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How to go about setting up your small business in Singapore ?

Singapore is fast becoming a business city of choice. With excellent business infrastructure, political stability, and close economic ties with many of the world's leading economies, there has never been better time than now for entrepreneurs to migrate and set up their business in Singapore.

1. Roughly conduct your own market research of your proposed type of business - consumers needs, the target market, the trend of business, the market size, keys to hold your market share, pricing strategy or 4's P, the niche, and so on.

2. Do a SWOT analysis of the proposed business - the strengths and weaknesses of your proposed setup in relation to your competitors, suppliers,etc and identify opportunities and threat facing the proposed business, and so on.

3.Formulate your mission and the objectives of the proposed business - describe your proposed business, or the type of business you are in. A thorough description of what makes your business unique or the niche you are in. Identify few key objectives of your business including products, market, service, etc.

4. Draw up your business plan - ie marketing plan, financial plan & policy, operational plan, manpower plan, capital requirement (working capital & fixed asset, sources of finance) and so on.

5. Decide on your setup and infrastructure - the type of company you wish to form - sole-proprietors, partnership, or private limited company. The location of your office, the space required, etc. Note that you are allowed to register and conduct your small-scale business using your HDB flats under the Home Office (HO) scheme, subject to compliance to the terms & conditions and approval by HDB.

6. It costs S$65/- and approximately 2 days to register a sole-proprietor and partnership business in Singapore. For a private limited company, the cost is roughly in the region of $1000/- inclusive of registration fee, seals, minutes books by a professional secretarial firm. . Note the price varies depending on the service provided by them. It takes approximately 3 days from the submission of name to obtaining the Certificate of Incorporation.

7. After formation, go all out for your business. Try to aim high and be the champion in your small niche business. Execute your marketing plan as quickly as possible. Don't be bogged down by family issue, especially if you operate from home. Smile and stay positive at all time.

8. Perhaps you could also explore the possibility of employing staff on a commission basis, part-timers, or associates to help you expand your business, and so on. Marketing is the key element for your business to success.

9. Constantly look for effective ways for day-to-day managing the whole operations of your business. Initially you may have to do all by yourself. When your business expands, you can't operate alone. Perhaps you should consider outsourcing part of your business function, but remember to retain the key portfolios to yourself.

10. Keep proper records - maintain a simple set of accounts that meet your business needs. Keep all receipts, invoices and supporting documents and file it properly for accounts and tax purposes. Perhaps you should prepare weekly cash forecast to keep track of your cash position, and also update your debtors regularly for collection purpose. Prepare a monthly profit and loss statement to review and compare against your budget or plan, and take whatever remedies action to ensure it is on track. Of course, you may also require reports like stock listing, creditor listing, fixed assets register, balance sheet, etc to effectively manage the financial function.

For any query or information, please email to [email protected]


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