There is no denying that being your own boss is a dream of many. According to ACRA (Statistical Highlights 2019), there are 143,788 registered businesses in Singapore in December 2019. The road to entrepreneurship comes with challenges – even starting a small business involves big risks. Risks are inevitable but if you came prepared, you can minimise them.
Have a business plan
Before starting a business, one must have a plan. A business plan is a written description of your business’s future. What do you plan to do? How do you want to do it? It can be a full document or if you jot down a paragraph on your notebook describing your business strategy, you’ve already written a plan!
Know your Business Structure
- Sole-Proprietorship (one owner)
- Partnership (two or more owners)
- Limited Partnership (LP)
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
A Private limited company or Sole-Proprietorship is the most preferred business vehicle for entrepreneurs setting up a business in Singapore due to minimal requirements. One only must have a local company director, a minimum of 1 shareholder, registered office address, company secretary and S$1 paid-up capital in order to incorporate.
Business Name Registration
It’s time to register your business name! Since ACRA introduced BizFile+, an online web system that enables users to file and retrieve business data, the process is much easier now. Nowadays, you can incorporate your Singapore company online. Step-by-step guide for application for a new Business Name.
Singapore levies taxes on profits and not on revenue. Profits of your Singapore company will be taxed at 17% (with an effective tax rate often lower due to various tax incentives and tax exemptions available to Singapore-resident companies). Singapore uses a territorial tax system. Learn more at about business taxes at Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
Having a registered office address is mandatory in order to comply with Singapore regulations. It must be a place where all communications and notices may be addressed and must be open and accessible to the public for not less than 3 hours during ordinary business hours on each business day. It must be a physical office address in Singapore. It cannot be a P.O. box address.
HDB flat owners/occupiers who want to apply for the Home Office Scheme must seek approval from the Housing Development Board (HDB). This can be done by submitting your application via the HDB website.
A local entrepreneur needs to register with Accounting and Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore. It takes ACRA only 15 minutes to verify the application and register the new business firm.
Open a bank account
You many now open your business bank account. After incorporating, you can open a bank account in Singapore. You may choose from a variety of local as well as international banks.
Disclaimer: These are general idea and may have additional requirements depending on your business.