SETTING UP IN SINGAPORE
The following outline provides an overview of the steps and considerations a company typically goes through to set up in Singapore.
Depending on your needs and familiarity with the setting up process, some of the steps can be conducted in parallel.
Choose Your Business Structure
There are several types of business structures that one can set up in Singapore. Each business structure has its own set of requirements, advantages and liabilities. You may refer to these guides provided by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) which oversees the regulation and licensing of businesses in Singapore, to understand the differences between the business structures and decide what works best for you.
Register Your Business
Once you have decided on a business structure, you need to register your business on ACRA’s business portal, BizFile.
If you are looking to set up a representative office instead, you should approach the following government agencies:
Understand Singapore's Laws and Regulations
- Labour laws and regulations – Ministry of Manpower
- Immigration laws and regulations – Immigration & Checkpoints Authority
- Tax laws and regulations – Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
- Business laws and regulations – ACRA
- Customs laws and regulations – Singapore Customs
- Research and development laws and regulations
For the full list of statutes, please visit Singapore Statutes Online.
You may contact the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce for a list of financial service providers.
For broad-based financial assistance schemes, you may wish to refer to the following websites for more details:
You may also contact the following government agencies for specific financial incentives and grants administered by the agencies:
For leasing of industrial land and space from the government, please contact JTC Corporation (JTC), which is the government body in charge of developing Singapore’s industrial landscape.
For leasing of industrial and commercial land and space from private organisations, you may refer to the Land & Utilities FAQ on our Resources Page or contact the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce for a non-exhaustive list of such organisations.
- Technology providers – Intellectual Property Intermediary (IPI)
Established by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, IPI facilitates connections between Singapore-based businesses and technology solution providers.
- Manufacturing suppliers – A*STAR Collaborative Commerce Marketplace (ACCM)
The ACCM is a business matching platform for manufacturing in Singapore. Registered users include MNCs, SMEs, Research Institutes and government agencies.
Prepare For Discussions with the Singapore Government
It is recommended to prepare a business plan should you wish to enter discussions with or seek assistance from the various government agencies in Singapore.
The business plan should include a summary of what your business is about, your manpower needs, overheads (e.g. water and energy needs), land requirements, as well as your growth and sustainability plans for the next 3 years.
Your business plan should include the following details:
a) A short paragraph or list of areas that you are seeking assistance from the government.
Corporate profile and industry overview
a) Parent company, including country of incorporation, and key financial figures at the group level
b) Corporate business model/activities, strategy and worldwide presence
c) Key products and services
d) Target market in terms of customers, market segment and geographical coverage
e) Competitor companies
f) Trends and outlook for the industry segments that the company is operating in
a) Business goals and strategies
b) Business model and activities
New project implementation schedule
a) Key milestones and the completion dates for new or expansion projects, such as:
- Building or site acquired
- Recruitment of manpower
- Building construction started/completed
- Machinery installation started/completed
- Commercial production/operated started