How to Start an eCommerce Business in Singapore2020-07-30T13:30:51+08:00

Project Description

Singapore’s total revenue in the eCommerce market amounts to US$4,906m in 2019. Among them 9 in the fashion, electronics and media, toys, bobby and DIY, furniture & appliances and food & Personal Care sector are1188.8, 1216, 805.9, 866.6 and 828.3 respectively
Singapore’s user penetration is 69.3% in 2019 and is expected to hit 73.2% by 2023
Number of eCommerce users is expected to amount to 3.9m by 2024 in Singapore
26% of Singaporeans shop online at least once a week – the highest percentage per capita in Southeast Asia.

For detailed information on licence categories, criteria and fees, visit the following pages

Start Your Own eCommerce Business in Singapore from $395

Potential Abounds for Singapore’s eCommerce Industry

eCommerce is one of the more resilient industries in light of the current Covid situation and the many safe distancing measures implemented. Not only is shopping online more convenient and considerably less of a hassle these days, it is also safer. Based on recent surveys, eCommerce segments such as F&B, Health/Safety, Shelf-stable Goods and Digital Streaming are making steady gains in the marketplace, and many exisiting brick and mortar establishments are actively investing in strengthening their online presence.

For entrepreneurs looking to start their first company, an eCommerce business offers incentives such as reduced overhead costs in rent and staff salary, for example.

Major eCommerce Business Classifications

  • B2B: Business to Business Ecommerce
  • B2c: Business to Consumer Ecommerce
  • C2C: Consumer to Consumer Ecommerce
  • C2B: Consumer to Business Ecommerce

Popular Items Bought and Sold Online

  • Computer hardware and software
  • Consumer electronics (cameras, scanners, printers, wireless devices, etc.)
  • Office supplies
  • Books
  • Toys and games
  • Music
  • Health and beauty products
  • Apparel and fashion accessories

Pre-operation Planning

A key component of succeeding in eCommerce is doing proper research and analysis of market needs, followed by proper planning, all of which are invaluable in ascertaining how viable your online business idea really is and its short and long run profitability. The following points should be considerably addressed in your planning:

  • start-up and operational costs
  • target audience
  • key features and benefits of your products or services
  • your competitors
  • full-fledged sales and marketing strategy

Key steps to start operating an eCommerce business in Singapore

Register New Company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore is the first step toward kicking off your eCommerce business venture operations. Successfully registered, your company will receive a Unique Entity Number (UEN), which is required when making applications for other licences and permits.

Once your eCommerce company is incorporated, you will need to set up the necessary digital infrastructure, namely with regard to

  • Website Design and Development
    • Domain name registration
    • Website hosting and support services
    • Website design and development
  • Website Marketing & Advertising
    • Online advertising
    • Content and brand awareness
  • IT Infrastructure for Operations & Customer Support
    • Order processing and product/service fulfillment
    • Customer relationship management
    • Email management

eCommerce Licensing and Regulatory Requirements

In addition to obtaining a business licence from ACRA to operate legally in Singapore, your eCommerce store may require additional licences and permits from different governing bodies, depending on the mechandise you make available online. For example, you likely will need to obtain a relevant trader’s licence from Singapore Food Agency (SFA) if you deal with food products, or a relevant telecommunication dealer’s licence from IMDA if you deal with electronic products, or a relevant permit from Health Sciences Authority (HSA) if you deal with cosmetic and therapeutic products.

As eCommerce involves online content and use of the internet as a channel for disseminating product information, and also making contractual agreements between merchant and buyer, an operator must also be apprised of the Internet Code of Practice, as well as different categories of regulations governing:

  • web advertising
  • online promotional activities
  • e-retailing of secondhand goods
  • online gambling
  • financial products or services
  • web contracts

Register New Company

Need more information? Contact us for a free consultation to register company in Singapore today.

Back to VentureHaven Industry Guides
Go to Top