Trust business licence

Who needs to apply?

If your company wishes to carry out trust business under the Trust Companies Act 2005 (TCA) , it must hold a trust business licence.

You can find out more about licensed trust companies, including licensing exemptions, at the page Licensed Trust Companies.

What are the admission criteria and applicable requirements?

When assessing an application for a trust business licence, MAS takes into account factors such as:

  • Fitness and propriety of the applicant, its shareholders, resident managers and directors.
  • Track record and management expertise of the applicant and its parent company or major shareholders.
  • Ability to meet the minimum financial requirements and professional indemnity insurance (PII) requirements prescribed under the Trust Companies Regulations (TCR) .
  • Strength of internal compliance systems and processes of the applicant.
  • Business model/plans and projections and the associated risks.

Your company is required to appoint a minimum of 2 resident managers, at least one with a minimum of 5 years of relevant working experience. All other resident managers must have a minimum of 3 years of relevant working experience.

For more information on the admission criteria for licensed trust companies, please refer to the Guidelines on Criteria for the Grant of a Trust Business Licence.

What are the applicable financial requirements?

Your company should have a minimum paid-up capital or qualifying assets of $250,000 to be granted a trust business licence. On an ongoing basis, your company should maintain the required minimum net asset value or qualifying assets, and adequate PII commensurate with the level of risk of your trust business.

You can find more details on the financial requirements in the TCR  and the Guidelines on Criteria for the Grant of a Trust Business Licence.

How do I apply for a trust business licence? 

If your company is applying for a trust business licence, your company should complete and submit Form 1 under the TCR.

How much is the application fee and how do I make payment?

A non-refundable application fee of $1,000 is payable to the Authority for the submission of this application. The application fee is prescribed under regulation 4 of the Regulations. The applicant will be advised on the manner of payment for the application fee upon the Authority's receipt of your application.

What is the processing time required?

MAS expects to take not more than 6 months to review and process an application if the business model is straightforward, the applicant meets the relevant admission criteria fully, and the application is complete and clear. For more complex cases, or cases where information is assessed to be incomplete or inaccurate, MAS will need a longer time to review the application.

Please ensure that your application is complete, correct and accompanied by the requisite supporting documents.

What is the annual fee to be paid by a licensed trust company? 

The annual fee is $4,000.

What is the validity of the trust business licence?

A trust business licence is valid until:

All entities that are holding a trust business licence to conduct trust business are listed on the Financial Institutions Directory. Correspondingly, all entities that cease to hold a licence will be removed from the Financial Institutions Directory.

For more information

 MAS also publishes a Licensing and Registration Report for Capital Markets Intermediaries (including licensed trust companies).

For more information on the common approvals, notifications and other regulatory submissions relevant to holders of a trust business licence, please refer to the Compliance Toolkit for Approvals, Notifications and Other Regulatory Submissions to MAS for Licensed and Exempt Trust Companies and Approved CIS Trustees.