Home Office Scheme in Singapore With HDB and URA – All Businesses Must Know

Home Office Scheme in Singapore is available for private residential under the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and for public residential under the Housing Development Board (HDB).

Home addresses can be accepted as business registered address if registration is done with the HDB or the URA directly. Home-owners can conduct their businesses from the comfort of their own home, provided they meet and fulfil the given criteria and guidelines of the URA and the HDB requirements.

 

How Does Home Office Scheme in Singapore Work?

Through Home Office scheme, tenants, homeowners and/or occupants of any residential property will be able to set up a small-scale office in their home. This, of course, can only be carried out if they meet the guidelines requirements and the performance criteria. It would also be home-owner’s responsibility to ensure that their home office setup is not going to cause amenity related problems for their neighbours.

 

Home Office Scheme in Singapore with HDB

Should you want to run your own business out of your HDB flat in Singapore under the Home Office Scheme, you will need to meet the HDB’s guidelines below:

  • Eligibility Requirements – You must be an eligible resident of the flat, and aged 18-years and above, and:
    • Your flat must be your primary place of residence.
    • You must not use your flat as a home office or registered address for a society.
    • Your business must be registered with ACRA before commencing unless exempted by the Business Registration Act.
  • Business Activities – Your business must not result in any of the following:
    • Create noise, odour, smoke, chemical or liquid waste.
    • be a nuisance to your neighbours.
    • be illegal, immoral or unlawful.
    • buy or sell physical goods within the vicinity of the flat.
    • display any advertisements, signage or posters.
    • adversely affect the environment and ambience.
  • Safety Requirements – You will need to fulfil the following HDB safety guidelines:
    • Ensure your business activities are not a danger to anyone or damage any property.
    • Ensure you have taken all the necessary safety precautions
    • Ensure that your structural load and electric consumption does not exceed the normal residential limit.
    • Ensure your business has complied with all regulations of other government authorities.
    • Ensure that you meet the fire safety requirements of the Fire Safety and Shelter Department (FSSD) Singapore.
  • Types of Business Entities – Your home business must be registered with ACRA as either a sole-proprietorship, Limited Liability Partnership, Private Limited Company in Singapore, or Partnership.
  • Hiring Employees – While there is no limit to the number of employees your business can have, only 2 non-residents will be permitted to work in your flat under the Home Office Scheme in Singapore. They can be either partners, business directors, shareholders or employees.
  • Property Tax – You will still be subject to the owner-occupied concessionary tax rate if the flat is occupied principally as a residence.

 

Home Office Scheme in Singapore with URA

The Home Office Scheme under the URA has several restrictions which include:

  • Hiring no more than 2 non-resident employees
  • No displaying of external advertisements or signage
  • No generation of noise from your business, smoke, odour or waste materials
  • Your business must not fall within the list of non-permissible businesses

If you are not the owner of the property you intend to use under the Home Office Scheme, you will need to obtain the permission and written consent of the owner before registering your business.

Once your business has been registered under the home office scheme, you will need to abide by several performance criteria requirements, including:

  • You (or the person running the business) must use the residence as their primary place of residence.
  • Business activities will be confined to within the premises.
  • Business activities must not be illegal or unlawful.
  • No advertisements or posters must be displayed
  • All necessary safety precautions should be adhered to.
  • Ensure that your structural load and electric consumption does not exceed the normal residential limit.
  • Business activities should not adversely affect the environment of the living residents.
  • Where necessary, your business must comply with the regulations of other government authorities.
  • Relevant approvals and licenses must be obtained before commencing your business.
  • Solicitation of business must not be a nuisance to the neighbours.

 

Applying for Your Home Office Scheme in Singapore with HDB and URA

You will require a license for your Home Office Scheme, and you will need to lodge the application via LicenseOne. Your license will be valid for a 5-year period, and you will be required to pay an S$20 non-refundable administration fee. Along with that, you will need to prepare your SingPass and have a credit card (either Visa or Mastercard) ready for payment.

Before the expiration of your license, you will be sent a renewal notification by HDB or URA. Should you wish to continue running your home business, your license must be renewed with LicenseOne. If at any time you intend to terminate or not renew your license, you must cease to use your HDB flat or private residential property as your home office and file a notice of change with ACRA.

 

Types of Businesses Allowed Under the Home Office Scheme in Singapore

The following types of businesses are permissible under the Home Office Scheme in Singapore:

  • Trading office
  • Accountancy services
  • Technology-based businesses
  • Knowledge-intensive businesses
  • Architectural services
  • Consultancy services
  • Insurance services
  • Financial planning services
  • Design services
  • Advertising services
  • Estate agency
  • Transportation services

 

Types of Businesses Not Allowed Under the Home Office Scheme in Singapore

The following types of businesses which are not permissible under the Home Office Scheme in Singapore. However, your home may still be used as the registered administration office address for registration purposes with ACRA.

  • Car trading
  • Beauty, Hairdressing and Massage services
  • Courier businesses
  • Card / Palm reading or fortune telling
  • Commercial schools
  • Mausoleum
  • Funeral homes
  • Chapels
  • Employment agency
  • Maid agency
  • Dress making and Embroidery classes
  • Catering / Restaurants
  • Ophthalmic dispensary
  • Clinic and Pharmacies
  • Repairing household appliances and electrical products
  • Conducting seminars or talks for sales and marketing
  • Any form of retail activity or shops
  • Manufacturing and processing or preparation of certain products and goods
  • Money lending businesses

 

Terminating Your Home Business

Should you at any point wish to terminate your home-based business, the premise will be reverted to its original residential purpose.

For more information about the Home Office Scheme in Singapore with the HDB, visit the HDB’s website here.

For more information about the Home Office Scheme in Singapore with the URA, visit the URA’s website here.