Trading companies deal with the selling of goods and services to consumers. These often pertain to import and export goods, but can also include local products and services. Setting up a trading company in Singapore opens opportunities for entrepreneurs as there is room for business growth and development in the country.
In this article, we’ll tackle the step-by-step process of starting a trading company in Singapore, and why the country is an ideal place to start a business!
Why Start Trading in Singapore?
Singapore’s bustling economy is the main attraction for businesses and entrepreneurs worldwide to set up companies. The country also has a relatively high spending power compared to its neighbouring countries, with household expenditures growing by 2.28% year on year. As such, there is ample opportunity for trading companies to set up in Singapore.
There is a ready consumer base within the country for the majority of industries. Singapore is also highly competitive on a global scale, and is generally open to the importation and exportation of goods. All these factors make Singapore an attractive location for trading companies.
How to Start a Trading Company in Singapore
Step 1: Determine the Business Structure
Determining the business structure is an important step in setting up a trading company as a sole trader under a sole proprietorship structure, or as a partnership, limited liability company (LLC). The type of business structure will determine the requirements for incorporation, as well as the compliance requirements the company needs to meet later on.
Step 2: Create a Business Name
Creating a business name is easier said than done as there are specific limitations for business names in Singapore. For one, the company cannot have a similar or same business name as an already existing company operating in Singapore. There are specific words that are not allowed in Singapore business names as well.
Once the company has determined a business name, it is essential to reserve the name in BizFile+ to ensure that no other company can use the name. Simply apply for a name reservation, fill out the application with the approved company name, and pay the reservation fee.
Step 3: Set Up a Location
The next step is to set up a location. The floorplan of the premises is a requirement for company registration, especially for companies that have commercial storefronts. Prepare a detailed floor plan, choose a location for the premise, and set up the space.
Step 4: Register the Trading Company
Next, register the company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore. Depending on the structure of the trading company, you may need to submit details of the company director, shareholders, secretary, and capital. All required documents for each business structure are included in the ACRA website.
Step 5: Obtain Licences and Permits
Some businesses require licences and permits to operate, especially for companies that offer tobacco products, liquor, food, imports, and exports. You’ll need a Liquor Licence to serve alcohol in the premises, and import/export companies will need a Customs Account and a TradeNet account from Singapore Customs.
Step 6: Set Up Operations
Once all the licences and permits have been obtained, the business can then operate. Hire the right people for the business, design eye-catching logos and packaging, or meet with suppliers abroad to import or export goods. Set up operations, promote the business, and build a strong client base for the company.
Step 7: Meet Compliance Requirements
Lastly, every company will need to meet compliance requirements such as tax requirements, employee requirements, and more. For instance, trading businesses that earn over SGD 1 million should register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as part of their compliance requirements.
Start Your Business Right
Setting up a trading business in Singapore can be lucrative in the long run, but the incorporation process can be a hurdle for any entrepreneur. Make your business incorporation hassle-free when you let our team at WealthBridge handle the paperwork! Our team can get to registering, accounting, and meeting compliance requirements for your business so you don’t have to.
Start your business the right way, and contact us at WealthBridge for more information.