Starting a Home Business in Singapore

Staff Writer

February 22, 2023

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Starting a home business in Singapore requires as much planning, documentation, and setting up as any business, but it can be a lucrative venture for any aspiring entrepreneur. Not to mention, starting a home business can be a way to achieve financial independence, and start a small enterprise right from the comfort of home.

In this article, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of starting a small business at home in Singapore. 

How to Start a Home Business in Singapore

Planning out the schematics of the business can be overwhelming as there are so many factors to consider before settling on a business idea. Break down the planning process into multiple steps, and take time to weigh the pros and cons of each decision to properly plan out your enterprise. 

Step 1: Determine Your Industry

Start by determining the industry your business will get into. By doing so, you can move on to finding your target market, planning out the business, and applying for the permits needed to register the company. Start planning your business with a broad scope, such as the industry, before narrowing down the plan to a specific business idea.

Popular industries to enter in Singapore include freelance article writing and graphic design, homemade food, consultancy, online tutoring, online workshops or classes, and handmade goods. 

Step 2: Do Market Research

The next step is market research. A successful business has the right product-market fit achieved through thorough market research, and researching about the target market is a standard in setting up any business. This will enable you to find ways to promote your business later on as well, and stay updated with the latest industry trends.

Step 3: Plan Out Your Business

Once you have determined your business idea and target audience, you can start to fully plan out your business. This includes planning out business operations, calculating capital expenses for materials, hiring manpower, and any other details. 

More often than not, small businesses start with a single worker, which is often the business owner. Rent, office space, and other utilities often counted in capital expenses of other companies may not be applicable to home businesses, so plan out your business according to your own specifications.

You will also have to plan out your office, particularly as the business may interfere with daily home life. If there is a spare room at home, it is best to convert the room into an office to maintain a work-life balance. Else, commit a small workspace in the home for you to focus on the business. Business registration may also require a floorplan of your office. 

Step 4: Set Up Your Business

All businesses must be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore, regardless of size and space. Most home businesses register as sole proprietorships, but you can also choose to register the business under a partnership, or limited liability company (LLC) depending on your future plans. 

Each type of business structure has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, as well as the requirements needed to register the business. Sole proprietorships have the least requirements compared to partnerships and LLCs. Sole proprietorships require:

  • A business owner over 18 years of age;
  • And is a Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident, or a FIN holder;
  • At least SGD 1.

Meanwhile, partnerships and LLCs require, among other things, the following factors not required for sole proprietorships: 

  • Two or more business partners;
  • Residential details of partners;
  • A resident or nominee director;
  • A resident shareholder;
  • A corporate secretary;
  • Business plan;
  • Floorplan;
  • At least SGD 1.

Find the most suitable business structure through ACRA’s website, or work with us at WealthBridge to make business planning and registration hassle-free!

Step 5: Get the Necessary Permits

Next, apply for the necessary permits required to register your business. Even fully-registered businesses may need licences or permits related to the nature of the business. For instance, home bake shops are popular among Singaporeans, but any business that sells food will need to obtain licences from the National Environment Agency. 

Similarly, individuals offering online classes or workshops may need to register for professional licences in order to conduct classes, particularly for specific subjects. Some industries require special licences to open a business as well, so best to cross-check the requirements of your business with government licensing sites.

Step 6: Promote Your Business

Once you have your business set up, it’s time to do some promotions! Promotions and marketing are key to raising awareness for your home business, and will bring customers to your business on a regular basis. Promotions should be related to your business.

There are several channels in which you can promote your business. Paid channels are not always the most effective, and many home businesses have established their brands through online and digital channels. However, social media marketing tends to be oversaturated, so your ad may be overshadowed by other businesses. Promote your business well in advance to get your business ready for launch.

Step 7: Do a Grand Launch

The final step is to launch your business. Make sure everything is set up in time for your launch to avoid mishaps, mistakes, and inconveniences. New businesses need to put their best foot forward when launching as they need to impress customers on the first day. 

Hassle-free Business Registration

Register without the inconveniences and confusion through WealthBridge! Our Singapore corporate services team will ensure your business is up and running by the time you decide to launch, so let us handle the paperwork, and focus on bringing in customers to your home business.

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