With a favorable location and organized policies, Singapore remains as one of the top places in Asia to start a business. In fact, this country has been attracting more and more investors all over the world, thus making it as a global financial capital in the tropics. As for starting a business in Singapore, this does not always have to mean acquiring a large workforce and setting up a multi-million corporation. Even a small business in this part of the globe is a profitable option considering its diverse economy, positive trading environment, and premium business location.

If you are considering the idea of setting up a small business or company in the country, then this guide should help get started. First-time investors in Singapore can learn more about what to prepare and expect about having a business in this financial center in Asia.

Steps Involved in Setting up a Business in Singapore

Mainly due to the strategic location of Singapore in Asia, international firms choose to manage their business from this city. According to World Bank, Singapore is one of the few countries where it is fairly easy and seamless to do business. The different requirements for incorporating a company in the country are straightforward, which encourage more investors to set up their business without going through overwhelming complexities. The following are among the steps that investors go through when setting up a Singapore-based company:

1. Selecting the type of company and appropriate business name

2. Filing of the documents required with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority

3. Setting up your preferred business location and screening and hiring employees

It is important to note that if you are planning on starting a small business, you may select from various types such as a private limited liability company, partnership, or a sole proprietorship. Regardless of the company type that you select, taxation requirements are still applicable. For a small business, a corporate income tax must be settled. However, there is a partial exemption for the initial SGD 300,000 worth of your company’s chargeable income.

Benefits of Choosing Singapore for Your Business

So, why opt for Singapore as your company’s headquarters? For the most part, Singapore offers a strong and consistent trade, which makes it easy to invest and conduct business. It is also a highly competitive Asian nation, and this ensures investors of sensible and organized policies when it comes to starting a small business.

This is why investors who choose Singapore for their international company’s headquarters can benefit from a number of features including the reliable intellectual property laws that aim to protect your unique innovations and ideas, Double Taxation Avoidance guidelines with over 50 of them, and agreements on investment guarantee and free trade. With all of these, you can never go wrong by choosing Singapore as the international headquarter of your company or small business.

How to Register a Business in Singapore

Registering a business is easy and quick, and you can simply go online by visiting Bizfile on the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority website. If you are operating a foreign business with the hopes of setting up a representative office in the country, there are specific government agencies that you may approach including the following:

Monetary Authority of Singapore – for banking, insurance, and finance
Legal Services Regulatory Authority – for legal businesses
International Enterprise Singapore – for all the other industries

You may also check out the GoBusiness Gov Assist if you need further information as there is a comprehensive summary available on the website.

Choosing the Best Office Location

This is an important aspect of the business setup process since you need to make sure that your location is ideal for your operations. Fortunately, there are numerous options in Singapore when it comes to the choice of location. You may choose to set up your office in a suburban area or the central business district, and you may decide to rent a flatted factory or one with modern features and amenities. No matter where you plan to establish your business, you are guaranteed of the country’s premium infrastructure and facilities to match your expectations. The Economic Development Board also offers a list of specialised industrial parks and business parks that may be suitable locations for your business.

Hiring Employees

In addition to its premiere location and modern infrastructure, Singapore boasts of its massive selection of both local and foreign talent that may serve as your company’s pride and joy. Online recruitment portals, as well as head-hunting firms can be useful during your search for the most suitable individuals you need for your staff. The SMEPortal.sg also features details about Singapore’s labour market, and its hiring and training process. The EDB also features training programs for additional information, and this is in partnership with several corporations.

Whenever you need professional assistance in setting up your business, you may do so from appropriate government agencies. As the nation takes pride of its smooth-running and reputable bureaucracy, this ensures any potential business owner of a seamless process when dealing with agencies.

Here are among the different government agencies that are designed to assist foreigners and locals who wish to grow their business in the country:

1. Economic Development Board

The EDB offers investor support at a comprehensive level, which can also guarantee you of attaining a first-rate business experience in Singapore.

2. Standards, Productivity, and Innovation Board

A Ministry of Trade and Industry’s agency, this development agency for businesses can further develop your business into a highly competitive firm with possibilities of advancement and modernization. Whether you are operating a small or medium enterprise, you can count on the amount of knowledge and skill that will add to your credentials. The government agency also functions as a standards and accreditation body in Singapore.

3. Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority

The agency oversees all public accountants and business entities that aim to register in Singapore. It also offers relevant information on compliance requirements, corporate governance practices and new business structures.

4. SMEPortal.sg

Serving as a one-stop section for all enterprises that are aiming to start, maintain, and expand their business, the EnterpriseOne portal is indeed the best place to start ensure your business operations. There are links to various government services and information, and how-to guides.

Foreign nationals who wish to set up a business in Singapore may apply for their EntrePass. This is a work pass that non-PRs or non Singaporeans need to secure to formally start their business in the country.

Small Business Ideas to Put Up in Singapore

No matter how big or small your business is, it is possible to further grow it due to the city’s numerous business opportunities available. This is why with skilled entrepreneurs in the city, setting up a business is easy to do and accomplish. It should not take too long before your business will be able to set up a proven track record that would set it apart from your competitors.

There are several options when deciding on a small business to put up in Singapore. These include food services, business consultancy, event planning, independent accountant, translation services. What’s more, businesses that address the needs of individuals on a day-to-day basis also prove to be quite profitable including cleaning services, plumbing, online marketing, auto-mechanic and automobile-related businesses, thrift shops, home tutorial services, and distributing eco-friendly products. You may also consider starting a fitness training, or an elderly care service, among several others.

It is true that setting up a new business is a complicated and major decision. But by choosing a premium location in Singapore, along with completing all the necessary steps and paperwork to get started, you can get your business going in no time. By consulting this guide on starting a Singapore-based business, you can jump start your plans of becoming a local or foreign business owner in this part of Asia.

Published On: November 10th, 2017

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