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The Singapore Entrepreneur Pass Scheme

Posted by admin on September 19, 2021
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If you are an entrepreneur looking to set up a business in Singapore, you may be eligible to apply for an Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass). Find out more about the criteria, process and other information that you need to know about applying for an Entrepreneur Pass.

What is an Entrepreneur Pass?

The Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) scheme is designed for foreign serial entrepreneurs, high calibre innovators or experienced investors who wish to start a business and relocate to Singapore. The scheme is part of Singapore’s plan to attract talent to the country and to become a regional business hub.

How do I qualify for an Entrepreneur Pass?

To qualify for an Entrepreneur Pass, you need to:

  • Be 21 years old and above, with relevant qualifications and experience
  • Have a business proposal that is entrepreneurial and innovative in nature, and able to create local employment
  • Be willing to relocate to Singapore to run your new business
  • Register your business in Singapore as a private limited company
  • Have a company that is either not yet incorporated or not more than six months old at the time of your Entrepreneur Pass application
  • Hold at least 30% of shares in your proposed business

In addition to the above, you must also meet the following minimum eligibility criteria under one of the three categories below:

    1. Entrepreneur
      • Your company is receiving at least S$100,000 in funding or investment from a third-party venture capitalist (VC) or angel investor duly accredited by a Singapore government agency
      • Your company is incubated by an incubator or accelerator recognised by the Singapore government
      • You have an established business network and entrepreneurial track record
    1. Innovator
      • You possess intellectual property
      • You have research collaborations with a Singapore-based institute of higher learning or credible research institute
      • You have a record of extraordinary achievements in your key area(s) of expertise
  1. Investor
    • You have a track record of solid investments

Businesses under the following categories are not eligible for an Entrepreneur Pass:

  • Coffee shops, hawker centres, food courts
  • Bars, night clubs, karaoke lounges
  • Foot reflexology and massage parlours
  • Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture, and herbal dispensaries
  • Employment agencies and geomancy

What documents do I need to apply for an Entrepreneur Pass?

  • A completed Entrepreneur Pass application form
  • Documentary evidence to prove that you have fulfiled one of the eligibility criteria under the entrepreneur, innovator or investor categories
  • A business plan in the prescribed format (Get your business plan framework here)
  • A passport-sized photograph taken within the last three months
  • A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport
  • Documentary evidence of your previous employment(s) and/or business venture(s)
  • Copies of relevant educational certificates, if any

If your company has been incorporated before your application is submitted, you need to supply the following additional document:

  • A copy of your company’s latest business profile

In addition to the above, these other documents will be useful in solidifying your Entrepreneur Pass application:

  • Licensing agreements
  • Memorandums of understanding with potential customers and/or suppliers
  • Relevant product certifications
  • Endorsements by reputable individuals/external parties
  • A copy of your company’s latest bank statement

All documents submitted for an Entrepreneur Pass application need to be in English, or translated into English by a certified translation body.

How do I file my Entrepreneur Pass application, and how long will the processing take?

Your Entrepreneur Pass application, along with any supporting documents, need to be filed with Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) via over-the-counter submission at any SingPost branch.

It takes about 8 weeks to process an Entrepreneur Pass application, where it will be assessed jointly by MOM and government-partnered or government-linked agencies such as the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board of Singapore (SPRING),  Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and SGInnovate.

How do I know if my Entrepreneur Pass has been approved, and how do I collect it?

When your Entrepreneur Pass application is approved, MOM will send an In-Principle-Approval (IPA) letter to the Singapore address provided on your application form, which is valid for 6 months from the date of issue.

To collect your Entrepreneur Pass , you will need to be in Singapore and present a copy of the IPA letter, your passport, and any other documents that may be requested in the IPA letter. A one-time entry visa will be issued to you to enter Singapore to collect your Entrepreneur Pass if required.

Your IPA letter may require you to go through a medical test and produce the report when you collect visa.  You may opt to do the medical test in an established clinic or hospital in your home country, or when you arrive in Singapore. Do note that the medical report must be in English and submitted along with the completed medical examination form provided in the IPA letter.

Once the final IPA approval letter has been issued, you must relocate to Singapore within 6 months of the approval date.

I’ve applied for an Entrepreneur Pass , but have yet to register my company in Singapore. When should I do so?

You are not required to register your company in Singapore until your Entrepreneur Pass is approved. Incorporating your company after obtaining your Entrepreneur Pass prevents you from incurring business registration and relocation expenses if your application is rejected.

When you have received an IPA letter from the authorities, you will be required to register your company, open a corporate bank account and inject any necessary share capital within 30 days of the letter.

Once you have registered your company, you’ll need to update your Entrepreneur Pass details with MOM before your final, approved Entrepreneur Pass is issued to you.

For more details on how to register your company in Singapore, please refer to our Singapore Company Registration guide.

I have successfully obtained an Entrepreneur Pass . Can I bring my family to live with me in Singapore?

The Entrepreneur Pass allows you to bring your family (spouse and unmarried children under 21) to Singapore by applying for their Dependant’s Passes.

Dependant’s Passes issued to family members of Entrepreneur Pass holders are valid throughout the validity period of the Entrepreneur Pass and can be renewed along with the Entrepreneur Pass.

To qualify for Dependant’s Passes for your family members, you need to meet the Year 2 renewal criteria for Entrepreneur Pass holders (please refer to the question ‘How do I renew my Entrepreneur Pass?’ for details). The application process for Dependant’s Passes takes around 16 weeks in total.

I was rejected for an Entrepreneur Pass . What should I do?

If you have been rejected for an Entrepreneur Pass , you can file an appeal within 90 days of your rejection notice. Entrepreneur Pass appeal applications are usually processed within 8 weeks.

A professional firm may be able to file an appeal on your behalf (please refer to the next question for details).

How can a professional firm help me with my Entrepreneur Pass application?

An experienced professional firm can assist you in your Entrepreneur Pass application by:

  • Ensuring that all required and supporting documents in your application are included and completed accurately to minimise delays and maximise application approval
  • Preparing an Entrepreneur Pass business plan on your behalf, in the requisite format and based on the information that you’ve provided about your proposed business
  • Submitting and tracking your application status on your behalf. If your application is rejected, the firm can explore the reasons with the authorities and file an appeal if necessary

Do note that professional firms do not have any authority in the Entrepreneur Pass application process, which is subject to review and final approval by government authorities.

Can I apply for Singapore permanent residence with my Entrepreneur Pass ?

Entrepreneur Pass holders are eligible for permanent residence (PR) in due course, which is subject to approval by immigration authorities in Singapore.

When filing a PR application, you should demonstrate that you are running a viable and innovative business, and that you will not become a financial burden to Singapore.

For more information about the Entrepreneur Pass scheme, please visit our Entrepreneur Pass FAQ page and the Ministry of Manpower website.

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