Terms and Conditions

HDB flats can be used as a home office and for business registration under the Home Office Scheme.

Click on the following links for more information.

Eligibility Criteria

Owners, tenants, authorised occupiers and subtenants of HDB flats, who are 18 years and above, are eligible to apply under the scheme.

To qualify for the Home Office Scheme, the following conditions must be met.

Person Conducting the Business

The person conducting the business must be the flat owner, tenant, authorised occupier or approved subtenant of the flat.

Registration of Business

The business has to be registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) unless it is exempted from registration under the Business Registration Act.

Flat Rules

The flat must remain a place of residence. The business use must be ancillary to the residential use and the business activities should be confined within the flat.

The flat cannot be used as a home office or registered address for a society.

Business Activities

1The business must not generate noise, smoke, odour, chemical/liquid waste or dust that could become a nuisance.

2The business activities must not be illegal, unlawful or immoral (for example, gambling or pornography-related activities).

3The business activities must not introduce extraneous human or vehicular traffic to the surroundings or the neighbourhood.

4There must be no solicitation of business that may cause annoyance to the residents or public (for example, distribution of brochures/flyers or door-to-door visits/sales).

5There must be no selling of physical goods.

6There must be no display of advertisements or posters.

7The business activities must not adversely affect the character, ambience and environment of the residential estate.

Safety Requirements and Other Regulations

1The applicant must take all necessary safety precautions and ensure that the business activities do not:
  • Pose any danger to human lives, nor
  • Damage any property.

2Consumption of electricity and structural load must not exceed the normal residential load.

3Storage and use of dangerous chemicals and hazardous substances are strictly prohibited.

4 The business must comply with the fire safety requirements imposed by the Fire Safety and Shelter Department (FSSD):
  • Install one 2-kg ABC Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguisher to the office area and
  • Install one single-station smoke detector to the office area.

Rationale for having fire extinguisher and smoke detector in Home Office
Fire extinguisher is a useful first aid tool to be used by the occupant should there be a fire outbreak in its incipient stage. The presence of papers/files and office equipment would pose slightly higher fire risks than in an ordinary dwelling. So, it is always handy to have one or two fire extinguishers around. As for the smoke detectors, they would help to detect any outbreak of fire and sound off early alarm to alert the occupants.

For enquiry on the fire safety requirements, please send email to SCDF_qp_consultant@scdf.gov.sg

5Before commencement, the business must comply with regulations of other government authorities and obtain relevant licences/approvals.

Mode of Business

Mode of business can be sole-proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership or private limited company.

Registration of Business with Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)

The applicant has to register his business with Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

Number of Employees

The Home Office Scheme allows a maximum of 2 non-residents to work in the flat (There is no limit on the number of employees for the business/company. )

The non-residents could be the:
  • Partners
  • Shareholders
  • Directors of the business, or
  • Employees

Property Tax Payable

As long as the HDB flat is still being principally occupied by the owner as residences, the owner-occupied concessionary tax rate would continue to apply.

Business Signage

To maintain the residential ambience, no business or advertisement signage is allowed.


Q1: I wish to operate my business from my flat under the Home Office Scheme. Can I submit my Home Office application before registering my business with ACRA ?

A1: You may submit your Home Office application either before or after you have registered the business with ACRA . In the application form, please select "Individual" under "My organisation is" if you have not registered your business with ACRA.

Q2: My business falls under the list of non-permissible businesses under the Home Office Scheme and hence I am not allowed to operate it from my flat. However, can I use my flat as an administration office for my business and use the flat address to register my business with ACRA under the Home Office Scheme.

A2: For businesses which fall under the list of non-permissible businesses under Home Office Scheme, we allow the use of the flat as an administration office and the flat address for business registration with ACRA provided the activities carried out in the flats are purely administrative and all other business activities are conducted elsewhere. There must be strictly no client or customer visiting the flats.

Q3: Can a home office user be exempted from the fire safety requirements imposed by FSSD to provide the fire extinguisher and smoke detector since he does not have any employee in the home office?

A3: FSSD (Fire Safety and Shelter Department) has explained that the installation of the fire extinguisher and smoke detector is the minimum requirement in a home office. It is to ensure that the premise is safe for occupancy. These requirements are necessary because of office activities being carried out in the flat. The presence of employees is not the main criteria to determine the need for imposing the requirements. In addition, the fire safety requirement for a home office is less stringent than those for commercial premises. The fire extinguisher required for home office use is 2kg ABC Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguisher. As for the smoke detector it is a single-station, self-contained type which is easy to install, is battery operated and does not require any wiring. Both items can be purchased from DIY shops.

Q4: What is the rationale for limiting the number of non-residents (including employees, partners and directors) engaged in the business to a maximum of two?

A4: The limit of two non-residents for home office is intended to limit the scale of the business activity so as to minimise the possible disamenity to the neighbouring flats. It also automatically disqualifies sizable businesses and companies from being able to operate from homes. These larger businesses should operate from commercial premises.

Q5: Why is the display of signage disallowed? Signage is important in showing that a business is being conducted.

A5: The display of signage outside the flat would affect the residential character of our housing estates. HDB has to strike a balance between exercising flexibility and protecting the pleasant living environment. While providing flexibility to residents to operate businesses from home, HDB is also mindful of the concerns of the majority of home-owners who are not doing businesses from home and wish to keep the home purely for residential purposes.

Q6: Is it allowed for Home Office user to use the flat for storage of goods?

A6: The use of flat for storage of goods is not allowed as the loading and unloading of goods activities, and the extraneous human and vehicular traffic arising from the delivery of goods will affect the ambience of the residential estates. In addition, the use of lifts to move the goods up and down the block will cause inconveniences to other residents.
Last Updated on 26 Feb 2014