Starting a Real Estate Business in Singapore

Staff Writer

March 7, 2023

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Why Start a Real Estate Business in Singapore 

The real estate demand in Singapore is undoubtedly growing and expanding now more than ever as it becomes one of the most powerful economies in Asia. As one of the world’s most active business hubs, Singapore is a very appealing country of choice for anyone looking to incorporate their own business, whether they’re local citizens of the country or not.

This is because Singapore has many advantageous factors to offer like the nation’s strategic geographical location at the center of Southeast Asia, favorable business conditions, a highly skilled workforce and much more. 

Apart from foreign investors and businessmen, there’s also a high demand to immigrate into the country because of the high quality living conditions, globally competitive education system, low corruption and crime levels and more. The country also offers a very favorable immigration system that attracts citizens from all over the world.

Whether for the launching or expansion of a business in any industry or a desire to participate in a first-world country that plays such an integral role in the global economy, more people are gravitating towards Singapore, which is leading to a rising demand for real estate to match this influx. 

How to Start a Real Estate Business in Singapore

Step 1: Think of a Business Name and Structure

The first step to create your real estate business is to think of a business name that properly represents and encapsulates your vision and goals. You will also need to decide on what kind of business structure you’ll want to adopt as this is very important in the registration processes to follow. 

Once you’ve decided, you can then officially register this with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) in compliance with the Business Names Registration Act 2014, the Companies Act 1967. 

Step 2: Officially Register Your Business Name

This can easily be done with ACRA’S online portal BizFile and will entail the following requirements:

  • Company name;
  • At least one resident or nominee director or shareholder;
  • At least one corporate secretary
  • Registered address in Singapore;
  • Detailed business plan;
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA);
  • At least SGD 1 in capital.

After successfully completing your application, ACRA will typically take three working days to process your application and respond, but this can also take as little as a day depending on their workload should your submission not have any problems or issues. 

You will know that your business name has officially been registered once you receive a Unique Entity number (UEN).

Step 3: Submit Your Estate Agent Application

Afterwards, the appointed Key Executive Officer (KEO) of your business or agency will have to submit the Estate Agent (EA) License application to the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). 

The KEO is responsible for the proper administration and management of the business, as well as the supervision of salespersons. The requirements that a candidate must meet in order to be appointed as KEO are as follows:

  • Have a pass in the Common Examination for House Agents (CEHA), the Real Estate Agency (REA) exam or any other equivalent qualification
  • Have a at least 4 GCE ‘O’ Level passes or any other equivalent qualification
  • Be a sole proprietor, a director or a partner of the estate agent
  • Have a minimum of three years’ experience of work with a licensed estate agent
  • Have concluded a minimum of 30 property transactions either within the last three years or on behalf of any qualified licensed estate agent
  • Not be or previously have been a sole proprietor, KEO, director or partner of an estate agent, whether license has been revoked or not
  • Not have a moneylender’s license or any association with a licensed moneylender
  • Not have any legal conflicts including, but not limited to, undischarged bankruptcy, conviction in any country, detention or supervision under the Misuse of Drugs Act or the Criminal Law Act

The KEO will also need to ensure that all existing employees of the company also register themselves with the CEA. After receiving approval from the CEA, all you need to do now is pay the necessary license fees for the EA License application.

Step 4: Choose a Location

After getting all the necessary approvals, it’s time to choose a location to launch your real estate business in. Should you have the necessary funds, it may be more efficient to build your office in a more urbanized location as this will not only make scoutings and oculars much easier and less time-consuming, but it will also give you more access to popular locations that are in high demand.

Step 5: Hire Employees

The next step to building your real estate business is to build your team and hire employees. Any employed real estate agent associated with a real estate company must fulfill the following registration requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have at least 4 GCE ‘O’ Levels passes or any other equivalent qualification
  • Have a pass in the Common Examination for House Agents (CEHA), the Real Estate Agency (REA) exam or any other equivalent qualification
  • Not be a licensed moneylender or be associated with one
  • Not be an existing licensee or a KEO for another real estate company
  • Undergo continuing professional education for at least 6 hours in a year
  • Be covered under a Professional Indemnity Insurance that is valid for a minimum of one year from the start date if their registration
  • Not have any legal conflicts including, but not limited to, undischarged bankruptcy, conviction in any country, detention or supervision under the Misuse of Drugs Act, Criminal Law Act or the Estate Agents Act
  • Must wear an ID card while doing all real estate work with the company
  • Must not have defaulted on their Medisave contributions

Starting Your Company Has Never Been Easier

For anyone who doesn’t have time to sort through the various requirements and forms needed to launch a real estate company, WealthBridge is here to help you through the entire process. With our various corporate services that cover incorporation to day to day functions, WealthBridge can handle all the applications so that you can focus on making your ideas better.

Give us a call to learn more!

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