With more businesses turning to online sales in recent years to reach a broader audience, the e-commerce industry has exploded, and The Lion City has gained prominence as a hub for professional players.
If you’re considering starting an e-commerce business in Singapore, there are a few things you’ll need to take into account. What we’ll share in this article includes several helpful tips on how to successfully start your Singapore e-commerce company.
Understanding the requirements and procedures for Singapore company setup
For e-commerce startups in Singapore, there are a few key things to keep in mind to set up your business.
After you determine the proper business structure (highly recommend foreigners to register a private limited company in Singapore), decide on an eligible company name and work with a professional incorporation service provider in Singapore to legalize your company. An efficient incorporation service firm may also get your Singapore company open in just one day.
The next step is to submit to ACRA – Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority – your application, required docs, and the registration fee, and you’ll complete the process easily.
A major plus for foreigners is that the business registration process in Singapore is fairly straightforward and can be done online; however, make sure all the required documents are in order.
There are possibilities you might face one or many legal issues regarding the e-commerce business such as compliance, data security, and more. Stay up-to-date with the latest changes and regulations for the most favorable result.
Below are the primary documents needed for Singapore company incorporation you should bear in mind:
- A certified true copy of the passports of all company members
- A certified true copy of address proofs of all company members
- Business details such as services, sectors, and major operating countries
It’s important to point out that to launch an e-commerce business in the city-state, you will have to open an account with a corporate bank. There might be different KYC procedures for different banks in Singapore, so you should consult well before opening a bank account.
You can also find a comprehensive guide on how to launch an e-commerce business successfully in Singapore in our previous article.
Picking a good e-commerce platform and the right target market
To run your e-commerce business smoothly, you’ll need a powerful and user-friendly e-commerce platform. You will need to choose the right e-commerce platform for your website.
There are many e-commerce platforms available, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. You’ll need to evaluate your specific needs to choose the best one.
Shopify is a popular option for businesses of all sizes, and an easy-to-set-up option as well. Others go for establishing their shop combined with having a great promotion strategy on various marketplaces – namely Amazon, and Lazada.
Choosing the right payment gateway
When customers have increasingly fallen into the habit of online shopping, that is when a large number of online business owners sometimes climb the walls with problems of using various types of payment processors. Imagine you are an owner that might have thousands of dollars flow through their business accounts each day, how will you effectively handle each?
The good news, the emergence of payment gateways has enabled them to cut down their workload, as those allowed e-commerce businesses to handle multiple types of payments at once.
And that’s why choosing the right payment gateway to accept payments online is of vital importance to your e-commerce business in Singapore. On top of popular options, Paypal is the one that has won a lot of choices for e-commerce businesses, as it’s easily integrated with most platforms.
Recommended reading: Top 5 Payment Gateways for Your e-Commerce Business in Singapore
Below are some factors to find the best fit of payment gateway for your startups:
- Fees associated with the payment gateway. Some gateways have higher transaction fees than others.
- Your company’s business model and relevant features like types of accepted payment, and monthly/annual income from transactions.
- Security of the payment gateway. Make sure that the gateway you choose has a good reputation for safety and that your customer’s information will be safe.
- Customer service support that the payment gateway provider offers. Choose a provider that is easy to reach and that can help you with any problems you may have.
- The compatibility of the gateway with the e-commerce platform you are using
Shipping and fulfillment
Dealing with a high-demand market will require escalating growth in terms of shipping and fulfillment solutions for e-commerce businesses in the city-state. Distribution infrastructure and fulfillment can make or break a business.
Because Singapore is an island nation, your business must calculate carefully the logistics of shipping products to customers.
In the case of physical products, you’ll need to set up shipping and fulfillment. This can be done through a third-party service (Fulfillment by Amazon), or local providers (Asendia and ShipBob). This can free up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.
When choosing a shipping and fulfillment service, your enterprise needs to consider the budget, the delivery speed, and the quality of its customer service.
Check useful e-commerce resources for startups in Singapore
There are a few e-commerce resources that are useful for startups in Singapore.
- Singapore Chamber of E-Commerce (SCEC): an open community organization that supports and promotes e-commerce businesses in Singapore.
- Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) offers e-commerce initiative programs, research, and innovation updates within Singapore.
- Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) offers support and resources, and regional insights for investors doing business in Singapore.
Singapore’s government has facilitated e-commerce businesses in various ways, providing funding, grants, and other supportive policies (e.g. Singapore e-commerce booster package, Singapore Startup schemes, SMEs Go Digital, etc.)
E-commerce business in Singapore made easy
Take your first step with this guide.
E-commerce is a growing industry in Singapore, and there is plenty of opportunity for businesses to succeed. However, it’s important to consider the competition and other factors before building your e-commerce business in Singapore.
Maintaining an accurate and creditable accounting method is vital to any business’s prosperity, especially for e-commerce firms, which may have higher sales and transactions than traditional establishments.
Make sure you have a throughout understanding of accounting requirements and tips for an e-commerce business in Singapore in advance.
These tips will help you launch a successful e-commerce company in Singapore. Think of having a good corporate service provider to give you efficient incorporation and management service in a completely digital way, and good consultants to give you practical advice.
Feel free to contact us via email@example.com for any questions you may have regarding your e-commerce company or business in general!
Disclaimer: While BBCIncorp strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, the information itself is for reference purposes only. You should not substitute the information provided in this article for competent legal advice. Feel free to contact BBCIncorp’s customer services for advice on your specific cases.
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