General Characteristics

A representative office (RO) is usually set up when a foreign company wishes to establish a presence in Singapore, but does not (yet) intend to actually carry on any business there. A RO has no legal status, but is merely an administrative arrangement and primarily designed for non-commercial activities. Legally, a RO is not a business entity per see and not allowed to perform any activity with the purpose to generate profits.

Permitted Activities

  • conducting market research
  • conduct feasibility studies
  • supervise the activities of its main head quarter’s local agents and distributors
  • act as a liaison office during a negotiation deal
  • provide customer support

Prohibited Activities

  • enter in to a business contract
  • provide repair and technical services
  • ship or store goods in Singapore without a designated local distributor or agent
  • lease warehousing facilities lease or office(s) to other establishments for a fee
  • issue invoices/receipts
  • open/receive letters of credit