HDB Home Office Scheme Application for My Business in Singapore

This is a journal of the process I went through to set up my business at home.

UPDATE 2 March 2016: Still happily working from home since I wrote this article on 7 March 2013.

THE QUEST:

– I want to use my HDB home address for my business.
– I want to use my HDB home as a home office.

THE 2 SCHEMES:

– Home Office Scheme…
http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10326p.nsf/w/HomeBusinessHomeOfficeScheme?OpenDocument
– Home Based Small Scale Business Scheme…
http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10326p.nsf/w/HomeBusinessGuidelinesSmallScaleHomeBased?OpenDocument

HOME OFFICE SCHEME:

– The address can be used for business registration.
– Must install one 2-kg ABC Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguisher to the office area.
– Must install one single-station smoke detector in the office area.
– Allows a maximum of 2 non-residents staff.
– Owner-occupied concessionary property tax rate continues to apply.
– All business income earned are subject to income tax.
http://www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/default.aspx
– An administration fee of $20 is required.
– The approval granted is valid for 5 years.
– HDB will send the renewal notification.

HOME BASED SMALL SCALE BUSINESS SCHEME:

– No employment of staff.
– The Address cannot be used for business registration.
– No approval is needed.

This is not what I want. I want the address.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

– Go to e-application Online Business Licensing Service (OBLS).
https://licences.business.gov.sg/SHINE/sop/WebPageHandler?p=OASIS&pn=SelectLicences&LicenceID=1421
– Get ready SingPass and Credit Card.
– Can be submitted before or after business registration with ACRA.
http://www.acra.gov.sg/

AFTER APPLICATION:

– Print out the Application Status “Approved with Payment” and proceed to register/update business registration address at ACRA website .
– Advertise products and services on HBiz website. (Interesting!)
http://www.hbiz.com.sg/webapp/AA17HBiz/ipd-app/public/index.jspa

APPLYING FOR HDB HOME OFFICE SHEME:

Here’s what I did…

– Copied and Pasted link to the Online Business Licensing Service (OBLS).
– Selected Director/Business Owner.
– – Selected license:
Industries / Business Activities > Services > Theatrical, Video and Filming Services > Video filming and recording services >
– Entered business UEN.
(Found the Unique Entity Number, UEN, here…
http://www.uen.gov.sg/uen/index.do)
– Entered SingPass.
– Filled a form for general information and particulars.
– Filled a form for Home Office Scheme (HDB).
– Checked declaration boxes.
– Paid S$20 with Visa.
– Downloaded a PDF Receipt.
– Received email confirming the application “Approved with Payment”.

MY NEW OFFICE:

– I can now run my small Videography business at home.
– The main activity will be Video Editing on a laptop.
– Meeting clients and video filming will be outside.

Adrian Lee
http://AdrianVideoImage.com
http://VideoLane.com

Next tasks:
– Apply for CPF Employer account. (DONE)
– Apply for corporate bank account. (DONE)
– Update business registration address at ACRA website. (DONE)
– Advertise products and services on HBiz website.
http://www.hbiz.com.sg/webapp/AA17HBiz/ipd-app/public/index.jspa
– Install one 2-kg ABC Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguisher to the office area.
– Install one single-station smoke detector in the office area.

Applying for HDB Home Office Scheme License

Are you setting up a home office in Singapore?

Feel free to leave me a question or share an update in the comment section.

Comments

  1. Hi
    Adrian
    I have registered office in city. Now I wants save office cost and wants make home office. Can I register my house as my office and cancel old office from Accra and Iras for Pte. Ltd. company?

  2. Hi Adrian… I just registered my company and was searching on details on the Home Office Scheme.. thus chancing upon your website…

    I registered as a Exempted Private Company for the same limited liability reason.. I am just curious why u choose llp instead of a pte ltd?

    thanks

    1. PTE Ltd must comply and submit a lot of regulatory paperwork. Must hire a company secretary and accountant. Must pay about S$3000 a year just to do that. I am a one man show with a tiny profit. Hence prefer to keep things simple.

      1. i see.. i had thought that an llp had similar reporting requirements. less the secretary services. I had a diff time really understanding the differences from the acra website.. the one thing i knew was not to go sole prop due to the liability issues…

  3. Hi may I know if there’s a need to pay property tax and a registration fee to register my business for small office home office (SOHO)?

  4. Hi,

    I am planning to startup a online e-commerce website and manage it from home (HDB flat), I checked with HDB and they said it is allowed from home. I would like to know what kind of licence I need to apply for this kind of business while applying for Home Office Scheme.

    Thanks for your help.

    Regards
    Peter S

      1. Hi,

        Thanks for the response, as adviced I have applied for new Sole Proprietor business in BizFile, but the status came out is Referred, and in the acknowledgement page it also says the outcome may take 14 days to 2 months, is it normal ?

        Thanks

          1. Hi

            If i want to open an e-commerce business, then also I need to register my home address? Do I need to submit any letter from my landlord as I am a Tenant at the current address.

            Thanks
            Andy

      2. hi adrian,

        first of all, nice blog you got there..

        a few question:
        – what are your reason for choosing LLP over sole proprietorship (SP)?
        – is it compulsory to have a business address if i chose SP? ( i intend to setup a consultancy business)
        -can i use a HDB address for a SP?

        1. 1. I chose LLP over SP for one reason: Limited Liability, where each limited partner’s liability is limited to his investment in the LLP. For SP, the owner is personally accountable for debts and losses. http://www.guidemesingapore.com/incorporation/other/business-entity-type-comparison
          2. All registered business require an address.
          3. Yes you can use Your HDB address for a Sole Proprietor setup. http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/singapore-property-resources/singapore-buy-property-guides/hdbs-home-office-scheme-part-1

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