Is Singapore Business Federation [SBF] Membership compulsory?

Mar 28

Is Singapore Business Federation [SBF] Membership compulsory?

Startup FAQs – Is Singapore Business Federation [SBF] membership compulsory?

Startups that receive a funding round, and update their paid up capital to S$500,000 or its equivalent, are often unpleasantly surprised to receive a notice from the Singapore Business Federation that they have been mandatorily conscripted into the federation, and are now obliged to pay annual fees that range as per the chart below which is accurate as of March 2019:

Paid-up capital  Annual Fees   
S$10m + S$856
S$5m < S$10m S$642
S$1m < S$5m S$428
S$0.5m < S$1m S$321


Here is a quick Q + A on this.

Is SBF membership compulsory?

Yes, membership in the federation is compulsory opt-in as per the Singapore Business Federation Act for companies with paid up capital of S$500,000 and above. For companies with paid up capital in other currencies such as USD, the equivalent in SGD will be computed by SBF in assessing if the threshold is met. SBF membership can be seen as a levy or indirect tax on larger companies.


Are Preference Shares counted towards paid-up capital?

No, Preference Shares are bucketed as debt, and does not count towards the paid-up capital for this purpose.


Is there anyway to opt-out of SBF membership for companies with greater than S$500,000 in paid-up capital?

The SBF (Exemption) Order allows for companies which are dormant, or have no employees to apply for exemption. Such exemption applications must be made annually.  Details of how to apply for exemption can be found here.


What does SBF do, what are the benefits of SBF membership?

SBF represents the interests of the Singapore business community on international forums and domestically. SBF membership allows access to events, training and listing on the SBF directory.


Where can I read more on SBF membership?

Ministry Of Trade & Industry Singapore

Singapore Business Federation



Futurebooks is Singapore’s leading Company Secretarial firm for venture funded startups and has worked with well known startups in their Series A, Bridge and Series B funding rounds. Contact us to know more.


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