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Learn more about Entrepreneur Pass in Singapore

If you are an entrepreneur looking to establish a business in Singapore, you may be able to apply for an Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass). The Singapore government issues this pass as a license to operate a business in Singapore that is backed by venture capital or has innovative technologies. You will not be able to establish a business in Singapore if you do not have it. There are different types of work permits in Singapore. The type of work visa required is determined by the nature of the work and your qualifications. All work pass applications must be processed by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower. The Singapore Ministry of Manpower is responsible for issuing and processing work visas, including the Entrepreneur Pass. Themis Partner explains how to apply for an EntrePass in Singapore.

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How do I qualify for an Entrepreneur Pass?

To be eligible for an Entrepreneur Pass, you must:

➤ Be 21 years old or older, with relevant qualifications and experience
➤ Have a business proposal that is entrepreneurial and innovative in nature, and capable of creating 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 is less than six months old at the time of your Entrepreneur Pass application
➤ Hold at least 30% of the stock in your prospective business

In addition to the foregoing, you must additionally meet the minimum eligibility criteria for one of the three categories listed below:

Entrepreneur

➤ Your company receives at least S$100,000 in funding or investment from a third-party venture capitalist (VC) or angel investor who has been duly accredited by a Singapore government body.
➤ Your company has been fostered by a Singapore government-approved incubator or accelerator.
➤ You have an established business network and entrepreneurial track record.

Innovator

➤ You have intellectual property.
➤ You have research collaborations with a Singapore-based university or a respectable research institute.
➤ You have a track record of outstanding accomplishments in your core area(s) of expertise.

Investor

➤ You have a track record of making wise investments.

Entrepreneur Pass is not available to businesses in the following categories:

➤ Coffee shops, hawker centers, and food courts are all options
➤ Nightclubs, bars, and karaoke lounges
➤ Massage parlors and foot reflexology clinics
➤ Acupuncture, TCM, and herbal shops are all forms of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
➤ Geomancy and employment agencies

What documents are required for an Entrepreneur Pass?

➤ An Entrepreneur Pass application form that has been completed
➤ Documentary proof that you meet one of the eligibility criteria for the entrepreneur, innovator, or investor categories
➤ A business plan in the format specified
➤ A passport-size photo taken within the last three months
➤ A copy of your passport's personal information page
➤ Documentation proving your past employment(s) and/or business venture(s)
➤ Copies of any applicable educational certificates

If your firm has been incorporated before you submit your application, you must include the following supplementary document:

➤ A copy of your organization's most recent business profile

In addition to the documents listed above, the following will help you firm your Entrepreneur Pass application:

➤ Licensing agreements
➤ Memorandums of understanding with potential consumers and/or suppliers
➤ Product certifications relevant to the product
➤ Endorsements from respected individuals/third parties
➤ A copy of your organization's most recent bank statement

All documentation submitted with an Entrepreneur Pass application must be in English or have been translated into English by a qualified translation authority.

How long does the Entrepreneur pass application processing take?

Your EntrePass application, along with any supporting documentation, must be submitted over-the-counter at any SingPost branch to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
An EntrePass application takes approximately 8 weeks to process, during which time it will be evaluated 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?

When your EntrePass application is granted, MOM will send you an In-Principle-Approval (IPA) letter to the Singapore address you supplied on your application form, which will be valid for 6 months from the date of issue.
To receive your EntrePass, you must be in Singapore and show a copy of the IPA letter, your passport, and any other documentation specified in the IPA letter. If you need to enter Singapore to pick up your EntrePass, you will be awarded a one-time entry visa.

Your IPA letter may demand you to undergo a medical examination and provide the results when you get your visa. You can choose to have the medical test performed in your native country or when you arrive in Singapore. Please keep in mind that the medical report must be written in English and must be submitted with the completed medical examination form included in the IPA letter.
After receiving the final IPA acceptance letter, you must relocate to Singapore within 6 months of the approval date.

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

If you have been denied an EntrePass, you have 90 days from the date of your rejection notice to file an appeal. Typically, EntrePass appeals are processed within 8 weeks.
An experienced lawyer may be able to file an appeal on your behalf (please refer to the next question for details).

When should I apply for an Entrepreneur Pass?

Until your EntrePass is authorized, you are not needed to register your company in Singapore. If you incorporate your firm after receiving your EntrePass, you will avoid incurring business registration and relocation costs if your application is rejected.
When you obtain an IPA letter from the authorities, you must register your company, open a corporate bank account, and inject the required share capital within 30 days of receiving the letter.
After you’ve registered your company, you’ll need to update your EntrePass information with MOM before receiving your final, approved EntrePass.
Please see our Singapore Company Registration guide for further information on how to register your company in Singapore.

Can I bring my family to live with me in Singapore?

You can bring your family (spouse and unmarried children under 21) to Singapore with the EntrePass by applying for their Dependant’s Passes.
Dependant’s Passes granted to family members of EntrePass holders are valid for the duration of the EntrePass’s validity period and can be renewed in conjunction with the EntrePass.
To be eligible for Dependant’s Passes for your family members, you must complete the Year 2 renewal criteria for EntrePass holders (for more information, see the question ‘How do I renew my EntrePass?’). The application process for Dependent’s Passes takes around 16 weeks.

How can a legal firm help with an Entrepreneur Pass application?

An experienced professional firm can help you with your EntrePass application by ensuring that all essential and supporting documents are included and completed correctly to minimize delays and maximize application approval.
Creating an Entrepreneur pass business plan on your behalf, in the required format, depending on the information you’ve provided about your potential business.
Submitting and following the status of your application on your behalf. If your application is denied, the firm can discuss the reasons with the authorities and, if necessary, file an appeal.
Please keep in mind that professional firms have no jurisdiction in the Entrepreneur Pass application process, which is subject to assessment and final approval by government officials.

Can I apply for Singapore permanent residence with my EntrePass?

Entrepreneur Pass holders are eligible for permanent residence (PR) in due course, subject to approval by Singapore immigration officials.
When submitting a PR application, you must demonstrate that you run a successful and innovative firm and that you will not become a financial burden to Singapore.

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