You can register to conduct small-scale business from your private home or HDB flat and hire up to 2 non-resident employees. This is provided that the business does not cause disturbance or inconvenience to the neighbouring residents.

Registering for the Home Office Scheme

Anyone who is the owner, tenant or any authorised occupier of a private residential property and wish to operate a Home Office (HO) can register.

If you are not the owner, you have to obtain written consent from the owner before you register for the Home Office use.


Restrictions and performance criteria ensures the scale of the home office use is kept small so that it does not disturb or cause inconvenience to the neighbours. These include:

  • not hiring more than 2 non-resident employees
  • not displaying any external business signage or advertisements
  • not generating noise, smoke, odour, waste matter or dust
  • the use does not fall within the list of businesses that are not permitted under the HO scheme (e.g. car trading business, shops and any form of retail activity, etc)

For more information, please refer to:

  • Performance Criteria for Home Office Scheme
  • Terms & Conditions for Home Office Scheme
  • Businesses Permitted / Not Permitted Under the Home Office Scheme


The one-time permit is valid for the duration of your home office business. From 6 December 2010, you no longer need to renew the permit every 5 years.


Performance Criteria

Once registered under the Home Office Scheme, applicants must observe the following performance criteria:

  1. The person(s) conducting the business must continue to use the residential unit as his place of residence. The business activities shall be confined wholly within the premises.
  2. The business must not generate noise, smoke, odour, effluent or dust that could cause more nuisance than is normally expected from the use of the premises for residential purposes. Examples are excessive noise from the use of equipment or appliances required in the business; smoke, odour and effluent as a result of preparation, processing and manufacturing of products.
  • The business activities must not be illegal or unlawful. It also must not have any bad and immoral influences (e.g. gambling or pornography related activities).
  1. The business activities must not introduce extraneous human or vehicular traffic to the surrounding neighborhood.
  2. There must be no solicitation of business that may cause annoyance to the residents or public, i.e. distribution of brochures, flyers or door-to- door visitations. There should be no selling of physical goods.
  3. There must be no advertisements or posters displayed.
  • 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.
  • Consumption of electricity and structural load must not exceed the normal (residential) load. Storage and use of dangerous chemicals and hazardous substances are strictly prohibited.
  1. The business activities must not adversely affect the character, ambience and environment of the residential estate.
  2. Where necessary, the business must comply with the regulations of other government authorities and relevant licences/approvals must be obtained before commencement of business. To search for the licences/approvals that may be required for the business, the applicant can go to On-line Business Licensing Service.


Businesses Permitted/Not Permitted Under the Home Office Scheme

Permitted Businesses Not Permitted
·       Accountancy services·       Architectural services

·       Consultancy services (business, engineering, IT, management or education)

·       Design/Advertising services

·       Insurance/Financial planning services

·       Real estate agencies

·       Technology based and knowledge intensive businesses

·       Transportation services

·       Trading office

·       Beauty, hair dressing or massage therapy services·       Car trading business

·       Card reading/palm reading or fortune telling in any form

·       Catering/restaurants

·       Clinics and pharmacies (e.g. dental, medical, veterinary)

·       Commercial school (e.g. dance, music, language, tuition centre)

·       Courier business

·       Classes on dress-making and embroidery

·       Employment agency

·       Funeral chapels or homes

·       Maid agency

·       Mausoleums

·       Manufacturing, preparation or processing of any products and goods

·       Money lending businesses

·       Opticians

·       Repair activities (e.g. household appliances, electrical products, footwear, etc.)

·       Sales/marketing that involves conducting seminars and talks for large number of customers

·       Shops and any form of retail activity, including pet shops


Source URA

Share this wonderful property Twitter and Google+.