Start A Business In Singapore In 6 Steps: Set Your Entrepreneurial Journey In Motion!

The decision to start a business in Singapore can bring you great benefits if you’re an entrepreneur. It is one of the most powerful countries in South-East Asia and setting up a business in Singapore can prove to be an ideal decision to skyrocket your business.

Singapore features one of the top economies in Asia. It is rich in resources and has a large skilled workforce while also having taxes that are favorable for business. It is one of the first-world countries in Asia and it features an infrastructure that is highly efficient and stable.

One of the reasons that Singapore is so popular among new entrepreneurs is because it's easy and quick to set up a company there with low operating costs, and it consistently ranks as one of the best places in the world to start a business.

Singapore is a great place to run a business because it benefits both the company and the people who work there. There are lots of cultures and languages, meaning that everyone there has had an experience that you can learn from.

Starting a business in Singapore can be pretty straightforward. In fact, it might be easier than you think! Let’s take a quick look at how you can do so.

Determine your business entity

Determine your business entity to start a business in Singapore

The first step to achieving your business aims is to incorporate your company by getting it registered in Singapore. This can be done by choosing an appropriate type of business structure for you and then following these next steps. The majority of the businesses are private limited companies.

Starting a sole proprietorship sounds appealing, keep in mind some of the disadvantages. It is a one-man business where the responsibilities are on you and all assets are owned by you.

A sole proprietor will be responsible for the liabilities and risks of the business. They may have to sacrifice their personal assets in order to avoid bankruptcy.

On the other hand, it's much safer to register as a company rather than in the individual's name. Setting up a company is relatively inexpensive and simple.

Most new companies will typically register as private limited companies with Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) as it has many advantages. Shareholders are not held liable for debts and losses beyond their shareholding. After the registration, your company will be designated as a tax-paying entity.

Bring in the bucks! 

Raise capital to start a business in Singapore

If you’re determined to start a business in Singapore, it's important to plan in advance. The first step is to decide how much money you need and how much risk you're willing to take. You might require more or less depending on the details of your business.

Besides bootstrapping, you should investigate possible funding sources to help with setting up your business in Singapore. People tend to use their savings and borrow money from friends and family when starting out.

One of the biggest advantages of starting a business in Singapore is that there are quite a few schemes to help you. This makes it a little bit easier for small new companies like yours.

For instance, SPRING Singapore provides support to entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. It helps give grants to first-time entrepreneurs who are looking for funding and mentorship in their journey to start a business in Singapore.

There are other schemes out there that provide assistance, you need to find out which would be most appropriate for your requirements. 

Want to shape your idea into a business model under the guidance of business veterans? Check out the BOOTSTRACK programs now. Become a digital entrepreneur in 8 weeks and get a chance to visit Bali or Singapore too! Visit BOOTSTRACK to find out more.

A must-have business account

Business account required to set up business in Singapore

To start a business in Singapore, setting up a bank account is one of the most important tasks. You’ll need to open an account unless you’re a sole proprietor and are content with receiving payments in your personal bank.

While estimating your costs, you should take into account the monthly fee, minimum initial deposit, and the fees involved if your balance falls below a certain point. You can choose from a variety of local as well as international banks.

For example, the OCBC Business Growth Account and the Maybank FlexiBiz Account. The former has no minimum deposit or falls below fees, while the latter has no monthly maintenance fee.

Set up your swanky new office

Set up office - Work in Singapore

With the onset of remote-work culture, businesses find it more cost-effective and sustainable to let their employees work from home. You can save money, time, etc. This setup works great for a startup or small business that has only a couple of people on the team.

However, if you want to see your business grow and thrive, you'll need to shift to a separate office space soon. At the same time, you need to remember that rents for commercial spaces in Singapore can be really high. 

Certain measures need to be in place to deal with staffing challenges. One important consideration is the number of employees you will require within the first year. 

Good figures are needed to have a better estimation of how many employees are required at all stages and the costs associated with it.

Other than buying office spaces, you can also consider renting a space in a co-working facility that provides business addresses.

Recruit your dream team

Hire team members for your business in Singapore

Singapore has been providing the best support to startup businesses by making sure they enjoy the best access to professional talent, continuous support, and training.

As a matter of fact, if you are determined to start a business in Singapore, the WDA (Workforce Development Agency) will help you set up a job bank for your startup business to easily find and recruit the best industry talents. 

You can also hire staff from outside the country if you can provide valid work passes for them. In order to do things correctly and legally as an employer in Singapore, you also need to meet other obligations. For example, on-time salary payments, medical and rest leaves, etc.

Not to mention you should also get medical insurance coverage for your employees. 

Get your legal stuff sorted - Taxes!

File corporate taxes - Start your Singapore business

Having a business in Singapore means you won't be double taxed. The country has agreements with 70+ countries to avoid that. It’s also in agreement with specific countries to offer unilateral tax credits.

If you have annual revenue that is not more than $5 million and your business doesn't generate any chargeable income in the year, you are not required to file a tax return. This applies to start-up businesses that may not have reached profitability.

The deadline for corporate tax filing is December instead of April. You'll be paying a flat rate of 17% as a Singapore-based company. The whole system is quite flexible and the Singapore government makes it simple and convenient for every business owner. 

To sum it up...

Singapore is becoming one of the best places for entrepreneurs to start their businesses. There are Double Taxation Agreements in place which happen to be one of the key reasons why people are choosing to start a business in Singapore. But then again, we’re pretty sure this is not the only reason.

Businesses in Singapore have never been better! Officials have gone out of their way to provide a positive environment for entrepreneurs, offering a diverse range of financial resources. Thanks to this, more entrepreneurs are interested in starting businesses in Singapore.

Want to know the reasons why you should choose to start a business in Singapore? Click here to read our article. Get started with your entrepreneurial journey today! Read our blog on profitable startup ideas for 2022.

Here's a tip! Want to know how you can start your mentorship business?

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Alice Lieu
Alice Lieu

Digital Marketing Manager @ STANDOUT

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