Skip to main content

Starting a business in Singapore

Information on starting a business in Singapore, including a list of Singapore government agencies who can help employers.

Why choose Singapore

Singapore is an ideal location for global businesses to site their headquarters. Strong trade and investment makes Singapore the most competitive Asian country and the world’s easiest place to do business.

By situating your international HQ here, your company benefits from:

  • Singapore’s network of over 50 comprehensive Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements.
  • Singapore’s many free trade agreements and the Investment Guarantee Agreements.
  • Protection for your ideas and innovations thanks to Singapore's strict enforcement of its strong intellectual property laws.

Registering your business

You can easily register your business, including foreign branch offices, online at Bizfile by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

Foreign businesses that wish to set up a representative office in Singapore may approach these government agencies:

SMEPortal.sg provides a useful summary.

Finding premises

Singapore provides a wide choice of premises for businesses. Whether situated in the heart of the civic district or in a suburban estate, housed in modern luxury or a flatted factory, businesses are assured of premium facilities and infrastructure.

View the list of business parks and specialised industrial parks by the Economic Development Board.

Recruiting manpower

Singapore attracts businesses with its strong pool of local and international talent. Employees are easy to find through the many online recruitment portals and head-hunting agencies. You can find out more about our labour market, as well as information on hiring and training at SMEPortal.sg. You may also want to explore training programmes the EDB offers in partnership with many corporations.

You can find out more about work passes.

Assistance from government agencies

Singapore is famed for a smooth-running bureaucracy, which sees inter-agency co-operation working seamlessly to help businesses grow.

You can contact the following government agencies for help in growing your business in Singapore:

  • Economic Development Board (EDB): the EDB provides comprehensive investor support and ensures a first-rate pro-business environment in Singapore.
  • Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board (SPRING): SPRING, an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is the enterprise development agency for growing innovative companies. It also helps small and medium enterprises sector become more competitive. The agency aids enterprises in financing, capabilities and management development, technology and innovation, and access to markets. SPRING is also the national standards and accreditation body.
  • Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA): ACRA oversees the registration and regulation of business entities and public accountants, and also provides information on new business structures, compliance requirements, and corporate governance practices.
  • SMEPortal.sg: the EnterpriseOne portal is a one-stop site for enterprises looking to start, sustain and grow their businesses. It features links to government information and services, as well as industry help and how-to guides.

Laws and regulations

To view the full list of statutes, visit Singapore Statutes Online.

EntrePass

If you would like to start a business in Singapore, you can apply for an EntrePass, a work pass for foreign entrepreneurs.

Last Updated: 27 October 2016

More on Working in Singapore as a foreigner