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Open an E-Commerce Company in Singapore

Open an E-Commerce Company in Singapore

E-commerce is one of the fastest growing markets in the world helping business owners to attract more customers, increase sales and also offers them worldwide exposure. However, before starting an e-commerce company, there are several steps to be completed in order to ensure the business’ success. Like with all other types of companies Singapore has adapted its legislation in order to welcome investors setting up online businesses in the city-state. Before starting operating, the company should be registered with the Trade Register in Singapore.

Our company formation representatives in Singapore will guide you through the company registration procedure.

You can also watch the video below in order to find out how to open a company in Singapore as a e-commerce business:

What are the licensing requirements for Singapore e-commerce businesses?

All online services in Singapore fall under the supervision of the Singapore Broadcasting Authority. All internet service providers and internet content providers are required to obtain the necessary licenses before starting operating in Singapore. Also, all e-commerce companies in Singapore are required to abide by the Internet Code of Practice in 2024. Depending on the type of products a Singapore e-commerce company intends to sell, there are several regulations providers of online services must respect:

  • online gambling service providers are regulated by the Betting Act and the Common Gaming Houses Act,
  • online financial services providers are subject to the Singapore Companies Law and its provision on financial services,
  • online companies selling second-hand goods are subject to the Second Hand Dealers Act and must obtain a license from the Deputy Commissioner of Police,
  • promotional activities on the internet are subject to the Common Gaming Housing Act and the Public Entertainment Act in Singapore,
  • online advertising falls under the regulations of the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice, the Computer Misuse Act and Consumer Protection Act.

Our Singapore company formation specialists can offer detailed information on the legislation related to e-commerce in the city-state.

What are the steps to open a company in Singapore as an e-commerce business?

Once the company is registered with the Singapore Trade Register, the founder must set up the appropriate structure of the online platform. In order to do so, the following steps must be followed:

  • the registration of the domain name,
  • selecting a hosting service,
  • designing and developing the website.

Once these steps are completed, the online company must also ensure all other storage facilities for the goods to be sold, the staff, the IT systems, and delivery services.

As the intellectual property legislation developed during the last years and Singapore evolved into one of the most appreciated international hubs related to the protection of trademarks and industrial designs, e-commerce companies are strongly advised to register their names with the Intellectual Property Office in the city-sate.

Entering into contracts as a Singapore e-commerce retailer

Most of the e-commerce companies in Singapore activate in the retail industry which is why they are required to comply with the existing legislation in this sector. One of the most important parts of selling products via the Internet implies signing sale-purchase contracts with the clients. These contracts are governed by the Contract Law which can be explained by our Singapore company formation consultants.

However, in 1998 Singapore introduced the Electronic Transactions Law which provides specifically for contracts concluded by e-commerce businesses. These contracts are known as web contracts and were meant to help the online industry at the time.

Data protection in Singapore

According to the Computer Misuse Law, all e-commerce companies and e-retailers are required to protect the data submitted by clients over the Internet. All personal information stored by e-commerce companies must be protected from third parties, including employees, who can sell it or use it for advertising purposes.

Another obligation a Singapore e-commerce company has is to offer secure credit card payment solutions to its customers. Luckily, the Lion city is currently one of the most developed fintech hubs in Southeast Asia and offers some of the most modern and secure online payment solutions.

E-commerce sector statistics in Singapore

E-commerce is one of the most dynamic economic sectors in Singapore, as it has grown rapidly in the past few years and is continuing to do so. With access to numerous technological advancements and large consumer database, setting up a company in Singapore in this industry can be very lucrative in 2024.

In numbers:

  • 98% of Singapore’s population has access to the internet;
  • 97% of Singaporeans aged above 15 are considered digital consumers at the level of 2024;
  • people aged 25 to 34 represent the largest database of online shoppers with a share of 34.3%;
  • by 2026, the market size is expected to reach SGD 10 billion.

You can contact our company formation agents for details about licensing requirements for e-commerce companies and for assistance in order to open a company in Singapore in this field in 2024.