Business in Singapore

Introduction and overview

Business in Singapore


It is fairly easy to set up any kind of business in Singapore. The general administrative environment favours commerce and entrepreneurship. Only a few kinds of businesses require special licenses.

Businesses requiring special licenses include cigarette manufacturers, banks, and financial companies. If you already have an existing foreign company, it is possible to set up a representative office in Singapore. Representative offices incur minimal fees and are easy to register. They can only undertake activities on behalf of the parent company; for example, serving as a promotional or liaison office. A foreign company may also set up a branch in Singapore or incorporate a Singapore subsidiary company. However, it may only do this if it is selling the parent company's products or using Singapore a regional base to access new markets.

The Singaporean government has focused on helping entrepreneurs by setting up various government programs to assist them. They aim to help entrepreneurs start efficient and well-organized businesses that are managed for growth, and therefore contribute to the local economy. There are programs in place which offer advice and support to entrepreneurs. Examples of such support include help for the advertising or marketing of a business and its products, to the provision of initial capital if the business qualifies.

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