4 tips on starting a business in Singapore

Singapore is an ideal place to run a business, thanks to the country’s strategic location, political stability, growing economy, favorable go vernment policies and corporate tax laws. If you are planning to start a business in Singapore, you should consider a few things before taking the plunge. From finding a location to selecting a business structure and hiring the right accounting services; there are a number of steps to take to get your business up and running in Singapore. Here are some useful tips.

Choose a business structure

You need to specify the type of legal entity you want to form when registering your business in Singapore. Your options include Limited Liability Company, sole proprietorship, branch office, partnership, subsidiary, and others. It is important to choose a structure that aligns with your business goals and financial capability. If you are self-employed and want to open a business, sole proprietorship would be a good option. However, if you have plans to expand your business in future and want to protect your personal assets in the event of any legal claims, you should choose to form a private limited company.

Know about licensing requirements

You need to a license to run a business in Singapore. Once you register your business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), you then should apply for licensing. Different types of businesses require different types of licenses in Singapore. You can find out details about the licensing requirements for your business type from the website of online business licensing service (OBLS). Depending on your niche, you may need to get more than one license from different authorities. For instance, licensing requirements for an accounting services provider and a law firm would be different.

Get an address

For registration, your business must have a local address. Make sure you find a strategic location for your business, depending on your products, services and target market. Once you rent a premise, you then should get permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for commercial use.

Manage your finances and accounts

A majority of startups fail due to lack of funds, poor cash flow and accounting errors. You should not leave any chance for mistakes in this area. First things first, you should separate out personal expenses from business expenses. Open a new bank account for business transactions and keep track of all commercial transactions using cloud accounting services and tools like the Xero accounting software partner. That way, you can allow your employees and team members to enter any expenses incurred from a remote location. They can also view and upgrade your accounting data, if necessary, from any location – as long as they are connected to the internet. Access to the latest accounting data helps your management team make timely business decisions – which eventually curbs risks and ensures business growth.

It is also important to know details about your tax obligations and keep an amount aside for tax and unforeseen situations. One good idea would be to outsource your bookkeeping tasks to an acclaimed accounting services provider in Singapore.