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Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Publishing Business in Singapore

Starting a Publishing Business in SingaporeSingapore has always been a desirable location for businesses. One major reason is that the Singapore company incorporation process is so easy and straightforward compared to other countries. Other reasons include its strategic location in Asia. This has allowed Singapore to serve as a thriving international business hub for decades.

Many businesses do well in Singapore. One example of such a business is a publishing business. Singaporeans pride themselves on their high literacy rate, one of the best in the world. The public is constantly looking for good books, newspapers and periodicals. Furthermore, the publishing industry flourishes in Singapore because of this demand combined with strong IP protection, easy business setup and a literate worker pool. It’s not surprising that Singapore is a publishing hub for international and homegrown publishers.

Even though the world has moved on to the online space, there will still always be a need for published content and materials. In fact, if you look closely, you still see printed material everywhere you go. It could be at your workplace, local bus or train station, schools, universities, you name it. There is a need for it and therefore, a publishing business will not be going out of demand anytime soon.


What is a Publishing Business?

Traditionally, a publishing business focuses on creating and distributing copies of written content. This could include material like cookbooks, novels, books, magazines, periodicals, journals, magazines, newsletters, publishing guides, or more.

Other tasks that might be included under a publishing business are copy editing, printing, marketing, production, publication, and distribution of the material. If you plan on starting a publishing business, these are some of the tasks that might be carried out under your company name. When running such a business, it is important to keep in mind that Singapore’s national interest requires that the content you publish in local publications follows Government guidelines on moral, racial and religious issues.

Publishing businesses in Singapore must submit to the doctrines in the Undesirable Publications Act. Adult-interest skin magazines must proclaim the consumer advice “Unsuitable for the Young” on magazine covers. As a publishing business, you cannot publish things that denigrate any race, sexual persuasion or religion, or offend the sensitivities of any racial or religious group in Singapore.


What are the Steps to Registering a Business in Singapore?

Registering a company in Singapore is easy. The Singapore company registration process begins with registering your business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). ACRA regulates and oversees all the legal businesses here and it is important that you properly register your business. Registering is done online quickly and efficiently through ACRA’s BizFile account (you will need a SingPass to do this).

Once you have logged into BizFile, select your company name and submit the set of documents required. 3E Accounting is able to handle this for you quickly so your business can be up and running within a day or two. Once you have your business registered successfully, the next step is to wait for your Certificate of Incorporation. With that, you will be able to register for your taxes.

The next step is finding a suitable business premise. Moreover, if you need to make alterations to your premise, you need the approval of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA). You will also need approval from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) must approve any signs you display from these buildings.

Once that has been finalised and you have applied for the necessary permits and licenses, the final step is hiring your employees. Generally, publishing businesses would hire editorial teams, paparazzi, circulation officers, salespersons, and marketing staff as part of the ensemble.


What Business Licenses and Permits Do I Need?

In terms of the licenses and permits you need for starting a publishing business, there might be several options depending on the nature of your business. For example, if your publishing business focuses on print publishing, you will need a Newspaper Permit from the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA). You need this license if your business has anything to do with Singapore-based newspaper printing or publishing. Newspapers can be printed in any language and published for sale or for free distribution at regular intervals or otherwise. They include dailies, company or society in-house newsletters, publishing licenses guides, annual reports, and directories. The only exclusion is government publications.

Now, if your business prints magazines and newspapers, you will need a Printing Press License from the Registrar of Newspapers. If you publish content online, you need a license for that too. The Singapore Newspaper and Printing Presses Act only states that no license is required to print periodicals. To provide Internet content via online paid subscriptions to newspapers or publish any other information, you have to register with the Media Development Authority of Singapore

Some of the other licenses you might require for your publishing business include the following:

  • Advertisement License
  • General Radio Communication License
  • Localised Private Network License
  • Localised Radio Communication License
  • License to Discharge Trade Effluents
  • Non-Residential TV License
  • Permit to Reproduce Singapore Currency Designs
  • Wide-area private Network License


Ready to Start a Publishing Business?

Don’t let your dreams remain dreams. As your dedicated corporate service provider, the professionals at 3E Accounting can help you launch your business in a smooth and hassle-free manner. Beginning your dream venture doesn’t have to be a headache. Let us show you how easy your company incorporation process can be with our guidance.

Start your publishing business now. For more information about our company incorporation services, contact 3E Accounting today.

Starting a Publishing Business in Singapore