Having some legal questions? We have compiled answers to some general legal questions. To understand more about your rights and the solution to your legal problem, talk to us at 6294 1010 or drop us an email: info@lawlhy.com.

Q: What are the types of business entities in Singapore?

There are several vehicles through which businesses are traded, including as "sole proprietor", "partnership", "private limited company", "representative office" or possibly as a "limited liability partnership (LLP)."

Q: What is the fastest way to start a business in Singapore?

Registering a business is very fast and convenient. It takes only 15 minutes. To register for a sole-proprietorship or partnership, submit an application online via BizFile – ACRA's electronic filing and information retrieval system at their website http://www.acra.gov.sg/ To start a business, you can choose one of the following ways to register a sole-proprietorship or a partnership: Log into BizFile using youridentification number and SingPass to submit an online transaction or; Engage the services of a professional firm (e.g. lawyers, accountants, chartered secretaries) or a service bureau (e.g. DP Bureau) to submit the online application on your behalf.

Q: When can one file for divorce?

Divorce is a drastic measure and should only be a last resort as it affects not only the parties to the divorce financially and emotionally but it can also be traumatic to the children. We highly recommend counselling by trained counsellors. There are several counselling centres you can turn to and we strongly advise you to visit these links for assistance: Fei Yue Family Service centres: http://www.fycs.org/index.cfm?GPID=25 Care Corner: http://www.carecorner.org.sg/index.html However, if parties insist on going for a divorce, there are certain requirements specified in the Women's Charter. One of the conditions is that parties must have been married for a minimum of 3 years and a divorce will only be granted when the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

Q: What are the procedures to claim for maintenance and protection order?

You may apply for maintenance against your spouse during the marriage. You need not file a divorce before making an application for maintenance. You may do so if your spouse neglects to provide reasonable maintenance during the marriage. Please visit the Subordinate Courts' website here to apply: http://app.subcourts.gov.sg/family/page.aspx?pageid=3771 You may apply for a personal protection order if your spouse or a family member commits family violence against you. Family violence includes verbal threats to cause harm. It need not be physical violence. Once you make an application, the Family Court will grant you an expedited order (temporary) for your protection until the case is concluded. Please visit the Subordinate Court's website http://app.subcourts.gov.sg/family/page.aspx? pageid=3768

Q: When can one fight for child custody?

You can apply for the custody and/or the care and control/access of your child at any time during the marriage or during separation or at the court proceedings for a divorce. You may make an application to the Family Court yourself or you may apply through a lawyer.

Q: What are the types of child custody arrangement?

The Family Court will usually order , joint custody to both parents; with care and control to one parent and reasonable access to the other parent or alternatively sole custody care and control to one parent and reasonable access to the other.

Q: How are criminal charges filed?

You can be charged in Court only after police investigations have been carried out. This investigation is necessary to decide if there is any evidence of a crime having been committed by you. Immediately, if a police report is made against you or if you are suspected of being involved in an offence for which you can be arrested without a warrant.

Q: What happens after criminal charges are filed?

When you are charged, the police officer will give you a written warning notice. In the notice, the charge is set out and you will be asked whether you wish to say anything in answer to the charge. You will be advised to mention whatever facts you intend to rely on in your defence in the cautioned statement. If you have a defence, you should always say so in the Cautioned Statement.

Your defence may not be believed if you fail to mention it in your Cautioned Statement but instead you choose only to raise it later at trial. The charge must be explained to you. If you do not understand the charge, you should tell the police officer. If you need an interpreter, ask for one. When you say anything in your defence, the police officer must record it or you may write it down yourself. This will be your Cautioned Statement. The officer must read it over to you. If it is what you have told him, you must sign it.

Q: What protection from the law do employees have from wrongful termination of employment?

If you have any disagreement with your employer about your salary, the terms of your contract or your rights under the Act, you can make a complaint to the Ministry of Manpower. You may lodge a complaint via Employment Standards Online ('ESOL') via the MOM website. It is one-stop portal for organisations and the general public to transact with the Labour Relations and Workplaces Division ('LRWD'). ESOL for Individual Users allow employees to report a breach of the Employment Act.

Q: What is the purpose of estate planning?

A person makes a Will to provide for the administration and distribution of what he owns ('his estate') among his beneficiaries after his death. This person is called 'the testator'. 'Beneficiaries' are those who inherit or benefit under the Will. The 'Executor' is the person nominated by the testator to administer and distribute his estate upon his death. Usually, the same person is appointed as executor and trustee (a person who has the power to hold the estate of the deceased on the death of the deceased).

Q: What if I do not have a will or estate plan?

If you do not make a will, your estate will fall into intestate after you die. The Intestate Act will apply in so far as the distribution of the properties in the estate.

Q: Why do I need a lawyer?

People hire lawyers for advice and expertise in all kinds of situations. While you may be able to get through a legal problem without hiring a lawyer, you should always remember that when you represent yourself, you might have a "fool for a client," as the saying goes. One of the first things to ask yourself in deciding if you should consult a lawyer is: "What's at stake?" When your finances or liberties are in serious jeopardy, the obvious answer is to get legal help. But what is serious? An ordinary parking summons is a brush with the law, but you need not consult with a lawyer to pay the fine or even to fight it. However, if you've accumulated a number of unpaid parking tickets and a warrant has been issued for your arrest, you would probably want to hire a lawyer to help you best resolve the situation, and perhaps save you money or even keep you out of jail.

Q: What should I ask a lawyer before engagement?

Many lawyers specialize in one type of law. Other lawyers handle a wide range of matters. You want to hire a lawyer who has expertise to represent you effectively with respect to your legal problem. You should also ask the estimate of the legal cost that will be charged for acting for you in the matter.