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7 Small Yet Profitable Business Ideas in Singapore

small business ideas singapore
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Singapore has brought down locally transmitted COVID-19 cases to near zero. According to news reports, Singapore is now the “World’s Best Place to Be During Covid”. Thanks to the government’s border curbs and strict quarantine program, citizens and business owners can now settle into the new normal.

On top of this development, Singapore also ranked the top jurisdiction for multinational companies to base subsidiaries. With these favorable conditions, there are plenty of opportunities for startups and small businesses.

Are you willing to embrace the challenge, strategize, and embark on a new business opportunity in Singapore? Here are small yet profitable business ideas in Singapore. These business ideas will let you earn profits both in the short and long term. 

What Business Idea Is the Best?

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to business ideas. Every idea has great potential but it will depend on the person’s strategy and resources. A person’s resources include the amount of capital, ability to secure loans, as well as their ability to raise funds.

The bottom line is that you need money to get started.

Below is a list of small business ideas as well as the capital needed, revenue expectation, and the skills required for each idea. 

7 Small yet Profitable Business Ideas in Singapore

1. Catering Business – S$20,000/month

  • Capital: S$50,000 or more (depending on the size of your establishment)
  • Monthly Income: S$4,000 to S$20,000/month
  • Difficulty: Normal
  • Requires (Skills): Customer service skills, business skills, cooking skills

Few industries are as vital as the food industry. After all, everyone needs to eat.

That said, the high number of food lovers means there is great potential for the food business in Singapore. However, to get into the food business as a first-time merchant, you may need significant capital – depending on the size of your establishment. Another important factor to consider is getting appropriate licenses and registrations, such as:

  • Food shop license
  • Basic food hygiene course to get certified for all food handlers
  • Importing foods through the Food Control Division, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)
  • Halal License if you’re planning to serve halal customers

2. Dropshipping Business – S$20,000/month

  • Capital: As little as S$20
  • Monthly Income: S$100 to S$20,000/month
  • Difficulty: Normal
  • Requires (Skills): Marketing, organizational, customer service, and business skills

Dropshipping is growing in popularity in Singapore. This e-commerce business is similar to running an online store but without holding inventory. So how does it work?

With dropshipping, you will be taking orders from clients and forwarding the orders to suppliers. Think of it as being a middle man between customers and suppliers. That said, your main focus should be selling and promoting goods and services online. 

To get started, you may need to set up your own website or sign-up to already popular e-commerce websites, such as Shopify, Etsy, or Amazon. Read to learn how to start your E-commerce business

3. Residential Cleaning Services – S$7,500/month

  • Capital: S$600 onwards
  • Monthly Income: S$7,500/month
  • Difficulty: Normal
  • Requires (Skills): Customer service and business skills

A residential and office cleaning business is another profitable business opportunity. Residential cleaning is a good option since there is a large demand to serve. Most cleaning service businesses charge an hourly rate per square foot. Best of all, you don’t need a lot of fancy cleaning equipment to start operating.

To get started, you are required to register your cleaning business with ACRA. Additionally, you’ll also need a cleaning service license from NEA. The application costs around S$130 and will require up to 30 days to receive the license which is valid for a year.

4. Web Design Service – S$6,900/month

  • Capital: startup costs can be zero
  • Monthly Income: S$3,000 to S$6,900/month
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Requires (Skills): Coding, design, business, writing and research skills

More and more businesses want to build their online presence. In fact, Singapore is evolving into a major e-commerce market. As such, the web design industry is also becoming an in-demand service.

If you have coding skills like HTML and Javascript and have an eye for graphic design, then consider becoming a freelance web designer. Start-up costs can be practically zero, especially when you start small and work from home. However, there are a few factors you need to consider, such as business fees, equipment and software, web hosting, and software licensing.

Here’s a tip: you can market your skills by creating your own website where you can showcase your sample portfolio.

5. Editorial Services – S$4,300/month

  • Capital: startup costs can be zero
  • Monthly Income: S$4,300/month onwards
  • Difficulty: Normal
  • Requires (Skills): Writing and research, business, and customer service skills

Editorial services can be a completely online business so you don’t need a huge capital to get started. Additionally, with the rise of digital marketing, editorial work has become very diverse. For instance, you can offer the following services:

  • Editing for online and offline content
  • Proofreading manuscripts, white papers, and more
  • Copywriting for an online business to boost digital marketing efforts
  • Content creation for websites, such as blog content, white papers, and general webpage content

You don’t need a lot of equipment to get started. In fact, you can start by reaching out to family and friends or using your social media accounts to reach potential clients. With this online business, you can take on multiple clients, as long as you can deliver.

6. Affiliate Marketing – S$9,000/month

  • Capital: S$50 to S$200/month
  • Monthly Income: S$4,300/month onwards
  • Difficulty: Normal
  • Requires (Skills): Writing and research, design, marketing, business skills

Affiliate marketing is an online business model where you receive a commission for every sale you make using your affiliate link. This means you’re taking a portion of profits from other businesses. This small business idea doesn’t require intensive know-how and there are plenty of ways to get paid.

To get started, you may want to invest in growing your blog, website, or social media accounts, such as Facebook and Instagram. You can use these platforms to promote affiliate links to products, services, or surveys conducted by your client.

The average pay for a high-ticket affiliate marketer is around S$9,000. You will be earning more or less depending on how strong your online presence is or whether your niche has a strong demand.

7. Content Marketing For Ecommerce Business – S$3,500/month

  • Capital: startup costs can be zero
  • Monthly Income: S$3,500/month onwards, depending on how many clients you take on
  • Difficulty: Normal
  • Requires (Skills): Writing and research, design, marketing, business skills

Content marketing is a form of online marketing where you provide blogging or copywriting services to promote a business to its target market. This service is growing in demand, especially since 67% of leads come from blogs. That said, more and more business owners are using content marketing to grow their businesses.

As a content marketer, you may want to reach out to bloggers, graphic designers, or copywriters. You may also consider collaborating with social media influencers to review or promote a product or service.

You don’t need huge capital to get started with your content marketing business. In fact, start-up costs can be zero. However, you may need to pay for business fees or take up online courses to refine your skills. Additionally, you may also want to invest in creating your own website to reach more clients. 

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How To Fund Your Business in Singapore

Start-up costs vary depending on the kind of business you want to establish. For any legally compliant business in Singapore, you need to register your business which may cost up to S$900.

Thankfully, Singapore makes it easy for start-up entrepreneurs to thrive in the country. The government offers financing programs, tax incentives, and cash grants, to jump start their business ideas. However, no matter what funding opportunity you choose, there will be risks and benefits involved.

Looking for financial assistance for your business? Here are some of the funding opportunities you can consider. 

Government Funding

The Singapore government has several financial schemes to help entrepreneurs. These government funding schemes focus on different markets and industries. Here are a few to consider:

  • Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP): This government funding scheme provides SMEs with access to working capital. Business owners can loan up to S$1M at a capped interest rate of 5.5% p.a.
  • SME Working Capital Loan (WCL): This is another government-assisted financing loan option that helps SMEs finance operational cash flow needs. This financing scheme offers up to S$300,000 in loan amount.
  • Business Improvement Fund (BIF): For Singapore-registered businesses in the tourism sector. SMEs will receive funding support for up to 70% of qualifying costs. Non-SMEs will receive up to 50% funding.
  • Enterprise Development Grant (EDG): Helps Singapore companies build internal capabilities. Eligible companies receive up to 70% funding support.
  • Startup SG Equity Programme: The government will co-invest with independent, qualified 3rd party investors into eligible startups.

The eligibility criteria for government SME grants and financing schemes can be very strict. However, they are still worth checking out to find additional support for your business. 

Get a Loan 

Traditional Banks

Most entrepreneurs immediately turn to traditional banks for financial assistance. More than 20 banks and financial institutions in Singapore offer business loans. However, eligibility criteria will vary depending on the bank. Additionally, the maximum loan amount, interest rates, and tenure will also be different depending on the financial product.

Typically, unsecured business loan effective interest rates may range between 7% to 12% p.a. You can use loan comparison tools to compare your financing options.

Unfortunately, most banks don’t offer business loans for startup companies. Most banks require a business to have a minimum of 6 to 12 months of operating experience to apply for financing. That said, startup SMEs can consider Temporary Bridging Loan or SME Working Capital Loan. 

Licensed Money Lenders in Singapore

What if you don’t qualify for a traditional bank business loan?

Another option is to borrow from licensed money lenders in Singapore. They offer business financing loans in Singapore to all eligible SME working and business owners. The business loan can be used for anything, including:

  • Purchasing new equipment to boost production
  • Acquire a new office space
  • To boost cash flow and keep the business afloat

Here are the most basic eligibility requirements:

  • The business must be registered in Singapore
  • It must be operating for at least one year
  • Must have a minimum turnover of S$60,000

But is it safe to borrow from licensed moneylenders in Singapore?

Licensed moneylenders in Singapore are regulated by the Registry of moneylenders. That said, before borrowing from any moneylender, make sure to verify if they are licensed. Check out the complete list of licensed moneylenders on MinLaw’s website. 


Looking for other financing options aside from grants and traditional loans? You can also try crowdfunding which is an alternative funding solution for a business venture. It involves raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically online.

The contributions will go toward your capital. Crowdfunding helps you raise capital through donations, pre-orders, or investments. There are different types of crowdfunding:

  • Donation-based crowdfunding: This is typically used to support a charitable cause
  • Reward-based crowdfunding: Contributors will receive a “reward”, usually a product by the company.
  • Lending-based crowdfunding: Individuals will lend money to a company. Business owners will then repay the “loan” at a predetermined interest rate and time.
  • Equity-based crowdfunding: Individuals invest in shares sold by the company. They will then receive a share of the profits in the form of dividends or distribution.

Is crowdfunding legal in Singapore?

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) regulates lending-based and equity-based crowdfunding under the Securities and Futures Act. 

Entrepreneur smiling

What You Should Keep in Mind as an Entrepreneur

Being your own boss has its advantages. However, running your own company is not always about having a winning streak. It requires skills, effort, and lots of patience. Aside from learning the numbers and managing finances, being an entrepreneur requires creativity, leadership ability, and grit.

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind:

  • Have a good financial plan: To keep your business running, you need to have a good financial plan. For instance, save enough funds to keep the business afloat as well as invest enough capital to address crises and losses.
  • Learn how to adapt quickly: One of the key abilities that an entrepreneur must have is the ability to look out for potential opportunities. You need to be able to quickly pivot your business, according to industry trends.
  • Develop your social skills: As a business owner, you will be dealing with people every day – whether it’s your clients or your team. Additionally, it’s important to continue networking and creating meaningful connections since this will help grow the business.
  • Have grit and stay focused: Successful entrepreneurs are willing to push harder to make their vision come true. Remember, a successful business isn’t built overnight. It requires an immense amount of effort.


The ease of starting a business in Singapore makes it very attractive for entrepreneurs. Additionally, the current favorable conditions in the country offer a wide range of business opportunities, especially for startups. If you’re thinking of starting your own business, you can consider the small yet profitable business ideas listed above.

Key Takeaways

  • There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to business ideas. Every idea has great potential but it will depend on the person’s strategy and resources.
  • Start-up costs vary depending on the kind of business you want to establish.
  • The Singapore government has several financial schemes to help entrepreneurs, such as Temporary Bridging Loan and SME Working Capital Loan
  • You can also get a loan from banks or from licensed moneylenders in Singapore

Need financial assistance for your goals but not sure which loan package is the best? Request up to three loan quotes from Loan Advisor to quickly and easily compare different loan offers. Loan Advisor has the most up to date information about the top licensed moneylenders in Singapore. Find the best loan rates, tenure, and terms at the tip of your fingertips.

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