If you intend to start or run a business under our Home Office Scheme, please take note of the following guidelines.
You must be an eligible resident of the flat, and meet the conditions set for flat usage, business activities, and safety.
You must be:
Your business and/ or its activities must not:
Your business must abide by these safety requirements:
Note: This FSSD safety requirement is mandatory as the papers, files, and office equipment in a home office pose a slightly higher risk than those of an ordinary dwelling, thus the need for a fire extinguisher and smoke detector. If you have any enquiries on the fire safety requirements, please email SCDF_qp_consultant@scdf.gov.sg.
These operations guidelines can help ensure the smooth commencement of your business. Learn about your business registration and business structure requirements, the limit for non-resident employees working in the flat, property tax, and more.
Unless exempted under the Business Registration Act, your business must be registered with ACRA as 1 of these business structures:
To maintain the residential ambience, any business or advertising signage is not allowed.
There is no limit to the number of employees in your business. However, only 2 non-residents are allowed to work in your flat. These can be:
The owner-occupied concessionary tax rate continues to apply as long as the flat is principally occupied as a residence by you or any other co-owner.
We have listed examples of both permissible and non-permissible businesses under the Home Office Scheme, and the options that are available to you if your business is non-permissible.
If your business is part of this list, you may use the flat as an administration office, and the flat address for business registration with ACRA. For such cases, any business activities carried out in the flats must be administrative. All other business activities are to be conducted elsewhere, and no clients or customers are allowed to visit the flat.
Here are some FAQs from other Home Office Scheme applicants. You can check this section to see if your enquiry is already addressed here.
Can I submit my Home Office application before registering my business with ACRA?
Yes. Please select your profile as “Individual (I am an applicant not representing any company or applying on behalf of any other people)” before you complete the application.
I cannot operate my business from my flat as it falls under the list of non-permissible businesses under the Home Office Scheme. However, does the Home Office Scheme allow me to use my flat as an administration office and/ or as the address under which I register my business with ACRA?
Yes. Even if your business is under the list of non-permissible businesses, you can still use it as an administrative office, or as the address for business registration with ACRA. However, the business activities carried out in your flat must be administrative, with all other business activities conducted elsewhere. Also, clients or customers are not allowed to visit the flat.
Can I be exempted from the FSSD’s fire extinguisher and smoke detector requirement if I do not have any employees working in my home office?
No. You must still abide by FSSD's safety requirement to ensure the premise is safe for occupancy. The requirement is not based on the presence of employees – installing a fire extinguisher and smoke detector is a minimum safety requirement for any home office, including those under our Home Office Scheme.
The FSSD requirements for home offices are more lenient than those for commercial premises. You can easily purchase the required fire extinguisher and smoke detector from a DIY shop. The extinguisher required for home office use is a 2kg ABC Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguisher. The smoke detector can be the basic single-station, self-contained type, which is easy to install, battery operated, and does not require any added wiring.
Why is there a 2-person limit on how many non-residents I can have working in my home office?
This limit is set to keep the scale of business activity small in order to minimise disturbance to the neighbouring flats and not overly compromise the residential ambience. This ensures that larger businesses and companies operate from commercial premises.
Why can’t I display business signage of advertisements? These are important for my business.
Display signages and business communications like advertisements would negatively affect the residential character of the estate. While we do our best to exercise flexibility towards businesses operating from flats, we are ever mindful of protecting the living environment of HDB residents. Hence, we cannot allow such displays as these do not align well with residential areas.
Can I use my home office flat to store goods?
No. The loading and unloading of goods, which automatically includes goods storage, is not allowed under the Home Office Scheme. Storing goods in the flat would lead to additional human, vehicular, and lift traffic, which impacts the residential nature of the area and inconveniences other residents.