Top 15 Small Business Ideas in Singapore
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Top 15 Small Business Ideas in Singapore

Everyone dreams of being a successful entrepreneur to set them on the road to financial stability and lifestyle upgrades. 

But even the best business consultants in Singapore will advise you to start somewhere doable, first.

So before getting into the nitty-gritty of business insurance, complicated taxation, and other entrepreneurial matters, let’s look at some of the top small business ideas in Singapore.

Which small business is best in Singapore?

Which small business is best in Singapore

Given the current global situation, some of the top small business ideas in Singapore include work-from-home ventures and businesses that require low investments. Luckily, there are now digital tools to help make these possible. 

Thanks to technological advancements, robots and AI can help businesses thrive in numerous ways. Even software and apps are geared towards making WFH and startups a lot easier these days.

How to Start a Small Business in Singapore

The current pandemic and communication innovations have made starting a business a lot different than in the past years. However, the same practical considerations should be made before you build one:

  1. Identify your strengths, weaknesses, resources, and what kind of business you can see yourself doing in the long run.
  1. Look for sources of capital to finance everything in your business, from registration to inventory and management.
  1. Create the kind of structure that will be the backbone of your business and start searching for people to fill them (if you don’t plan on running things on your own).
  1. Accomplish all the legal paperwork and register your business so you can finally be a legitimate business owner.
  1. Establish your presence, whether it’s on social media or a business website, so that potential customers won’t have a hard time finding you.

Work from Home Businesses

As previously mentioned, work-from-home business opportunities make up a lot of new startups lately. They allow business owners to have the kind of flexibility in schedules, locations, and processes that traditional office setups don’t offer.

So if you like the idea of having your own home office or being in a coworking space as you earn money, consider the following WFH business ideas.

1. Consultation


If you’re considered a professional in any field but don’t want to be part of a firm, you can set up your consultancy practice. You can be a business partner for human resource management, strategising, SEO, and others. 

Since many businesses often outsource these tasks, it makes sense to get someone with the skills and experience to take over them. Step up and fill the need if you’re qualified.

And if you’re a Singapore citizen or permanent resident, you have the advantage of knowing the laws, trends, and other dynamics of business in the country to help out foreign companies.

How to Get Started on Consultation:

For a consultation business, you can choose to be a sole proprietor, partner with someone, or start a small company. This will help you determine the kind of taxes you’ll need to pay. 
You can then choose and register your company name with all the required paperwork.

2. Social Media Management

Social Media Management

In our social media statistics guide, we mentioned that there are 4.96 million Singaporean social media users by 2021. Imagine the services you can offer to those who want to reach that audience!

The best social media agencies in Singapore know the right market to target for each of their client’s goals and needs. You can offer everything from social media marketing to specific platform campaigns or management.

So if you have the experience and know-how of social media strategies, you can start a small business catering to different campaigns.

How to Get Started on Social Media Management:

If you know how all (or most) social media platforms work inside and out, then you’re already off to a good start. 

It’s also a good idea to be on board with current memes and trends in social media so you’ll always have something fresh to offer your clients.

Then you can package your services with prices reflecting the length of time, tools, and other features your clients will benefit from.

3. Online Marketing

Online Marketing

With more people preferring to order things via online shopping sites lately, it’s only logical to address the needs of both businesses and their customers. 

Online marketing typically means SEO methods, pay-per-click advertising, and other techniques that can guarantee a high and consistent engagement.

If you understand how e-commerce works and the platforms required for it, you can easily start a digital marketing business. 

And because people are doing a lot of buying and browsing online, there’s no time like the present to share your online marketing skills.

How to Get Started on Online Marketing:

Be aware of the kind of online market research that can propel businesses forward. Be familiar with different e-commerce platforms so you can easily use them to get engagement for your clients.

After you’ve registered your online marketing business, you can then identify your target market and offer your services to them.

4. Editorial Work

Editorial Work

The best Singapore influencers had to start somewhere ordinary in their content creation journey. And so can you via copywriting, proofreading, or editing work.

Correcting grammar, spelling, semantics, and other editing stuff is part of the deal. They might not sound as romantic as vlogging or becoming a TikTok sensation, but editorial work means churning out quality content to engage a market. 

Even freelance writers can showcase their skills by writing blogs and listicles for their clients. There’s more freedom to this, and you can work on your writer’s portfolio at the same time.

How to Get Started on Editorial Work:

As an editor, it will be your job to present the best version of a document, article, or manuscript on behalf of your clients. This means investing in tools that can help you proofread and edit thoroughly and in a structured way.

So consider getting accounts for grammar and spell-checking apps as well as programmes that can easily spot plagiarism to help you in your business.

Creative Business Opportunities 

If you have the eye and talent for coming up with unique things (or services), why not utilise them as creative business opportunities?

Not only will you add more art to your life (as well as your clients’), but you’ll also be making money off your creative skills in the process. 

5. Photography


Being a professional photographer means knowing how to capture moments that best represent your clients. Aside from having the eye for great angles, proper lighting, and colour, you’re also expected to be adept at editing images.

You can also sell existing photographs to those needing stock photos for print ads like banks, real estate firms, etc.

It’s important to find your photography niche so you can present that as your area of expertise and specialisation. And though most work could be done in a photography studio, some clients might require site-specific shoots, too. 

So yes, photography can be a physically demanding yet creatively fulfilling business.  

How to Get Started on Photography:

Consider the kind of photography you want to do—do you prefer outdoor photography or a studio-based practice? This will help you develop a list of the photography tools and gear you’ll be using.

You should also work on your photography portfolio so potential clients can see if your style and techniques are what they’re looking for. You can choose a great e-payment platform for selling your images online, too.

6. Web Design

Web Design

The best web design companies in Singapore are assured of the knowledge that businesses with official websites are more successful than those without. 

As a web designer, it will be your job to come up with a website that represents what the client’s business or personality is about. 

At the same time, you’ll be responsible for the site to be navigable and visually appealing while putting the client’s brand at the forefront.

How to Get Started on Web Design:

Brush up or improve your knowledge and skills in HTML, Javascript, and graphic design before you launch your web design venture. Consider partnering with someone good at creating friendly user interfaces if you aren’t adept at it.

You should also know how to communicate with clients to get an idea of how they want their online footprint to become memorable and easy to use.

7. Creating and Selling Handicrafts

Creating and Selling Handicrafts

Woven baskets, freshly baked goods, printed stationary, woodcut decorations, and just about anything you can create with your hands can become your unique product. 

Now’s a good time to take out that label maker and show everyone your amazing handcrafted products. By attaching your product name and business information to your uniquely crafted item, you’re also offering your brand to potential customers.

And it’s important to sell them in places that recognize and appreciate these items. 

How to Get Started on Creating and Selling Handicrafts:

Start looking for online or physical spaces where you can sell your handicrafts. Etsy, Amazon, and some Facebook groups might be good places to start.

There could also be weekend artisanal and crafts-based markets in your vicinity where you can get a stall and start selling your wares to people who appreciate OOAK (one-of-a-kind) items.

8. Blogging


There was a time in the not-so-distant past when blogging was seen as a mere hobby. But these days, lifestyle blogs and food bloggers have discovered how lucrative their thoughts, experiences, and words can be via monetised blogging.

However, for blogging to become both financially and personally successful, sufficient time and effort will be needed. 

For starters, you can determine what kind of blogging you want, whether it’s an original one or something you want to do via guest posting on other blogs.

You’ll also need to target the audience with which you want your blog to resonate and make it profitable in the process.

How to Get Started on Blogging:

Choose a blog name that reflects your personality, passion, or stuff you want people to recall about your chosen niche/industry/topic. Then register your blog name and pay for your domain and hosting.

You can look to partnering with other blogs and companies for affiliate links, guest blogging, and sponsored ads to earn money while building your brand.

Low-Investment Business Opportunities

Not all new businesses require huge capital to create. You’ll simply need to identify the most sought-after industries that you can see yourself contributing to for the long haul.

9. Delivery


If there’s something the recent lockdowns have shown, it’s that those in the delivery service are considered important in daily life.

With this in mind, it’s the best time to step up and consider building a business around the delivery industry. There’s always a demand for it whether it’s for package/courier, food, flower, or even gift delivery.

It’s a good example of a business opportunity with a low investment because you’ll be needing mostly a lot of elbow grease plus a delivery vehicle. But there are still some practical considerations for it to be a success.

How to Get Started on Delivery:

You can partner with food suppliers, gift shops, flower stores, and other businesses needing a delivery service so you can be their official courier.

Start small if you don’t have the capital or finances for a fleet of delivery vans yet. You can always invest or use an existing two-wheeled vehicle, whether it’s an electric bike or an e-scooter.

10. Virtual Assistance

Virtual Assistance

Not everyone can afford corporate secretaries. But even online businesses can relegate administrative work to virtual assistants who know how to handle office tasks professionally.

This job is often outsourced, so you can work in the comfort of your own home office or even your favourite coffee shop. You can choose to do this full-time or part-time, so you can have the option to do other jobs or continue schooling if you’re a student.

And with more people choosing to run their business virtually or work from home, virtual assistance is now more in-demand than ever.

How to Get Started on Virtual Assistance:

Put together a work portfolio highlighting past experiences, certifications, and clients or events where you showcased your organisation and compartmentalisation skills.

It’s also a good idea to invest in office administration tools like project management apps, timekeeping software, secure communication programmes, cloud-based document systems, and others.

11. Pet Sitting/Caring

Pet SittingCaring

If you love animals, here’s your chance to turn your passion into something that earns you money!

Why not become a pet sitter in Singapore and spend your days interacting with lovable animals and caring for them when their owners are away? 

It’s easy enough to do this if you have ample experience handling dogs, cats, and other common domesticated animals. 

However, those who’ve had experience as vet clinic assistants or as a volunteer in animal shelters might have an advantage over those who simply love furry creatures. It’s good to include these in your pet-minding CV for potential clients to see.

It’s also good to brush up on useful and practical knowledge like what flowers are bad for cats or what to do when a dog is hyperventilating. These kinds of information can earn you the reputation of being a responsible and caring pet sitter.

How to Get Started on Pet Sitting:

Consider the kind of pet sitting services you’re willing to offer so you can come up with reasonable rates for them. Does it include cleaning up, feeding, walking the dog, bathing and grooming, and other tasks?

Most dog or cat boarding places in Singapore have a menu of services and rates which you can use as a guide for your own. 

You can also offer to board the pets at your own (safe) place if you prefer more familiar surroundings. This way, you can invest in pet accessories like pee pads, litter boxes, food and water bowls, and other pet store essentials.

12. Translation


With Singapore being a cultural melting pot and having four official languages, it’s always a good idea to offer translation services here. So if you’re well-versed in several languages, this might prove to be a lucrative business for you.

Translation services can get you up to S$30 per page depending on the turnaround time, how complicated the work is, and other factors. If you’re particularly skilled (and can offer more translation services), you can earn up to S$7,000 a month!

So if you want potential clients to hire you for translations, make sure to register your business and start advertising your services online. Also, consider offering trial lessons so you can demonstrate your translation skills to future clients.

How to Get Started on Translation:

If you’ve successfully finished some language courses (like Japanese lessons and others), make sure your portfolio or CV reflects them. Your website or social media pages can also mention any language certifications you have.

Then arm yourself with translator tools, whether they’re analogue ones like dictionaries or digital ones like contextual translators.

Lucrative Business Opportunities

If you have sufficient capital to pour into a new small business, you can look forward to making it profitable in a shorter amount of time. But some business ideas can also become lucrative even without you shelling out a small fortune to start them.

13. E-commerce


E-commerce is another hot business idea since more and more consumers prefer shopping online compared to brick-and-mortar stores. That’s why convenience is a big consideration if you’re thinking of selling online.

From essentials to unique and niche items, proper market research can help you zero in on what you can sell for profit. Once you have a target market, you can build your online shop around your brand and the products you want to sell.

You can also consider the dropshipping method if you want to sell ready-made products instead of building your brand. It’s really up to your personal preference and your target market.

How to Get Started on E-commerce:

First, register your e-commerce business to gain the trust of potential customers and to ensure that your products are legitimate. Then use a reliable e-commerce platform to build your shop.

Don’t forget to use trustworthy payment systems that can ensure safe, secure, and easy purchases for your customers.

14. Debt Collection

Debt Collection

Being a debt collector might seem like a rough job, but it’s also one of the most profitable businesses you can build. But for a debt collection agency to be successful and trustworthy, you’ll first need to follow some important steps.

Register it with the Credit Collection Association of Singapore (CCAS). Being in its members’ directory will render your business legitimate.

You’ll also need to have a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Having this can help reassure clients that they won’t be harassed or scammed, and that you’ll abide by debt collection regulations.

How to Get Started on Debt Collection:

After making sure your debt collection agency is a legal entity (by registering it with the agencies mentioned above), you’ll need to set up proper accounting for it. 

This ensures that you pay taxes properly and that you’ll know the regular costs involved in running your debt collection business.

You’ll also need to figure out how much to charge your clients based on the commission/percentage of the debt you manage to collect on their behalf.

15. Bookkeeping


Bookkeeping is one of the most profitable business ideas because almost all industries require it. And with a lot of bookkeeping and accounting software and apps, you can run your business without leaving your computer chair.

With a bookkeeping business, you can earn over S$50 hourly if you choose to charge by the hour. And you can always work from home to cut down on office space costs and other overhead expenses. 

You can start a sole proprietorship or register your bookkeeping business as a partnership. If you do end up working from home, make sure you follow Singapore regulations on home office setups.

How to Get Started on Bookkeeping:

After registering your bookkeeping business, invest in cloud-based software to ensure that your files and documents are safe. 

As previously mentioned, look into innovative accounting apps, programmes, and software that will make work faster and more accurate.