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Comparing Branch Office vs Subsidiary Company vs Representative Office




                               Singapore Branch           Singapore Subsidiary         Singapore Representative Office

Legal Type

Not a separate legal entity but an extension of the parent company

Separate legal entity  distinct from its parent company

Has no legal status but just a temporary administrative arrangement

Liabilities

Liabilities extend to parent company

Liabilities limited to subsidiary

Liabilities extend to parent company

Entity Name

Must be the same as the parent company

Can be the same or different from parent company

Must be the same as parent company plus must include ‘Representative Office’

Allowed Activities

Must be the same as the parent company

Can be the same or different from parent company

Can only conduct  market research or feasibility studies

Validity Period

Registered forever until closed

Registered forever until closed

Has to be renewed every year with a 3 year maximum

Taxation

Taxed as non-resident entity, local tax benefits not available

Taxed as Singapore resident entity, local tax benefits available

N/A as Rep Office cannot generate income

Annual Filing

Must file branch office as well as parent company’s accounts

Must file accounts of the Singapore subsidiary

N/A

Bank Account

Can open bank account in Singapore

Can open bank account in Singapore

Can open bank account in Singapore to run the cost centre operations. Must be funded by the parent company.

Staff Hiring

No restrictions on hiring local or foreign staff

No restrictions on hiring local or foreign staff

Chief representative must be a staff member from the parent company. Can have only five employees.

Appointment of Officers

Must appoint at least two locally resident persons

Must appoint at least one local resident director

Must appoint a Chief Representative who will relocate from headquarters