A Guide to Starting an Entertainment Business in Singapore
It is all about appearances when it comes to the entertainment business in Singapore. If you want your business to stand out amongst the crowd, it is going to have to make a lasting impression among your customers, especially when Singapore has one of the most thriving entertainment industries in Asia. Growing by approximately 150% in just over half a decade, the entertainment side of things is not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Defining what an entertainment business is in Singapore is tricky because it can encompass such a broad scope of activities. This guide to starting an entertainment business in Singapore will point you in the right direction if you are keen to start such a business.
Sourcing the Perfect Location
The first thing you would need is the perfect location for your business set up. It is important to get this done early on before you begin the company registration process because sourcing the right premise is going to be the first part of your challenge. The location which you intend to set up your business in must meet the fire and safety, and even building code regulations or you may not get approval.
It is important to discuss the details with your landlord if the premise is going to need some work before it fits all the requirements that you need before you launch an application with the Change of Use with Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Board. Strict guidelines and regulations may be in place in some premises, and it is important to work out all the details to avoid encountering problems with your application later on.
Scrutinize the design, facilities, layout and every other important detail of your setting to assess if there are any major renovation works which need to be done. If yes, you will require a permit from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore before you can commence. You will be issued with a certificate of completion by the BCA once the renovation works have been finalized.
Registering Your Company
Once you have successfully secured your ideal location, you will then need to begin the company incorporation process in Singapore. You may do this either by logging onto the online portal run by the Singapore government known as www.bizfile.gov.sg, or you may engage the services of a professional firm like 3E Accounting who come with years of experience to handle the process for you on your behalf.
You would need to begin by first registering your company name with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) Singapore, and once your name has been approved, you will then begin the process by submitting the following documents for your incorporation application:
- The name of your company
- A description of your business activities
- The details of the directors and shareholders of the company
- The intended registered address (no P.O. Boxes are allowed)
- The details of your Company Secretary
- The Memorandum and Articles of Association for your company
- Choose the intended business structure of your company
Please note it is important to choose a name for your business that does not contain restricted words, or be a name which is similar to another existing company in Singapore. It must also not be a name that is vulgar or obscene, nor should it infringe with any trademarks. This will help ensure your incorporation process run much smoother and faster to avoid any unnecessary delays.
Opening a Bank Account
Once your company has been incorporated successfully, the next stage of the process to starting an entertainment business in Singapore would be to open your corporate bank account.
Obtaining Your Licenses and Permits
Although this would depend on the nature of your business, in general all entertainment businesses in Singapore are going to require permits and licenses before they can be fully operational. Among the licenses you will need include for example, a license like the Public Entertainment License from Singapore’s Police Force and a Copyright License from Singapore’s Composers and Authors Society, which will allow your business to play copyrighted and recorded music on premise.
If your premise intends to serve food and beverages, you will then be required to apply for the Restaurant License before you can begin your business activities. If your business intends to organize ad-hoc public entertainment for example, you would also be required to apply for the Public Entertainment Ad-Hoc License, regardless of whether those events offer free or paid admission. There are of course various other licenses which may or may not be required, depending on the type of business you are running, and you must ensure that you make the necessary arrangements to apply for the required licenses and permits you may need.
The Best Way to Market Your Entertainment Business in Singapore
If you really want your business to be thrust into the spotlight, the best marketing approaches would be through the following channels:
- Social Media – Nothing spreads the buzzword faster than social media, and this is one of the best inexpensive tools you could use to market your business, especially in the early stages when it is only just getting off the ground and needs as much advertising as it can get. Regular and frequent posting is the way to keep relevant, and because it is so easy to use and practically free at times, what better way to put your business on the map than with social media channels.
- Making the Right Connections – In every business, networking matters, none more so than in the entertainment industry where the right connections can open doors that might otherwise be firmly shut. Attending industry events, distributing as many business cards as possible is how you get started making the right connections. It is going to take hard work and effort to get to know as many people in the entertainment industry as possible, but it will pay off because it can be a tremendous boost towards expanding your network.