A lot of steps go into launching a start-up in Singapore. It may seem overwhelming to tackle everything at once, but with this useful tips, you have everything you need to establish the groundwork for a healthy, profitable start-up!
Singapore is one of the most advanced tech hubs in the world. It’s home to a flurry of start-up incubators and accelerators. That explains why this Asian nation-state has been exploding with microbusinesses of late.
So, don’t worry! If you want to build your start-up in Singapore, you will get a lots of support, networking opportunities, and ever-improving start-up and investment scene. Here, we provide useful tips for start-up in Singapore to grow!
Choose Your Preferred Business Structure
You have to be extra cautious and analytical while choosing a business structure, as there’s a lot of ways the structure you choose could impact your business.
For example, your business structure may affect:
- The control you have over the start-up
- The amount of income tax to pay
- Health, safety, and other legal requirements
- Regulatory Obligations
- The liability you’ll incur in case something happens, or you incur losses
Here are the four structures to choose from:
Sole Trader: This is where you register yourself as the sole proprietor or owner of the start-up business. Meaning, you’re responsible for all the legal aspects of operating the business.
Company: A company is a commercial business entity with a separate legal existence from its shareholders.
Partnership: It’s when you team up with one or more persons or entities to start a company.
Trust: A trust refers to a business entity holding property or any other legal asset that benefits a third party.
Choose your Business Type
After you choose a business structure, the next thing you want to do is understand what type of start-up business is better suited for you. Your options are rife.
- An online business
- An independent contractor
- A Franchise
Remember: each of these options comes with its own set of regulatory requirements and legal obligations.
Register Your Company
A majority of companies in Singapore operate as private limited companies. The companies will have the suffix “Ltd,” “Pte Ltd,” or Private Limited to their name.
Some other countries commonly refer to private limited companies as corporations, limited liability companies, incorporations, unlimited companies, and so on. Singapore is among the few countries that do not use the latter.
Company registration in Singapore is conducted by the ACRA (the Accounting and Corporate Registration Authority).
What Should you Expect after Successfully Registering your Company?
Unique Entity Number
A unique entity number operates a whole lot like your personal identification, but for your company. The number is generated automatically, and it’s what you use to identify your company whenever you’re dealing with any government body.
ACRA will also send you a congratulatory letter a week after you’ve successfully registered your company.
Corporate Service Providers will start sending you numerous marketing emails listing out a range of corporate services you may want to sign up for.
Be sure to perform validation checks on any mailer that purports to be from a government agency.
Open your Company Bank Account
The next thing you want to do is to open a corporate bank account with your company’s name and not yours. You have several bank options to go with.
This bank account is meant to facilitate all your company’s transactions. It’s also a good way to draw a distinction between your personal expenditure and company transactions.
Business Permits and Licenses
Be sure to check out if there are permits and licenses to be precured in your line of business. The licenses and permits tend to have qualifying conditions. It’s, therefore, important that you apply for them before setting up your business.
Setting up an Inventory Management and Record-Keeping System
A common mistake that entrepreneurs make almost all the time is beefing up their marketing while completely neglecting inventory management.
You need proper records for monitoring receivables, payables, business decisions, your company’s financial status, corporate tax filings, and so on. In fact, you’re legally required to maintain proper business records for at least five years.
You need a professionally done website and email system to represent your business online and connect with your online clientele.
Here’s what you’ll need to set up a website in Singapore:
- A domain name, which goes for about $20 per year for a .com TLD, and about $60 per year for com.sg TLD.
- Webhosting: This is like your digital real estate. The annual cost of web hosting can range from $60 to thousands of dollars, depending on the option you choose.
- A web designer and developer: This is the person or agency responsible for designing your website in Singapore. Typically, the cost of hiring one can range from $2 000 to $250 000, depending on the nature of your website.
If you’re planning to pay yourself a salary or get one or more employees on a payroll, it’s legally required that you apply for a Central Provident Fund (CPF) number and submission account.
Now you can calculate CPF automatically with FREE CPF Calculator .
IRAS GST Commitment
It’s a compulsory requirement to register with the GST the moment your annual taxable turnover crosses the $1 million mark. Failure to register with the GST may result in a fine of up to $10 000.
You must join Start-up Communities, Programmes, and Events in Singapore
The start-up scene in Singapore is a close-knit network of entrepreneurs, marketers, investors, dreamers, incubators, and project accelerators.