Singapore ranks highest among the easiest places to set up business in the world, having a well developed infrastructure, a friendly tax regime, strong legal protection for intellectual properties, and enthusiastic government support for entrepreneurship, all of which promote business investment. However, even with favourable and advantageous timing, geography and human resource, starting something new is always challenging, especially when not on home ground, even after much deliberation and planning. If one cannot have a say over guaranteed success in business, he or she at least has immense control over not making costly mistakes or mistakes with serious implications when open new company in Singapore.

Here are some pitfalls you can avoid when you venture out to register company in Singapore.

Open New Company in Singapore

Incorporate your company without guidance
Company incorporation and secretarial services have been a robust business in Singapore. And for good reason. Although self-incorporation procedures seem easy and and straightforward, when you actually get down to register company in Singapore on your own, without professional guidance, you will likely discover documents that you don’t know how to prepare, or realise too late you have submitted incorrect information that may lead to delays or cancellation of your application. In other words, don’t let your business venture get off on the wrong foot, so to speak.

Ideally, a professional incorporation service should be engaged right from the get-go to avoid any hipcups in the process. Its consultants will carefully handle the entire application, scrutinising every document to be submitted, even advising you when any of your credentials will likely raise a red flag or pose a problem for getting an approval from the authority. If professional services should not be involved in the process, do take extra care to comply with all of ACRA’s requirements and directions, and inquire in detail with the relevant authorities when necessary.

No market, Poor timing
It is no big secret that more than half of business startups do not make into the second or third year. Market and Timing are two factors that can be attributed to the failure (or success) of a newly launched business operation. Testing the market and estimating demands in relation to market size will make a huge difference where funds and resources are concerned. A market too small will leave a business with little potential for earnings in no time. A market too large, on the other hand, may be too exhausting for a startup to effectively tap into, especially when it has yet to network the right distributors or dealers for partnership.  A potential niche market, where unique needs, preferences or identity are key, may not have enough market value or the competition is already overwhelming in relation to its size.

Where timing is concerned, registering your company and launching your product or service require careful consideration of, for example,

  • the local economy and its current market forces
  • the competition in the industry sector
  • market trends and future growth potential

so as to find the optimal time to enter the open market. Too early you may find too few interested takers and too late you may find little demand in a saturated market.

Working with incompatible partners or distributors
Working with local partners or distributors may be a beneficial strategy for foreign investors in terms of getting a good entry into the market, acquiring referrals, as well as assimilating new ideas for local development. Since partnership involves committment in time and finances, conducting a precursory search with regard to their compliance records, creditworthiness and reputation with ACRA or other authorities is necessary, to avoid ending up suffering losses or getting into legal tassles due to unreliable or downright crooked business partners.

Failure to properly control costs
The best places to do business in the world often come with a caveat. They are also among the most expensive places to live and operate, with high rent and labour costs. Therefore for a startup that may not be turning any profit until much later and surviving mainly on its startup capital, monitoring expenditure and planning business development must be undertaken with special care, so as not to be stranded in a situation where there is not enough finances to pay for monthly fixed expenses and what has been committed.

Not finding suitable staff
If your business operation is only as strong as its weakest link, then attracting and retaining performers with the right skills and mindset may make a difference between long-term success and swift decline. And if even local operators have difficulty finding the talent they need, then foreign entrepreneurs grappling with a new startup may face the same obstacle with double the consternation. A professional corporate services provider will provide you with a qualified company secretary to take care of compliance matters (and much more), and also a Nominee Director, if you require one. For other key posts, it may be a good idea, if viable, to transfer staff from a parent company or head office to train and guide new hire in Singapore. Doing so will likely save resources and time as the business kicks off with a reliable team.  An alternative is allocating some budget to engage the services of professional recruiting firms to headhunt and find the qualified personnel you need while you focus on core business functions.