How to Set Up a Trading Company in Singapore

Aug 3, 2021
3 minutes of read


How to Set Up a Trading Company in Singapore

The right location and a sound business strategy are important prerequisites for starting a trading company in any part of the world. Over the years, Singapore has emerged as one of the most favourable destinations for entrepreneurs planning to set up a trading company. Singapore is truly an attractive business destination with the second-highest GDP in the world and a business-conducive environment. Nevertheless, like every country, Singapore also has certain regulations. You need to know these before you venture out to set up a trading company in that country. Here are listed a few of those requirements.

Courtesy of Singapore Company Incorporation
Courtesy of Singapore Company Incorporation


The first step in setting up a business in Singapore is to have it registered in the country. A private limited company needs to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, a statutory body under Singapore’s Ministry of Finance. To register with ACRA, it is important that your organisation fulfils all the requirements of the organisation.

Once the registration process is complete, a Unique Entity Number (UEN) is provided to your entity. Every business in Singapore requires a UEN while doing business in Singapore and dealing with the country's government agencies. Certain requirements for registering a trading company in Singapore include:

  • The company should have one resident director
  • At least one shareholder
  • Resident company secretary
  • The company should have a paid up share capital of not less than S$1
  • You will also need a physical office address in Singapore.

Register with Customs

Suppose the company plans to undertake any import or export activity. In that case, it needs to activate the business account with Singapore customs. Without this, the company will not be allowed to import or export. Depending on the type of business you want to set up in Singapore, you can register your trading company as an exporter, importer, common carrier, etc. The registration process is necessary for businesses that are importing or exporting goods.

After you have submitted the application with customs at the Customs Account Portal, it will usually take around a day or two for the account’s activation to be processed. No payment is charged for the activation. The account will be valid as long as your company remains in operation in Singapore.

Apply for License and Permits

There are two categories of goods - controlled and non-controlled goods. For non-controlled goods, licenses are usually not required, but for controlled goods, licensing is mandatory. Products such as chemicals, animals, food products, medications, and drugs are classified as controlled goods. Hence, a business proprietor must get a license from the competent authority if they plan to trade in such products. Still, it would be best if you got a permit to import both controlled and non-controlled goods. The approval needs to be taken from the competent authority. For importing goods, an IN permit is needed, which you can get through TradeNet®. For importing high-tech products, you need to contact Singapore Customs and apply for an Import Certificate and Delivery Verification.

An Out Permit is required through TradeNet® for the export of non-controlled goods. The company has to obtain the permit three days before the export. For controlled goods also, an Out Permit needs to be obtained from TradeNet®. Again, the company needs to obtain the permit before exporting the goods.

You are also required to maintain an Inter-Bank Giro arrangement. With this arrangement, the customs fees, payment of duties, GST etc., can be deducted by Singapore Customs directly from your bank account.

Setting up a business in a nation like Singapore does sound like a lucrative idea. Though certain precautions like applying for a Commercial Letter of Credit will ensure the safety of your business, you also need a reliable partner. Tazapay ranks high among the various service providers because of its high-class professional service and competence. A trusted name in the field of B2B transactions, Tazapay will ensure that your transactions are safe from issues like delays and cancellations. With Tazapay, your money will be safe till the goods are shipped. It will help you to verify the identity of the seller. Furthermore, it will enable you to get your money back if the goods are unable to clear the inspection. Partnering with a company like Tazapay will be a win-win situation for your company.

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How to Set Up a Trading Company in Singapore
Export & Import

How to Set Up a Trading Company in Singapore

Aug 3, 2021
3 min of read

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