Starting a Business in Singapore

Procedures and requirements

Starting a Business in Singapore

The first step to opening a business in Singapore is to familiarize yourself with the country. Research the culture, its economy and contact Singapore's embassy or consulate near you for more information. The best advice is probably to visit Singapore yourself.

Singapore is ranked as one of the easiest places to do business in the World. Its business-oriented environment is characterised by straightforward procedures and responsive government agencies. Check out activpayroll's comprehensive guide to setting up a business in Singapore .

Entry to Singapore

Visitors must obtain a Social Visit Pass, but if you wish to stay longer to explore business opportunities you can obtain a Social Visit Pass for Entrepreneurs.

After you have decided that Singapore is the right place to start your business, you will need to obtain an EntrePass. This pass is specifically for entrepreneurs who will stay in Singapore, open a business, and remain actively involved in that business. Visit the Ministry of Manpower online to find out more about the EntrePass: 

Register your Business

Next, you will need to register your business. In the case of a representative office, you need to register with International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore - The IE Singapore registers representative offices in the manufacturing and trading sectors for only S$200. If you wish to start a new company and have obtained the necessary license, you should then register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority - .

Once registered, you will need to find a location for your business, even if it will be a home-based business. There are over 50 different business incubators that can assist in helping with various stages of the process including finding a location. Business incubators provide a variety of services including facilities, networking, fund-raising, technology collaboration and business building & acceleration.You can also search for office space through a property agent.

Sources of Capital

Once you have registered your company and found a location, you just need to develop your business. There are various ways to raise capital in Singapore from government aid to private investors. In 1985, Singapore introduced the Small Enterprise Bureau (SEB) of Singapore which sponsors programs to help small businesses get started. The government of Singapore has allocated S$100,000,000 for investing in small enterprises. The SEB also helps entrepreneurs take advantage of government tax concessions, in addition to helping entrepreneurs find sources of financing, information, government incentives and grants. A start-up business is eligible to take advantage of the services offered by the SEB if it has fewer than fifty employees, fixed assets of less than S$8,000,000, and at least thirty percent local ownernership.

You may also want to consider listing your business on the local stock exchange, the Singapore Exchange (SGX). It is a good source of international funding, and also has many foreign companies listed. Singapore is also an ideal place to expand your business. Singapore’s good geographical location and strong economy make it possible to expand your business both regionally and globally.

Further reading

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Other comments

  • nishanth, 19 April 2009 Reply

    Thank you note

    The article is really informative.