Have you been worrying about how to start a business in Singapore?
If you have a crackling idea that can turn your passion into profession, then Singapore would be the best place to watch it come alive.
Singapore in all its glory is a safe haven for new businesses, entrepreneurs and startups.
Every business has a different start up story, and no two businesses are alike.
No matter where you start a business, you will face certain challenges and curve balls; the idea is to keep at it.
However, when it comes to a feasible environment and a healthy financial landscape to start a business, Singapore tops the list.
It is a reputed trading hub in the rapidly evolving region of South East Asia, welcoming opportunists and risk takers alike.
Furthermore, it boasts a progressively stable economy and finance system that assures businesses that there will be no discrepancies in financial transactions.
Moreover, it provides businesses a free port with all the leading facilities and resources to propel and keep the world of finance and trade on track.
Entrepreneurs and startups are drawn to the efficient and established working conditions.
Additionally, the systematic way of life boosts the productivity of businesses based in Singapore.
Hence, there is a majority of business owners and experienced analysts that say Singapore is a safer country to start a new business.
But, naturally there are some key steps that need to be taken in order to start a business in Singapore.
This quick guide will direct you on how to start a business in Singapore.
4 powerful steps to follow on how to start a business in Singapore
1. Have a foolproof plan and visit Singapore if you can
We all have ideas, dreams, and things we want to do in our lives.
But, starting a business is no easy feat and especially not for the faint hearted.
Even the most successful businessmen or women will testify that the journey is not a bed of roses.
Therefore, the first step is to draw out a business plan on how to start a business in Singapore.
Understanding the business, service or the aim of your idea is paramount in knowing how much you are vested in the journey.
Another important question is the type of business you want to start in Singapore.
Starting a trading business would require extensive planning compared to establishing a wedding photography business.
Hence, a comprehensive plan must consider consumer patterns, end product, milestone, advantages, investments, risks, and any predictable ups and downs.
Of course, nothing can ever be full proof but planning will prepare you for any drastic setbacks.
Another advantage of making a business plan is that it will act like a map to make sure you stay on track.
You may need to make several plans before you design the one that fits your business idea perfectly.
However, after all the planning, if you need a bit more insight on how to start a business in Singapore,
Then, one of the best things to do apart from reading up, speaking to peers and researching is to visit Singapore itself.
Most entrepreneurs feel visiting Singapore, gave them an idea of the economy, consumer trends, market space, competitors and financial transactions.
2. Harness the capital or investment to start the business
Another important aspect of how to start a business in Singapore is gathering the capital or investment to initiate your business.
If you are looking to start a business as an online tutor or a beautician with value added services then you may not need as much capital as a restaurant or textile/garment trading business.
A wiser outlook would be to assess the amount of capital your new business will need to start as well as grow.
It would be useful to include the ideas and discussion of capital in the business plan mentioned above.
Some use their savings, borrow from family or friends, and take up loans.
While these are all common channels of setting up capital, you must look into more stable and larger options that can help sustain the funds and your business.
Likewise, Singapore as an economy is keen to provide the initial investment to support new enterprises.
It prides itself in encouraging fresh start ups and businesses to emerge, by assisting them through various government approved agencies.
A few of the recognized investment assistance agencies are listed below: (If you want you can link these to their respective websites as I’ve seen many other blogs/pages online have done it)
- Economic Development Board (EDB)
- Enterprise Singapore
- Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ARCA)
Establishing a new business come with responsibility to the government of Singapore.
The government has a structured taxation system that all new businesses must adhere to.
Looking into the taxation and its requirements beforehand will keep you better prepared.
3. Register the business and set up office
A guide on how to start a business in Singapore will not be complete without the following crucial milestone.
Which is, registering your new business in Singapore.
If you are registering your business, the foremost thing to do is decide if you are going to be the ‘sole proprietor’ or have any partners involved in the business.
These factors need to be considered before applying for registration.
Also, depending on the type of business, the registration details will change too.
For instance, there will be a difference in the type of registration requirements that will be considered for trading company compared to a photography business.
The registration rules require specification of certain general aspects given below:
- Type of Business
- Company/ Business Name
- Company/ Business Directors, Founders, Stakeholders, Important Staff
- Business Premises Address
- Any Foreign Branches
- Business Capital/Funds
ARCA is the main government body where every new business or company needs to be registered.
Registering a new business or company becomes easy if you have all the relevant documents related to your business ready.
For instance, any documents and paper work about your finances, foreign branches, or investments need to be legal and ready to be verified.
Singapore is known for its smooth registration processes, however all the correct documents and information must be ready beforehand by the founder of the company to avoid any delays.
Setting up office to start a new business in Singapore can be very interesting.
Singapore is home to a dynamic real estate landscape.
You can choose from having your office in the heart of the city or a more relaxed suburban area.
However, before setting up shop you must consider the real estate prices, space for the additional staff, logistic requirements and the distance of the location.
In most cases, first time entrepreneurs claimed that networking and exchanging cards helped them become more confident in setting up shop.
It gave them sufficient exposure into finding the right location, getting to correct resources and expanding businesses.
4. Secure yourself and your new business
The final and equally important step in how to start a business in Singapore is securing the new business.
Security is extremely vital for any business, but even more so for a new one.
Singapore may be an economically stable place to start a new venture, but doing business comes with a fair share of risks and liabilities.
Making sure your new enterprise is secured and insured for is a form of security for you too.
This is very crucial for businesses that are run by just one person.
Such businesses are called ‘Sole Proprietary Businesses’.
In such conditions, securing the business with the right polices can minimize liabilities and claims made by any parties.
When such a business encounters a liability very often the owner has to pay for the damages from the company or personal assets, stunting the growth of the company.
Furthermore, common accidents and mishaps on the business premises, like product damage or a staff member getting injured can also take a toll on a new business.
So, in order to minimize any kind of speed breaker, businesses can purchase several comprehensive insurance policies to stay afloat.
Given below are a few policies that can protect your business.
These policies have different structures, types of coverage and cater to different types of businesses.
You can easily pick the policy that suits your business best.
- Professional Indemnity insurance
- Directors And Officers insurance or Management Liability insurance
- Public Liability insurance or Commercial General Liability
- Work Insurance Compensation
- Commercial Business Package insurance
Every year Singapore welcomes people with innovative ideas and a passion to use their talent to make it big in any industry. With this guide on how to start a business in Singapore and the profitable factors mentioned above, it only seems foolish not to explore the rapidly developing economy and financial landscape of Singapore. So, set aside any doubts in your mind, and reach out for that business idea that you have been putting away, because how will you know until you try.