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Discover What You Should Do to Start a Business in Singapore

A man on a start up line.

To start a business is exciting, and if you belong to a group of people who aspire to be their own boss or have a unique idea they want to develop. You may have been inspired and motivated to start a business in Singapore for any of these reasons. Learning how to set up a business is not easy, but doing so is essential if you want to be successful in your endeavour.

Every budding business owner wants more qualified leads, customers, and revenue. Nevertheless, starting a business isn’t like the saying, “if you build it, they will come”. Much of having your startup in Singapore off the ground has to do with devising and refining a business plan, completing all the necessary legal paperwork, acquiring a business loan for a startup in Singapore, picking suitable tools and systems to launch your marketing efforts, and choosing your partners.

Singapore is renowned for its highly skilled labour force, sound intellectual property rights, business-friendly atmosphere, well-developed capital markets, and strategic location. Further, Singapore is one of the top business destinations, for it offers a smooth incorporation process, a strong economy, world-class infrastructure, and a favourable tax structure. However, there are a few aspects to consider before setting up a business in Singapore.

Ensure that you are ready to start and run a business

You have a great idea and aspire to bring it to fruition. That increases your motivation to start a business and thrive. Further, being your own boss with greater security makes it an enthusiastic adventure. Managing a business requires a lot of effort, and you need to get prepared for it. Make sure you are:

  • Eager to bring your idea to fruition
  • Ready to learn
  • Confident about the product or service you are going to offer
  • Having a business plan
  • Experienced
  • Well-informed about your industry
  • Able to raise capital
  • Prepared to face challenges and failures

Having a clear understanding of your objectives before registering your business will also help you.

1. Devise a business plan

You require more than just brilliant ideas to become successful as an entrepreneur. The first step in achieving your goal is to come up with a plan of action. Your business plan will act as a detailed and comprehensive guideline for how you want to proceed if you want to open a supermarket or a retail store.

The plan should also outline your financial requirements, marketing plans, and business goals with strategies for achieving them. Included should be background information on the organisation and how it works to achieve its objectives. To put it simply, write down all the essential points and keep updating them with any changes and additions as your business expands. By defining your business purpose, you and your team can stay focused.

2. Choose a business structure

Choose the business structure that is best for your type of business before registering it in Singapore. Some commonly found ownership structures include:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited Partnership (LP)
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

Though a sole proprietorship may appear appealing, it is a one-person-owned business, meaning the owner is accountable for all risks and liabilities encountered by the business and may have to sell off assets to make up the liabilities, as well as losses. However, forming a company is obviously a far safer option. After deciding on the business type, you can register it, which is simple and affordable. 

When it comes to choosing your suitable type of business, you need to keep in mind some essential factors.

  • How much money do you want to invest in the business?
  • How many partners would you like to have in your company?
  • What risks can you take?
  • What are the liabilities and obligations you want to have?
  • Is it easy to dissolve the business of a particular structure?

3. Get funds for your business

Singapore offers a variety of grants, government-assistance schemes, and startup loans for businesses, making it one of the best countries in the world to start a business. A government agency in Singapore called SPRING provides funding for a broad range of initiatives, such as the development of new products, skill development, innovation, and global business expansion.

There are also financial institutions offering Startup Grants to help Singapore’s aspiring business owners launch new ventures. Other than this, you can find the Business Angel Scheme, the Sector Specific Accelerator Programme, and the Technology Enterprise Commercialization Scheme, providing financial assistance to set up your own business.

Some private banks offer business loans for startups in Singapore to manufacture and market goods and services. They offer startup funds up to SGD 500,000 at flexible repayment schedules and competitive interest rates.

4. Register your business

For registering your business in Singapore, you have to apply online through ACRA’s BizFile service, wherein ACRA is short for the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore. You can access ACRA’s website by providing your SingPass and identity number on your desktop computer at CitizenConnect Centers in Community Centers or one of ACRA’s BizFile Kiosk locations.

There are professionals like chartered secretaries, lawyers, or accountants who can assist you in submitting the online application. You have to pay the stipulated fees and have the registration completed in 15 minutes. If your application requires clarification or verification, registration will take up to two months, depending on the verification procedure and the review and approval of the relevant verifying authority.

5. Open a corporate account online

To support your daily business operations, you require a business account. For instance, DBS Bank enables you to open a Corporate Account online immediately.

Now that you have registered your company, you can rent a comfortable workspace and hire staff to develop your business.

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