The construction sector has been one of the major pillars of Singapore’s economy. With many large-scale public sector projects such as the construction of business parks, housing projects, etc., the construction sector has experienced solid growth. Private sector projects involving residential properties, hotels, shopping centers, etc., increased significantly. According to official figures, Singapore’s construction demand has grown by 20% on a year-over-year basis.
If you intend to form a construction company in Singapore, now is the time to go for it. This article will find information on how to set up a construction company in Singapore. Please note that the information provided here is for general guidance and is not intended to replace professional advice.
Who needs a license to offer professional engineering services?
Any company intending to supply professional engineering services in Singapore must get a license from the Professional Engineers Board (PEB). This license is only applicable to limited companies, unlimited companies, multi-disciplinary partnerships, and limited liability partnerships.
Construction companies that are aimed at the provision of the following types of business activities essentially require a license from the PEB:
1. Companies that carry out building completion work such as:
-Curtain walling or cladding works
-Glass and glazing work
-Joinery and woodwork
2. Companies that carry out building construction work including:
-General contractors specializing in building construction and major upgrading work
-Renovation contractors who specialize in building renovations
-Work involving structure-level repair
3. Companies that perform building installation work such as:
–Installation of building equipment
-Installation of awnings and window shades
-Installation of building automated systems for remote monitoring
-Installation of fire protection and security alarm systems
-Installation of solar control films
-Installation of heaters, air-conditioners, and other plumbing work
4. Companies that perform mixed construction activities
5. Companies specializing in construction work other than constructing buildings including:
-Construction of bridges, tunnels, viaducts, and elevated roads
-Communication and power line construction
-Construction of dams and drainage systems
-General contractors involved in “non-building” construction
-Marine construction such as building ports, docks, docks, etc.
-Construction of pipelines, water, and gas lines
-Other non-building constructions (e.g., playground systems)
6. Companies renting out construction equipment
7. Companies involved in site preparation work include:
-Excavation and earthmoving work
-Soil investigation, treatment, and stabilization
-Demolition and demolition work
8. Companies that perform structural repair work such as:
-Bricklaying, setting masonry, and cementing
-Laying of building foundations
-Manufactures precast structural components
Other structural work
9. Companies offering other specialty construction and related activities include:
-Sandblasting or shot-blasting work
Requirements for License to Offer Professional Engineering Services
The PEB lays down specific compliance conditions for companies offering professional engineering services in Singapore to obtain the Professional Engineering Services License. The license can only be issued if the companies meet the criteria.
Incorporate your construction company
Before applying for the license, your business must be registered as either a limited company, an unlimited liability company, a multi-disciplinary partnership, or a limited liability partnership. Of all these configurations, the limited liability company is the most preferred and recommended option due to its many advantages such as legal entity status, limited liability, credible image, perpetual succession, and tax incentives. A foreign company can choose to register a Singapore subsidiary or a Singapore branch office.
Read this article to get information on company incorporation requirements and its process:
Both local and foreign entrepreneurs are suggested to appoint officially registered corporate service providers to help them incorporate their companies. A certified corporate service provider like Biz Atom does not only help you with business registration and company secretarial, accounting, and tax services. Visit our website for more information about our services.
Criteria for limited companies
- The company constitution should state that the main objective of the business is to provide professional engineering services.
- The minimum paid-up capital of the company must be S$ 500,000.
- The Articles of Association of the company should state that most company directors are registered professional engineers or allied professionals.
- Professional liability insurance is mandatory.
- Companies doing professional engineering work in Singapore must be under the management and control of a director who is a registered professional engineer and has a lawful practice.
Approval of premises
- If you plan on using a convertible building as office space and there is a need to make changes or additions to the building, there is a requirement to get prior approval from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore.
- There is also a requirement for prior approval from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) if you wish to put up a sign on a convertible building.
- If you plan to perform fire safety work on an office site, you must obtain approval from the Singapore Civil Defense Force. A Fire Safety Certificate (SFC) or Temporary Fire Permit (TFP) must be obtained from the Fire Safety Bureau of Singapore.
- If you plan to carry out fire safety work at the proposed office location, there is a requirement for prior approval from the Singapore Civil Defense Force.
- As the operator of a business, you must verify the permissible uses for the property and obtain a “Change of Use Approval” form from the URA before converting or renting premises for business operations.
How to Apply for Licenses
The procedure for a license application consists of submitting an application form with the following supporting documents to the Professional Engineers Board of Singapore:
- An official copy of the company’s constitution.
- List of company members and directors and details of their professional qualifications.
- A certified copy of the ‘Professional Liability Insurance Policy’ and confirmation of an insurance company that complies with Section 24 of the Professional Engineers Act.
- Official copies of the Incorporation Certificate of the company and corporate shareholders.
- An official copy of the resolution passed by the board of directors regarding the appointment of directors.
- An official copy of the latest Annual Returns filed with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
- Copies of documents submitted to the ACRA regarding the appointment of the chairman, board of directors, and shareholdings.
- A statutory statement in the prescribed format, dated less than two months before the date of filing an application indicating that the director has complied with all criteria.
The license will be granted upon successful delivery and processing of documents. This license is valid for a period of two months, and renewals must be made before two months from the date of expiration. An annual license fee of S$300 applies.
Other Licenses You May Require for Your Construction Company
A Singapore construction company should also consider applying for other licenses. A few of these are:
- Road Occupation Management Permit
Professional engineers, contractors, or site supervisors must obtain permission from the relevant land management agency to perform work such as ground investigation work, excavation work, crane parking vehicles on the road for lifting work, or any other work requiring the occupation of a section of road.
- License to Occupy and Operate Scheduled Premises
A license from the National Environment Agency (NEA) is required for anyone to occupy and use any industrial premises classified as Scheduled Premises. Industries that can cause serious air pollution or that store large amounts of hazardous materials are classified as Scheduled Premises.
- Telecommunication Wiring Contractors License
This license should be procured from the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore to provide installation, maintenance, or repair of internal telecommunication cable works connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network.
- Advertisement License
This license is required for displaying outdoor billboards such as sky signs and electronic billboards.
- General Radio Communication License
This license enables your construction company to send or receive messages via radio communication.
- Localized Private Network License
For establishing and providing local private network services such as using a walkie-talkie service in a local area.
- Localized Radio Communications License
For the operation of remote control devices, local area paging devices, transceivers (walkie-talkies), telemetry or alarm systems, wireless data or voice systems (e.g., wireless LAN), and other radio communication equipment.
- Wide Area Private Network License
With this license, you can establish and provide private wide area network services such as the use of walkie-talkie services in non-local areas.
- Non-Residential TV License
For operating broadcast equipment capable of receiving broadcast signals such as a TV set or PC enabled to receive TV programs.
- Permit to Dispose of Commercial Waste
For disposing of trade waste generated (if any) from your business activities into waterways such as open sewers.
There are indeed many processes involved in building your construction company in Singapore. However, you will realize the worth of all the invested time and effort once your business starts running. If it starts well and the entire process gets streamlined, your daily operations will get easier. Biz Atom will be happy to help you through the entire process. Contact us for all your requirements related to setting up a construction company in Singapore.