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How to Start a Business in Singapore

Are you thinking of setting up a business in Singapore? Worry not, because it is easy to set up a business whether you are a citizen or a foreigner. Singapore is a good place for entrepreneurs because it has good enforcement of intellectual property laws, has several free trade agreements, and even double taxation avoidance agreements.

Here are the important requirements you must fulfill.

Business registration

Once you have the funds for the business, you will need to register it. Fortunately, there is an option to file in electronically at the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) website. If you are a foreign entrepreneur, you will need to contact legal services, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Enterprise Singapore depending on the type of business you have in mind.

You cannot register the company on your own because you will also need a bank account at a bank based in the country. However, if you are going to operate the business in Singapore from abroad, you will only need appoint a local employee or head. For those who want to move into the country, you will need an EntrePass.

Complete the company setup

To fulfill all the requirements for a business registration, you must also have the following already set up: name of the company that is approved by ACRA, names of all the shareholders, name of the director/s, name of the corporate secretary (who must be a Singapore resident), the registered physical office address, and the paid-up capital of at least S$1.

When you register, you will receive your registration number, registration date, and other details. This information can be used for permits and licenses and for bank accounts.

Look for a business location and hire employees

Next, you need to find a suitable location for your business or office. To make the selection easier, look up the list of business and industrial parks available for entrepreneurs. Looking for manpower is also easy if you partner with legitimate recruitment agencies.

There are also some guidelines for hiring and training as well as for recruiting foreign employees. Make sure to look up the different work visas available, EntrePass, and eligibility requirements for foreigners.

Post-registration requirements

Once the incorporation process has been completed, you will also need to fulfill the following: complete all necessary licenses and permits (this will depend on your type of business), registration number, registered office hours, goods and services tax registration, customs registration (for import and/or export), and CPF registration (pension fund scheme if employer is Singapore resident).

The office hours refer to the set hours of the operation of your business, which must be at least 3 hours per weekday. If your business’ annual taxable revenue is above S$1 million annually, you will need to register for the GST.

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