What is the cost to open a company in Singapore is one of the first questions to ask if you are thinking of starting a new business in the island nation renowned for its business-friendly government, talent pool, low corporate taxes and excellent business infrastructure. Cost comes in many forms, so perhaps Opportunity Cost should be something you begin with.

Opportunity Costs

It is likely that you already have a stable job with a stable income while you’re mulling the idea of entrepreneurship and starting out on your own as a business owner, which requires — maybe not immediately, but at some point — giving up your regular employment. And that comes at a cost of not receiving a stable salary (plus many other benefits), as well as investing your own (or other people’s) money, with potential for profit or risk for loss. Therefore, before taking the plunge, it’s worth thinking about the income, benefits and security you will be foregoing by becoming a full‐time entrepreneur. Completing the following list of pre-planning tasks will give you a better sense of whether you are ready.

  • Ascertain the Viability of your Business Idea
  • Determine your Business Model
  • Detail a Comprehensive Business Plan
  • Decide your Brand Value
  • Work out the Start-up Cost

And here’s a Setup Cost Calculator from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) to help you get a sense of the initial costs of your new business may look like, based on the industry to which it belongs. Here’s what the initial costs (annual) look like for a start-up in Consumer Services with 1 staff:

Cost to Open a Company in Singapore

Office Set‐up Costs

Office rental rates varies between buildings, locations and districts. Data shows that median rent for a traditional office space in Singapore is between $2.51 and $7.95 per square foot per month, which means an average office space with 2,000 square feet will cost around $5,020 to $15,900 a month. Assuming that you’re not ready to commit to leasing an office space, the cheapest office option would be a remote office. But if that’s not an option in your situation, then a low‐cost option would be a co‐working space. Costs range between $250 and $750 for a hot desk, and between $350 and $2,500 for a dedicated working space.

Marketing Costs

Advertising and marketing varies by huge margins from company to company, depending on how aggressive the business wants to promote its products. Besides traditional marketing medias, an e‐commerce platform of sorts seems necessary for any business these days, even hawker food. Therefore you will need to factor in cost of developing and maintaining a website for your business. A professional web developer’s rate typically ranges anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on how sophisticated your website is. Also, advertising your products or services on various social media platforms is standard practice.

Registration Fees

Last but not least, the Singapore Company Registration Service fee. To become a legal operational business in Singapore, the first step would be to register your new company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). For a private limited company, the fee for name approval is S$15, and the registration fee stands at S$300. Incorporating your new company through Registration Packages from service providers will save you both time and money, as they do all the paperwork for you, while taking care of other requirements, such as Company Secretary and Directors Resolution.