When you set out to carve out a business, there are many steps involved. To do well, speaking with experienced entrepreneurs will help you to figure things out faster.

As a new entrepreneur, there are many things to learn. Here's what you need to do to get started.

Choose an appropriate company structure

There are various company structures that you can choose from. Each option comes with its own advantages and disadvantages and it is important to understand which option would be best for you. Find one that suits your company needs.

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) website provides an overview of the differences between the various business structures.

To determine the appropriate structure for the business, you should ask yourself:

  • How many owners will there be in the business?
  • How much capital are you going to invest?
  • What are the liabilities and responsibilities you are assuming?
  • What are the pros and cons of the respective company structures?

Register your business

Before carrying on a business in Singapore, you must register with ACRA except for those who are exempted under the Business Names Registration Act.

The minimum age to register a business is 18 years old and you will need your identification number and SingPass. It may take between 14 days and 60 days if the application needs to be referred to another agency for approval or review. For example, if the intention of the company is to carry out activities involving the setting up of a private school, the application will be referred to the Ministry of Education.

You can either register directly or engage the services of a registered filing agent (e.g. corporate secretarial firm, law firm or accounting firm) to register on your behalf.

Open a corporate current account

A corporate current account is necessary to facilitate your business transactions such as payment and receipts and to keep track of your income and expenses for your business.

Different banks have varying fees and charges for corporate current accounts. Some of the common fees and charges for corporate current account are as follows:

  • Account Minimum Balance Fall Below Fees
  • Subscription Fees for Business Internet Banking Services
  • Cheque Charges
  • Electronic Transfers Charges (e.g. FAST Transfer)

It is important to choose a current account that is most suited to your business needs and cost-effective for your company to minimise the need to pay for unnecessary fees or incur the hassle of switching accounts later.

You can consider Maybank FlexiBiz which has no account or any-fall below fee, or the Maybank PremierBiz which offers attractive interest rates and unlimited free cheque usage.

Obtain funding for working capital needs

Depending on which stage your business is at, it may not be something that is on your radar right now. However, it is also important to know the funding options that are available when the need arises.

There are various government-backed loans for SMEs that can be tapped into for your working capital needs. Enterprise Singapore (ESG) provides comprehensive assistance programmes in conjunction with Participating Financial Institutions to help you in your capability upgrading efforts and to seize growth opportunities, particularly in areas such as funding the company's daily operations, enhancing or streamlining process flows and developing new product lines.

These loans under Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS), such as SME Working Capital Loan, do not require any collateral and provide SMEs with alternative financing options.

Making the decision to start a business is usually an exciting yet somewhat daunting process. It can be helpful to speak with someone who can advise you on the options that are available to you in your entrepreneurship journey. Maybank has a dedicated team of Business Development Managers to help SME owners understand your banking needs.

the bottom line:

Be your own boss. But start by talking to people who can help you along the way.

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