Doing Business in Singapore

A Q&A guide to doing business in Singapore.

This Q&A gives an overview of key recent developments affecting doing business in Singapore as well as an introduction to the legal system; foreign investment, including restrictions, currency regulations and incentives; and business vehicles and their relevant restrictions and liabilities. The article also summarises the laws regulating employment relationships, including redundancies and mass layoffs, and provides short overviews on competition law; data protection; and product liability and safety. In addition, there are comprehensive summaries on taxation and tax residency; and intellectual property rights over patents, trade marks, registered and unregistered designs.

To compare answers across multiple jurisdictions, visit the Doing Business In... Country Q&A Tool.

This article is part of the global guide to doing business worldwide. For a full list of contents, please visit www.practicallaw.com/dbi-guide.

Lee Soo Chye, Choo Li Li and Alvin Cheng, Aequitas Law LLP
Contents

Overview

1. What are the key recent developments affecting doing business in your jurisdiction?

The Companies Act was overhauled by the Companies (Amendment) Bill passed in October 2014 and the changes implemented over a two-year period. The latest amendments came into effect on 3 Jan 2016 and included the following:

  • Merging the memorandum and articles of association into a single constitution.

  • Extending directors' disclosure obligations to the chief executive officer (CEO).

  • Extending the prohibition against the company providing loans to (or furnishing security for loans to) its directors.

 

Legal system

2. What is the legal system based on (for example, civil law, common law or a mixture of both)?

The Singapore legal system is based on common law and statutes enacted by Parliament.

 

Foreign investment

3. Are there any restrictions on foreign investment (including authorisations required by central or local government)?

Singapore is generally open to foreign investors apart from the following industries that have restrictions on foreigners' shareholding limits:

  • Broadcasting.

  • Domestic news media.  

Foreigners (including both individuals and foreign-owned Singapore companies) must seek government approval before acquiring landed residential property.  

 
4. Are there any restrictions on doing business with certain countries or jurisdictions?

As a member state of the UN, Singapore implements the Security Council Resolutions by enacting legislation. 

Financial sanctions and restrictions are imposed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. A list of designated individuals and entities with sanctions against them is available at www.mas.gov.sg.

Trade sanctions and restrictions are imposed by the Regulation of Imports and Export Act. A list of these sanctions and restrictions is available at www.customs.gov.sg.

 
5. Are there any exchange control or currency regulations?

There are no foreign exchange or currency restrictions on the remittance or repatriation of capital or profits in or out of Singapore.  

As a matter of policy, the Monetary Authority of Singapore imposes restrictions on the amount of Singapore dollars that can be loaned to non-resident financial institutions.

 
6. What grants or incentives are available to investors?

Companies can apply for various tax incentives under the Income Tax Act and the Economic Expansion Incentives Act.

The administering agencies include:

A detailed list of incentives can be found at www.iras.gov.sg.

 

Business vehicles

7. What are the most common forms of business vehicle used in your jurisdiction?

Common forms of business vehicles in Singapore include: 

  • Company limited by shares.

  • Branches.

  • Partnership (including limited liability partnership and limited partnership). 

  • Sole proprietorship. 

Most foreign businesses use private companies limited by shares.

 
8. In relation to the most common form of corporate business vehicle used by foreign companies in your jurisdiction, what are the main registration and reporting requirements?

Registration and formation

Registration is fully computerised and managed by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). A company can be registered online using BizFile (a portal on the ACRA website) by a:

  • Singapore citizen.

  • Permanent resident.

  • Individual holding a SingPass.

Foreign individuals and entities must engage the services of registered filing agents (such as law, accounting or corporate secretariat firms). 

Company registration involves: 

  • Applying for approval of a proposed company name.

  • Filing a request for incorporation. 

Certain types of businesses (for example, financial service providers) also need consent from other agencies.

A company can commence business as soon as it is registered with ACRA unless its business activities need further licences or approvals from other government agencies.    

Reporting requirements

Companies must: 

  • Decide on their financial year end.   

  • Appoint an auditor within three months of incorporation (unless exempted from audit requirements).

  • Hold their first annual general meeting (AGM) within 18 months of incorporation and then at least every 15 months. 

  • Have their accounts audited (unless it is a dormant company or falls within the definition of a "small company" under the Companies Act). 

A private company is exempt from having its accounts audited if it has met two out of three of the following criteria for the past two consecutive financial years:

  • Its total annual revenue does not exceed S$10 million. 

  • Its total assets do not exceed S$10 million. 

  • The total number of employees is under 50.  

Additional requirements apply to private companies that form part of a bigger group of companies. 

The following information must be filed with the Inland Revenue of Singapore (IRAS): 

  • A form declaring its revenue and estimated chargeable income with within three months of the end of the financial year. 

  • An annual tax return (with IRAS) by 30 November each year. 

The following information must be filed with ACRA:

  • An annual return within one month of a company's AGM. 

  • A statement of particulars within 30 days of creating a charge over the company's property or undertakings. 

  • Details of all changes to directors, secretaries and shareholders of the company.

Share capital

There is no minimum share capital requirement for Singapore companies. A company can be incorporated with share capital of S$1, which can be increased any time after incorporation. The concepts of "authorised capital" and "par value of shares" were abolished in Singapore in 2004.  

Non-cash consideration

Shares can be allotted either for cash or non-cash consideration (for example, the transfer of property or provision of services). 

Rights attaching to shares

Restrictions on rights attaching to shares. The Companies Act defines a private company as one in which: 

  • The right to transfer its shares is restricted. A restriction on transfer of shares (for example, transfer being subject to the approval of the directors) will satisfy this requirement. 

  • The number of shareholders does not exceed 50. 

Automatic rights attaching to shares. Statutory rights attached to shares include the right to:  

  • Attend and speak up at general meetings.  

  • See audited accounts and directors' reports. 

  • Be treated fairly in the case of minority shareholders.

Other rights can be set out in the constitution of the company or the relevant shareholders' agreements and can include the right of pre-emption in the event of a proposed share transfer by any one shareholder.

9. In relation to the most common form of corporate business vehicle used by foreign companies in your jurisdiction, outline the management structure and key liability issues.

Management structure

The board of a private company must comprise at least one director who is a natural person ordinarily resident in Singapore. A director must be at least 18 years of age.  There is no maximum age limit for directors.  

The board of directors is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the company and can exercise all the powers of the company, except those reserved to the members by the Companies Act or its constitution (to be exercised at a general meeting).

Management restrictions

In general, there are no statutory restrictions on foreign managers except for the requirement to obtain the relevant work permits. In certain industries (for example, the financial sector), key appointment holders must be approved by the relevant regulatory authorities.

Directors' and officers' liability

Directors and officers are subject to duties under common law including:

  • To act honestly and in good faith in the interests of the company.

  • To exercise care, skill and diligence.

There are also statutory duties under the Companies Act.  

A director is subject to both civil and criminal proceedings for non-compliance, possibly leading to disqualification or debarment from existing and future directorships.

Parent company liability

Unless the courts lift the corporate veil, a parent company is not responsible for the liability of its subsidiaries.

 

Employment

Laws, contracts and permits

10. What are the main laws regulating employment relationships?

The Employment is governed by a mixture of common law and legislation.

The main laws governing employment law in Singapore are the:

  • Employment Act.

  • Retirement and Re-Employment Act.

These acts are administered by the Ministry of Manpower.

There is also advice and some non-statutory guidelines issued by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), which authorities encourage employers to observe.

 
11. Is a written contract of employment required? If so, what main terms must be included in it? Do any implied terms and/or collective agreements apply to the employment relationship?

There is no requirement for a written contract of employment. It can therefore be written or oral, express or implied.

In practice, employers are encouraged to provide employees with key employment terms in writing.

 
12. Do foreign employees require work permits and/or residency permits?

All foreigners who intend to work in Singapore must have a valid work permit before they begin.

There are various types of work permits for different salary ranges and qualifications (see www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits).

Work permits can be applied for online with the Ministry of Manpower (see www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits/work-permit-for-foreign-worker/apply-for-work-permit).

Termination and redundancy

13. Are employees entitled to management representation and/or to be consulted in relation to corporate transactions (such as redundancies and disposals)?

There is no general right entitling employees to management representation or consultation in relation to corporate transactions.

However, under the Industrial Relations Act, recognised trade unions can represent their members in collective bargaining on industrial matters in certain situations (for example, transfer of employment).

 
14. How is the termination of individual employment contracts regulated?

Termination without cause

Employers and employees can contractually agree on the notice period required to terminate employment. This must be subject to the Employment Act and the Retirement and Re-Employment Act.

Employers who wish to terminate employees immediately are governed by the Employment Act and must pay them salary in lieu of notice.

Termination with cause

Grounds for termination for cause can arise from:

  • Contract.

  • Statutory law.

  • Common law.

Where provisions of the Employment Act or Retirement and Re-Employment Act apply, they must be carefully followed.

15. Are redundancies and mass layoffs regulated?

From 1 January 2017, employers must notify the Ministry of Manpower of reductions in the workforce within five working days of giving notice. This applies where five or more employees are made redundant within a six-month period (Workforce Singapore Agency Act).

Failure to notify in time is an offence that can be liable to a fine not exceeding S$5,000 (section 42, Workforce Singapore Agency Act).

 

Tax

Taxes on employment

16. In what circumstances is an employee taxed in your jurisdiction and what criteria are used?

Gains or profits from any employment are subject to income tax in Singapore under the Income Tax Act if the employment is performed in Singapore. It does not matter who the employer is, or where the employment contract is signed or even where remuneration is paid.

Only remuneration attributable to the employment in Singapore will be subject to income tax. Remuneration includes benefits-in-kind, share options and awards.

 
17. What income tax and social security contributions must be paid by the employee and the employer during the employment relationship?

Tax resident employees

Unless the employment contract states otherwise, employees are responsible for paying their own income tax.

Employees that are Singapore citizens or permanent residents must make contributions to the Central Provident Fund (a form of social security) along with their employers.

The rate of income tax for resident employees ranges from 0% to 22% (with effect from the 2017 year of assessment) depending on the total amount of remuneration.

Non-tax resident employees

The income tax rate for non-resident employees is a flat rate of 15% or the progressive resident tax rate, whichever is higher.

Employees that are not Singapore citizens or permanent residents do not need to make contributions to the Central Provident Fund.

Non-resident employees can enjoy time apportionment for their Singapore employment income if they qualify under the not ordinarily resident (NOR) scheme. The requirements for this scheme can be found at www.iras.gov.sg/IRASHome/Individuals/Foreigners/Working-out-your-taxes/Special-tax-schemes/Not-Ordinarily-Resident--NOR--Scheme/. 

Employers

Unless the employment contract states otherwise, employees are responsible for paying their own income tax. 

Employers of Singapore citizens and permanent residents must contribute to their Central Provident Fund accounts. The contribution rates range from 7.5% for employees above 65 years old, to 17% for those 55 years and below. 

An employer must complete a Form IR8A every year to report their employees' remuneration.

Business vehicles

18. When is a business vehicle subject to tax in your jurisdiction?

Tax resident business

If gains or profits accrue in or are derived from Singapore or received in Singapore from outside the country, they are subject to income tax regardless of the tax residency status of the business entity.

The tax residency status of a business entity will be relevant to the question of whether that business entity can claim benefits under the Income Tax Act.

Non-tax resident business

Income received by non-resident businesses may be subject to withholding tax for certain types of income deemed to be derived from Singapore.

19. What are the main taxes that potentially apply to a business vehicle subject to tax in your jurisdiction (including tax rates)?

The main taxes are: 

  • Income tax. 

  • Goods and services tax (for businesses with annual revenue of S$1 million or more). 

  • Property tax on immovable properties owned by businesses. 

  • Stamp duty fees on documentation relating to property and scrip share transactions. 

Dividends, interest and IP royalties

20. How are the following taxed:
  • Dividends paid to foreign corporate shareholders?

  • Dividends received from foreign companies?

  • Interest paid to foreign corporate shareholders?

  • Intellectual property (IP) royalties paid to foreign corporate shareholders?

Dividends paid

Dividends paid to foreign corporate shareholders by a company tax resident in Singapore are not subject to tax.

Dividends received

Dividends received from foreign companies are subject to income tax in Singapore if remitted to Singapore.

Singaporean tax residents can claim an exemption from tax if the:

  • Income has been taxed under the law of the territory from which the income is received.

  • Person receiving the income is resident in Singapore. 

  • Highest tax rate in the territory from which the income is received is not less than 15%.

  • Comptroller of Income Tax is satisfied that the tax exemption is beneficial to the person resident in Singapore.

Interest paid

Interest paid to a person who is not resident in Singapore can be subject to withholding tax of 15% of the gross amount of interest, depending on the nature of the interest payment.

IP royalties paid

Royalties paid to a person who is not resident in Singapore are subject to withholding tax of 10%.

Groups, affiliates and related parties

21. Are there any thin capitalisation rules (restrictions on loans from foreign affiliates)?

Singapore does not have thin capitalisation rules. Entities in certain regulated industries are subject to capital requirements. 

 
22. Must the profits of a foreign subsidiary be imputed to a parent company that is tax resident in your jurisdiction (controlled foreign company rules)?

Singapore does not have controlled foreign company rules.

 
23. Are there any transfer pricing rules?

Singapore adopts the arm's length principle for transfer pricing. 

The Inland Revenue of Singapore is guided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations.

Customs duties

24. How are imports and exports taxed?

Imports

The following types of imported goods are subject to customs or excise duties (the rates depend on the specific goods concerned): 

  • Intoxicating liquors. 

  • Tobacco products. 

  • Motor vehicles.

  • Petroleum products. 

Certain dutiable goods are exempt from customs and excise duties if they are imported by persons and/or organisations listed in the Customs (Duties) (Exemption) Order. 

All imported goods are subject to goods and services tax at the rate of 7% of the taxable value of the imported goods, unless they are imported into special zones for re-export.

Imposition of the goods and services tax is governed by the Goods and Services Act.

Exports 

Singapore does not impose export tax.

Double tax treaties

25. Is there a wide network of double tax treaties?

Singapore has an extensive network of double tax treaties with more than 80 jurisdictions. For a complete list of the treaties, see www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/Quick-Links/International-Tax/.

 

Competition

26. Are restrictive agreements and practices regulated by competition law? Is unilateral (or single-firm) conduct regulated by competition law?

Competition authority

Restrictive agreements and practices are governed by the Competition Act, which is administered and enforced by the Competition Commission of Singapore (www.ccs.gov.sg), a statutory body established under the Act.

Restrictive agreements and practices

The following are prohibited under the Competition Act if their object or effect is the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition in Singapore:

  • Agreements between undertakings.

  • Decisions by associations of undertakings.

  • Concerted practices.

Unilateral conduct

No undertaking with a dominant position in Singapore is permitted to abuse its dominant position in any market unless it falls within the third schedule of the Competition Act.

The same rules apply to undertakings based abroad.

27. Are mergers and acquisitions subject to merger control?

Mergers that result (or are expected to result) in a substantial lessening of competition within any market in Singapore for goods or services are prohibited. Exceptions are set out in the Competition Act or imposed by the Minister of Trade and Industry or an authorised regulatory authority.

The prohibition extends to foreign-to-foreign transactions, regardless of where the merger took place.

The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) can impose a financial penalty for intentional or negligent breaches of the Competition Act. The CCS has powers of investigation. Criminal sanctions can be imposed against an undertaking that fails to comply or co-operate with CCS investigations.

 

Intellectual property

28. Outline the main IP rights in your jurisdiction.

Patents

Definition and legal requirements. A patent is an exclusive right granted for the protection of inventions. The legislation governing patents is the Patents Act.

The criteria that must be satisfied for an invention to be patentable include:

  • It must be novel.

  • There must be an inventive step.

  • It must be industrially applicable.

Registration. Patent applications must be filed at the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

Enforcement and remedies. The remedies provided for in the Patents Act include:

  • Injunction.

  • Damages.

  • Account of profits.

  • Order for delivery up.

  • Order for disposal.

  • Declaration that the patent is valid and has been infringed by the infringer.

Length of protection. A patent is protected for a maximum of 20 years from the date of filing, subject to payment of annual renewal fees. The annual renewal fee is payable starting from the end of the fourth year from the date of filing, and every year after that until the patent expires.

Trade marks

Definition and legal requirements. A trade mark is a sign used by traders to distinguish their goods or services from other traders. For a sign to be registrable under the Trade Marks Act, it must be:

  • Capable of being represented graphically.

  • Distinctive of the trader's goods or services.

  • Capable of distinguishing the trader's goods and services from another trader's goods and services.

It is not compulsory to register a trade mark in order to use it. A trade mark that is not registered can be protected by common law and the owner can rely on the common law action of passing off to seek relief from potential infringers.

Registration. Both local and international trade mark applications must be filed with the IPOS.

Enforcement and remedies. The remedies provided in the Trade Marks Act include:

  • Injunction.

  • Damages.

  • Account of profits.

  • Order for delivery up.

  • Order for disposal.

Length of protection and renewability. A registered trade mark is valid for an initial period of ten years from the date of filing the application. Protection can be perpetual but this is subject to renewal of the trade mark every ten years and payment of the renewal fee.

Registered designs

Definition. A registered design under the Registered Designs Act protects the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament of an article. The two main criteria for registrability are:

  • It must be novel (not registered in Singapore or published anywhere else in the world).

  • It must be capable of being industrially applied into an article.

Registration. An application for registration of a design can be filed at the IPOS. An international application designating Singapore can also be filed at the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Office.

Enforcement and remedies. The remedies provided in the Registered Designs Act include:

  • Injunction.

  • Damages.

  • Account of profits.

  • Order for delivery up.

  • Order for disposal.

Length of protection and renewability. A registered design is valid for an initial period of five years and can be renewed for two further periods of five years. Therefore, the maximum term of protection is 15 years from the date of filing.

Unregistered designs

Definition and legal requirements. If a design is registrable under the Registered Designs Act but is not registered, there is no protection for the unregistered design.

Enforcement and remedies. Owners of unregistered designs that are registrable must seek protection through registration under the Registered Designs Act.

Length of protection. There is no protection for unregistered designs.

Copyright

Definition and legal requirements. Copyright protection in Singapore protects the expression of ideas and not the idea itself. Copyright can only exist by virtue of the Copyright Act (section 4, Copyright Act (Cap 63)).

The requirements for copyright protection are as follows (section 27, Copyright Act):

  • There exists a "work" on which the law confers protection.

  • There is a connecting factor between the author of the work or the work itself and Singapore.

  • The work is represented in some material form.

  • The work is original.

Protection. Under the Copyright Act, protection arises on creation. No registration is needed for enforcement and/or recognition of the right.

Enforcement and remedies. The remedies provided in the Copyright Act include:

  • Injunction.

  • Damages.

  • Account of profits.

  • Statutory damages in lieu of damages or account of profits.

Length of protection and renewability. The duration of protection varies depending on the nature of the work in question. A breakdown can be found on the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore's (IPOS) website at www.ipos.gov.sg/AboutIP/TypesofIPWhatisIntellectualProperty/Whatiscopyright.aspx#term

Other

Other IP rights in Singapore include:

  • Protection of plant varieties.

  • Protection of a layout design of an integrated circuit.

  • Geographical indications.

  • Protection of confidential information.

 

Marketing agreements

29. Are marketing agreements regulated?

Agency

There is no specific legislation regulating agency arrangements, so they are governed by common law principles.   

Distribution

There is no specific legislation regulating distribution agreements, so they are governed by common law principles. 

There is, however, legislation regulating anti-competitive agreements that relate to the distribution of specific goods, such as the Competition Act and the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act.

Franchising

There is no specific legislation regulating franchising arrangements, so they are governed by common law principles.

 

E-commerce

30. Are there any laws regulating e-commerce (such as electronic signatures and distance selling)?

The relevant laws regulating e-commerce are the:

  • Electronic Transactions Act. This Act recognises the validity of electronic records and signatures and contracts formed by means of electronic communication and sets out the liabilities of network service providers.   Parties can agree to exclude the use of these electronic records, communications or signatures in the contract or transaction. The Act does not apply where there are specific rules of law governing the writing or signatures in those matters, such as wills, contracts for sale of immovable property, declarations of trust and powers of attorney.

  • Spam Control Act. This Act prohibits sending electronic messages to e-mail addresses and mobile telephone numbers that are randomly generated or obtained through harvesting software. Electronic messages do not include voice calls. Cold calls made by telemarketers therefore do not fall within the scope of the Act.

  • Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act. This Act deals with abuses against computer systems and tightening of cybersecurity. 

 

Advertising

31. Outline the regulation of advertising in your jurisdiction.

The advertising industry is self-regulated. The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore, a non-government body, issued a Code of Advertising Practice (Code) to regulate:

  • Commercial advertising in all its forms.

  • Media (including advertisements using information network services, online databases and internet services).

The basic premise of the Code is that all advertisements must be legal, decent, honest and truthful. Compliance with the Code is purely voluntary and its effective enforcement relies heavily on the co-operation of members of the industry.

Legislation that can impact advertisements includes:

  • Consumer Protection (Trade Description and Safety Requirement) Act.

  • Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.

Advertisers are also subject to common law principles (like defamation and false representations) and intellectual property laws (see Question 28).

 

Data protection

32. Are there specific statutory data protection laws? If not, are there laws providing equivalent protection?

Personal data in Singapore is protected under the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA).

The PDPA has two main concerns:

  • "Do not call" provisions (enabling people to opt out of unsolicited marketing communications).

  • Data protection provisions.

The Data Protection provisions contain nine main obligations:

  • Openness. To make information about an organisation's data protection policies, practices and complaints process available on request.

  • Consent. To only collect, use or disclose personal data when an individual has consented and to allow individuals to withdraw consent.

  • Purpose limitation. To only collect, use or disclose personal data about an individual for the purpose covered by the consent.

  • Notification. To notify individuals of the purposes for which the organisation is intending to collect, use or disclose their personal data on or before its collection, use or disclosure.

  • Accuracy. To ensure that the personal data collected is reasonably accurate and complete.

  • Protection. To make security arrangements to protect the personal data collected and controls to prevent unauthorised access, collection, use, disclosure or similar risks.

  • Retention limitation. To cease retention of personal data or remove the means by which the personal data can be associated with particular individuals when it is no longer necessary for any business or legal purposes.

  • Transfer limitation. To transfer data to another country according to the requirements set out under the regulations, ensuring that the standard of protection provided to the transferred data will be comparable to the protection given under the PDPA.

  • Access and correction. On request, to provide data subjects with information about the ways in which their personal data has been used or disclosed in the past year. To correct any error or omission to an individual's personal data on request.

 

Product liability

33. How is product liability and product safety regulated?

Product liability is governed by the law of negligence in relation to manufacturers, and the law of contract in relation to sellers or suppliers.

The following legislation also contain provisions that relate to product safety and product liability:

  • Sale of Goods Act. 

  • Supply of Goods Act.

  • Unfair Contract Terms Act. 

  • Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act. 

  • Health Products Act. 

  • Consumer Protection (Safety Requirements) Regulations. 

  • Wholesome Meat and Fish (Processing Establishments and Cold Stores) Rules.  

 

Main business organisations

The main business organisations relevant to doing business in Singapore include the following:

Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)

W www.acra.gov.sg

Main activities. ACRA is the national regulator for business entities, public accountants and corporate service providers in Singapore. It provides and maintains the Bizfile portal that allows companies to register and individuals to search for information.

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)

W www.iras.gov.sg 

Main activities. IRAS administrates tax legislation and tax matters for the government. It also collects revenue and represents the government when negotiating tax treaties. 

Monetary Authority of Singapore

W www.mas.gov.sg

Main activities. MAS is the central bank of Singapore. It administers and regulates enterprises in the financial sector including banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies, financial advisers, money brokers, fund managers and other capital market service providers, trust companies, money changing and remittance businesses and providers of payment and settlement systems. 

Economic Development Board of Singapore (EDB)

W www.edb.gov.sg

Main activities. The main functions of the EDB include:

  • Facilitating local and foreign enterprises to seek business opportunities and investments. 

  • Planning and executing strategies to enhance Singapore's position as a global business centre. 

  • Providing feedback to government agencies to ensure Singapore's infrastructure and public services remain efficient and cost-effective. 

  • Administering and facilitating investment incentive schemes, including the Global Investment Program for investors and other tax incentive schemes. 

Ministry of Manpower, Singapore

W www.mom.gov.sg

Main activities. MOM processes and approves applications for work permits. It also administers and enforces employers' obligations under the workplace safety and health training legislation and generally administers the various laws relating to employment matters.  



Online resources

Singapore Statutes Online

W http://statutes.agc.gov.sg ( www.practicallaw.com/2-524-0334)

Description. This is the official website where the original language text of Singapore's legislation and subsidiary legislation can be found.



Contributor profiles

Lee Soo Chye, Senior Partner

Aequitas Law LLP 

T +65 6535 0331
F +65 6535 0131
E lee.soochye@aequitasllp.com
W www.aequitasllp.com

Professional qualifications. Singapore, Advocate and Solicitor 

Areas of practice. Conveyancing and real estate; corporate and commercial law; employment law; estate and succession planning; immigration law; information technology law; intellectual property law; landlord and tenant law; probate and administration of estates.

Non-professional qualifications. LLB (Hons), National University of Singapore

Recent transactions

  • Representing banks, listed companies, private companies and individuals, both local and overseas. Working extensively with foreign counsel in multi-jurisdictional matters. 

  • Advising clients in initial public offerings, reverse takeovers and mergers and acquisitions including management buy-outs, debt restructuring, shareholder matters and succession planning for businesses. Successfully assisted clients in applications to government agencies for grants and incentives under the various government schemes. 

  • Acting for both retail and corporate clients in real estate transactions, and advising on the structuring of real estate transactions such as divestment of land through the grant of leasehold estates from freehold estates. 

  • Advising clients in succession and estate planning and estate administration including advice on wills and trusts and the use of trusts as an instrument to address client-specific needs.

Languages. English, Mandarin, Teochew (dialect)

Professional associations/memberships. Commissioner for Oaths, Singapore; Notary Public, Singapore; Member, Law Society of Singapore; Member, Singapore Academy of Law; Member, Singapore Institute of Directors. 

Choo Li Li, Partner

Aequitas Law LLP

T +65 6535 0331
F +65 6535 0131
E choo.lili@aequitasllp.com 
W www.aequitasllp.com

Professional qualifications. Singapore, Advocate and Solicitor

Areas of practice. Conveyancing and real estate; corporate and commercial law; landlord and tenant.

Non-professional qualifications. LLB (Hons), National University of Singapore

Recent transactions. Acting for banks, private companies and individuals in diverse transactions, both in Singapore and other jurisdictions, including loan financing, joint ventures and shareholders agreements, sale and purchase of shares and distribution agreements.

Languages. English and Mandarin

Professional association/memberships. Member, Law Society of Singapore; Member, Singapore Academy of Law.

Alvin Cheng, Consultant

Aequitas Law LLP 

T +65 6535 0331
F +65 6535 0131
E alvin.cheng@aequitasllp.com 
W www.aequitasllp.com 

Professional qualifications. Singapore, Advocate and Solicitor; England and Wales, Barrister-at-Law

Areas of practice. Arbitration; litigation and dispute resolution; construction law; corporate and commercial law; employment law; family and matrimonial law; landlord and tenant law; insolvency and bankruptcy law; insurance law. 

Non-professional qualifications. LLM, LLB (Hons), University of London 

Recent transactions. Advised and acted for private individuals, SMEs, banks, private and listed corporations, and insurance companies in diverse matters, including breach of directors' duties and shareholders' disputes, credit control and risk management, cross border disputes, debt recovery and enforcement, corporate insolvency and bankruptcy, employment disputes, insurance claims and recovery, injunctions to restrain the dissipation of assets, real estate and tenancy disputes.

Languages. English, Mandarin, Cantonese (dialect) 

Professional associations/memberships. Accredited Mediator, Singapore Mediation Centre, State Courts of Singapore; Teaching Fellow, Singapore Institute of Legal Education; Senior Associate Trainer, Singapore Academy of Law, Singapore Mediation Centre; Member, Law Society of Singapore; Member, Panel of Lawyers for the Law Society of Singapore's PDPA Legal Advice Scheme; Member, Singapore Academy of Law; Member, The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn. 


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