Unlike most other countries, it is comparatively very easy to set up your business, or a branch office, in Singapore. The country offers several lucrative opportunities owing to its investment in human resources, and construction of state-of-the-art infrastructural facilities. Singapore has minimal, or negligible, red tape or registration formalities to be dealt with if you choose to set up your business concern in the country. However, it is worth knowing about the few essential rules to be followed if you desire to do business in Singapore.
• Registering with the proper authorities
Any entrepreneur or a company who or which desires to register a foreign branch office is required to seek the help of a lawyer, chartered accountant, or a registered professional to help deal with the required paper work and documentation process. The companies Act makes it mandatory for a company to appoint at least two individuals to conduct and carry out the business proceedings on behalf of the business entity in Singapore.
• Getting the company name or brand approved
The Act states that the brand name used by the company should be approved by concerned authorities before it can be officially registered. A name may not be approved if it is identical with some other business concern’s name already registered prior to your application. Moreover, racist, religiously offensive, vulgar, or undesirable names cannot be used for registration purposes.
• Registering a branch or subsidiary office
To carry out trading, business related transactions, manufacturing, or any other commercial activity in Singapore, it is mandatory to register a subsidiary or branch office with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The statutory body recommends several guidelines as well as rules and regulations to be followed by the business entity during its operations within the country. The business should be incorporated in a proper way and manner as per the regulations.
• Submitting online applications for approval
It is possible to submit your application through online processes via Bizfile by employing professional firms or registered service bureaus. Alternately, the application can also be submitted by a designated director of the company which is to be registered. The process generally incurs an expenditure of S$15 for each application. The name, once approved, will be kept reserved for a duration of 60 days from the date of application, after which it may be made available to the open market. One can register a partnership concern, a sole-proprietorship, a limited liability (LLC) partnership, or an incorporation.
• Finding customers and consumers before starting
It is recommended you define and ascertain your target audience as well as your consumer base before starting or registering your company in Singapore. It is prudent to be properly organized and certain about your marketing strategies, and getting your share of the local business. Market conditions can be very tough and competitive, and it is wise to reconsider your business strategy and desired profit margins before you register your company.