Conditions of Use

 


 

Conditions of Use

To obtain a Licence for Home Office Scheme, you and the business you operate must fulfil the conditions of use.

  1. The person(s) conducting the business must be either the flat owner, registered occupier or tenant of the HDB flat and continue to use the flat as a place of residence. The business activities shall be confined wholly within the flat.
  2. Up to two non-residents, including employees, partners and directors, are allowed to be engaged in the business at the Home Office unit.
  3. The business should not be on the list of non-permitted businesses under the Home Office scheme.
  4. The business activities must not be illegal, unlawful or immoral (e.g. gambling or pornography-related activities).
  5. The business must not generate noise, smoke, odour, chemical/ liquid waste, or dust, which could become a nuisance to your neighbours, nor introduce extraneous human or vehicular traffic to the surroundings or neighbourhood.
  6. The business activities must not adversely affect the character, ambience, and environment of the residential estate.
  7. There must be no solicitation of business that may cause disturbance to other residents or members of the public (e.g. distribution of brochures and flyers, or door-to-door visitations). There should be no selling of physical goods in or around your flat.
  8. There must be no advertisements, signages or posters displayed at your flat.
  9. The applicant must take all necessary safety precautions and ensure that the business activities do not pose any danger to human lives or damage to properties.
  10. Consumption of electricity and structural load must not exceed the normal residential load. Storage and use of dangerous chemicals and/or hazardous substances are strictly prohibited.
  11. The business must comply with the regulations of other government authorities and obtain relevant licences/ approvals before commencement of business. To search for the licences/ approvals that may be required for the business, visit the GoBusiness Licensing Portal.
  12.  No part of the flat should comprise unauthorised works under the H&D Act.
  13. In accordance with fire safety requirements set by the Fire Safety and Shelter Department (FSSD), the applicant must install the following in the office area:
    • Minimally an 8A/34B ABC Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguisher (available at DIY shops)
    • A single-station smoke detector (battery operated; no wiring needed; available at DIY shops)

    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 in ordinary flats, 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.

  14. Prior written consent of the owner of the flat is required if the person lodging the application form is not the owner.
  15. The requisite application fees are payable for the Home Office application.
  16. The Home Office application may be cancelled and the use of the flat as a Home Office shall cease if there is any breach of the conditions of use.

 

Permitted and Non-Permitted Businesses Under the Home Office Scheme

Here are the examples of both permitted and non-permitted businesses under the Home Office Scheme.

Any business activities carried out under the Home Office Scheme must be administrative in nature. All other business activities are to be conducted elsewhere and no clients or customers are allowed to visit the flat.

Examples of Permitted Businesses

  1. Accountancy services
  2. Architectural services
  3. Consultancy services (business, engineering, IT, management or education)
  4. Design/Advertising services
  5. Insurance/Financial planning services
  6. Real estate agencies
  7. Technology based and knowledge intensive businesses
  8. Trading office (excluding car trading office)

Examples of Non-Permitted Businesses

  1. Beauty, hair dressing or massage therapy services
  2. Contractors Business
  3. Car trading business
  4. Card reading/palm reading or fortune telling in any form
  5. Commercial school (e.g. dance, music, language, tuition centre, etc.)
  6. Courier business
  7. Classes on dress-making/embroidery
  8. Clinics and pharmacies (e.g. dental, medical, veterinary, ophthamology, etc.)
  9. Food catering/restaurants
  10. Funeral chapels or homes
  11. Maid/employment agency
  12. Manufacturing, preparation of processing of ANY products and goods
  13. Mausoleums
  14. Money lending business
  15. Repair activities (e.g. household appliances, electrical products, footwear, etc.)
  16. Sales/marketing that involves conducting seminars and talks for large number of customers
  17. Shops and any form of retail activity, including pet shops
  18. Societies/clubs/associations

FAQs

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-permitted 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-permitted 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.

I am an occupier in the HDB flat but I cannot submit my application online. Can you help me?

You must be registered as either an owner or occupier of the HDB flat before you can submit the Home Office Scheme application online. You can check if you are listed in the HDB flat by requesting the flat owner(s) to login to My HDBPage > My Flat at www.hdb.gov.sg using their Singpass. If you are not listed in the flat, the flat owner(s) can submit an online application at My HDBPage to request for inclusion of occupier.

Can more than one business/ company be registered at the same flat address?

An HDB flat can be used as a home office and for business registration for more than one business/ company under the Home Office Scheme. However, the businesses/ companies must be owned by the owners or listed occupiers/ tenants of the flat and separate applications for the Home Office Scheme are to be submitted for the individual businesses/ companies.

Do I need to obtain any approval from any other government agencies?

The applicant has to obtain all relevant approvals and permits from other government agencies before registering/ applying to HDB, where applicable.

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 my business signage or advertisements? These are important for my business.

Business signages and 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 always of protecting the living environment of HDB residents. Hence, we cannot allow such displays outside the flat or on the door/ windows of the flat 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 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.  

What will happen if any of the terms and conditions of the Home Office Scheme is infringed upon?

HDB has the right to revoke the approval granted for the use of the HDB flat as a home office. If the flat continues to be used as a home office after the approval has been revoked, HDB can take the appropriate action to revert the use of the flat to residential needs.

What will the property tax rate be if I use my home to carry out business activities?

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.