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Business Opportunities

The champion of free trade in Asia, Singapore is an investment hub in the east. Many international business consortia have appraised Singapore for its budding business nursery status. Post-globalization era, the business world has identified this country as a potential business destination of the world.

Singapore houses a strong industry and service sector and it is the fourth largest financial center in the world. Several surveys have revealed that Singapore is one of the best places in the world for doing business and commercial transactions. It ranks third in terms of oil refinery units, second largest in terms of casino gambling and the market-based economy has increased opportunities of export mainly to Malaysia, Korea and Taiwan. It has a competitive market with high demand for electronic goods, retail, steel and garments. Easy transportation, huge marketplaces and skilled workforce make Singapore a business-friendly place. Singapore dollar is the main currency used in the country.

Overview of Singaporean economy
A large number of foreign firms are based in Singapore. There is also a significant number of western workforce employed in Singapore offices amounting up to 44 per cent. Advanced infrastructure and transportation are two main reasons why foreign firms choose to develop or start their business in this South-East Asian country. United States is Singapore’s third biggest trade partner.

Singapore is known as the entrepreneurship capital of the world. It is a great place to start new business ventures since the administration, its people and its ultra-metropolitan culture give a lot of scope for experimenting with new business ideas. The free market policy adopted by the economy of Singapore welcomes new business and provides a lot of space for business to grow and flourish. The multicultural population of the country adapts to new products and services quickly as well. All these factors make Singapore a hot bed for venture capitalists, despite the fact that Singapore has limited resources. The dynamic market scenario of the country makes up for this inadequacy. So, if you want to start a venture internationally, Singapore is the place to begin. Read on below for some of the most flourishing and profitable business opportunities in Singapore.

Why do business in Singapore?


  • Singapore poses as a lucrative business destination due to many advantages, including geographical location of the country, well developed infrastructure, availability of both international and domestic transportation, a natural seaport that has stood as world’s one of the largest for several decades and many others which have contributed towards the commercial importance of Singapore.
  • The world Bank in its report "Doing Business 2007" rates Singapore as the best country where it is easy to conduct various businesses and trade.
  • Singapore also features on the 1st place according to KPMG Competitive Alternatives Study, 2006 for being “World’s most cost-competitive place for doing business.”Thus Singapore is a major business hub both in Asia and the world.

  • Basics for starting a business in Singapore

    The seven important steps to start business in Singapore are:

    • Finding an office location
    • Local address is needed
    • Standard Subject Identification Code
    • Registration with ACRA online, tax number and company incorporation form
    • Creating and developing a company seal
    • Work Injury compensation insurance scheme
    • Relevant permits


    The registration process can take up to 5 days and costs can be around 450 Singapore Dollar.

    Business laws in Singapore

    There are both criminal and civil laws governing business in Singapore. Check out the details that you should know about business laws in Singapore:

    The seven important steps to start business in Singapore are:

    • Necessary permits and licenses
    • Know the business law guide for small and large enterprises
    • Employment Act
    • Hiring of foreign workforce requires one to comply with Employment Pass/S Pass/Work Permit
    • Read thoroughly the basic conditions of service
    • Rights and obligations of employer
    • Dismissal laws at work

    The registration process can take up to 5 days and costs can be around 450 Singapore Dollar.


    Attractive business opportunities in Singapore

    There are both criminal and civil laws governing business in Singapore. Check out the details that you should know about business laws in Singapore:

    • Necessary permits and licenses
    • Know the business law guide for small and large enterprises
    • Employment Act
    • Hiring of foreign workforce requires one to comply with Employment Pass/S Pass/Work Permit
    • Read thoroughly the basic conditions of service
    • Rights and obligations of employer
    • Dismissal laws at work

    Attractive business opportunities in Singapore


    • Travel and Tourism : Travel and tourism is one of the most lucrative business options an expatriate business aspirant can set up. Singapore being one of the most preferred tourism destinations, a large number of quality services needs to be set up. There is ever increasing demand for all services relating to travel industry.
    • Food & Beverages : Singapore has a diverse ethnic culture so as the variety of cuisines the country always need. Food and beverage business from most parts of the world are thriving business here. There are even markets for Chinese food, Indian restaurants, south Indian eating joints, continental restaurants, to list a few, but taste of many parts or the world are budding business in Singapore.
    • The hospitality sector: The hospitality sector, including food and beverage industry as well as hotels and resorts, has a great chance of growth in Singapore. From bakeries, bars, cafes, pubs and fast food outlets to classy restaurants and diners, Singapore has it all and is still open to new ventures. Being one of the major tourist destinations of the world, resorts and hotels are also a major business here. While the luxury hotels do great business, there is a lot of scope for cheap and decent accommodations such as inns, hostels and guesthouses. The government of Singapore is very supportive of investments in the tourist as well as hospitality sector and provides assistance with licenses and permits required for the business.
    • Information Technology : Taking advantage of Southeast Asia’s emerging IT skills and comparatively cheap manpower the industry is growing in Singapore. Many global IT corporates have set up their development centres in Singapore. The country is finely meets InfoTech business’s infrastructural needs. Singapore Infocom Development Authority is designated authority to provide support to new IT ventures. The market here is very open and conducive towards IT sector. Businesses which stand to gain are IT consultancy services, internet access providers, wireless network providers and software development firms. Web development and online marketing is another major business here. Besides these, any company which focuses on developing or providing IT infrastructure can have a good run in Singapore. A government body named Singapore Infocom Development Agency has been set up to promote IT ventures in the country.
    • Telecom Industry Singapore is a hub of telecom technologies. It caters with many services and technologies the entire Southeast Asia. The state owned major, Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) alone has provided about 185 million customer mobile connections. The company has mobile subsidiaries in many Asia Pacific countries. This company also provides internet services and fixed landline telephone services in these countries. Singapore has many smaller telecom operators and telecom equipment manufacturers, telecom software providers. The country offers good business prospects for new entrants in the large, medium and nominal entrepreneurs.
    • Retail fashion stores : Singapore is known for its amazing and diverse fashion trends. The people here are fashion conscious and lap up any new fashion trend. So, starting a boutique catering to latest fashions, trends in accessories and styling can be really profitable in Singapore. The best thing is to start a clothing boutique dealing exclusively with stylish cotton clothes. Since the weather here is tropical and hot most of the time, light weight fashion clothes can mint money for you. Lightweight leathers, print motifs and animal prints are always in trend in Singapore.  Clothing accessories such as bags, shoes and jewelry can be a great business venture as well.
    • Beauty salons and spas : Beauty salons and spas sell like hot cakes in Singapore. Hair and skin saloons are some of the most sought after relaxation centers here. Remember, one of the hottest spa chains in the world, Spa Espirit was started in Holland Village by Cynthia Chua in Singapore. People here always sport the untraditional beauty therapies.
    • Education : Education is a booming industry in Singapore. From pre schools to colleges, all kinds of educational set ups do well here. Some good ideas for business are private specialized industry course providers such as certificate in aviation, hospitality, information technology, fashion designing, interior designing, business administration, research oriented courses and degrees in science.

    Latest in business:

    • Singapore and Indian SMEs in the engineering services and products field at a Buyer-Seller Meet and business matching session organized by the Singapore Business Federation's (SBF) India Business Group, the Singapore Manufacturers' Federation (SMa) and the Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC) were informed about opportunities for business collaboration.
    • Singapore has a golden opportunity to join forces with the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (RUSNANO), banking on its immense financial resources and knowledge of the Russian Nanotechnology market potential, tapping on the existing synergy between the two countries to get into economic ties.

    Beside these opportunities, there is a huge scope for manufacturing and production oriented businesses, electronics and gadgets, real estate, medical industry, ethnic and antique business, technical consultancy and communication sector. The ease with which licenses and permits can be obtained in Singapore makes the place very attractive for investors.

    More industries to explore in Singapore:

    • Food and beverage
    • Retail market
    • Real Estate
    • Private healthcare clinics
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Electronic goods
    • Technical services
    • Information Technology
    • Manufacturing
    • Wholesale
    • Ethnic market such as Tibetan goods sold in Singapore

    Government Initiatives in Business



    Singapore government encourages foreign firms to start their business here and this is to maintain the direct investment flow. The marketing hub has a number of branch offices for major banks, insurance companies and international enterprises. You can refer to three important regulatory bodies and boards in Singapore for starting and smooth running of your business:
    • International Enterprise (IE Singapore)- Helps foreign firms and investors
    • Economic Development Board – Lays down policies for business and extends support for business and workforce development to strengthen their economy
    • Standard, Productivity and Innovation Board – Helps with financing of SMEs, management and by giving access to sale

    How to explore Singapore?

    • Singapore offers 'visas for entrepreneurs' who want to explore the possibilities of setting up businesses in the country.
    • 'Visas for entrepreneurs' in Singapore provides the international entrepreneurs with manifold advantages for setting up businesses in Singapore.
    • The 'multiple journey visas for entrepreneurs' in Singapore allow the entrepreneurs to make frequent trips to Singapore.
    • GIP or the Global Investor Programme makes it easy for the entrepreneurs, business-executives and international investors to establish and carry
    • out business in Singapore.
    • Singapore Economic development Board opens up new avenues for business-partnership in Singapore by facilitating the link-up between international
    • entrepreneurs or foreign investors and the local business communities.
    • Entre pass is issued to the entrepreneurs who want to start-up a business in Singapore, making it easy for them to enter and reside in Singapore.

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