Many people dream of escaping from a routine office job and starting up a business. Owning a business gives its owner great benefits, especially with regard to cash and time.
However, issues such as lack of ability, amount of start-up funds, insufficient networking, and other risks involved prevent many from getting started. There are also certain requirements to be fulfilled, such as a company business profile, one or more directors who are 18 years old or older, and corporate bank accounts.
According to the World Bank, Singapore is one of the best places to conduct business in the Asia-Pacific region. However, there are factors that need to be considered before registering a Singapore business.
The following are some of the questions a prospective business owner needs to ask before attempting to register a company in Singapore and become a successful entrepreneur through owning one or more registered companies.
Is Your Business Suitable for the Singapore Market?
Although there is no such thing as the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ business, there are certain types of businesses or industries that when incorporated in Singapore, will thrive in the Republic.
The travel and tourism industry is one of the largest contributors to Singapore’s economy. Singapore’s high safety level, affordable shopping options, and modern infrastructures make it a preferred destination for travelers around the world.
Destinations with booming tourism industries tend to have strong hospitality industries. Such is also the case in Singapore. Options available for those planning to enter this industry include bars, restaurants, cafés, hotels, and resorts.
Globally-renowned IT service companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Micron Technology Inc have their regional headquarters in Singapore. Although those mentioned companies are MNCs, locals can also set up IT service provider firms in Singapore. Other IT firms have already set up businesses in Singapore owing to the growing potential and skilled labour available in this industry. The infrastructure in Singapore is at a level high enough to support what IT businesses will require in years to come.
One could set up a business that provides a variety of IT services such as website development, social networking, web design, and others depending on the interests and skillset of the prospective business owner.
With international players such as Pfizer, Novartis, and GlaxoSmithKline making their presence felt in Singapore, the biotech industry has been attracting a lot of foreign attention. This industry is highly supported by the Singaporean government.
Biotechnology is a rapidly developing industry in Singapore, just as it is in the rest of the world. The government invests in this industry by spending on the development of infrastructure, R&D facilities, technology, and other elements that support this industry.
Existing telecommunications providers have left a wide range of telecommunications services that have been left untapped. These services include mobile phone networks, mobile phone connections, Internet services, radio and television stations, and print and online media service providers. As the Singaporean populace becomes more tech-savvy and technologically literate, investment in this sector will be encouraged.
This industry is closely tied to the tourism industry. With international high street fashion brands such as H&M, Aldo, Levi’s, and Zara already making profits in Singapore, the fashion retail industry in Singapore is bound to flourish further.
Tourists coming from all over the world shop in Singapore and stock up on branded products. These products at more reasonable prices than those other countries. Thus, prospective business owners might open a retail outlet and profit from it.
This is a growing industry in Singapore’s business scene and it should stay that way for a long time. Not only do Singaporean institutes provide high-quality education at a reasonable price, but their courses are also in high demand. Singapore is a preferred destination for many Southeast Asian students who want to study abroad but without venturing too far away from home.
What Is the Most Suitable Business Entity to Set Up?
What the right business entity formation to incorporate in Singapore will depend on the entrepreneur’s business situation and personal plans.
A Singapore citizen who would like to register a small business where the person would be the only owner and the products or services provided do not carry liability issues should set up a sole proprietorship.
If the business involves providing services and will include one or more partners, setting up a limited liability partnership (LLP) is the most suitable option.
However, in our professional opinion, incorporating a private limited company is the best choice in most cases. Although compliance requirements may be slightly more complex, it is by far the best structure in the majority of circumstances.