How to get an Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) in Singapore
5 minute read
If you are a foreign entrepreneur with an innovative business proposal, you may qualify for the Singapore Entrepreneur Pass Entrepass. Singapore created this unique visa as an added incentive to attract the brightest minds to its start-up and entrepreneur scene.
This guide gives you a high level overview of the EntrePass scheme, requirement criteria and key difference between this visas and other visas, as well as what to expect during the application process and experience.
- Key informations and terms about EntrePass in Singapore
- EntrePass Singapore requirements in 2021
- Business not approved for an EntrePass scheme
- How do I apply for an EntrePass?
- The business plan for EntrePass
- Family members
- Rejection of EntrePass application
Key information and terms about the EntrePass in Singapore
For many, tax is the main reason why many companies choose to incorporate a company in Singapore. Singapore has business-friendly tax rates and a wealth of tax incentives to encourage the growth of businesses and entrepreneurship, which makes incorporating a company in Singapore a good idea. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the favourable tax policies:
|Corporate Tax Rate||Singapore’s corporate tax rate is currently at a flat rate of 17%.|
|Tax Incentives||Various tax incentives are available for companies in Singapore, such as the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme and the Development and Expansion Incentive (DEI). These incentives can lower the effective tax rate of companies.|
|Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs)||Singapore has an extensive network of DTAs with over 80 countries, which reduces the withholding tax rates on cross-border transactions.|
|Goods and Services Tax (GST)||The current GST rate in Singapore is 78%. However, certain goods and services are exempt from GST.|
|EntrePass||The EntrePass is a work visa for foreign entrepreneurs who want to start a business in Singapore. It is valid for 1 year, with renewals allowing the holder to stay for 2 years. Applicants must have a comprehensive business plan and be sponsored by a well-established Singaporean company or furnish a Banker’s Guarantee of S$3,000 issued by a Singapore-based bank.|
|Start-up Tax Exemption Scheme (SUTE)||Newly-incorporated companies in Singapore can enjoy tax exemptions on their first S$100,000 of taxable income for the first three consecutive years of assessment.|
|Minimum Requirements||In Year 1, there are no minimum requirements on total annual corporate spending and employees hired, but companies have minimum requirements from Year 2 onwards.|
Entrepass Singapore requirements in 2021
EntrePass is open to people of all nationalities. You can apply if you adhere to the below criteria:
- Have a proposed business idea that is innovative, entrepreneurial, and able to create jobs for locals
- Have an entrepreneurial or relevant background
- Plan to register your business as a private limited company in Singapore
- Have not incorporated your company yet, or the company is less than six months old during application
- Plan to hold 30% of the shares in the proposed company
- are sponsored by a well-established Singaporean company or are able to furnish a Banker’s Guarantee of S$3,000 issued by a Singapore-based bank upon approval of the application.
In addition to all the above-mentioned conditions, you are required to meet the either one of these criteria, which is divided into 3 types – Entrepreneur, Innovator or Investor:
It’s worth noting that in 2022 and 2023, the Singapore government has introduced some changes to the EntrePass requirements. The new requirements include a minimum fixed deposit amount of S$50,000 in a Singapore-based bank account, as well as a minimum yearly business spending of S$100,000. Additionally, the EntrePass will be valid for two years instead of one, and renewal will be possible for up to three years, subject to meeting the renewal criteria. These changes are intended to ensure that EntrePass holders are committed to their businesses and contribute to Singapore’s economic growth.
Business not approved for the EntrePass scheme:
As of 2023, the following businesses are not eligible for the EntrePass scheme:
- Coffee shops, hawker centres, food courts
- Bars, nightclubs, karaoke lounges
- Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture, herbal dispensary
- Foot reflexology, massage parlours
- Employment agencies, geomancy
- Cryptocurrency-related businesses
- Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture, herbal dispensary
The application process typically takes around 8 weeks and requires a comprehensive business plan, evidence of entrepreneurial or relevant background, and either funding of at least SGD 100,000 from a venture capitalist or angel investor, or significant business experience and a promising entrepreneurial track record.
Unlike the other visas, EntrePass applications are reviewed by 3 separate government bodies – Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), SPRING Singapore and the National Research Foundation (NRF).
How do I apply for an EntrePass?
Submit your application online
|2||Wait for 8 weeks for processing|
|3||If approved, receive an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter and move to Singapore within 6 months|
|4||Incorporate your company with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) within 1 month of IPA issuance|
|5||Register for fingerprints and photo within 2 weeks of receiving the Notification Letter, if required|
|6||Receive your EntrePass within 4 working days of completing Step 5|
Summary of documents required
- Personal particulars page of your passport.
- If available, past employment testimonials in English or resume to elaborate on professional experiences, awards or recognitions.
- (For businesses registered with ACRA) Company’s latest business profile or instant information from Bizfile.
- A business plan in English, maximum 10 pages, consisting of:
- Product and service offered
- Market analysis
- Operation plan
- Profile of management team
- Supporting documents, e.g. licensing agreements, product certificates and endorsement patents
Other documents that will support your EntrePass application. They may ask for other documents when they review your application.
Here are the additional documents you may need to furnist when you submit your application as an entrepreneur, innovator or investor:
|If you||You Need to|
|Entrepreneur||Have funding from a government-recognised venture capitalist (VC) or business angel.||Submit documents (e.g. investment agreement, shareholder certificate) to show you have raised at least $100k in funding.|
|Are an incubatee at a government-recognised incubator or accelerator.|
Show that your company is an incubatee at a government-recognised incubator or accelerator, or is involved in the [email protected] programme.
Explain how your incubatee or acceleratee’s work is related to your business.
|Have founded and sold a tech company|
Show that you were a key decision-maker of the company.
Provide profile and acquisition papers of your tech company.
|Have raised significant funding from investors for a current or past venture.|
Show evidence of funding from third party investors such as venture capitalists (VC)s or angel investors (e.g. investment agreement, shareholder certificate).
Give details of current or past venture.
Explain your role as a key decision-maker in that venture.
|Have been or are being incubated by an internationally renowned incubator or accelerator.||Show evidence that you are an incubatee at the organisation or programme.|
|Have strong industry networks and business contacts that are related to your proposed business.|
Demonstrate the strength of your networks (e.g. testimonials or letters of intent from key industry or business contacts, and their contact details).
Show how these networks can contribute to your business growth. For example, explain if the contact is a potential customer or investor, or the specific support they would offer to help you reach out internationally.
Include the estimated potential monetary value of these contacts, explaining how this value is derived.
|Have received recognition by a national body, recognised media publication or credible industry organisation for your professional, business or entrepreneurial achievements and track record.|
Demonstrate your achievements and track record (e.g. certificates, media publication, testimonials and CV).
Explain how your achievements or track record would contribute to your business growth.
|Innovator||Hold an intellectual property (IP).||Provide IP registration with an approved National IP Institution.|
|Have a research collaboration with an IHL or research institute in Singapore.|
Provide overview of research collaboration and demonstrate how it is related to the proposed business.
Provide contact details of the person in IHL or research institute you are collaborating with.
|Have extraordinary achievements in key areas of expertise.|
Show that you have the necessary expertise (e.g. certificates, articles or testimonials).
Demonstrate your ability to contribute to the business growth.
|Investor||If you are willing to invest a substantial amount of money in a local company, you will need to provide:|
Documentation of your current investments.
Information on your sector of interest and the pipeline of local companies that are being considered for investment.
Documentation to demonstrate your level of engagement with these companies (e.g. correspondences, investment agreements, signed letters of interest or intent).
|You have a track record in: Investing in and driving the growth of highly-scalable businesses.|
You have a proven investments track record (e.g. investments agreements, signed letter of interest/intent to local companies and shareholder certificate).
Your ability to nurture the investee companies.
|You have a track record in: Substantial experience as a senior management professional or executive in a large corporation.|
You have the necessary expertise (e.g. testimonials, resumes or CVs).
Profile of the companies you have worked in.
Your contribution to the company.
The business plan for Entrepass
A business plan is part of the required information that you need to submit along with your application. MOM has required that the plan conform to the following structure. Note that this means if your business plan does not conform to this format, your application may be rejected.
- Professional experience (employment history, role in growing businesses, track record in growing startups)
- Awards or recognitions (Awards by a national body, credible organization or recognized media)
- Special skills or resources (IPs, technology, networks, financial)
- Academic qualifications
- Role in societies or organizations
Business sector criteria
- Product and service offered
- Market analysis
- Supporting documents (licensing agreements, product certifications and endorsements)
After receiving your EntrePass, you are able to bring your spouse and unmarried children under age of 21 over to Singapore for the duration of your Visa. They will be eligible to apply for a Dependent pass and relocate to Singapore
EntrePass holders are eligible for permanent residency (PR) in due time, subject to approval by immigration authorities in Singapore.
Rejection of EntrePass application
If you have met all the stipulated requirements mentioned above, your application is unlikely to be rejected. However, should it happen to you, an appeal can be filed within 90 days. The appeal process will take another 6 to 8 weeks. Due to EntrePass application being a highly complicated process with a lot of required information, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional firm and services to assist you in the application.
If you’re ready to take your business from dream to reality, Sleek has services that can help you make it happen, including business incorporation in Singapore, Visa application and more. Get tailored, practical advice from us – get in touch today with your information.
You might be interested in reading about:
It is a type of work visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs to start and operate a business in Singapore.
You must have a business plan that is innovative, entrepreneurial, and able to create jobs for locals, and meet the other eligibility criteria outlined by the Singapore government.
The validity of an Entrepreneur Pass is typically 1-2 years and is renewable.
Yes, you can apply for a Dependant’s Pass or Long-Term Visit Pass for your spouse, children, and parents if you meet certain eligibility criteria.
Yes, you can apply to switch to an Entrepreneur Pass if you meet the eligibility criteria and have a viable business plan.
Yes, a degree is not a mandatory requirement for an Entrepreneur Pass in Singapore.
Yes, you can apply for an Entrepreneur Pass if your business is not yet incorporated, as long as you plan to incorporate it in Singapore.
Yes, successful applicants of an Entrepreneur Pass can bring their spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years old) to Singapore on a Dependant’s Pass.
Yes, it is possible to switch to an Entrepreneur Pass from other types of visas such as a Work Pass or a Dependant’s Pass.
The initial validity of an Entrepreneur Pass is typically 1 year, with renewals allowing the holder to stay for up to 2 years per renewal.