Guide To Home Office Scheme In Singapore

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Guide To Home Office Scheme In Singapore

Is limited capital an obstacle for your entrepreneurial motive that you have worrisome thoughts about high operating costs? Or is running a small-scale office in Singapore for home-based business a dream of yours? It is perfectly practical that you can operate business activities functionally either in HDB flats or private residential property with the support of Home Office Scheme.

Home Office Scheme By HDB And URA


There has been an increment in home-based businesses in Singapore over the decade due to advancements made in technology and governmental rules for Singaporean citizens.

Different kinds of business services are operational within the residential premises nowadays. The Home Office Scheme is designed to provide a conducive environment for entrepreneurs who wish to start their own business from home. The scheme allows them to conduct their business operations without having to worry about rent and other expenses.

In addition, it provides a convenient location for them to meet clients and customers.

Tips: You may hire up to two non-resident employees to operate business administrative functions on your private residential property or HDB F. Your business address will be your residential address.


How To Apply


It will take merely around 30 minutes to apply. But you should take your time if you are unfamiliar yet as it is for your home office business.

You need to submit documents such as proof of ownership, tenancy agreement, lease agreement, etc. Additionally, a non-refundable administration fee of $20 (inclusive of GST) applies. You can pay online via Credit Card (Visa/Mastercard), Direct Debit Through Internet Bank Account or FlexiPay.

What Kind Of Business Activity Can You Do?


The following types of business activities are allowed under the Home Office Scheme:

  1. Accountancy services
  2. Architectural services
  3. Consultancy services (business, engineering, IT, management, or education)
  4. Design/Advertising services
  5. Insurance/Financial planning services
  6. Real estate agencies
  7. Technology based and knowledge intensive businesses
  8. Trading office (excluding car trading office)


Non-Permitted Businesses:

  1. Beauty, hair dressing or massage therapy services
  2. Contractors business
  3. Car trading business
  4. Card reading/palm reading or fortune telling in any form
  5. Commercial school (e.g. dance, music, language, tuition centre, etc.)
  6. Courier business
  7. Classes on dress-making/embroidery
  8. Clinics and pharmacies (e.g. dental, medical, veterinary, ophthalmology, etc.)
  9. Food catering/restaurants
  10. Funeral chapels or homes
  11. Maid/employment agency
  12. Manufacturing, preparation or processing of ANY products and goods
  13. Mausoleums
  14. Money lending business
  15. Repair activities (e.g. household appliances, electrical products, footwear, etc.)
  16. Sales/marketing that involves conducting seminars and talks for a large number of customers
  17. Shops and any form of retail activity, including pet shops
  18. Societies/clubs/associations


Does Your Business Qualify?


You must be at least 18 years old and the renter or owner who is authorized to occupy the property in question in order to be eligible for this program.

Before starting operations, you must register your company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) as a sole-proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP), or private limited company, unless it is excluded under the Business Registration Act.

Before registering your company with the ACRA, you might want to think about applying for a office license for Home Office Scheme based on your preferences. Before you submit your application, be sure to mark your profile as "Individual" in the application form if you intend to apply for this scheme before becoming ACRA-registered. At a convenient moment in the future, you can register your company with ACRA.


There Are Two Types Of Scheme Available.


The two types of schemes are described in the table below.

Home Office SchemeHome-Based Small Scale Business Scheme
Enables you to establish a home office inside of your HDB/private apartmentEnables you to run a small home business from your HDB/private apartment
Home Office Permit is necessaryHome Office Permit is not required
Can employ up to two non-residents to work in your apartmentCannot employ additional employees
Needs registration with ACRA 



Conclusion: Finding an alternative to a home office


In conclusion, setting up a home office in Singapore can be a great way to increase productivity and work-life balance. The Home Office Scheme, offered by the Singapore government, can provide tax benefits for individuals who work from home. To qualify for the scheme, individuals must meet certain criteria, including the use of dedicated space in their home for work and the use of their own equipment.

It is important to note that the Home Office Scheme is only applicable for individuals who are self-employed or employed by a company that does not provide them with a fixed place of work. If you are considering setting up a home office, it is important to review the guidelines and criteria of the Home Office Scheme to ensure that you are eligible and can take advantage of the tax benefits it offers.

Learn more about Home Office Scheme by URA and make sure you observe the Safe Management Measures for your home-based business during COVID-19 as indicated on the Ministry of Health's website.


Frequently Asked Questions


Can I run my HDB home business during COVID-19 pandemic?

Singapore's home-based enterprises are required by law to adhere to Safe Management Measures, which include restricting the number of visitors allowed into a home and using SafeEntry or TraceTogether. SafeEntry must be utilized in particular to record each customer, client, and visitor who enters the building and leaves it.


What if I want to terminate my home business?

If you choose to end the business, the house will revert back to its original residential status. Simply enter your feedback via the e-feedback form to submit it. You cannot keep using the residence as an office after ending the business.

Read also: Must-Have Gadgets To Improve Your Work-From-Home Experience 2021
Read also: Income Tax 2021: Tax Deductions On Work From Home Expenses
Read also: Work From Home 2021 - Outdated Workplace Attitudes that SME Owners Need To Change

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UPDATED AS OF 28 Jan 2023
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