How to Start a Consulting Business in SG
6 min read
It’s no longer a secret that Singapore stands out as one of the most viable business locations in Asia. The favorable local business environment brings in a high level of local and foreign entrepreneurs, which in turn has led to the creation, growth, and development of various industries in the area. One such industry is the fast-growing Singapore consulting industry. Singapore has attracted investors, specialists and entrepreneurs from all over, providing business consultants with the opportunity to help them run their businesses smoothly. Keep on reading to find out how!
What is business consulting?
A business consultant is regarded as the problem solver for businesses and organizational structures. Their aim is to provide business solutions and expert advice on how to improve performance by identifying and solving existing problems. They audit and examine business processes in order to recommend action plans that will lead to the company’s growth and improvement.
There are also specialized business consultants called management consultants. Unlike other services or consultancy roles that focus on specific areas of expertise, management consultants help the leaders of the organization, often engaging with C-Suite level executives in finding ways to best tackle complex issues. Consulting businesses in Singapore offering these services can focus on a particular market, e.g. manufacturing or tech. They could also offer guidance on specific business issues, like HR, marketing or accounting services.
What skills should a management consultant have?
For a practicing management consultant, you need to think analytically and form interpersonal relationships through outstanding communication. You’ll spend a lot of time processing data and analyzing results, which is then used to make client recommendations. When potential clients trust you, it becomes easier for them to listen and follow your recommendations.
From a hard data perspective, you must be able to pinpoint what stats are relevant and which metrics of success you will use for your client. If you’re helping someone build their social media presence, for example, will you focus on traffic to their website or engagement on their posts? You need to know what results your clients want in order to effectively interpret their data and make recommendations. You also need to be an assured and confident facilitator.
The skill-set of the best consultants in management consulting can be grouped into hard skills and soft skills.
How to launch a consulting business in Singapore
Singapore’s thriving business economy is amplified by the steady stream of foreign entrepreneurs and investors, and the need for professional consulting is on the rise. Starting your own business in itself is challenging, and it’s even more challenging when you’re trying to build a consulting business that ensures other businesses are run and managed effectively. This is why we’re going to take you through the relevant steps to take to create a successful consulting business.
Step 1 – Decide the industry you will offer consulting services for
Before you start your consulting business, you need to know the different ways you can package your skill set and what you can actually bring to the table. This is what separates the best business consultants from the mediocre ones. The success of business operations depends on your knowledge and expertise, so it’s important you engage in a field where you’re sure you can deliver.
Find out what other services your competitors offer and how you can increase the value of services your consulting business offers. Decide whether you want to specialize in a particular industry (e.g. retail), or a cross-industry discipline, e.g. regulatory compliance or HR. Work experience in the field will be an unmistakable advantage. For example, if you want to start a consulting business for retailers, it helps if you have extensive retail experience.
Step 2 – Get your company’s name approved
You need to choose a unique company name for your business. Ensure that whatever company name you choose is available and not already in use by another business. You are then required to register the name chosen for your own company with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
Step 3 – Set your share capital
The next thing to do is to set your share capital. Whether you’re a limited liability company or not, you’re legally allowed a minimum share capital of S$1, and there’s no limit to the maximum share capital. Small businesses can set something convenient as start-up capital and inject additional capital after business incorporation.
Step 4 – Choose your directors
As a company in Singapore, you’re allowed to have both foreign and local directors listed on your company’s board. However, it is mandatory you have at least one director who’s a Singapore resident or a citizen. If you’re incorporating a business from abroad, there are nominee director services that allow you to register 100% remotely.
Step 5 – Identify your shareholders
You can have a minimum of 1 shareholder and a maximum of 50 shareholders. And if the business structure of the company is formed as a private limited liability company, such businesses can have corporate entities as shareholders. Also shareholders don’t have to be citizens of Singapore and shares can be transferred post-incorporation.
Step 6 – Appoint a corporate secretary
You are required to appoint a qualified corporate secretary within the first six months of company registration in Singapore. Your corporate secretary must be a resident and cannot be the sole director or a shareholder of the company. The corporate secretary will be responsible for ensuring your company follows the government rules and regulations that are relevant for business entities registered in Singapore. Don’t sweat all the regulatory jargon – Sleek has got you covered with affordable corporate secretary services.
Step 7 – Declare a registered address
You are required to declare and register a local address for your company in Singapore. However, such an address cannot be a P.O Box. You should also not use your personal home address as it will become public knowledge and would be searchable online. Many founders don’t have a suitable address when they’re starting out so they hire a registered office address for their business correspondence.
Step 8 – Submit the application
When you’ve carefully completed all the necessary steps and you have the required documentation above, you can then take them to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) for processing. There may be follow up questions, but unless the government agency sees a need to perform other investigations, your consulting company registration will be done that same day. There’s also a S$315 Singapore company registration cost to be paid upfront for services rendered by the authorities. Having said that, you can avoid the hassle and stress of registering your company by letting Sleek handle your company incorporation process conveniently.
Those running business operations now understand the value of business consultants in their success, and this is opening up the market for even more Singapore consulting businesses to take off. And whether you intend operating as a small business or not, business consultancy will offer numerous benefits–ability to choose when you work and the jobs you work on, freedom to scale workload to suit your lifestyle, and freedom to put a price on your time. However, to give your consulting business the best chance of success, you need to be properly set up. Reach out to Sleek to help get your consulting business up and running. We’ve got all the expertise you need to build a successful business and achieve your business goals as a consultant.
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