In October 2019, the World Bank released its latest list of the best countries around the world to do business in. Singapore has always ranked among the top of their list. Last year’s was no different. Singapore scored an 86.2 on the World Bank’s evaluation, which gained them the top two spot, next only to New Zealand.
Given the consistently high business confidence in Singapore, it’s no surprise that many people want to open their own enterprise here. If you’re one of them, this article is for you.
Polishing Your Business Idea
You have to be completely honest with yourself as you scrutinise every aspect of your idea. How feasible or profitable can it be? Will your business answer an unserved customer need? What’s the competition like? The answers to these questions may lead you to tweak your current plan or change it altogether. The important thing is you go into the unknown not completely empty-handed.
Singapore is an excellent place to do business, but there is always some risk involved, even in small businesses.
During this time, it’s also best to get acquainted with Singapore’s taxation procedures. Research about the corporate income tax and how to file Estimated Chargeable Income.
Registering your Business
Once you’ve decided to push through, you’ll need to register your business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. You can do it here. Many new organisations register as ‘private limited companies’ because of the ability to scale up in the future. This option also protects shareholders from liability past their share capital. This will also make your company a taxable entity.
To be registered as a private limited company, your business will need a name, a minimum of one shareholder, at least one director and one secretary who both live in Singapore, paid up capital of at least $1, and a physical office address.
You can choose to process your registration yourself or you can use professional services. Some service providers specialise in small businesses.
If your small business involves importing and exporting, you’ll also need to register with the Singapore Customs.
You will also need to register with the Singapore Central Provident Fund. It is a compulsory pension fund for Singapore citizens and permanent residents.
There are also other registration bodies you may need to take note of depending on the nature of your small business.
Securing your Business Premises
There are a lot of areas to choose from for your business in Singapore. You can choose to set up shop in business parks, industrial parks, in the suburbs, or even in your own residence. The important thing is to register a physical address where all your correspondence with the government, your partners, and your clients will go to.
Before opening day, make sure your business premises adhere to the regulations of the area. For example, if you’re running a restaurant, be aware of the health and safety measures needed to comply. Even something as basic as caution signs may be a requirement for your type of business in Singapore.
One of the best things about doing business in Singapore is how the government is invested in helping your business succeed. According to the Ministry of Manpower, the Economic Development Board, Enterprise Singapore, ARCA, and Enterprise One are available to help.
You know the basics of setting up your shop. Now take the next step and good luck!