A foreign company may establish a representative office in Singapore to undertake promotional and liaison activities on behalf of its parent company. The office, however, directly or on behalf of its parent company, must not be engaged in business, conclude contracts, provide consultancy for a fee, undertake transshipment of goods, or open or negotiate any letters of credit.
Foreign companies keen on exploring the viability of doing business in Singapore or interested in using Singapore as a launching pad into the Asia Pacific, may wish to set up a Representative Office (RO).
Registration of a RO should be considered when a foreign company wants to test the business environment in Singapore before making investment decisions.
However foreign companies should be aware that incorporation of legal corporate entities with the ACRA (Registrar of Companies) will be necessary to maintain their operations in Singapore in the long term.