Singapore is one the most popular options to start a business in Asia. Especially with other hubs like Hong Kong and Japan shut down, entrepreneurs and MNCs are flocking to Singapore to start their business and take advantage of Singapore’s low corporate tax rates.
But Singapore is also a very strict country and there are a lot of rules to follow. Anyone caught breaking its stringent laws can and will be prosecuted. But there are a ton of advantages and opportunities too.
Say that you’re a social media marketing agency looking to expand from Malaysia into Singapore. You want to offer your social media marketing services to local SMEs. For starters, since Malaysia and Singapore are geographically close and culturally similar to one another, you’ll have a big advantage.
People in Singapore are more likely to want to work with you if you’ve worked with large Malaysian companies and winning market share in both countries will mean a strong foothold in the South-East Asian market. The government also offers grants such as the EDG & PSG Grant to local businesses so they can actually be subsidised when engaging you for your social media marketing services! But do note that your agency has to be registered as a pre-approved provider beforehand. And don’t forget that the very first step is to start a business and legally incorporate your business first.
Business owners need to keep more detailed records
Let’s say that you’re a veteran accountant and want to open a training school that offers Xero courses to local accounting graduates since Xero isn’t taught in university courses. That’s a great idea. But teaching in Singapore isn’t as simple as renting a studio and buying a couple of markers.
You will need to document everything and do a lot of paperwork. The more students you have for your Xero course, the more time you’ll need to spend filling up forms on their behalf and collecting copies of their NRIC and personal information.
You need to prepare annual reports which may need to be filed with the government. Annual reports need to be shared with all shareholders. If the government has an issue, such as a criminal investigation and asks you for information about your Xero courses or students, you must be able to get that information to assist. You will be expected to have everything documented online. You may also need to prepare certain tax forms, depending on the kind of corporation you’ve formed.
Business planning and preparation
Let’s continue from our Xero course provider above. What happens if you have an unhappy student who demands for a refund? And what is that student badmouthing and writing false negative reviews about you online even after you’ve offered him a refund? You will have to make sure that you’re legally protected from such malicious students.
You should hire a business lawyer to help you with your business endeavours. Aside from writing terms and conditions to prevent students from doing anything malicious to you, your lawyer can help you with registering a business too.
The business registration process can be intricate, so you should seek legal advice to ensure that you’re not overlooking any vital steps. In addition, there are many factors to consider once you have set up a company. You’ll need to write a business plan to help you prepare for the future. If you do not have a business plan, you’ll need to create one before you can start the business registering process.
Get started on your business today! It’s a lot of work but starting your own business is one of the most rewarding things that you can do. It’ll be a lot of fun and your efforts will bear fruit in the years to come.