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Humanising Finance
July 2016

Starting A Business – Where Do I Begin?

1. Choose an appropriate company structure that meets your business needs
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.

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) website provides an overview of the differences between the various entity types which you can refer to here.

To determine the appropriate structure for the business, here are some of the questions you can ask yourself before you decide:
  • 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?
2. Register your business with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
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 to 2 months 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. The ACRA website is a great resource for information relating to starting a business so you can also check it out for more details.
3. 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 and 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.

Taking Maybank as an example, our FlexiBiz Account does not require the customer to have a minimum account balance and does not impose fall below fees. In addition, customers can also enjoy up to 0.038% p.a. interest on your account balance, providing customers with convenient and hassle-free banking.

Another great feature is the complimentary access to Business Internet Banking (BIB) – no more queueing at branches!

More information about the account can be found at: maybank.sg/flexibiz.
4. Obtain funding for working capital needs
Depending on what 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. SPRING Singapore 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 do not require any collateral and hence, provides SMEs with an alternative financing option of up to $300,000.
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 SMEs understand their banking needs for their business. To speak to one of the managers, you can get in touch via our Business Banking hotline 1800-777 0022 or request a call back via this form on our website.
Always wanted to find out more about a finance-related issue? Email us at: corporateaffairs@maybank.com.sg
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