars
4 years of holding the entrepass
6 Full-Time Employees or 4 Professional Management Executive
Total Business spending of 200000 Singapore dollars
6 years of holding the entrepass
9 Full-Time Employees or 3 Professional Management Executive
Total Business spending of 300000 Singapore dollars
8 years or more of holding the entrepass
12 Full-Time Employees or 4 Professional Management Executive
Total Business spending of 400000 Singapore dollars
If the above-mentioned criteria are fulfilled, then the entrepass will be renewed by the Ministry of Manpower.
Cancellation of the entrepass
One can cancel the entrepass too, though that must be done within 7 days of the closing of the company. Anybody representing the company can go ahead with an entrepreneur visa to Singapore cancel the entrepass.
Any changes that may appear in the entrepass will have to be notified to the relevant authorities within 7 days of those changes taking effect. These changes can be related to a change in the business model, the entrepreneur’s details, financials, etc.
Some vital eligibility criteria that are often overlooked:
• The entrepreneur has to be 21 years of age and above
• The entrepreneur has to hold a minimum of 30% share in the company
• The company has to register in Singapore as a Private Limited Company
Doing business is one of the most exciting phases in the life of any entrepreneur. The reason is that the city-state provides one of the best environments of business in the world. It has a vast ecosystem of ancillaries and the government both at the central and local levels, which is geared towards budding foreign innovators for growth and prosperity.
The advantages of Singapore as a business hub
• It has one of the lowest taxation rates in the world
• A positive and vibrant business environment
• Holistic focus on human capital through knowledge, skill, and health enhancement and improvement
• Effective governance both at the central and local level
• Effective enforcement of rule of law
• Economic freedom
• Among the top 2 in the Ease of Doing Business Index
• One of the topmost competitive countries in the world
• Among the top 10 in logistic management
• 2nd best in the world for labor employer relationship
• Number 3 in the world for Intellectual Property protection
• Has among the most motivated workforces in the world
• Among the least corrupt countries in the world
Besides having one of the largest and most efficiently run international ports and airports, Singapore also has a vibrant cultural and educational landscape. This fuels the aspirational engines of the locals who push the envelope, both economically and personally. This has a cascading effect on the overall economy of the city-state.
As the article suggested, the criteria for a Singapore entrepreneur visa is a strict set of documents, credentials, and testimonials. This information will have to be submitted to the Ministry of Manpower, who will then scrutinize and then authorize for acceptance.
The city-state is known for its ease of doing business and effective governance. They also do have a stringent law and order establishment. All this makes it a wondrous place to work in. The Singapore Entrepreneur visa also enhances the relevance and importance of the startups. This helps them look for greater investments. The criteria for renewal of the visa also acts as a motivation for companies to push their limits. It is a great way to help companies grow big and fast.
This article throws light on the various aspects of getting an entrepreneur visa to Singapore. The rules and regulations may keep changing so it is advisable to keep an eye on the Ministry of Manpower website.
Devraj Lahiri is a resident of Kolkata, India. He is an IT Entrepreneur by profession but a writer, traveller and a photographer by vocation. Besides, he is a gastronome who indulges in eating the myriad variety of delicacies while the universe keeps tempting him. His favourite leisure activity is walking around his hometown. The city of Kolkata is his muse, and he wishes never to leave it except for the short trips for travel inspiration.