Why Start a Travel Agency in Singapore?
Starting a travel agency in Singapore can be a lucrative venture as many travellers opt to book reservations through accredited agencies to make their travels easier and hassle-free. As such, there is a big market opportunity for travel agencies in Singapore as more and more people are seeking travels in and out of the country.
In this article, we’ll tackle the step-by-step process of starting a travel agency business in Singapore, as well as the requirements to incorporate the business.
How to Start a Travel Agency in Singapore
Step 1: Decide on the Company Name
The first step is to decide on a company name that will draw in clients in and out of Singapore. As a travel agency, it is important to register the business name in a way that clients can immediately infer the nature of the business, particularly as foreign travellers are often unfamiliar with the available travel agencies in the country.
Naming the business appropriately is good for attracting local tourists and clients as well since they can easily search and identify the business. There are, however, limitations to the company name, such as that the company cannot register under the same, or a similar name as to an already existing company.
Once the company name has been decided, you can reserve the name for 120 days through BizFile+. Simply fill out the application form, and pay the SGD15 processing fee to reserve the company name.
Step 2: Find a Location
All businesses need premises to conduct day to day operations, and with travel agencies, you’ll need a space where you can efficiently file paperwork while meeting with clients at the same time. Clients typically come into the office to submit documents and to meet with necessary personnel, so having a convenient location for the premises will help the company gain more visibility.
Step 3: Create a Business Plan
Create a business plan for the travel agency. Will the agency specialise in foreign travel and tours, or will the agency handle strictly domestic travel and local tourism? These are some factors to consider when creating a business plan.
Other factors include promotions and marketing. Travel agencies are not always visible to the general public, and your office may be located in a hidden area. Consider the type of promotions the company needs to attract customers, and to market the different services offered by the agency to both local and international clients.
Step 4: Register the Business
Once the business plans are established, you can register your company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). ACRA oversees all business entities, and facilitates company incorporation as well. Some requirements ACRA may ask from the travel agency are:
- At least one resident director or shareholder;
- Details of the resident director or shareholder;
- A company secretary;
- Details of the company secretary;
- A local office address in Singapore;
- A registered business name;
- A detailed business plan;
- SGD1 in capital.
Requirements differ based on the business structure that the company is incorporating in. Sole proprietorships have less requirements than partnerships, but do not have the perks of being a separate legal entity from its owner that partnerships do.
Step 5: Obtain the Necessary Permits
Besides the documents required by ACRA, a travel agency in Singapore must also obtain permits from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). Specifically, the travel agency will need to get a licence from the STB to operate as an accredited travel agency. There may be other permits that must be obtained depending on the scope of services offered by the company, the number of workers in the company, and the location of its office.
Step 6: Promote the Business
Once all the paperwork is done, it is time to promote the business. Travel agencies may opt to promote the company to both domestic and foreign clients, and get bookings in and out of Singapore. However, they may also focus solely on domestic travel, and market to the local consumer base.
A modern approach to promoting the business is to have an easy-to-navigate, working website where travellers can easily book reservations, email the agency, and find contact details. By digitising the business, you can reach a bigger audience.
Step 7: Partner with Local Tourism Businesses
This step is optional, but may provide more visibility to the company and better perks for clients. Partnering with local businesses, such as hotels and accommodations, tourist spots, theme parks, aquariums, or even the Singapore Zoo can entice clients to avail of your services over your competitors’. Partnerships often have benefits for both parties, such as travel tours and package deals that offer the best value for money to tourists.
Step 8: Launch the Business
Lastly, it’s time to launch the business and get started on operating as a travel agency. Once the business opens, there is a ton of paperwork to do in reserving tickets, making accommodations, arranging tours, and more. Travel agencies work with visa requirements, embassies, and other government authorities as well, so be sure to keep up to date with the latest travel requirements to provide your clients with the best services.
Fly High with WealthBridge
Travel agencies deal with a ton of paperwork, particularly with specific details, instructions, and sensitive information. Ease up on the paperwork, and let our team at WealthBridge handle the corporate services for you! We’ll handle the back end of your business so you can put your focus on your clients’ documents.
Call us today to learn more about our services!