Singapore is quite a business-friendly country to start a business in, but there will be various aspects from employee benefits to branding that you’ll need help and expertise in. Here are five areas to look at when setting up a business, including corporate service providers, legal firms, insurance providers and tech-support companies who can help you with starting a company in Singapore the right way.
Setting up a Business
#1 Developing an employee benefits package
When starting a company in Singapore, it’s important to consider just how vital your employees are to the long-term growth and success of your business. Not only can employees benefit from a well-developed benefits insurance plan, but they’ll also appreciate that the company prioritises their needs and happiness. This can go a long way in building loyalty – and loyalty can increase productivity. What’s more, flexible employee benefits packages are key when it comes to hiring and retaining professionals in such a competitive environment.
Of course, group medical insurance should be a priority when staffing your business. Dental insurance, paid annual leave, and paid maternity and paternity leave are also key benefits to consider. But, in 2023, it will take more than that to attract – and keep – top talents! Which is why Pacific Prime CXA (previously Pacific Prime Singapore) suggests creating flexible benefits to support employees as they journey through different stages of life.
These days, employees are gravitating toward benefits focused on mental and overall wellness, and more flexible work arrangements as a result of the pandemic. So, designing a flexible benefits plan that can offer an additional level of support to employees and foster a better work-life balance is an absolute must.
How do flexible benefits work? In short, they give employees the opportunity to pick and choose from a wide range of benefits to suit a diversity of needs. Whether they are starting a new job, buying their first home or starting a family, they can find suitable coverage. This involves purchasing add-ons and customising their benefits to create a personalised plan each year. The result is the ability to maximise the value of their package.
As a side note, this process has become easier than ever with online administrative systems. So you’ll want to ensure the platform you choose has a smooth portal and the best technology to assist creating flexible benefits.
Gym reimbursements, work-from-home flexibility and time off are just some of the many benefits employers should consider. Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), in particular, have become increasingly popular during the pandemic – especially services that address anxiety, stress and burnout.
Additionally, financial wellness support – from debt management tools and resources, one-on-one financial advice and retirement planning, to cost of living and education allowances – should be taken into account, as it goes hand in hand with mental health.
As a global employee benefits specialist and health insurance broker, Pacific Prime CXA can help you personalise a benefits plan to best suit your needs when setting up a company. Pacific Prime CXA also has cutting edge technology so creating flex benefits packages is intuitive and easy. To learn more about employee benefits in Singapore, get in touch with an expert at Pacific Prime CXA for impartial advice and a free plan comparison today.
For a more detailed look at emerging employee benefits trends – plus, actionable steps for employers – download your free copy of Pacific Prime’s Global Employee Benefits Trends Report 2022.
Pacific Prime CXA Singapore
#09-02 Cross Street Exchange, 18 Cross Street
6346 3781 | pacificprime.sg
#2 Tech support when starting a business in Singapore
Setting up the IT infrastructure for a new business, such as registering your company domain, setting up a business email, data storage and backup, plus a website, can be time-consuming and complicated if you don’t have the right skill set. For all of your IT business needs, it’s a good idea to turn to experts like Tekkie Help. They can provide all sorts of IT support to small and medium-sized businesses – from the setup of your core business infrastructure, to all other aspects of technology including sound systems, WiFi, security cameras and point of sale. You can choose to have ad hoc support, or sign up for an ongoing support plan so that you always have someone to call in tech emergencies and ensure that regular maintenance checks are conducted.
The Tekkie Help.Biz team is highly experienced and can assist with everything from technical support (such as software troubleshooting and repairs) and advice on how to use certain technology, to improving your operations and setting you up with the necessary infrastructure and systems right from when you start a business in Singapore.
Starting a new business? They’re also able to source computers and other equipment at good prices. With Tekkie Help managing everything, you won’t need to juggle contacting and communicating with different vendors. Instead, you can focus on starting and running your new business.
#3 Choose the right software to grow your business
The right tools can make a huge difference especially when you’re running a small business. So, when starting a company in Singapore, it’s essential to choose the business software to fit your needs right from the start. If you run a retail store or e-commerce site, you’ll need to set up point-of-sale software and digital payment solutions to actually start making some money.
Need some help? HitPay offers free business tools and a payment-processing platform to help companies get sorted with the right payment processing solutions. We’re talking everything from online invoicing and accounting integration to choosing the e-commerce plugins that can best help increase sales on your site by offering more payment methods, and in more currencies.
Designed with small to medium businesses in mind, HitPay’s software doesn’t have setup or subscription fees like other platforms do. Instead, HitPay uses a pay-per-transaction model, which means you only pay a fee when you make a sale. What’s more, they’ve got step-by-step guides and WhatsApp chat support to help you with anything you need as a business owner.
And, if you still need a website, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of the HitPay Online Store Platform. It’s a free and easy way for small businesses to list and sell products. The e-platform includes payment processing and inventory management, and you’ll even get your own store URL.
#4 Hiring employees and applying for work passes
First, you’ll have to incorporate your business in Singapore. Once you’ve done that and have the requisite licences, you can then apply for a Work Pass – a visa that allows foreigners to work in Singapore. This is where a company like White Glove proves invaluable. They are a full-service employment agency that can process any type of work pass offered by the MOM. This includes Employment Passes (EPs), Dependent Passes (DPs), S-Passes, Work Permits, Long Term Visit Passes (LTVPs), Entrepreneur Passes (EntrePass) and, in some cases, a TechPass if you’ve got a tech start-up.
Whether you’re looking to hire workers from Malaysia on work permits, Dependent Pass holders on a work permit or S Pass, or executives and engineers to work in Singapore from overseas on EPs, White Glove can help make the process as smooth as possible.
For a start-up company looking to establish a location in Singapore, White Glove can handle the entire application process with the MOM. Working with a team that understands small businesses and MOM requirements can help set your application apart from the rest. Of course, while it’s always up to the MOM as to whether your application will be approved, White Glove can advise you on all the requirements and present the best possible application on your behalf. Doing so can ensure that the MOM understands your hiring needs clearly and can make a well-informed decision on your manpower.
#5 Branding your company
When starting a company in Singapore, branding is vital to creating a strong connection with your targeted customers. Your brand is a genuine representation of who you are, explains family lawyer Sarah-Mae Thomas. She knows first-hand just how crucial branding can be for an entrepreneur or new business. In addition to running her own boutique law firm, she’s an avid podcaster who runs Singapore’s first legal podcast to be hosted by a lawyer; these two pursuits took a whole lot of marketing herself, what she has to offer and how she stands out from competitors.
Her advice? When starting a business, focus your time and resources on marketing platforms that work exceptionally well for you. “Be the ultimate influencer of your business by unlocking its potential and endless possibilities. But, don’t oversell yourself – and stay grounded,” she says. “As you start something, you will soon realise that one thing will lead to the next. Don’t bite off too much at once. Just try to do a few things, or even one thing, well. Then, you can level up.”
Additionally, Sarah-Mae suggests “reverse mentoring”. This means reaching out to more junior business professionals to share skills and start building your “tribe.”
#08-168, The Central (Soho 2), 12 Eu Tong Sen Street
Read on for more about businesses and living in Singapore.