what business to start in singapore

What Business To Start In Singapore? 17 Profitable Business Ideas

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Singapore ranks the best country out of 82 countries to do business. It ranks the best due to its open and efficient economy. Singapore has been ranked the best country for the past seven consecutive years.

The country ranks among Australia, Sweden, Hong Kong, and Switzerland. The business ranking is based on the country’s business environment by looking at factors such as openness to foreign investment, taxes, political climate, infrastructure, and the labor market.

Singapore also ranked the best in 189 countries on the World’s banks ease of doing business report. If you are wondering which business to start in Singapore and you do not know where to start, this article is for you.

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17 in Demand Business Ideas in Singapore

Here is a list of business ideas you can start in Singapore:

1. Telemedicine

First on the list is Telemedicine. There have been reports that Singapore will start licensing Telemedicine in 2022. 

This means that you can access medical care in the comfort of your home. You no longer have to queue to see a medical expert to diagnose you. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how everyone does business, and the health sector has not been left behind. There is a high demand for private and public hospitals to shift their services to teleconsultation.

If you are thinking of starting a telemedicine business, there are several things that you have to keep in mind, including:

  • Data security
  • Healthcare compliance
  • Functionality
  • Compatibility
  • Tech support and usability

2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another profitable business concept you can adopt. This marketing model allows you to have a chance to profit from other small businesses. 

It is an easy-to-understand business model, but it can be complex to know how you get paid. With affiliate marketing, you will get paid through either of the following models:

  • Pay Per Sale or The Cost Per Sale Business Model

Also referred to as CPS, this is where the merchant pays the affiliate marketer once the sale is made through your ad or link.

  • Pay Per Click (PPC)

This online business model allows you to earn for every lead you provide to your business. So an affiliate will create an affiliate ad or a link with a tracking code. 

If a customer clicks on the affiliate link, the number is converted to a number that directly calls the business. The affiliate is paid per traffic from the business’s contact details or website.

  • Pay or Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

The CPA online business model allows the affiliate to earn even when there is no sale. Here the customer gets to sign up with all the required details, making them a lead. 

This business model pays their affiliate the cost of one lead. It lets you maximize the lead generation through forms and surveys.

3. Software as A Service (SAAS)

This is a great business idea that you can perform from anywhere. You can create software that performs essential tasks for other businesses, such as SEO, automation, analytics, accounting services, and bookkeeping.

It is important to note that SaaS allows small businesses to automate their processes, so you must automate your customers’ accounts. You will need huge cloud storage space to store most of your data.

4. Digital Marketing and Content Marketing

Small businesses can venture into the online business by providing excellent content and digital marketing services, including social media marketing. You can provide different services from copywriting to blogging to a diverse range of customers.

Digital marketing is an essential service for most companies today since studies show that an average of 67% of the leads online come from blogs. Studies also show that 30% of most companies use content marketing to achieve higher growth rates than those that do not.

The content marketing business is all about offering helpful information in line with your marketing strategy. The main goal of blogging and copywriting is answering questions that your customers might have while encouraging them to buy any service or product a company might have.

It is one of the best business ideas on this list since the industry is growing at a fast rate.

5. Drop-Shipping

If you have an online store, you are in luck as the ecommerce business and the drop-shipping industry are expected to grow in Singapore. Drop-shipping is among the most popular businesses online that require little investment and knowledge.

If you decide to start a drop-shipping online business, you will sell and promote goods and services when a sale has closed, and the supplier with pack and ship the product for the customer. This model saves you the trouble of storing the product in your facility.

With drop-shipping, you will need to develop your sales and closing skills. The supplier does most of the work to ensure that the good reaches the buyer.

6. Directory Business

This is a simple business model where you build a directory website then you can earn money through paid listings. It is very similar to the advertising business, only with a twist.

You will need to create a website where you then import local business listings and offer premium business listings on the popular pages on your website. You will charge a fee for the businesses that claim their listings.

To have a successful website directory business, you will need to have a website with a lot of traffic.

7. Health and Sustainable Food Business

The Singapore Food Authority allows small food businesses to start unregulated in Singapore. This means that you can quickly create a food business from the comfort of your private homes or housing board flats.

Singapore law does not require you to have a home-based food business license. While the industry is not regulated, small food businesses should consider offering innovative sustainable foods that will dominate the market.

You can follow food trends to ensure that you sell products that people are interested in. Most Singapore citizens value innovation and convenience to appreciate alternative forms of food.

This is a small business idea that can help you maximize the available resources.

8. Online Business Course

If you have a skill that stands out, you can create an online course to showcase your knowledge to your audience, who would pay for your content. For example, a copywriter can start a copywriting course to help the students stand out.

You will need t to create an excellent curriculum for the course and video explanation for every step. You can post your course on a popular website where you can earn a lot of money if you market it very well.

You can start by offering some information for free on YouTube or other social media platforms. From there you can advertise your paid courses. This is also a great way to see if people can pay for a course you are offering rather than creating a course that no one is interested in.

9. Selling E-Books

You may have seen advertisements for e-books on YouTube and other social media platforms. People publish e-books on Amazon through Amazon Kindle and upload them to Amazon’s Kindle market places.

Selling e-books on Kindle has benefits since it is trendy and easy to buy. To create a quality e-book, you will need excellent copywriting and proofreading skills. You can quickly get them from a third party if you do not have either.

Creating e-books is very profitable since the cost of production is very low compared to other business models. Once you make your first e-book, you do not need to resupply unless your audience requests an update of the book.

 If they ask for an update, then it is a clear indication that your book is very popular.

10. Business Plan Services

Every person who wants to run a business for a long time needs a business plan. A lot of people do not know how to create a comprehensive business plan even when they have great business ideas. This is where you offer your services. 

You can offer comprehensive business plan writing services covering market research and critical financial statements.

You can deliver the business plans to your clients for their business ideas electronically and keep a copy of it if they need the fill updated often. It is also essential to have some business sample plans to show your potential clients the level of work you can provide to them.

11. Cleaning Services

You can offer cleaning services to office clients or businesses that need regular cleaning services, such as restaurants.

You can also focus on retail businesses close to each other so that you do not need to keep moving around while working. House cleaning is also a great option where you can serve many customers.

You do not need a lot of money to advertise your cleaning business, and you can market your services through word of mouth.

12. Video-Sharing Platforms

One of the best places to start an online business is YouTube. To succeed in creating videos, you must produce great content that attracts views.

There are different ways in which you can make money on YouTube. You can create product reviews where your visitors can use your affiliate links to buy the products. There is also the option of creating video tutorials for your audience to remarket.

You can also create viral videos where you can get views and earn money on YouTube. You can also advertise your videos on TikTok. This platform is a huge YouTube competitor, and you can have your business through these social media platforms.

13. Computer Repair Services

While offering computer repair services, you will need to understand most system users’ main types of software. You must understand all the intricate details of a computer, including mouse, keyboards, scanners, and printers.

It will help if you set yourself up as an expert in the field to gain your customers’ confidence. You must also ensure that you satisfy the needs of small businesses, personal computer users, and large companies. Therefore, you will need a lot of training to start your own business in computer repair services.

14. Event Planning

This is a service that you will provide for birthdays, weddings, and other huge events that your clients might require you to plan.

You must be very organized and have a list of all the service providers you need for the different events. You must also understand the key requirements of your clients to make sure that you need their expectations.

15. Freelance Web Designer 

Do you have the skills to build a WordPress website, or do you know HTML, JavaScript, and CSS? You might consider starting a freelance web design business.

To have a successful business, you have to be willing to listen to your client’s requests so that you might not end up redoing the website over and get discouraged with your business. You can also outsource some services if you have friends who are web designers, and they can get to earn a commission as well.

16. Interior Designer

As a freelance interior designer, you will provide consultation for decoration and finishing ideas for homes and offices. You will have to have a good eye for design and be great at using interior design software and use common sense for safety in your designs.

17. Graphic Design

If you can use Adobe Illustrator, Figma, or Photoshop, you can easily create graphics for businesses. You can create great designs for businesses such as restaurants to help attract and keep customers.

Most businesses today need a log design for their business and name cards. If you want to start a graphic design business, ensure that you have a beautiful portfolio to show your potential clients.

Can’t wait to start your business? Check out our business loan guide.


What Are the Challenges Faced by Singapore’s Small Businesses?

Many small businesses face similar hurdles in Singapore. Here are some of the common ones:

1. Cash Flow and Financial Management Issues

Not all businesses are fortunate enough to have a CFO to help with all the financial activities. A business owner will look at the bigger picture of running a business while neglecting the intricate economic aspects, such as cost reduction and cash flow. The negligence ends up costing the company in the long run.

A business owner should always ensure that everything works seamlessly at all times.

2. Rapid Technological Advancements

Today technology plays a massive role in the success of any business. However, tech advancements are happening at an unprecedented pace, making it hard for most small businesses to keep up.

3. Uncertainty

The future of most small businesses is quite uncertain. With the COVD-19 pandemic having affected most businesses, most people are not sure about the future of their businesses. However, every business needs to learn to adapt to the current market trends to remain on top of their games.

CEOs should learn to keep up with the socio-economic changes since they are not even in control of most things.

4. Customer Satisfaction

Customer service should always be an essential part of any business. Most businesses in Singapore fail to address the customer issues in time, thus turning customers away. Hearing your customers out is one of the best ways to ensure that you improve your product or service.

Customers get discouraged from making recurring purchases if their questions are not appropriately addressed. Therefore, it is essential to have versatile customer service to help address customer questions.

5. Compliances and Regulations

Some small businesses find it had to comply with some of the business regulations and compliances. Most small businesses do not have a compliance officer and consultant dedicated to helping the company with the different business regulations, resulting in many penalties.

Understand more on how to improve operating cash flow for business here.

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What Grants Are There That Can Help Small Businesses in Singapore?

  • Enterprise Development Grant
  • International Co-Innovation Programmes
  • Land Productivity Grant (LPG)
  • Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant
  • Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)
  • SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC)


Singapore is ranked among the best countries to do business in the World. There are different types of businesses that you can start with almost little to no investment. However, it is essential to remember that it does not matter the nature of the business you create: you must be willing to work hard on it to succeed.\

Key Takeaways

  • Singapore has the fairest regulations for starting a business.
  • The government offers different types of grants for companies in Singapore.
  • Most businesses fail due to a lack of sound financial management.

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