Everything You Need To Know About Starting a Home-Based Business in Singapore

Tired of working away at a 9-to-5 job? Ever had dreams to turn your passion into a profitable side business? Perhaps starting a home-based business is right up your alley!

As home-based businesses are becoming more popular in Singapore, you’ll need to know all the dos and don’ts. Here’s the ultimate guide on how to get started.

Why do Singapore entrepreneurs want to start a home-based business?

Starting a home-based business gives you an additional income stream working on what you love. If you succeed, you could even turn your side hustle into a full-time job. 

That means you get lots of flexibility and full control over your work-life balance. You could save the time and effort of going through rush-hour commutes, avoid messy office politics, and save on rental costs.

Tips on starting a home-based business in Singapore

Ideally, home-based businesses in Singapore should be started by homeowners running small-scale operations. Based on the Home Office (HO) Scheme, you’ll need to register either with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) or Housing Development Board (HDB).

There’s also a range of rules homeowners need to follow. Broadly speaking, here’s a list of businesses that run against home-based business policies in Singapore:

  • Staff recruitment
  • Distribution of advertisements or business flyers
  • Excessive vehicle traffic
  • Illegal medical or massage services
  • Activities that cause disturbance to your neighbors

See also: Is a License Needed to Start a Home Baking Business in Singapore?

Now that we’ve covered what you should stay away from, here are some common home-business ideas that are perfectly legal under the HO Scheme:

  • Blogging
  • Travel planning
  • Mobile pet-grooming
  • Admin work
  • Beauty, hairdressing, and manicure pedicure services
  • Freelance services such as photography, journalism, and videography
  • Private tuition, with a limit of up to 3 students at home
  • Baking and other small-scale food operations

Need more business ideas? Check out some of the most profitable niches to go into!

A step-by-step guide to starting a home-based business

Have a business idea in mind and ready to dive into it? Awesome! After registering your business with URA or HDB, you’re all set to kick start your home business journey.

Here are some first steps you can take!

Set up your own office space

If you love decorating, you’ll love setting up your very own home office. Visit IKEA over the weekend and start getting yourself some storage boxes to kickstart your new chapter.

You might be tempted to simply clear out your dining table and call it your “workspace” but it’s important to have at least a desk that’s set aside for work matters only. Additionally, it’s also important for other members in your home to recognize that this workspace belongs to you.

The greatest challenge in running a home-based business is the lack of separation between your work time and personal time. Creating a unique space to work in will help you get into the rhythm of things.

You might like: 10 Must-Know Productivity Hacks for Online Business Owners

Prepare a business plan

Every business needs a business plan. And a home-based business is no exception! The more details you have in your plan, the better.

Here are some aspects to consider when you’re just starting out:

  • What goals do you have for your business?
  • What are your business costs?
  • List out goods and services you’ll be offering
  • Consider your brand image and brand voice
  • Brainstorm on your target market and ideal customer

Finding the answers to these questions might take some time and it’s not going to be an overnight exercise. As you work on your products and experiment with digital marketing, you’ll get a clearer picture of who your customers are.

We’d recommend that you start off by nailing down some initial costs that go into starting your business and work out a reasonable markup for your products from there.

See also: What is Average Order Value, and Why Should Your Small Business Care?

Use tools to help you brand your business

Have a road map for your business? Awesome! Now it’s time to translate your ideas so customers know how unique your ideas are.

Branding is an essential part of every business, no matter the size. It helps you stand out from your competitors and gives you an edge over others. 

While “branding” might sound premium, you can actually brand your business on a budget with a host of free tools like Canva, Coolors, and DaFont. These tools help you come up with a consistent color scheme, create aesthetic visuals for social media channels, and even help you come up with a brand logo.

Most of these tools have both free and paid versions. We recommend you start off with the free version first as they already have pretty extensive features. Learn more about these budget branding tools in this guide!

Use the right business tools

Running a business on your own is never easy. That’s why you’ll need the right tools to streamline your processes.

At Cococart, we specialize in designing ecommerce solutions that are the perfect fit for home-based businesses. Our clean, simple dashboard lets you see your orders, sales volume, and inventory at one glance.

Having the right business tools will help you make informed decisions and ensure that you’re on the right track to building a sustainable side hustle. Once you’ve got it off the ground, you could even transition to turning your stint into a full-time career!

See also: Everything You Need to Know About Your Cococart Analytics Dashboard

Start selling on Cococart in minutes

We know how tough it is for entrepreneurs to run a business independently. That’s why Cococart is designed to enable business owners to start selling in minutes.

Sign up for an account with Cococart and kickstart your home-based business journey right now!

Create a simple, beautiful store in minutes.

It's free, and takes less than a minute