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What Business To Start in Singapore: 12 Best Business Ideas

what business to start in singapore
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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of so many industries. Plenty of businesses were largely affected by the outbreak. While it is unfortunate that not all businesses survived the global crisis, there are still some who managed to go on.

As the world starts to recover from the pandemic, you’d be surprised that there are industries that are not only enduring but thriving.

In fact, Singapore has claimed the top position as the World’s Best Place to Be During Covid. On top of that, Singapore was also hailed as the top jurisdiction for multinational companies to base subsidies. With these favorable conditions, opening a small business in this economic climate is still possible.

Find out more on the business opportunities in Singapore.

business team making decisions in meeting

The Best Business Ideas To Start in Singapore

The way we do business has evolved. This is primarily due to the emergence of new technologies and the shift in customer demands due to the pandemic. Thankfully, these new entrepreneurial trends have opened opportunities for many entrepreneurs.

Wondering what business to start in Singapore? Here is a list of the profitable small business ideas that you can start even when you’re at home.

1. Digital Marketing – S$54,000/year

26% of Singaporeans shop online at least once a week according to a study by Visa. That said, it is not surprising for entrepreneurs to expand their business online. With this evolution comes the booming demand for professionals and businesses that offer digital marketing services.

As a digital marketer, you can offer a wide variety of services, such as:

  • Content writing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Search Engine Marketing services
  • Social Media services
  • Paid Ads

Income per month: S$4,500 per month, depending on how much work you handle.

Tips to get started:

  • Have a clear idea of your scope of services. This will allow your clients to understand exactly what they can get from you.
  • Find a niche and set your business goals
  • Create an online presence, such as a blog and social channels
  • Register your business
  • If you’re ready to expand, you can start building the team you need

2. Affiliate Marketing – S$108,000/year

Affiliate marketing business involves selling products for a commission. It is one of the businesses where you can earn passive income and will pay you well over the long term.

How does this business work?

Typically, the business you’re marketing for will provide you with an affiliate ad or link with a tracking code. Here are three ways to earn:

  • Pay per Sale (PPS) or Cost per Sale (CPS): With this business model, you will get paid only when a sale is made through your link or ad.
  • Pay per Click (PPC): This business model allows you to earn for every click on your link or ad. This means you get a commission for every lead you provide the business.
  • Pay/Cost per Acquisition (CPA): This option allows you to earn even without a sale. You will get paid as long as you can get a customer to sign up. This will make the customer a potential lead for the business.

Income per month: S$9,000 per month for a high-ticket marketer. You can earn more or less depending on the strength of your online presence.

Tips to get started:

  • Invest in growing your blog, website, or social accounts such as Facebook or Instagram
  • Identify the products that your target market needs
  • Promote the products through your website or social channels

3. E-Commerce- S$91,200/year

Today, more and more businesses are looking into e-commerce to expand their business. It’s a great way to sell your products – not only locally but also internationally. Additionally, there are also plenty of good e-commerce platforms, such as Shopee, Lazada, and Etsy, that make e-commerce quick and hassle-free.

For instance, if you want to sell your handmade arts and crafts. Opening an e-commerce website can be as easy as creating an Etsy account and listing your products online.

But is e-commerce a profitable business?

It all depends on the demand for your products. Take for example the Trippy Travelers who are selling journals at Lazada. They typically get as many as 200 to 300 orders in a month. Assuming they get 200 orders for their Travel Journal (S$38.50) in a month, they’ll be earning more or less S$7,600.

Income per month: S$7,600 per month, depending on the demand for your products.

Tips to get started:

  • Decide on a product you want to sell. Choosing fast-moving goods is a good choice.
  • Register your ecommerce business as a private limited company.
  • Choose an e-commerce platform. Or you can build your own online shop from scratch.
  • Establish a brand for your business
  • Open a business account and connect your e-commerce platform to the payment systems.

Get started with how to start an e-commerce business in Singapore.

4. Web Design Service – S$82,800/year

Do you have the skills to build a website? Do you have coding skills in HTML, CSS, & JavaScript and have an eye for graphic design? Offering web design services to business owners can be a profitable business.

With the boom of online shopping, more and more businesses want to build their online presence. That said, the web design industry is also thriving. Additionally, start-up costs are practically zero and you can start working from home.

But where do you start?

You can focus on a specialized market, such as creating websites for real estate businesses or for e-commerce stores. Choosing to focus on one industry and creating websites for businesses within a particular niche will help you build your portfolio.

Income per month: S$3,000 to S$6,900 per month

Tips to get started:

  • Build your own website
  • Hone necessary skills, such as visual design, HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  • Sign up on freelance web designer websites

5. Graphic Design – S$33,000/year

If you’re skilled in creating logos, posters, or brochures, you can start a graphic design business. As a graphic designer, businesses will come to you for their ads and other marketing materials.

Some graphic designers specialize in print, web design, or both. Some even specialize in logo design or social media graphics.

Starting a graphic design business doesn’t require a huge investment. Additionally, you can charge a significant amount per hour – especially when you’ve built a reputation.

Income per month: Entry-level positions start at S$2,325 per month. Experienced designers can make more or less S$2,750 per month.

Tips to get started:

  • Build your own website where you can showcase your portfolio
  • You can also boost your online presence through your social media channels.
  • Instagram is a great social media platform to showcase your design skills and get seen.

6. Video Editing- S$48,000/year

Do you love compiling videos and editing them to create a story? Why not set up a video editing business.

With the increasing demand for Youtube and Tiktok videos as well as Instagram Reels, more and more influencers require video editing services. Additionally, companies are now using videos to tell their brand story and market their products.

That said, videos have become an important medium in this ever-evolving digital era.

Income per month: S$4,000/month, depending on the video editing services you’re offering.

Tips to get started:

  • You’ll need to have video software skills
  • Consider using video editing tools, such as iMovie.
  • If you want to level up your video editing game, you can consider using Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro.
  • Build your online presence by sharing your portfolio on your social platforms

7. Create Online Courses – S$27,000/year

There is a huge spike in e-learning, especially during the pandemic. That said, creating online courses has become one of the most profitable businesses you can start. With this online business idea, you can earn recurring income from courses you’ve already made.

It’s a great way to monetize your knowledge.

You can sell courses through education platforms. These platforms are easy to use so you don’t have to worry about it if you’re not a techy person. You can also use your website to sell your online courses and other digital products.

Income per month: Your income will depend on the price of your online courses. Say you’re selling the course for S$23 and 100 students sign-up for the class in a month. You’ll be earning around S$2,300 in a month.

Tips to get started:

  • Decide on a niche. What topic are you most knowledgeable in?
  • Choose a profitable topic.
  • Consider offering free videos on Youtube to get started. This will help build your audience and later, use it to advertise your paid online courses.
  • Use education platforms, such as Coursera, Udemy, or Skillshare.
  • Make sure to provide high-quality content.

business people having discussion full

8. Social Media Management – S$50,220/year

Do you enjoy being active on social media platforms?

Another emerging small business idea in the digital era is managing social media. Today, more and more businesses use their social platforms to reach out and engage with their customers.

As a social media manager, you can offer services such as:

  • Creating and scheduling regular content
  • Running Facebook or Instagram ads
  • Interacting with your clients’ audience
  • Social media marketing

Setting up a social media management business is easy. Plus, it doesn’t require a lot of capital.

Income per month: S$4,185/month but this will also depend on how many clients you choose to take on.

Tips to get started:

  • Open a social media account, such as Facebook and Instagram
  • Grow your own account to reach out to clients
  • Learn how a platform’s algorithms work
  • Be aware of new trends and memes

9. Drop shipping Business – S$24,000/year

The number of consumers using the e-commerce market in Singapore is expected to amount to 4.1m users by 2025. With this growth, the drop shipping business will also be in demand. 

Drop shipping is an order fulfillment method wherein the store owner sells directly to consumers without keeping any inventory on hand. When a customer orders a product from a drop shipping store, a third-party supplier will ship it directly to them. This means you’ll never have to handle products or invest in inventory.

If you’re interested in this business idea, you should focus on selling and promoting goods online.

Income per month: S$1,000 to S$2,000 per month within 12 months of opening your business.

Tips to get started:

  • Choose profitable products to sell online
  • Find a reliable supplier. You can look through a supplier database, such as Dropship Direct, Alibaba, or AliExpress.
  • Set up an online store through a sales platform, such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or Shopify.

10. Consulting Business – S$13,000/year

Singapore’s strategic location, excellent governance, and pro-business environment are just a few reasons why it has become a popular business hub. This has opened up plenty of opportunities for consulting businesses in the country.

If you’re looking to start your own business, here are some of the consulting services you can offer:

  • Planning and Strategy
  • Project Management
  • Outsourcing Support
  • Fund Management
  • Grant Consulting

Income per month: Consultants in Singapore earn around S$5,000/month (base pay). However, you can earn up to S$8,200/month in cash bonuses, commissions, tips, or profit-sharing.

Tips to get started:

  • Decide whether you want to start a limited company or a sole proprietorship
  • Reserve the company name
  • Submit the relevant documents to register the business
  • Register for taxation with the Revenue Services

11. Bookkeeping – S$99,000/year

If you have a knack for numbers and calculating profits and losses, why not offer a freelance bookkeeping service? There are accounting systems online so you can easily work from the comfort of your home.

As a bookkeeper, your main job is maintaining your clients’ bookkeeping as well as keeping their finances in order. Here are some services you could offer:

  • Standard bookkeeping, like maintaining the ledger.
  • Training staff to understand their role in bookkeeping.
  • Monthly reporting
  • Filing taxes
  • Payroll

Income per month: S$32 to S$52 per hour. Say if you work 8 hours for 20 days in a month, you can earn up to S$8,320/month.

Tips to get started:

  • Choose whether you want to start a limited company, a sole proprietorship, or a partnership.
  • Register your business
  • Invest in accounting software that you will need for your business. Most cloud software has a free trial.

12. Telemedicine – S$72,000/year

Today, more and more patients prefer to be diagnosed by a medical expert without leaving the comforts of their homes. In fact, video consultations in telemedicine in Singapore rose amidst the COVID-19 lockdown.

This is why telemedicine is quickly becoming an established market. So if you are a licensed physician, this is a business idea worth considering.

Note: Singapore will start licensing telemedicine in 2022 under the new Health Services Act.

Income per month: S$6,000/month is the average salary for a Telemedicine Physician[R4] .

Tips to get started: 

Consider these important requirements to make your telemedicine business platform more efficient:

  • Healthcare compliance
  • Check the full MOH National Telemedicine Guidelines
  • Follow the HIPAA Privacy Rule and Security Rule
  • Data security
  • Tech support

business ideas rocket ship male female

Checklist for Starting Your Small Business Idea in Singapore

Are you thinking of leaving your 9-5 corporate job to start your own business? You should know that it takes a lot of time and effort. Thankfully, Singapore is one of the easiest countries in the world to start a business. However, making sure that your business idea earns a profit is a whole different story.

If you don’t know where to start, you can consider the business ideas listed above. Here’s a simple checklist that entrepreneurs should take into account:

  • Determine the feasibility of your business idea: Are you providing a solution to a customer’s need? Are you entering an overly saturated market? Or are you creating a whole new niche? What sets you apart from your competition?
  • Write a business plan: You don’t have to create a thoroughly detailed one. However, make sure to focus on important factors, such as market analysis, customer profile, competitor analysis, and operational plan.
  • Make sure you are ready: Running a business comes with a lot of challenges. So you need good motivation to get started. Know your “why”. What are your intentions? You must be passionate about your business idea and have the patience and motivation needed to thrive.
  • Pick a good business name: Your business name should be unique and easy to remember. Note that the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) prohibits vulgar, obscene, or offensive business names.
  • Register a domain for your business: In today’s digital era, it’s always a good idea to have an online presence. So consider creating a website for your business. 

For that, you’ll need to register a domain name for your business. As a tip, use your business name for branding, making it easy for your customers to remember.

  • Open a business account: Even if you’re a sole proprietor, it’s still a good idea to have a separate business account. Before opening one, you need to compare your options. Check out the monthly maintenance fee, minimum initial deposit, or minimum fall below fees.
  • Register your business: Incorporating a business in Singapore is quick and easy. All you have to do is visit the ACRA’s Bizfile website. But first, you need to reserve a company name for S$15.

Next, you need to decide the type of business entity you want to incorporate:

  • Company (S$300)
  • Sole Proprietor (S$100)
  • Partnership (S$100)

Ways to Raise Capital For Your Small Business Idea

So you already have a good business idea, a business plan, and a fool-proof strategy. Now you need to raise money to get started. You need to estimate how much cash you’ll need. It can vary depending on the size and scale of your business.

What if you don’t have enough cash? Here are a few ways to raise capital:

1. Fundraising: You can consider using crowdsourcing platforms such as FundedHere, Fundnel, Patreon, or Crowdfunder App (Shopify). There are different types of crowdfunding available:

  • Donation-based crowdfunding where individuals donate money to support a charitable cause
  • Reward-based crowdfunding is where individuals contribute funds for a “reward”, usually a product by the company.
  • Lending-based crowdfunding is where individuals lend money to a company. This involves a legally-binding agreement to repay the loan at a predetermined interest rate and tenure.
  • Equity-based crowdfunding is where individuals invest in shares sold by a company. This means the “investors” will receive a share of the profits in the form of a dividend or distribution.

2. Government Schemes: There are government grants that startups can consider when raising capital. For instance, ACE Startups offers funding to first-time entrepreneurs. The SG Startup Founder is a scheme developed for new entrepreneurs wherein they can receive up to S$30,000 by matching S$3 to every S$1 raised by the startup.

Another option is the Startup SG Equity wherein the Singapore Government provides 70% of the funding in an initial investment round of S$250K. This is for startups that are improving existing technologies.

3. Loans: Most entrepreneurs consider taking out a bank loan to raise capital. Before you apply for any business loan plan, make sure to compare interest rates across different banks and financial institutions.

What if you’re not qualified for a business bank loan? 

Another option is to take out a loan from a licensed moneylender in Singapore. These licensed lenders are regulated by the Registry of Moneylenders. They typically offer fast loan applications and approvals, plus the interest rate and fees they can charge are properly regulated.


Singapore is one of the top countries for businesses to thrive. There are plenty of business ideas as well as opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. However, it is essential to properly analyze the market and see what business idea is profitable.

Key Takeaways

  • The way we do business has changed due to the emergence of new technologies and the shift in customer demands due to the pandemic.
  •  26% of Singaporeans shop online at least once a week according to a study by Visa.
  • The changing business landscape is geared towards e-commerce and online marketing.
  • Running a business comes with a lot of challenges so you need to know your “why”.

Are you in need of extra cash for your goals? Compare different loan rates, terms, and tenure at Loan Advisor. A trusted loan comparison tool, Loan Advisor has the most up-to-date information about the top licensed moneylenders in Singapore. Request up to three loan quotes today to find the loan plan that is tailored for your needs.

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