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Donald Moore

Living in Singapore, from the USA

"I moved to Singapore to build up my own business. In fact, it was easier than expected. With InterNations I quickly got in touch with the lively expat community here."

Barbara Sciera

Living in Singapore, from Australia

"Settling as an expat woman in a different culture is always hard. But with InterNations I got to know many other expat spouses that helped me."

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Starting a Business in Singapore

Securing a visa and registering your business are just two of the many things you have to deal with when starting a business in Singapore. Despite all the red tape, many expats in Singapore dream of being their own boss. We show you how to make it happen and where to start!


Although expats often dream of being their own boss, starting a business in Singapore can be a nerve-wracking endeavor. Still, dealing with the extra workload is often worth it to follow your dream. This guide will give you some pointers on how to begin when starting your business in Singapore.

The First Step: Applying for Your EntrePass

Before starting a business in Singapore, you need to secure the right type of visa, an EntrePass. To be eligible to receive an EntrePass, you need to fulfill certain requirements:


An EntrePass is particularly important if you plan on being actively involved in managing your company’s operations. For more information on the EntrePass, have a look at our article on work permits, or simply contact the Ministry of Manpower.

Registering Your Business

There are a variety of business structures in Singapore:


In order to register your company in Singapore, you need to contact the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Two local agents who are legal residents of Singapore can act on your behalf when starting a business in Singapore. The registration process is fully computerized and therefore quite easy and should not take too long as long as you take care of the following points beforehand:


The registration fee will amount to approximately 300 SGD, plus 15 SGD for the approval of your business name. Once all this has been taken care of you can register your business online with ACRA. Furthermore, it is advisable that you register for the SingPass, a common password which you can use for different official online services when starting your business in Singapore. 

Taxes to Keep in Mind

Any type of income you receive is subject to income tax in Singapore. This is also the case when you are starting a business. However, there are other taxes business owners have to pay as well, such as Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is levied on the import of goods. The tax rates are as follows:


When starting a business in Singapore, it makes sense to get in touch with an accounting firm to help you with taxation and other financial details. That way, you will make sure to do everything right without losing your mind over it. Refer to our articles on Finance and Taxation for more information.

Want to Learn More? Further Resources


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

InterNations Expat Magazine