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Guide to Starting a Yacht Charter Business in Singapore

The idea of having a yacht charter business is appealing to many people – a business that combines both entrepreneurial spirit and the yachting passion. While the yachting business has the same basic requirements as other types of businesses, business owner of yacht charter business will want to factor in some considerations when setting up the business.


Things to Consider When Starting a Yacht Charter Business

1. Identify Opportunities

Firstly, you may want to understand the tourism industry inside out before you start your yacht business. Do a market assessment to find answers for the below:

  1. Where is the location?
    This question simply asks where do you want to start your yacht charter business and why?
  2. Do you know what is the demand for yacht charter in the selected location?
  3. Are there any other locations that would have better performance better?
  4. Do you know facts like historical tourism trends, and where charter guests usually come from?
  5. How much are your competitors charging in the same area?
  6. How many charters are they (competitors) running per year?

Guide to Starting a Yacht Charter Business in Singapore2. Know Your Customers

The second step is to identify your potential customers and know what kind of service do they need? Are they foreign tourists, cruise guests, local partygoers that fancy a party on a yacht, backpackers, or budget holidaymakers? Once you have identified who your customers are, you can start researching your customers’ requirements. With that, you will be able to get a boat as well as come up with the service package that suits their needs.

On top of that, you may also need to ask yourself: what are your business’s target customers? Will you target high end or upper-level clients like corporate clients (i.e. yacht charter for corporate events, team building and so on)? If yes, then a high-end yacht with cabins to accommodate all guests is a must-have on your list. Your yacht charter business must be able to meet the exact requirements of your customers.

3. What is your niche?

This part will help you to sort out the selling point of your yacht charter business – what makes you stand out in the fiercely competitive market? Therefore, you will want to make sure that there is some uniquely defined characteristic (or service) that will set you apart from your competitors and compel people to go to you from all possible options.

In addition to this, you can also factor in the points below while setting the uniqueness of your yacht charter business:

  • Will your guests be swimming?
  • Will there be any dive tours?
  • Will you offer dinner cruises?

4. Choosing the right vessels to be chartered

After you have done the above assessments and research, you should be able to know which and what type of vessels to be chartered. Of course, it also depends on your budget. Having a clear decision on the right vessels to be chartered will allow you to have a more focused marketing plan and service packages that your yacht charter business could offer.


How to Start a Yacht Charter Business in Singapore

Each year, Singapore welcomes approximately 10 million tourists into the country. The influx of tourists in the country has spurred the monumental growth of Singapore’s tourism industry. Singapore attracts tourists in many ways – from its cultural diversity, colonial history, world-class shopping to the world’s only Night Safari. Singapore is fast gaining its traction as one of the attractive touristic hubs in Asia. In fact, this has the spill over effect to many sectors, for example, the car rental and even yacht chartering services.

In fact, Singapore is the city-state with some of the most beautiful landscapes in region (such as the famous Singapore Marina Bay). Starting a yacht charter business in Singapore yields many advantages. So what are the steps to start a yacht charter business in Singapore? The company registration procedure of a yacht charter business in Singapore is the same as other businesses.

Below is the summary of company incorporation process in Singapore:
a.) Decide the business structure

b.) Name your business

Of course, your yacht charter business needs a business name. Before you register it with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (“ACRA”), please make sure that you run a name check (to rule out the possibility of duplication of company name and to determine the availability of the name).

c.) Incorporate your business

i.) Checklist – before the incorporation:

  • you have at least one shareholder in your company
  • you have at least 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 needed 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 needs only two days to complete its incorporation process.


Licenses for yacht charter businesses in Singapore

While Singapore does not issue any special licenses related to the activity of the yacht charter company (other than the business license issued by ACRA), the vessels to be chartered have to be registered with the Ship Registry. If the yacht’s owner is a foreign citizen with a Singapore residence permit, or a company with a registered seat in this country, he or she must possess an employment or residence pass.

a.) Yacht registration in Singapore

  • Submit an application to reserve the name of the boat;
  • apply for an official number
  • apply for a call sign or a signal letter;
  • submit relevant documents related to the vessel registration;
  • pay the registration fees;
  • pay the annual tonnage tax

b.) Documents needed in vessel registration in Singapore

  • Details or information about the ship’s owner: identification papers (in the case of natural persons) and the business profile of the company(in the case of legal entities);
  • a copy of the Bill of Sale or the Builder’s Certificate;
  • a declaration with the value of the vessel is clearly stated;
  • a tonnage certificate;
  • a class certificate.

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