Small business

How to Start a Company in Singapore

singapore-430643_640Millennia ago, ancient nomadic tribes used to move from region to region in search for greener pastures and better areas for life. Today's world of economy in many things resemble this nomadic way of life. Because of the nature of modern business, the globalization of the 20th and 21st century and most importantly of all, the internet, most companies are no longer restricted geographically. This means that if you have the need to, you are available today to locate a place on the planet that is suitable for your line of work and move there immediately; an incredible business feature indeed.

Corporate haven, Singapore

When talking about suitable locations for an international office, Singapore is second to none. Reasons behind this are various, but most important one is that three times in this century alone, this great city was declared to be the best city in the world for doing business in by The World Bank as well as the third by GDP/capita by Forbes. There were many facts and factors that were included in this, most notably the notion that everything in Singapore, from hiring and firing laws and tax regulations are business oriented and business subjected.

Apart from Singapore being a top transportation hub for sea and air medium of transportation, its government and policies have always in the past proven to be pro-business, regardless of the global economical and geopolitical situations. Another plus is the fact that the workforce here is amongst the most skilled in the entire Pacific Asia. With all this in mind, it should by now be clear to anyone that Singapore is just perfect place for doing business.

Obtaining a name approval

First thing first, you need is to pick your company name. Here the most important thing is not to use names of already existing companies or similar to the names of existing companies in order to avoid a lawsuit. It also goes without saying that you should also avoid any offensive or insulting names.

A piece of advice, also try to avoid, if possible, the use of words in your company's name that may require some additional approval (words such as law, bank media etc.), since this can prolong the entire procedure for up to three weeks. Once you thought of the name submit it and pay a symbolic fee of $15.00. The approval of the name takes no more than an hour and this will reserve the name for you in the period of 60 days after that period, it can be prolonged for the next 60 days for only $10.00.


Registering and incorporating your business

Now, here's a thing, it is illegal for a foreign citizen to register a firm in Singapore, which means that you are obligated to hire a local firm specialized in doing this. On registration you also need to name a local address which could be a bit tricky. Luckily for you, you can always name a local manager to register a Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) but if you are "ordinary resident" of Singapore (meaning that you have a local address in Singapore or can stay there for a prolonged amount of time) it is enough for you to sign Sole-Proprietors, Partnerships, Limited Partnerships (LP).

Permits and licenses

This is where the nature of your business comes in as the most important. It is exactly on the nature of your business that it depends what permits and licenses you will have to apply for. For example, if you plan on opening a private school or a travel agency, you will need to get a compulsory license, on the other hand if you plan on opening a professional service such as medical clinic or a law firm you will need to get an occupational license. In the end, there are also some employment matters such as outdoor advertising, which require some special licenses of their own.

You owe it to yourself to do everything that you can in order to gain an edge over your competition. Sometimes that means adjusting the way you do business and sometimes simply moving your office a continent away. Although it may seem to some as simply too much effort, once you see the results you will be more than reassured that it was all an effort well invested.

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