• Online Business in Singapore

The Covid-19 situation has brought about the rise of digitalisation and the increase of online services. With the lockdowns and border restrictions, the minimised traffic outside is discouraged, leading to a shift in consumer purchasing behaviour. More consumers are choosing the shop and transact online, making an online business a lucrative venture for new investors or entrepreneurs.

Let’s find out how to set up your own online business in Singapore!

Benefits of Starting an Online Business

There are many benefits of starting an online business, no matter where you may be. These benefits include:

  • Global market penetration
    Even though you may start a business in Singapore, an online business lets you sell virtually anywhere as long as your consumer has an Internet connection. This creates the opportunity for you to get sales internationally and not being bounded by a geographical restriction.
  • Cost savings
    By having an online business, there is cost savings when it comes to renting an office space, which is expensive in a land-strapped nation like Singapore. Other expenses that you can save on are cleaning services, internet fees, etc.

  • Flexibility
    An online business is a flexible business – transactions can happen anytime, anywhere, 24/7 around the clock. There is no need to worry about missing customers as they can visit your online store at their convenience.

  • Freedom
    If you’re not a fan of a 9-5 job, then setting up your own online business can be for you. With the freedom to work anytime and anywhere, there is no restrictions on how you should run your business and you can have the power to make decisions that best suits you to improve productivity.

Steps To Set Up Your Online Company in Singapore

Setting up your online company in Singapore is relatively a straightforward process, and can be done within a day if all the documents are ready. Follow these steps to get your online company running!

Eric - Chief Executive Officer
NOTE: If you are a non-Singaporean who intends to start an e-commerce store based in Singapore, you should have at least one local director for your company. If you’re planning to stay in Singapore, it is recommended to get an employment pass, and be a local director.

Step 2: Register a domain name

Step 3: Select a hosting service for your business

Step 4: Design and create a webpage where your online business is being conducted

Step 5: Consider tech-giants and big online marketplaces like Shopee, Lazada, Amazon, etc.

License Requirements for Online Businesses

There are various licenses to obtain before starting your e-commerce business. All e-commerce companies in Singapore are guided by the Internet Code of Practice to ensure that they do not operate against the country’s constitutional mandates.

Depending on the type of e-commerce, there are regulations to follow:

  • Online gambling – Controlled by the Betting Act and the Gaming House Act.

  • Loaning – Regulated by The Singapore Companies Laws
  • Sale of second-hand goods – Governs by The Secondhand Dealers Act and a license from the Deputy Commissioner of Police is required before selling second-hand goods online.

  • Internet promotions – Regulated by The Common Gaming House Act

  • Advertisements – Regulated by the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice

E-Commerce Booster Package in Singapore

The Singapore government recognised the impact of Covid-19 on industries like Food & Beverages, Retail, etc., and are encouraging these businesses to move online by initiating the E-commerce Booster Package. Retailers can engage e-commerce platforms like Lazada, Mummys Market, Qoo10, Zalora, and Shopee to expand their reach in the market.

With this package, the government aims to support retailers in diversifying their operations and defraying business costs of going online. Those who are eligible will receive a one-time support to defray 80% of qualifying costs, capped at S$8,000.

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • You must have an incorporated retail company in Singapore on or before 31st March 2020
  • You must have at least 30% of the local shareholdings
  • You must have a physical storefront for your company
  • Your business must have an annual turnover that does not exceed SGD 100 million from the most recent audited report
Eric - Chief Executive Officer
NOTE: This package is only available till November 2021, unless otherwise stated by Enterprise Singapore.

Ideas For Online Businesses

If you’re looking to set up your online business, but unsure of what business to get into, here are some ideas for you.

  • Copywriting services
    With the rise of content marketing, copywriting services are highly sought for in today’s times. If you are a good writer, consider starting your own copywriting agency in Singapore!

  • Tutoring
    Professional tutors can expand their skills online with many job opportunities for such services as the demand for tutors are high in Singapore.

  • Graphic design
    Similar to copywriting, graphic design is also important for businesses to promote themselves online. The cost of starting a graphic design company is low with little overheads, making it a great opportunity for new business owners to consider this business venture.

  • Internet security consulting
    The increase of website hacking and information leakage means internet security consulting is becoming more popular, especially among big companies.
  • Social media marketing
    As more people are spending time online rather than out on the streets, social media marketing is becoming ever so popular. If you have the skills to manage social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and more, this is a relatively easy business to get started.
  • Reselling
    Another online business option is reselling – you can source for certain products, add your unique touch, and sell them as your own.
Eric - Chief Executive Officer
TIP: Beyond online businesses, you can also consider tapping on these top business opportunities and growing industries in Singapore when incorporating a business!

Starting Your Online Company

Setting up an online company is a fast process, should all the necessary documents be properly filled and duly completed, the registration will be a breeze! If you plan to incorporate a company in Singapore as a foreigner, you may want to look at our article here.

Reach out to us for your company incorporation and get started on your entrepreneurial journey.


Are there any barriers for me to start an e-commerce business?2021-09-09T14:03:02+08:00

Barriers to starting an e-commerce or online business is low. The capital required to start such companies is lower than a traditional business, and the incorporation process is also not as complicated as you may think. Reach out to us to get started and start selling.

Are Foreigners allowed to operate an e-commerce store in Singapore?2021-09-09T14:01:50+08:00

Yes, everybody can start and operate an e-commerce store in Singapore as long as you have a registered business, and are compliant with the ACRA guidelines of company incorporation and tax remittance.

What is an e-commerce business?2021-09-09T14:02:24+08:00

Electronic commerce (E-commerce) business is a form of business being conducted online. The process of buying and selling goods and products is purely conducted over the internet through an e-commerce store.

Why should I consider starting an online business in Singapore?2020-11-03T10:00:41+08:00

Starting an online business in Singapore can help in increasing your market base. It will, in turn, increase your income or profit. 

Is the process of starting an online business in Singapore complicated?2020-11-03T10:01:15+08:00

Starting an online business in Singapore is simple and straightforward. After doing market research, you incorporate your company, build your website, then do the business. 


What can I sell online in Singapore?2020-11-03T10:01:29+08:00

There are numerous products that you can sell online in Singapore. Electronics, furniture, fashion, and others are the popular choices of many entrepreneurs. 

Which products sell the most online in Singapore?2020-11-03T10:01:39+08:00

Fashion, technology products, second-hand sales, books, and other educational courses sell the most online in Singapore. 

2021-09-09T13:55:15+08:00November 29, 2019|

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Join the discussions

2 Discussions

  1. Keerthi U T December 6, 2019 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    I wants to start online business. Please advise. Thanks

    • Kumaran Tiwiyah December 12, 2019 at 5:14 pm - Reply

      Hello Keerthi,

      If you would like to start an online business in Singapore, you will need it to be incorporated with ACRA’s approval just as is the case for any offline business.

      Please contact us at any time for further information on incorporation Singapore.

      Thank you.

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