I keep on waxing lyrical about the ease on starting a business in Singapore but I have been messaged repeatedly asking for more information. For this reason, I wanted to write a brief guide on the EntrePass (Visa for Entrepreneurs or those building Startups) process in Singapore.

EntrePass in Singapore

Here are some of the key facts about the Visa:

  • An EntrePass is valid for 1 year with renewals allowing the holder to stay for 2 years
  • You must have an incorporated company that is less than 6 months old or plans to incorporate a company
  • You must have a comprehensive business plan as part of your application
  • You must have evidence that you have been 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
  • The application takes around 8 weeks to be processed and is reviewed by three government bodies
  • Entrepreneurs no longer need to have a minimum of S$50,000 of paid-up capital in order to apply for this visa
  • In Year 1 there are no minimum requirements on total annual business spending and employees hired, but you do have minimum requirements from Year 2 onwards (click here to learn more).

The difference between an EntrePass and an Employment Pass

There are several differences between the two visas, for example:

  • Purpose: an Employment Pass is for company staff and executives, while an Entrepass is for founders of the newly set up companies who own at least 30% shareholding
  • Salary requirements: an Employment Pass requires the applicant to have a minimum salary of S$3,600, while there is no specific salary requirement for Entrepass
  • Processing time: for an Employment Pass (EP) application it can be as fast as 3 weeks, while EntrePass can take up to 8 weeks
  • Visa duration: an EP holders can stay up to 2 years in Singapore upon the first issue of the visa, while Entrepass holders are only granted 1 year.

Entrepass Singapore requirements

EntrePass is open to people of all nationalities. You can apply for an EntrePass if you:

  • 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 business
  • 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:

How do I apply for an EntrePass?

If you wish to apply for Entrepass, you do so directly with the Ministry of Manpower. An online application is not available. You will require these documents:

· An EntrePass application form

· Documentary evidence that proves you are an entrepreneur, innovator or investor

· Business plan in the prescribed format (explained below)

· Copy of your company’s latest business profile

· A recent passport-sized photo

· Copy of the particulars page of your passport

· Documentation of your previous employment or business venture

· Copies of your educational certificates

· Any other documents that can solidify your application

Failing this Agile can help you apply for an Entrepass.

The business plan for Entrepass

A business plan is part of the required documentation that you need to submit along with your application. The Ministry of Manpower has required that the business 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.

Profile of applicant

· 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 idea

· Product and service offered

· Market analysis

· Supporting documents (licensing agreements, product certifications and endorsements)

Implementation plan

· Market plan

· Operation plan

· Financial projections

· Profiles of management team

How long will the application take?

EntrePass applications usually take between 6 to 8 weeks to process. You can use this link to check your EntrePass application status.

If you are ambitious and have a great business idea we can let you know if you are a candidate for an Entrepass with 12 quick questions, contact us and we will advise on your best approach.