Setting up business in Singapore

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Meet The Eligibility Requirements

Sole-Proprietors, Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) and Limited Partnerships (LP): You must appoint a local manager if none of the owners registering is “ordinarily resident” in Singapore. - this just means you can do it only if you are singaporean.


There must be at least one shareholder and one director. They can be the same person. However, most companies opt to have at least 2 directors as banks and other financial institutions usually require 2 signatories. But for now it doesn't matter. One is good enough. As long as its a singaporean its easy.

Check Availability Of Business Name

You must consult the Directory of Registered Entities to check if your business name is occupied. Later when you register for your business, do not worry if your business doesn't appear instantly. It takes about one working day for it to appear.

Find The SSIC Code For Your Business

Check here for the SSIC code: SSIC Code for Business Activity Search For example, mine was: 74192 ART AND GRAPHIC DESIGN SERVICES

Choose A Place Of Business

"Premises must be approved for business use by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Residential flats or properties can only be used under the Home Office Scheme (HO)."

Businesses doing graphic design, cake baking, sewing, etc, do not require application to the home office scheme as they are not very disruptive/noisy so you are exempt!

Check Your Outstanding Medisave Liabilities

"Before you register for a sole-proprietorship, partnership, LLP, or an LP, you must first ensure that you have paid up your Medisave liabilities or have arranged for payment by instalments.  You can find out your outstanding Medisave liabilities from CPF Board’s website. You also need SingPass to login to your CPF account. SingPass is available to Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, Employment Pass holders and Dependant Pass holders over 15 years old. You can get your SingPass over the counter or online."

Not quite sure why they require this part in the process! Maybe someone can explain this?

Register online for your business

It will take maybe 2 hours or so if you are slow at filling out forms. After that, you should also go to your medisave/cpf and register as selfemployed. You will also receive a large letter in the mail confirming your successful setting up of the company in a few days time, along with some spam mail from printers and other unsavoury sorts. Congratulations! Now you have a company!

See also

Applying for GeBiz

Applying for Gebiz allows you to bid for quotes released by the statutory boards. Before becoming an approved supplier you cannot see the quotes so you should sign up once you have a company. You can do it online via email or fax. If you followed the steps above and registered your sole proprietorship successfully, you will have no problem getting approved as a supplier, and it will only take 3 or so working days.

And yes, there is no point 2b in the signup form, although there's a point 2a. These bureaucrats can't count. Its perfectly normal. Do not worry about it.

Links! Guides!

Grants has a directory where you can search for Govt Assistance for Startups

  • Heritage Industry Incentive Programme (HI2P) - Get a grant for private museum and heritage projects, to upgrade your museum gallery, or develop innovative heritage products and services. Can be used to subsidise equipment and material costs for Installations and fabrications for both local and overseas exhibitions, shows, displays etc.