Are You Looking to Set Up an E-Commerce Company in Singapore? Read This First

Technology has significantly changed the way online businesses are running today. With the technological advancement and increasing cost of infrastructure and maintenance, the e-commerce sector is steadily growing in the global markets and more so in Singapore. According to a research, a majority of Singaporeans use their devices to do online shopping. Therefore, it will not be wrong to say that, e-commerce will be the future and most business transactions we be done on the internet.

Moreover, it is very promising and rewarding. All you need is an excellent website, extensive planning, good market research, perfect strategy, a huge investment of money and time and some dedication to bring success to your online business.

Setting up an e-commerce company can be both interesting and terrifying at the same time as you need the relevant skills and knowledge to set up a company in Singapore. That is why we have created a detailed article on the steps involved to successfully start your e-commerce business in Singapore.

How to Register an E-Commerce Company In Singapore

Research the Native Market and Make Business Plan

The very first step to setting up your e-commerce business in Singapore is to conduct good market research. Get an understanding of the target market, identify market demand for your products/services, identify your potential customers and know who your competitors will be. After having the answers to the above questions, draw your business plan. It will act as a roadmap to your business journey and will help you identify what to prioritize and how to reach your goals. Once you outline your business plan, analyse whether your idea is viable or not before you spend your hard-earned capital.

Funding and Financial Assistance

With the aim to stabilize and prosper the country’s economy, Singapore government makes efforts to ensure that all businesses stay afloat and are actually doing well. That is why the government has opened multiple ways to fund businesses in Singapore. You may opt to take a business loan, get an investor to invest in your business or apply for government funding.

Choose an Appropriate Business Structure

The next step in the process of how to start a business in Singapore is to choose an ideal business structure for your start-up. You may choose to register as a Private Limited Company, Limited Liability Company or a Sole Proprietorship. Your choice of business structure will determine the ease of raising capital, ease of running the business and your exposure to liabilities and taxes.

In general, entrepreneurs prefer to register as a Private Limited Company owing to its varied advantages such as limited liability, credible image, status of a legal entity, tax incentives and perpetual succession. Moreover, the process of registration of a Private Limited Company in Singapore is very easy and quick.

Incorporate Your Business

Once you have decided on the business structure, the next thing you need to do is to incorporate your business. For the company incorporation, you need the following:

  • Company name
  • One or more directors who are of 18 years and above age
  • One or more resident director who is either a Singapore citizen, Permanent Resident, or someone who is on a visa holding a Dependant’s Pass, Employment Pass or EntrePass.
  • A minimum of 1 and maximum of 50 shareholders who is/are either an individual or a legal entity.
  • A minimum paid-up share capital of S$1.
  • A registered physical company address in Singapore.

Note:

  • A company secretary must be appointed within 6 months from the date of incorporation.
  • Unless specifically exempted, an auditor must be appointed within 3 months from the date of incorporation.

Documents required for company incorporation in Singapore

For company incorporation, the list of documents that are required to be filled with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) include:

  • Company name
  • A brief description of the activities of the business
  • Shareholders details
  • Directors details
  • KYC information
  • Details of the registered address in Singapore
  • Details of the share capital
  • Copy of the company’s constitution

Establish the Necessary Infrastructure

Based on what you plan to sell, you will need the supporting infrastructure in order to begin operations. This includes everything you will require to make the sale and delivery of your products or services to your customers. It can be IT systems, facilities, staff or business process for supporting functional areas of the business. While choosing your infrastructure, it is advisable to make a choice that is aligned with your business strategy and enables the efficient running of operations. Some of the basic elements of your infrastructure include:

  • Website Design and Development
  • Register a domain name.
  • Find a hosting service provider for your website.
  • Design and develop your website.
  • Website Marketing and Advertising
  • Make a strong marketing plan and use social media platforms and other paid online marketing channels to advertise your business.

Bookkeeping and Accounting

  • Have a system to keep a track of the financial transactions of the business and the cash flow.
  • Manage your finances either by yourself or by hiring a professional.

Tax Compliance

Companies incorporating in Singapore have to comply with the rules and regulations of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). Whether your company is dormant or active, you have to compulsorily do tax filing. Some other requirements include:

  • Preparing and filing Estimated Chargeable Income
  • Preparing and keeping accurate accounting records
  • Preparing financial statements
  • Auditing financial statements
  • Filing GST return
  • Make a strong marketing plan and use social media platforms and other paid online marketing channels to advertise your business.

The above-mentioned steps will help you successfully commence your e-commerce business in Singapore. We at IMC Group are committed to helping our clients smoothly set-up their e-commerce business in Singapore. For more information, you may get in touch with us.