Family Office Services

Singapore has a reputation as a jurisdiction with a stable government, robust legal structures and conducive for business. Wealthy families worldwide are always looking for ways to better and more professionally manage their wealth. Due to the complex demands, many families set up family offices to manage their wealth. Read on to find out how we can help you get set up.

Family Office Services

Setting up family office in Singapore is similar to setting up company in Singapore, with a few more steps and considerations involved.

Why choose Singapore?

Singapore has a reputation as a jurisdiction with a stable government and robust legal structures that is conducive for business. It has a measured approach to regulation with agencies such as the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) promoting a business-friendly environment.

Wealthy families worldwide are always looking for ways to manage their wealth in a more efficient and professional manner, often by establishing family offices.

Factors that make Singapore an attractive location to set up a Single Family Office include:

  • Stable Government: The government and political climate in Singapore are stable and are not prone to wild swings and changes in directions.
  • Financial Hub: Singapore is a major financial hub in Asia with almost all major international financial institutions having a presence in the country. This makes it convenient to move liquid assets globally as the situation requires.
  • Skilled Workforce: Singapore’s workforce ranks among the highest in educational qualifications worldwide. English proficiency is high which makes working internationally easier. Furthermore, Singapore’s successful bilingual education policy means that many Singaporeans speak Mandarin, Malay and Tamil besides English.
  • Low Taxes: Singapore has among the lowest tax rates and progressive tax regimes in the world.
  • High Quality of Life: Singapore has a low crime rate, a good healthcare system, a clean environment and a world-class education system with a bilingual policy. These are attractive points to bring families here where the quality of life and education are key considerations.
  • Clear And Transparent Regulations: The regulatory and legislative regime in Singapore is transparent and business friendly. Laws are stable and generally does not change too quickly, which makes it conducive for long-term business planning.
  • Location: Singapore is a cultural, business, financial, transportation and logistics hub in the heart of Asia. This makes using Singapore an ideal location to set up a base of operations for business growth and expansion. Singapore’s connectivity to the rest of the world also makes travelling in and out of Singapore on business a breeze.

Benefits of a family office

In Singapore, a Single Family Office (SFO) manages the wealth of members of a single family and is typically incorporated as a private limited company limited by shares. These shares may be held by the holding company of the family office, by common shareholders with the family fund entity, or by a family trust.

Setting up an SFO instead of having ad-hoc solutions to resolve wealth management problems for the family has many benefits. These benefits include:

  • Enjoy economies of scale and better access to institutional investment opportunities due to a larger consolidated wealth pool
  • Consolidated oversight for regulatory compliance
  • Tax efficiency and certainty
  • Better focus on succession planning
  • More efficient and structured estate and wealth transfer
  • Regular updates of results of SFO’s activities
  • More co-ordination of wealth management strategies
  • Customised solutions based on specific family’s needs and goals

Typical Family Office Structures

The graphics below depict typical structures of family offices.

Singapore family office requirements

There are various tax incentive schemes for SFOs established in Singapore. These are:

  • Offshore Fund Exemption Scheme (under Section 13D of the Income Tax Act (ITA));
  • Resident Fund Exemption Scheme (under Section 13O of the ITA);
  • Enhanced-Tier Fund Exemption Scheme (under Section 13U of the ITA); and
  • Global Investor Program Family Office Option (GIP – FO Principals profile)

What is “Family”?

Under the Section 13(O) or Section 13(U) tax incentive scheme, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) defines “family” as individuals who are lineal descendants from a single ancestor, as well as the spouses, ex-spouses, adopted children and step-children of these individuals.

Minimum spending requirements for SFO

Single Family offices under the S13O scheme must incur a minimum total local business spending of S$200,000 annually.

Single family offices under the S13U scheme must incur a minimum local business spending of S$200,000 annually. For the local business spending requirements, expenses incurred should relate to the operating activities of the fund, as opposed to financing activities.

All minimum spending requirements are governed by a tiered framework based on the value of the Assets Under Management (AUM) and pro-rated from the commencement date of the incentive to the first financial year end after commencement. After that, the full minimum spending requirements apply for all subsequent years. Incorporation expenses would not be eligible as business spend as they are deemed capital in nature.

How we can help?

We are a professional services company that can help families handle the setting up family office in Singapore. We have a comprehensive ecosystem of partners (including lawyers, auditors, tax advisers, property and insurance agencies, fund administrators, banks, and prime brokers/custodians) who can help you meet your needs. As such, we can provide customised solutions based on each family’s needs and goals.

Our services include:

Setting up and Implementation

  • Facilitate coordination and communication with various stakeholders, including bankers, trustees, lawyers, fund managers and FO Representative, etc.
  • Advice on the set-up of the Singapore fund manager and the fund entities which are managed by the Singapore fund manager
  • Incorporation of the company and providing corporate secretarial services
  • Ensure regulatory requirements are met
  • Coordinate with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for employment pass applications
  • Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Common Reporting Standard (CRS) registration
  • Coordinate with bankers, lawyers, FO Representative and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for tax incentive applications for the fund
  • Advise on the Singapore goods and services tax (GST) implications to the fund and the Singapore fund manager

Ongoing Management of Family Office Operations

  • Corporate secretarial services to ensure regulatory compliance
  • Accounting services such as bookkeeping and payroll management
  • Preparation of financial statements
  • Corporate tax compliance and advisory services
  • Attending to queries from the tax authorities and other government authorities
  • Ensure compliance with the FATCA and CRS, as well as provide advisory services on these matters
  • Provide goods and services tax (GST) compliance and advisory services
  • Offer personnel services for employees, such as individual tax compliance and advisory services, Central Provident Fund (CPF) compliance, employment pass renewals and application for Singapore Permanent Residency
  • Fund accounting Singapore and administration

Other Business Support Services

  • Business advisory
  • Financial due diligence
  • Cash flow forecast and projections
  • Valuation
  • Business Restructuring and Transformation


1. How many entities are there in a Family Office Structure?

There are generally 2 different entities established under an SFO setup: the SFO and the fund entity. The SFO is the management entity that fulfils the family’s needs and manages the family assets held by the fund entity.

The incorporated fund entities may be variable capital companies (VCC) that the SFO invests in or sets up on its own, subject to regulatory requirements.

2. What are the AUM requirements for the 13O and 13U tax incentive schemes?

For family offices registering under the S13O scheme – locally incorporated structures – the minimum fund size is S$20 million at the point of application and throughout the incentive period.

The value of the minimum AUM for the S13U scheme is S$50 million at the point of application and throughout the incentive period.

3. Must I hire investment professionals under the 13O or 13U requirement for my Family Office?

Family offices under the S13O scheme must hire at least two investment professionals (IP), with at least one IP being a non-family member.

Under the S13U scheme, family offices are required to hire at least 3 IPs, with at least one IP being a non-family member.

An “investment professional” is a qualified Singapore tax resident employed as Traders, Research analysts, or Portfolio managers. They must earn more than S$3,500 monthly, have substantial industry experience and engage more than 50% of the time in the qualifying activity.

4. Can SFO owners enjoy residency benefits in Singapore under the GIP?

Investors who meet the minimum investment of S$2.5 million in a Singapore start-up or business may apply for permanent residence status for themselves and their immediate family under the Global Investor Programme (GIP).

Under the GIP SFO option, the family office principal (the person managing the SFO) may apply for permanent residency in Singapore. However, the SFO must have an Net Investible Assets* of at least S$200 million, with a minimum of S$50 million held in Singapore any of the 4 investment categories of:

  1. equities, REITS or business trusts listed on Singapore-approved exchanges;
  2. qualifying debt securities listed on MAS’ enquiry system;
  3. funds distributed by Singapore-licensed/registered managers or financial institutions; and
  4. private equity investments in non-listed, Singapore-based operating companies.

Furthermore, the principal must have at least 5 years of entrepreneurial, investment or management track record and have net investible assets of at least S$200 million.

*Net Investible Assets include all financial assets, such as bank deposits, capital market products, collective investment schemes, premiums paid in respect of life insurance policies and other investment products, excluding real estate. The Singapore government has discretion to assess suitability of applicants’ Net Investible Assets.

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