A Short Guide to Starting a Business in Singapore

Singapore is a small but highly productive island where many small businesses easily thrive. Social media, eCommerce, advanced manufacturing, and web design – mostly computer-oriented businesses – greatly thrive in the country. If you’ve been planning to create your own businesses, here is a short guide to help you get started quickly in Singapore. This guide applies to any Singaporean or foreigner planning to start any type of business in the country.


Every Singapore business has to name, register, and incorporate their business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). This process is essential because it ensures the business name is responsible for dealing with all liabilities rather than the business owner’s or employees’ personal effects.

Get started by following the steps below.

Business Name

You can register any kind of name for your business. As long as it isn’t the full name registered in your or your partners’ NRICs, you can have it in print and use it in all your business contracts.

Your business name reflects your values, objectives, and goals. Most digital businesses use cutting-edge technology buzzwords, while food companies use flavor, raw material, and cultural influence as a part of their brand name and image. Identify the one that suits you and register it with ACRA.

Here are a few more considerations when choosing business names.

Register with ACRA

ACRA business name registrations require a few important items with documentation. They will ask you to register the Singapore Standard Industrial Code (SSIC) suitable for your business. SSICs identify the nature of your business in the country. For example, an IT company has an SSIC different from food companies and accounting companies.

ACRA will most likely ask for the following details:

  • Nature of business
  • Number of owners
  • Current capital
  • Your business’ long-term plan

After you receive ACRA’s approval to use your brand name for your business, you’ll need to choose your company’s incorporation. These are the following:

  • Sole Proprietorship/ Sole Trader: Sole proprietors do not have any incorporation. The business owner will pay only personal income tax on their profits. Many freelancers use a sole proprietorship role for their business.
  • Ordinary Business Partnership: Ordinary business partnerships focus on having multiple people do business. This incorporation ensures all partners pay equal personal income tax on the business’ profits.
  • Limited Partnership (LP): Limited partnerships are similar to ordinary business partnerships, but each partner is liable only for the amount they invested or own the company.
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): LLPs are the most common among many Singaporean companies. It ensures each partner has limited liability for the partnership’s debts.
  • Private Company Limited By Shares: This is a company where shareholders own the company instead of individuals. It’s another typical incorporation for most businesses in Singapore.

Open a Business Account

Once you obtain your ACRA business profile package, you’ll receive several important items. One is your registration number or Unique Entity Number (UEN). This is important when opening your business bank account. You’ll need multiple business accounts, so hold onto your UEN.

Having multiple bank accounts for income, payroll, expenses, and other important financial commitments ensure you and your accountants can track your business’s cash flow.

After opening your business account, you can start applying for relevant licensing, certification, and other essentials. Furthermore, you can apply for financing from banks and financial institutions to jump-start your business.

There are a few more things that you might want to see on our dedicated page for starting a business in Singapore.

Metropolitan Management Services Pte. Ltd. is a reliable financial management company dedicated to making businesses like yours succeed. We ensure you meet all regulatory necessities, manage your financial commitments, and achieve smooth and sustainable business operations. Call us today to set an appointment.