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Guide to Starting a Management Consulting Firm Business in Singapore


Guide to Starting a Management Consulting Firm Business in SingaporeWhat Does Management Consulting Firm Do?

Management consulting, sometimes referred to as business consulting, is a type of service that provides advisory services to organisations with the purpose of improving their business strategy, organisational performance as well as operational processes. Usually, management consultants are hired by decision makers like the top management team for advice on strategy and organisational matters. They can be tasked to develop strategic plan on issues like cost reduction strategies. Their assignments can vary from company to company, ranging from improving the business process’s efficiency to the execution of new strategies etc.


Starting a Management Consulting Firm in Singapore

The influx of global investors into Singapore has led to the rise of consulting firms in the country and created the professional services industry. The demand for professional services, like management consulting firm, in particular, increases as the Singaporean economy thrives. While starting any type of business is challenging, starting a management consulting firm where your goal is to help others run their business efficiently is doubly challenging.


1. Things to Consider Before You Start Your Management Consulting Firm

a) Know your skill and your team’s expertise

As a consultant or someone who runs the management consulting firm, you must know what you can bring to the table. Your service is based on your knowledge and expertise. Hence, it is good to check your (as well as your team) experience level before you start the consulting business.

b) Determine your business’s purpose

Before you get down to the business, you have to sort out why you want to start a management consulting firm? What motivates you to start your consulting business? Will you focus on a niche area, like marketing strategies, or will you be an expert to help clients with a wide range of challenges and projects? Remember, a clear purpose will help you to keep your eye on the target and move on.

c) Have a business plan

A business plan is like the GPS in your business. Write down your business plan from A to Z, including how do you approach your clients, what are your mission and vision statements, what are your firm’s services, as well as your pricing and profit models. On top of that, you need to know the list of resources you will need to succeed, including money, time, skills/knowledge, equipment, and human resources.

d) Draft a marketing plan

Having a detailed marketing plan means you will be able to keep everyone on the same page and knows what the business goals and daily practices are. It actually answers this simple question: How do you stand out from the crowd? Your marketing plan should also include: What are your marketing strategies to reach out the niche audience? What is your marketing budget? What are the goals of your marketing?

e) Are your team members equipped with coaching skills?

Running a management consulting firm means you will be working with human beings who have their own strengths and weaknesses, especially the top management people. Hence, it is important to know how to hold the clients accountable for implementing their action plans and strategies, and learn how to handle difficult client situations.

f) Systemize your consulting business

Everyone wants to have maximum efficiency. Therefore, you must figure out ways to systemise your consulting business with the help of templates, automation, and sales scripts to free up your time and attention for more important tasks.
On top of that, you can get help with the administrative and marketing work by employing certain number of administrative staff, or simply outsource the tasks.

2. Registering a consulting business in Singapore

In Singapore, there are no specific requirements for setting up a consulting firm. If you are a foreigner, you are only required to have a residence visa in order to setup a company in Singapore. The main steps for consulting company registration in Singapore are the same as the procedures of company incorporation of any other business. Below is the summary of company incorporation process in Singapore:

a) Decide the business structure

    • A sole-proprietorship, as the name implies, is a business owned by one person or one company.
    • For foreigners, you can setup a sole-proprietorship with the condition that you must have an authorised representative (who is originally a resident of Singapore, i.e. Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents and EntrePass holders) if you are residing outside of Singapore. If you intend to stay in Singapore and manage your business, you must apply for an EntrePass (as one of the requirements to setup your sole-proprietorship).
    • A partnership is a company formed by two to twenty partners (minimum two partners, maximum is 20 partners).
    • For foreigners, you can register your company as a partnership in Singapore with the condition – one of your partners must be ordinarily residing in Singapore. In addition to that, you need to have an authorised representative (who is originally a resident of Singapore, i.e. Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents and EntrePass holders) if you are residing outside of Singapore. If you intend to stay in Singapore and manage your business, you must apply for an EntrePass (as one of the requirements to setup your sole-proprietorship).
  • iii. Company
    • A company is a common type business entity that is registered under the Companies Act, Chapter 50. A company has its separate legal personality like its own rights to own properties, has perpetual succession and can sue or be sued in its own name. A company usually carries the words ‘Pte Ltd’ or ‘Ltd’ as part of its name.

b) Name your business

You need to decide a business name for your company. Please be sure you run a name check (to make sure there is no duplication of company name and determine the availability of the proposed business name) before you register your company name with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (“ACRA”).

c) Incorporate your business

i. Before the incorporation, please make sure:

  • your company name is the ACRA-approved company name
  • your company has at least one shareholder
  • your company has a minimum of one local company director
  • (the local director can be either a Singapore citizen, or a Permanent Resident, or a person holding an EntrePass, Employment Pass, or Dependent Pass)
  • the appointed Company Secretary is a Singapore’s resident.
  • Your company has a minimum of S$1 of paid-up capital
  • Your company has a local address as the registered company address

ii. Documents required by ACRA (for company registration)

  • ACRA-approved company name
  • Brief description of business activities
  • Details of shareholder(s)
  • Details of director(s)
  • Details of company secretary
  • Registered Address
  • Company Constitution

iii.Company registration process

  • Singapore’s company registration process is fully computerized by ACRA. A company can complete its incorporation process within two days.
  • The new company can purchase a Business Profile from ACRA after its incorporation. The business profile is required for bank account opening and business licences application in Singapore.
  • The business profile has the following:
  • registration number (UEN),
  • registration date,
  • shareholders etc.

If you need help to start your management consulting firm business in Singapore, you can contact our local experts in company incorporation to find out more about the company incorporation process.