Quick pointers to know before starting an online business in Singapore
According to the Digital in 2017: Southeast Asia, there are currently around 5.75 million people in Singapore and 4.71 of those use the internet – that is 82% of the population! Most people use smartphones in Singapore to access online sites. No wonder businesses are rushing to get their hands on Singapore domains and establish their presence online.
Now before you take the plunge, here are a couple of tips you need to know before even looking to start an online business in Singapore.
Study the market. Research is key. The e-commerce market in Singapore is expected to grow to S$7.5 billion by the year 2025 based on Google and state-owned investment company Temasek their report on Southeast Asia’s e-commerce markets. This makes it even more exciting to start an online business here!
As a first step, you need to research to better understand the market, the clients, competitors and the market need. With this, you must come up with a business plan that will aid you to see if your business idea is feasible. It also allows you to outline the business’ operational and financial objectives and even secure funding and to attract investors.
Understand the regulatory regime. You can easily start an online business like an e-commerce website or a blog for instance. However, before you begin, it is important to know Singapore’s regulatory regime for the e-commerce industry.
For internet content, you will be bound by the Internet Code of Practice that’s set by the Infocomm Media Development Authority. For the nature of your business activity, you must be familiar with the Second-Hand Dealers Act as required by the Deputy Commissioner of Police; the Common Gaming House Act and the Public Entertainment Act for promotional activities; and the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice and Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions and Safety Requirements) Act if you’re doing web advertising.
Register your business. After understanding the market and the regulatory landscapes, you can now register your business. In Singapore, you can choose from a variety of business structure. The basic form is the private limited company structure.
Private limited company structure provides a business with a legal entity status, a limited liability plus a host of tax incentives. You can register by proceeding online to the BizFile. This is usually a quick process that takes only 15-minutes to accomplish provided all documents and payment are submitted. If successful, you will receive a Unique Entity Number, also known as UEN.
Business funding. If you’re a business owner with good financial health, then you’re off to a good start. This will be vital to ensure that your business will run well. In any case, it is useful to know about the different funding available to new businesses like yours. Angel investors, Kickstarter, and others are a good start. The Singapore government also offers a couple of funds for new businesses that range from funds for mentorship, technology to loans.
Get on board with the right service providers. The right domain name registrant and web hosting company are vital to any online business looking to penetrate the Singapore online market. You can get affordable SG domain from providers like Crazy Domains, which also offers web-building tools and security features for your website.
We hope these quick pointers help you and your online business get off the ground. Never rush into things and plan accordingly so you can take full advantage of the Singaporean online market.