Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Call Center Business in Singapore
Entrusted with the uphill task of appeasing and pleasing customers, call centers are usually in the first firing line of customer support. Though, social media platforms, live chats, emails, and messaging apps are the new craze. Even with all these alternative communication options, call centers have managed to endure the test of time. Here’s a thing or two you need to know about starting a call center business.
What Is a Call Center Business?
A call center business is where we receive many phone calls. The most common role is to provide customer services or support functions for an organization. In recent years, the customer service industry in Singapore has rapidly grown in the development of better quality services. This leads to better development as more companies decide to integrate and outsource their customer support department to BPO (business process outsourcing) companies. These BPOs are specialized in offering tailored services such as call centers. This also contributes to the reason that starting a call center business in Singapore has become more profitable.
These services also help engage in telemarketing, sales support, helpdesk services, conducting surveys, and even setting up appointments.
Guide for Business Registration Process
Starting a call center business isn’t complex. You just need to follow the company registration process set by the ACRA. Here are a few things you need to know for company registration in Singapore.
The first thing you need to understand is that a call center has two parts, inbound and outbound. Inbound means receiving, and outbound means outgoing phone calls. My dear readers, this is why before starting a call center business, you need to decide on the type of services you are providing. Once you’ve decided on that, you could start with the basics like building capital and then registering your company under Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
Capital and your business proposal are the foundation to starting your own call center. Capital is the blood and flesh of your business. The start-up capital is the heart of your business, as you will be using this money to purchase assets and maintain your business’s operations. Capital can be obtained in a few different ways, among which are equity investors, also known as angel investors. These are private investors who provide capital for a business start-up in exchange for convertible debt or business equity. Angel investors usually give support to start-ups at the earlier stage, where most investors aren’t prepared to invest.
Forming the Business Itself
When registering your company, you first need to choose a company name. This can be anything under the sun, and sometimes it carries a backstory or meaning to you. Approval from ACRA is required, which can be done online. Here are a few things to note when choosing a company name. One, it cannot be identical to any existing business in Singapore, can’t infringe on any trademarks, is not vulgar or obscene, and lastly, not reserved by anyone else. This will take less than an hour for approval if you follow all the ACRA’s rules.
Now things are going to be a little more technical. First, you will need to appoint a resident director, which is a requirement in the Companies Act. This person should be a Singapore Citizen, a Singaporean Permanent Resident, or a person who has been issued an Entrepass, Employment Pass, or Dependent Pass. You will also need to search for shareholders as it is a requirement to have a minimum of one shareholder. That being said, there is a limit of 50 shareholders. A director may also be a shareholder. Next, you will need a company secretary. All companies must appoint a company secretary within six months of its incorporation. Take note that a sole director or shareholder cannot act as the company secretary, and the company secretary must be a person who is a resident in Singapore.
Licenses and Permits
Now it’s time for licensing. Depending on the type of activity you want to operate your call center business, you need to get the appropriate licenses. There are two types of licenses you can apply for, a facilities-based operator (FBO) license and a services-based operator (SBO) license. The SBO license can be divided into two, which are the individual license and class license. Based on which one you decide, you have to pay a certain amount of fees.
The service-based operator license is intended for lease telecommunication network elements, resell telecommunication services, or even deploy telecommunication networks. On the other hand, the facilities-based operator license is intended for the deployment of any form of telecommunication network, systems, and facilities to offer telecommunication switching and telecommunication services to other licensed telecommunication operators. Besides getting your license, you need to be familiar with the IP Telephony Law from IMDA in order to provide support over the phone to your company’s client. You could always check with a corporate service provider in Singapore for better clarity on the matter.
Once you have your licensing, you can now decide if you would use a cloud-based or on-site call center. It’s more technology-driven and less costly compared to an on-site premise. Besides that, a cloud-based call center is also simpler to operate, implement, and set up and has the scalability and flexibility to fulfill their clients’ requests and business objectives, among other advantages not available in traditional on-site call centers.
All those sound lengthy and tedious, and the easy way out is to hire professionals to help prepare all the documentation you need for company incorporation. If you just want some clarification, 3E Accounting offers company incorporation services in Singapore. This will enable you to focus on other areas while getting your business registered!
At 3E Accounting, our company formation specialists can assist you with all your company incorporation needs! If you’re considering starting a call center business in Singapore, contact us!