Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Beverage Business in Singapore
Being one of the greatest contributors to Singapore’s economy, the food, and beverages (F&B) sector brings more than 8 billion SGD to the city-state’s Gross Domestic Product on a yearly basis. Some of the main supporters of the food and beverages industry are the tourism and retail industries. Since there is an increase in visitors, this will further improve the prospects of the food and beverages industry! This is a great opportunity for starting a beverage business in Singapore.
Foreign investors looking to start a business in Singapore can consider the F&B industry, especially the beverages industry, as there are many incentives from the government. Interested in starting a beverage business but not sure where to start? Let us help you! There are a few things you need to know for company registration in Singapore. From the technicalities right down to the nitty-gritty details of what to expect.
What Is a Beverage Business?
If you are confused about whether you fall in the beverage category, don’t fret. The beverage industry consists of two major categories, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverage categories include distilled spirits, wine, and brewing. Among the non-alcoholic beverages are soft drink syrup manufacture; soft drink and water bottling and canning; fruit juices bottling, canning, and boxing; the coffee industry and the tea industry.
Therefore, if your business falls into either of these categories, congratulations on starting a beverage business.
How Do You Go Through the Business Registration Process?
The first and the most important step when you have decided to start a beverage business is preparing a few key documents about the formation of the company.
The name of your company should be something attractive to attract your investors and customers, and it could also be something that has meaning to you. Don’t forget to get your company name approved by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), which can be done via a simple online procedure. Here are a few things to take note of when choosing your company name, names cannot be identical to any existing business in Singapore, doesn’t infringe on any trademarks, mustn’t be vulgar or obscene, not reserved by anyone. This process usually takes less than an hour if there are no problems with your chosen name.
According to the Companies Act, every company in Singapore needs at least one resident director. This person should either be a citizen of Singapore, a Singaporean Permanent Resident or a person who has been issued an Entrepass, Employment Pass, or Dependent Pass. Next, you should also start identifying who your shareholder(s) is as it is a requirement to have a minimum of 1 shareholder with a maximum of 50 shareholders. Directors can also be shareholders.
Another tip for you, my dear readers, shareholders need not be a director of your company. It can be a person or another legal entity such as another company or even a trust. A cool tip about starting a beverage business in Singapore is that you can have a 100% local or foreign shareholding, and new shares can be issued, or existing shares can be transferred at any time in accordance with the Constitution of the company. You will then need to hire a company secretary as this is required by Singaporean law within six months of company incorporation. A corporate service provider like 3E Accounting can help you through these boring steps. These are all very technical and now let’s move on to the slightly more fun part of the incorporation process.
What Are the Necessary Documents?
Remember at the top. We said that you need to prepare certain documents to get your beverage business up and running. This is the list of documents required.
- Company Name
- Brief Description of Business Activities
- Shareholders Particulars
- Directors Particulars
- Registered Address
- Company Secretary Particulars
- Paid-up Capital and Number of Shares Issued
For Singapore non-residents, the requirements are a copy of your passport, overseas residential address proof, and other Know-Your-Client (KYC) information such as a bank reference letter, personal and business profile, etc.
For Singapore residents: A copy of the Singapore identity card.
If the shareholder is a corporate entity: Copy of registration documents such as Certificate of Incorporation and Constitution.
Here is another tip, any document which is non-English must have an officially endorsed translated version.
Looking for Capital
Capital is the lifeblood of a company and helps keep it going. When looking for capital, keep an eye out for angel investors. These are private individuals who provide back-ups for small businesses or startups. The funds that angel investors provide may be a one-time investment to help the business get off the ground or an ongoing injection to support and carry the company through its difficult early stages. To attract investors to invest, you will need a business plan. This will list out your idea as well as the market research. If presented well, then you will have secured yourself a few investors!
This may seem simple but can be quite tedious. Don’t worry. You can hire professionals to help you with this. These company incorporation services in Singapore can be easily found, and they will ensure that your documentation and paperwork beforehand are all in order. These documents will be submitted to the ACRA. Finally, after all these, you can finally register your beverage business. A plus point of starting a beverage business in Singapore is that all applications are fully electronic, and the incorporation process is usually done quickly.
Procuring Licenses to Operate
After registering your beverage business, you need to start applying for your beverage licenses. Singapore is pretty strict when it comes to food and beverage establishments. All companies must comply with the Code of Practice of Environmental Health (COPEH). The beverage business should take a few things into account. Firstly the production of the drinks, then the bottling of the beverages, and the retail and supply of the beverages. The company must obtain special licenses for each of these procedures. Import licenses are a requirement if the ingredients to produce the drinks are from outside of Singapore. When it comes to the bottling of the beverages, special labeling requisites must be complied with, as for the retail and supply, a retail license is needed with the relevant authorities.
Also, the premises of the Singapore beverage company must comply with various requirements and must undergo an inspection from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore.
Finally, although not a requirement by the law, it is recommended to obtain insurance from reputable providers with the following coverage to protect your company. Some of the examples are:
- Fire & Extraneous Perils
- Business Interruption
- Theft and Hold-up
- Electronic Equipment
- Machinery Breakdown
- Deterioration of Stock
- Goods in Transit
- Public Liability
- Workmen’s Compensation
- Fidelity Guarantee
- Group Personal Accident
Starting a business in a foreign country is a new experience, and the road could be riddled with hiccups. This is where specialists in 3E Accounting Singapore can assist you with the incorporation of your company. Do contact us should you require any assistance or services. As a corporate service provider in Singapore, we provide these services to ensure a smooth integration into the economy in Singapore.