Before you open a small business in Singapore, you should be aware of the business registration process, how to hire employees, the law surrounding filing and paying business taxes, and more. Use this guide as a resource to help you get started.
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Why should you start a business in Singapore?
There are endless benefits to setting up a business in Singapore. The country has a strong economy, low tax rates, and a straightforward (albeit strict) process for incorporating a company. All of these factors make Singapore an attractive destination for businesses looking to set up operations in Asia.
Singapore is an ideal place to set up a business, with world-class infrastructure, a well-trained workforce, and few restrictions on foreign ownership and operation.
You can access Singapore’s well-developed capital markets for loans and other financial services and enjoy a high quality of life if you choose to move here.
Can Foreigners Open a Business in Singapore?
The good news is, yes, foreigners can easily start and operate a business in Singapore with very few restrictions. The Singaporean authorities do require at least one resident director, though. This director must be a citizen or legal resident of Singapore.
Thus, if you’re looking to start a business in Singapore as a foreigner, you’ll need to have at least one member of your team based in the country.
There are a few different ways to start a business in Singapore, and one of them is to have a registered address in the country. This can’t be a P.O. box, though – so if you don’t have a physical address in Singapore, you’ll need to either become a legal resident or use a nominee director service.
Becoming a legal resident in Singapore will allow you to set up your business on your own without needing another director. However, if you remain overseas, you can still start a business in Singapore using a nominee director service. This service will help you meet all the legal requirements necessary to get your business up and to run in the country.
What Do You Need to Know Before Starting a Business?
There’s a lot to think about when starting a business, and one of the most important things is knowing why you’re doing it. Be prepared to face roadblocks along the way as you start your business journey in Singapore – but when things get tough, remembering your motivation for starting the business will help you power through.
There’s no denying that running a business comes with challenges and risks, so it’s important to make sure you understand the long-term commitments you’re making. Do your research and be prepared for the challenges ahead – that way, when things do get tough, you’ll be ready to face them head-on.
Before you start the company registration process in Singapore, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of both what your business is and why it exists. This way, you’ll be able to hit the ground running and avoid any unnecessary delays or roadblocks.
Here are a few steps to follow while starting a business.
- Raise capital
Incorporating a company in Singapore is easy and affordable – you only need S$1 (or equivalent) in paid-up capital. This is the minimum amount required by law, but many businesses choose to incorporate it with a higher amount to add prestige and credibility.
Singapore has a very supportive infrastructure for businesses in terms of funding.
There are many options available to business owners, such as issuing shares, taking out loans, or receiving investments from venture capitalists. You can also choose to self-fund your business through bootstrapping.
- Understand tax obligations
How you report and pay your business taxes will depend on a variety of things, such as your business entity type and your company’s turnover.
For example, sole proprietors or those in partnerships usually only need to report their revenue and adjusted profit if their income is under 200,000 SGD per year.
If an individual’s income falls between 200,000 SGD and 500,000 SGD, the reporting requirements are a bit more demanding. And for those earning 500,000 SGD or more per year, the entire process changes yet again.
- Register a business name
The next step after you have decided on a name for your business is to check with ACRA – the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority – to see if the name is available and to reserve it if it is. You can do this on BizFile for a fee of 15 SGD.
This will hold the name for you for up to 120 days, after which time it will become available again if you have not registered your business. You need to register your business within this time frame in order to avoid losing the name.
- Get a Singapore office address
ACRA requires you to add a business and residential address to your registration. If you plan on working from home, depending on your property type, you may need approval from authorities – for example, if you live in an HDB, you’ll need to get approval before registering your home as a business.
- Open a business bank account in Singapore
There are a few things to consider when choosing a business bank account in Singapore. The first is to determine what your needs are – do you need a simple online account with low fees, or do you need an account with more features that might charge higher fees?
The second is what your budget is – some accounts may have higher fees but also offer more benefits, so it’s important to weigh up what’s important to you.
And finally, ask around – talk to other businesses in Singapore and see what they recommend. With all of this in mind, you should be able to find the perfect bank account for your business.
If you’re looking to start a business in Singapore, you’re in for an exciting adventure! The process is relatively straightforward thanks to the business-friendly reputation that Singapore has.
While it’s still a big undertaking to get your company off the ground, you can be confident that there is support available at every stage. Use this guide to get started, and wishing you the best of luck!