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.

 

Step 1: Business Structure

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.

 

Step 2: Registration

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:

 

Step 3: Business Needs

Understand Singapore's Laws and Regulations

For the full list of statutes, please visit Singapore Statutes Online.

Recruit People

For recruitment of Singaporeans, you may enlist the help of recruiters or post your employment needs on the national jobs bank (managed by Workforce Singapore).

For foreign worker employment, please visit the Ministry of Manpower for information on foreign worker quota and to apply for the appropriate work passes and permits for your employees.

Finance Your Business

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:

Find a Premise

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.

Purchase Utilities

The service provider for gas and electricity is Singapore Power. For water, please contact the Public Utilities Board (PUB).

Telecommunications services can be provided by Singtel, StarHub and M1.

Find Partners
 

Step 4: Discussion

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:

Assistance required

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

Singapore operation

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
 

 

We hope this guide was helpful in giving you an overview on how to set up business in Singapore.

For a more detailed guide, please visit the Singapore Business Federation.

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