Finding the perfect location is among the biggest decisions an entrepreneur must make in starting a business in Singapore. The process requires a profound understanding of the business and its needs. Selecting a suitable business premise requires carefully considering key factors that will affect the business operations later on. Firstly, the business’ proximity to its target market, competitors, partners and suppliers must be taken note of. Secondly, write down the space requirements of the business from security to visual appeal, spaciousness, accessibility and even the nearby establishments that may affect your business positively or negatively. Lastly, decide whether to lease a space or buy.
Singapore offers entrepreneurs with a wide range of location choices depending on the business’ specific needs. Available locations range from financial and business districts to suburban offices, industrial parks and even Government-managed premises. Entrepreneurs can also set up a home office or rent factory, retail or commercial spaces for their business. Businesses in the food and beverage, manufacturing, private education, private healthcare, retail and transport and storage industries may be required to secure premise approvals from the government. You may find a brief description of the business premises you may choose from when setting up shop in the city-state.
In line with Singapore’s Home Office Scheme, entrepreneurs can now apply to run their business operations in the comforts of their home. This scheme is aimed at lowering business costs especially for start-ups. Private homes and Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats can be utilized as a home office. To be eligible, the entrepreneur must either be the home owner, a tenant, or someone with the authority and permission to stay in the premise. Further, the business should adhere to the Small Business Guidelines.
Commercial Premises from HDB or SLA
Entrepreneurs can rent shops and offices in Housing & Development Board (HDB) properties, shopping malls and civic centres. The government has also made it easier for start-up firms to find a business premise through its RentDirect scheme. Start-up firms and niche businesses are allowed to secure a vacant State building by directly making a rent offer to Singapore Land Authority (SLA).
Industrial Premises from HDB or JTC
Entrepreneurs that require an industrial space for their business may find industrial premises from either HDB or JTC to be suitable choices. The HDB’s industrial premises include factories, warehouses as well as terrace workshops that are available for rent. On the other hand, JTC offers numerous types of industrial premises – from business parks to factories – that are also readily available for rent.
JTC Premises For Start-Ups
Further, there are Technopreneur Centres and Parks that are specifically designed by JTC for start-ups in Singapore. These premises feature support services along with facilities to meet the needs of most start-ups such as business meeting rooms, secretariat, IT infrastructure and even cafes. Start-ups that are registered in Singapore with a turnover that is less than S$1,000,000 are qualified to rent spaces from JTC. To add, start-ups must fall under the required business activities that may operate in the said JTC premises. Some of these business activities include Research & Development, Data Processing, Software Development, Media Production Services and the like. After a start-up’s Singapore company incorporation, the entrepreneurs can rent a JTC premise for a one (1) month trial. Once approved, entrepreneurs have up to three (3) years of tenancy.