Asked on 24 May 2019
I want to be a wholesaler for a certain foreign company but they require me to have my Business Registration Documents. What is the best way to set up a business in Singapore?
I hold a full time job and is only to planning to do this on the side for extra income. Please advise. If this is not a good platform, which platform can i seek information?
this is a very interesting question!! Let me try to answer this question after doing some research and answer to the best of my knowledge. Should there be any disagreements with my answer, feel free to comment and bring it up to me. Over the course of the answer, I will be first covering 3 ways you can kick start a wholesale biz, followed by how to incorporate your business in Singapore (SG). Lastly, I’m going to briefly share what are some other stuff you should take note of. Without further ado, let's begin
3 ways you can kick start a wholesale biz
How to incorporate your biz in SG?
Other documents and clearances you should take note of
Starting out for a wholesale biz
If you are intending to start a wholesale business, you can do so via three ways. You could choose to
buy an existing business
start from scratch
buy into a business opportunity.
However there are certain reservations for each.
WARNING: Without knowing the type of products you are going to sell, I’m going to assume a few things in my answer.
Here is your step by step guide dummies guide to becoming a wholesaler in Singapore.
Say you want to work with this foreign company ABC. First start off by negotiating with ABC and successfully come to an agreement. This agreement is vital and when this agreement is successful, only then should you move on to the next step. You wouldn’t want to have set up your business and the foreign company you are working with suddenly bails on you right???
I would suggest you have a written agreement so that there’s at least some sort of black and white.
I’m assuming you already know what sort of products you are looking to wholesale. Next, have you thought about the operations behind this wholesale business? Are you going to be renting a warehouse to store your supplies or are you going to adopt the dropshipping supply chain management approach? If you want to rent a warehouse to store your supplies and goods, you would have to follow the necessary procedures. However, if you were to use dropshipping, you will need to pick a marketplace to sell these products or you could choose to set up a website or a platform where you can carry out your plans. Take note that these should all be well developed/thought out in your business plan even before you decide to execute and incorporate your business.
After being sure that you can work with this foreign company and knowing what sort of approach you will be adopting/ how and where you will sell this products, you can move on and incorporate your business. For a start, one must first decide on the choice of business structure. (Sole proprietor, Partnership, Company) Different business structures have different pros and cons, if you would like to find out more, you can do so here.
To register your company, you can do so via ACRA. The procedures for company registration is fully computerised by ACRA in Singapore. ACRA is the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). To register a business, the applicant must log into BizFile+ using their identification number and SingPass. Alternatively, the applicant can also choose to engage the services of a registered filing agent. Some examples include law or accounting firms if the applicant does not have SingPass. Usually, a company can be incorporated in 1-2 days.
Upon successful registration, an official email notification confirming the incorporation of the company. The email notification will include the company registration number and this will be treated as the official certificate of incorporation in Singapore. You can obtain a business profile which contains the particulars of the company from ACRA by paying a nominal application fee of S$16.50 on BizFile+ . The above 2 soft copy documents (i.e. email notification of incorporation and company business profile) are sufficient in Singapore for all legal and contractual purposes including opening of corporate bank accounts, signing office lease etc.
Moving on, here are some other documents and clearances which you should definitely take note of should it apply to your wholesale business. These documents include employment agreement, non-disclosure agreement, distributor agreement and the business referral agreement.
Clearances from relevant authorities
Singapore customs restrictions. The wholesale and trade industry deals with exports and imports, and thus there are certain guidelines issued by the Singapore customs which you will have to look at. Depending on the nature of the goods you are selling, you will have to check with the respective authorities and obtain the relevant documents, gain clearance from SG customs. You can find out more about it here You can find out more info here.
GST eligibility As you go along the way, you will also have to check and see whether your wholesale business is eligible for GST registration. For some companies, it is compulsory to register while for others it is on a voluntary basis. Should you need more info, you can check it out here.
Corporate Tax Regarding coroporate tax, Singapore has been a well-known location to set up businesses due to their attracting tax frameworks and extensive trade agreements. For more info on corporate tax you can check it out here.
You will have to make sure your full-time job allows you to sideline your own business, some companies i know do not allow.
Otherwise, you can seek out a partnership with another company too! If u are interested to explore a partnership, my companies do wholesale and retail of goods as well. Let me know if u are keen :)