Starting an Import and Export Business in Singapore
September 7, 2019 by Easy Buy Sell Business in Blog

Starting an Import and Export Business in Singapore

Things You Should Know When Starting an Import and Export Business in Singapore

Things You Should Know When Starting an Import and Export Business in SingaporeSingapore is a dominant country in Asia when it comes to business, and the import and export segment of Singapore’s industry is no different. You have an edge if well-defined procedures, strategic location, and world-class infrastructure are in place. Starting an import and export business in Singapore is a sound investment for investors who are venturing into the market.


How to Start an Import and Export Business in Singapore

Starting a business in Singapore will require that you familiarize yourself with several different aspects. These include the incorporation procedure, how to open a customs account, and what licenses and permits you need. In addition to that, the involved taxes, the trade financing options, and involved procedures for cargo clearance. Let’s not forget the type of goods which can be imported or exported in and out of the country.

Here is the list of key points you need to know about starting an import and export business in Singapore:

  • Obtain Your Company Incorporated after registering with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) Singapore.


  • Get Your Company Registered with Singapore Customs, which is a requirement for all importers and exporters. You must have an activated Singapore customs account before business activities can commence. They should activate the account within 1-2 working days upon submission of the request.


  • Know the Licenses and Permits You Need to Apply For and make the necessary arrangements to get those done. Local freight forwarders can be engaged to arrange for licenses and permits, cargo clearance procedures, goods storage, taxes, fees and more for the export and import of your items.


  • Know the Taxes and Fees which will be imposed upon your import and export business in Singapore. Customs and excise duties, Singapore customs fees and goods and services tax are among the applicable charges for those who intend to operate an import and export business in Singapore.


Other Key Points You Need to Consider:

  • Trade Financing options are available for businesses who need it, and this includes loans, insurance, and letters of credit. That letter is to help cover any potential risks which may be involved in this business. However, do note that your business will need to have a minimum of 1-2 years of good business track record. That is a prerequisite before you can be eligible for trade financing in Singapore. Most banks in Singapore will offer financing options. These include term loans, transaction loans, overdrafts, revolving line of credit, inventory financing and even factoring loans. You would need to check with your local bank which option your business would be eligible for.


  • You May Store Your Goods at Singapore’s Free Trade Zones and licensed and zero-GST warehouses. Free Trade Zones are the designated areas in Singapore’s sea and airports where GST will be temporarily be placed on hold for imported goods. Licensed warehouses are another option. Additionally, your GST and duties will be suspended until the goods have been removed from the premises. Furthermore, brought to the local market for consumption.


  • Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) will do all Clearance of Goods.

If you are interested to start an import and export business in Singapore, read more from a local corporate service provider in Singapore who can assist you along the way.