The Complete Guide to the Different Types of Company Structures in Singapore

On paper, a company is a legal entity comprised of a voluntary association of people, whether it happens to be natural or legal. This can also be a mixture of both. The members and associates within a said company share a common purpose and focus their resources to achieve specific goals.

When your organization goes through company registration, it can take on different forms depending on the goals of the members that comprise it, such as a voluntary association (e.g. non-profit organizations), a specific business entity, or a financial entity (e.g. banks).

How to register a company or setup a new business entity in Singapore will depend based on the type of company registration you need, as well as the different requirements in different countries. If you have plans to do business in the country, Singapore also has its own regulations of the different types of company structures that you need to keep in mind when you choose to register company with ACRA.

Limited Liability Company
This legal entity called a limited liability company, or LLC, is limited by its amount of share capital. Under the Singapore Companies Act, an LLC is a recognized business entity that is separate from the members that comprise it.
This in turn limits the members’ liability to the assets within the company. For instance, if a lawsuit is filed against a member of the company, any seizure in assets will be limited to those of the member’s assets within the company, and the personal assets of the members are protected.

Opting to register company as an LLC can fall under two sub-categories:
• Private Limited – This is the type of LLC that most entrepreneurs prefer to establish, where the maximum number of shareholders is less than fifty and share auctioning is mostly closed off to the general public.
These shareholders can either be comprised of individuals, or by corporate entities.

• Public Limited – This is the type of LLC that may offer sell its shares with the intent of having the general public as an investor, and would need at least fifty shareholders. Because of this, public limited companies have (and are subject to) more stringent regulations and policies.

Two or more companies can even form a limited liability company and in the process turn into a corporation through a process known as company incorporation.

Through company incorporation, the resulting combination of companies is granted the same legal status as a person and is in turn separate from the companies or the companies’ owners.

Sole Proprietorship
When setting up a firm as a sole owner, your company is listed as a sole proprietorship, which is the easiest to set up. For offshore entrepreneurs looking to register company for foreigner enterprises, all you need is to appoint a local manager residing in the country for you to start establishing an enterprise. You might also need assistance from firms which offer company registration services in Singapore such as http://www.sgbusiness.sg/.

However, this very nature of a sole proprietorship company also makes it highly risky, since all assets and liabilities of the company are treated as the owner’s own. This a serious drawback if you happen to be unable to pay the bills, or even shoulder the cost of registering a company.

Partnership
This type of business structure attempts to address the constraints of a sole proprietorship, and allows two or more people to establish it as co-owners. Partnerships can come in different categories, such as the following:
• General – When you want to register company, general partnerships are also considered risky as they have the same drawbacks as a sole proprietorship: the business’s assets and liabilities are treated as those of the owners’.

• Limited – Another legal structure that attempts to address these constraints introduces the concept of the limited partner along with the general partner. However, limited partners’ liabilities only extend to their investments in the company and can’t participate in the business’s management.

• Limited Liability – Of the three types of partnership entities, the limited liability partnership, or LLP, combines the features of both partnership and company. However, opting to register company for this type of legal structure is meant specifically for professions, not for businesses that carry a particular trade.

Partnerships are easy to set up, but have only have a maximum number of twenty partners. Once there are more than twenty partners, you will need to register as a company, undergo the necessary paperwork, and pay the incorporation fees.

Registration Options for Foreign Companies
Though it is possible as an offshore entrepreneur or business owner to register company in Singapore for foreigner enterprises, available options are often limited to the following:

• Subsidiary – A subsidiary company is treated as its own separate entity, with the parent company acting as a primary shareholder. This is the most preferred choice for starting a small business.

• Branch/Representative Office – Branch offices and representative offices are a way for the parent company to extend into the country, but work in different ways. While branch offices are treated as an extension of the parent company, representative offices are geared more towards marketing research.

The Open Model
The open company has developed as a more recent legal entity that revolves around concepts such as free, open-source content and software, as well as more open standards and tools. This approach to business places its value on record and financial transparency, accountability, and the inclusion of stakeholders and investors.

While a traditional closed company may be more rigid in terms of focusing on earning a profit or achieving a specific goal, an open company is more likely to focus more on personal engagement and positive outcome, and has an easier application process.

6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a CCTV Security System

Here in Singapore, CCTV systems are almost expected in public spaces. It’s not surprising, considering that they have a lot of benefits, from the heightened sense of security to the added monitoring that it provides. Especially in businesses, a CCTV camera can give you a lot of benefits, as with the current leaps in technology, being able to monitor our spaces has never been easier.

As a responsible business owner, it’s always a good idea to invest in the latest technology for your business. Whether you only reach a small population of Singapore, or encompasses many different countries, taking advantage of technological advances is always a good move. One of the technologies that you can invest in is the CCTV camera. A security camera can easily replace other security methods, such as security guards, all while being more reliable and cheap. But that’s not all the reasons why you should install CCTV; here are six reasons why your business needs a CCTV security system.

1. Prevent crime

One of the benefits that people first think about when considering a CCTV system is its ability to prevent crime. This isn’t unfounded; there have been studies showing that a well-placed security camera, especially when complemented with an ip door access locking solution to secure your Singapore office, can lessen crime by up to 50%. This lowered crime rate can mean hundreds of dollars saved from your business. Biometrics security and CCTV doesn’t just save your inventory but your productivity as well.

Even just the presence of a CCTV camera has been shown to decrease crime. Criminals have been known to avoid places with a security camera, for good reason. Additionally, a CCTV camera allows you an instantaneous view of what is happening in danger-prone areas, such as in the front of the shop. Rather than having a security guard approach the criminal and possibly endangering other people nearby, you can prepare for danger enabling you to reduce the risk of harm and remove danger as fast as possible.

Should a crime occur, a CCTV can still help you catch perpetrators. CCTV footage can be used in helping identify criminals and can be a very reliable piece of evidence should there be a court hearing. You could also use the footage to file insurance claims, should you be met with damaged goods.

2. Monitor employees

While the presence of CCTV cameras can deter criminals from going near the premises, even just their presence can also better the behavior of your employees. Even just a simple office camera can give your employees a sense of security, knowing that they’re in a lower risk of danger from criminals, as well as the fact that there wouldn’t be any illegal behavior among their peers. Even if something does go wrong, such as a missing piece of inventory, you can easily find the perpetrator and reduce the risk of wrong accusations.

3. Encourage order among everyone in the premises

Both customers and employees tend to act more responsibly in the presence of a CCTV camera. There will be fewer chances of customers breaking rules, such as bringing in drinks and food when it’s not allowed, as well as opening sealed packets. This is especially important for businesses with a large floor area, wherein not every inch can be personally monitored by staff. Additionally, you have the added advantages of having your customers trust in your ability to keep them safe while they are in the premises, making them feel more comfortable with their transactions, and encouraging them to do continue doing business with you.

4. Prevent safety incidents

CCTV cameras are a great asset especially for Singapore businesses who manufacture products. For every good business owner, safety should be one of the biggest priorities in danger-prone areas, such as factory floors, or areas that have been known to attract criminal behavior. This can also include other hazardous places such as fire-prone areas like kitchens and archive rooms, or places with a lot of wiring.

Cameras that have been qualified to work in risk-prone environments, like an outdoor camera or a PTZ camera, can greatly reduce the risks that are present in these areas. While these special cameras can be more costly than other models, they have consistently proven to be a good investment. Call for a cctv installation services here in Singapore for professional fitting of CCTV cameras in your premises. CCTV and biometrics technology are great ways to secure your assets, while making sure that your business remains as productive as it can be.

5. Remote viewing

If you use IP CCTV, your feed is immediately stored in a remote location. Because of its more flexible connections, it’s also much easier to remotely view an IP camera feed compared to that of an analog camera set-up. Whether you’re attending an overseas meeting or simply away on a business trip, an IP camera can let you watch over how your business is doing at the push of a button. As a bonus, IP CCTV gives you a feed with higher definition, as an IP camera transmits its feed faster, and even has a lot more features afforded to it than an analog camera.

6. Assist law enforcement

Public law enforcement has been greatly aided by CCTV cameras. While there are cameras that have been installed by public officials, private CCTV systems have still helped the police solve crimes. With the help of a CCTV, you can give the police access to. Your establishment doesn’t even have to have been attacked by the suspects; if they robbed a nearby establishment and were believed to have come past your store, a CCTV camera recording outside footage can be used to determine where the suspects are headed, for example.

Starting a Mobile Locksmith Business

Starting out a mobile locksmith business in Singapore is one of the most innovative way to earn extra bucks during your free time. With the constant rise in the incidence of home burglaries, getting into a locksmith service industry is definitely one of the more profitable home-based business around. You also don’t need to invest a lot of money just to get into the locksmith business. In fact, you can already start out your locksmith Singapore business after purchasing some good tools and taking up a few classes. To help you further improve your budding locksmith business, here are some simple and easy mobile locksmith business tips to get by.

1. Get educated about the latest security and lock systems. Locks are becoming sophisticated nowadays, as people learn to prepare and protect not just their cars but their homes as well against burglary incidents. As a mobile locksmith, it’s your job to learn and be knowledgeable about the latest lock technologies that are out in the market so that you’ll be able to provide the right services that you client might need or ask from you.

2. Decide on how far you want to go in this industry. Even with just an initial investment of a hundred dollars, you can already start out your mobile locksmith business in Singapore and perform small jobs, such as unlocking jammed doors for people. But if you want to, you can also expand your business to provide other locksmith services, including installing security systems or locks not just for homeowners but for corporations as well. Apart from that, you can also try offering lock repair and maintenance.

Doing these services will mean more profit for your locksmith Singapore business. You can start out your business as a small and do few side jobs or build it and much more. The decision on what you’re going to do with your business and how you’ll make it prosper really relies on you.

3. Invest in a good work vehicle. Since you’re planning to have a mobile locksmith business, then it would a great idea to invest in getting a van, since it’s the most suitable work vehicle for businesses, especially in the mobile locksmith industry. With this vehicle you can easily travel in the different areas of Singapore and carry all the tools that you need with you. Since vans are more spacious compared to other vehicles, you can also save some spot in it to serve as your little workspace when you need to do perform some on-the-spot jobs without having the need to return to your home office.

4. Market the services that you’re offering. Just like other businesses, a great deal of competition is also present in the mobile locksmith industry. With that being said, it’s important that you’re both creative and aggressive in terms of marketing your locksmith business. Some of the good ways to get good publicity – if you have extra bucks to spare – is to advertise in local phonebooks, newspapers and anywhere else where your potential clients can see your name, phone number and the services that you’re offering clearly.

5. Be available especially on important times. A handful of people always experience being locked out both in their homes and cars during day and nighttime, and that’s when they’ll be needing Singapore lock master services the most. So in order to be always on top of your competition, you must be willing to be serve your clients at all time, because if you can’t attend to their needs then they will just simply go to the next locksmith on their list.

Additional Tips:

• Look professional. Having a professional appearance is important even in the locksmith industry. A locksmith that appears before his client looking clean and professional have more chances of building confidence and doing a repeat business with his client than one who shows up with a pair of ripped jeans and shirt.

• Work with an experienced locksmith. Taking locksmith courses is good but having a hands-on experience is a lot better. Look for an experienced locksmith and try working hand-in-hand with him before or even as you start your business. Find a locksmith from another area in Singapore or someone who is already about to retire so that they will not end up being one of your competitors.

Starting a mobile locksmith business is quite easy as long as you’re knowledgeable about what you’re doing and you’re willing to serve your clients wholeheartedly, then you’ll definitely succeed with your venture in this business. So to those who are planning to get into the mobile locksmith industry, just follow these tips and you can already start getting your locksmith business rolling in the road.

What is Brand Equity and How Does it Work

Applying for trademark registration is a great way to not just protect your intellectual property as well as protect your brand, but also to increase its value over time. This increase is not just because of the trademark itself, but also because of the consumers’ change in perception of the brand.

After applying to register trademark for your brand name, you may then notice that you have “equity” associated with your brand. Chances are that if you’ve been in the business long enough, you may have encountered this term a few times in the business world and in marketing. But what exactly is it? How does it work, and how can it impact your business?

What is Brand Equity?

Brand equity is a set of assets and liabilities linked to the symbol. There are two different aspects linked with the brand: tangible and intangible. On the one hand, the former refers to the actual physical value of the brand in terms of the company’s assets, income, equipment, etc.

In contrast, the latter refers to the consumers’ perspective, based on their attitudes and emotions towards the positive attributes and the favorable consequences of using the said brand. How consumers feel about the product is crucial to the brand’s overall value. That is why it pays a lot to be smart with the brand name you want to register with brand mark in Singapore so you won’t be wasting money on a poorly thought name.

When put together, both tangible and intangible aspects of value can positively or negatively impact a business, its services, and even its bottom-line derived from consumers’ knowledge and experience with the brand.

Equity is what you should be looking out for, whether it comes to buying into or starting your own franchise or starting your own business in general to make it marketable to a larger consumer audience.

How Brand Equity Works

Brand equity is made up of three components, which are customer perception, effects (either negative or positive), and the resulting value.

The most important factor that determines the equity of a particular brand is customer perception, which includes both their knowledge and experience in their encounter with the brand and its products and services.

You can see the negative effect at play whenever you see consumers choosing generic products over the branded ones. Other instances when you see this effect happening is when companies have major product recalls due to health concerns or manufacturing defects, or when their practices cause significant environmental disasters featured on major news outlets.

For the positive effect, look into when brands decide to expand their product line by adding new products or services. Brands with a positive equity will generally want to keep new products within the existing line rather than create a new brand entirely as a safe option in order to boost sales.

Building Brand Equity

Increasing your brand equity is almost assured with trademark registration. However, before applying to register trademark for your brand, you need to start building up your brand by focusing on the consumers’ experience and the quality of the products and services themselves.

The process of building brand equity usually comes in five parts:

• Awareness – The first step is accomplished by advertising the product to its target audience in a way that potential consumers will notice it.

• Recognition – Consumers that see the product in advertisements will recognize it when they see it sold in a store.

• Trial – Once consumers see the product, the brand, and what it stands for, they will be inclined to try it.

• Preference – If the consumers like the product endorsed by the brand, they will be likely to buy it again, sometimes more than once.

• Loyalty – The last step to building brand equity is with an established following of loyal consumers that have formed an emotional connection to the brand and see it positively.

Trademarking to Brand Equity

Trademark registration in Singapore is now easier than ever, which is all the more incentive for you to register TM for your brand. The process essentially boils down to these steps:

1. Application – To register, application must include your name and address, a clear representation of your registered mark, a complete list of goods and services in relation to the product and/or service you wish to trademark, and a declaration of your intent to use the trademark.

2. Examination – Your application will then be examined to check if the mark is registrable. If it is acceptable, it will be published. If your application is deemed objectionable, you will receive a report containing the grounds for refusal from the organization where you filed your application, like brandmark.sg from Singapore so you will be informed accordingly.

During this time, owners of prior existing intellectual properties can file for an objection. In the event of an objection for your application to register trademark, you will be notified.

3. Publication – If application is approved, it will be published in the Trade Marks Journal for scrutiny. During this time, competitors or owners of prior existing intellectual properties can file for an objection. In the event that there is an objection for your wanting to register trademark, for your brand, you will be notified.

4. Issuance of Certificate – If you don’t receive an objection two months after your application is published in the journal, you will be issued a certificate by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, giving you exclusive rights to use and exploit the brand name.

The protection offered by your registered mark lasts for ten years from the date of the application, but can be renewed indefinitely as long as you use it.

The road to developing positive equity for your brand doesn’t stop here. Infringement doesn’t automatically go away even after your trademark has been added to the existing database, as there will always be companies that will infringe on others’ – yours included – brand and trademark.

A well- recognized and respected brand is an asset every company wants to keep. As a business owner yourself, protecting your brand should include setting clear standards for how the brand is and should used and communicated, both from within and without.

10 Qualities to Look for in a Freight Forwarder

Does your business need a freight forwarding services company to import and/or export goods? Looking for a quality freight forwarder who will help you find the best shipping company or logistics services in Singapore is easy if you remember these ten characteristics of a good freight broker.

1. Freight Forwarder has a Broker License

If the freight forwarding company assigns a freight broker to assist you, make sure to check if he/she has a license. This is important not just in local freight, but most especially in international freight, where the broker is required to be well-versed and authorized in carrying out your negotiations and transactions for you. During the duration of the shipment, the freight broker will be acting as your liaison when negotiating with the carriers, shipping company or logistics company, customs, and other parties. In Singapore, the importer, exporter, freight forwarder company, freight broker, common carrier, shipping agent, air cargo agent, and other related professions should have a license to operate.

2. Can Negotiate for Different or Multiple Modes

Regardless of the destination of the cargo, your freight forwarding in Singapore must include different carrier services options such as trucking or land freight, air freight, and ocean or sea freight. If the freight forwarder also has connections with warehousing companies, then it’s a good sign that the company has connections with various logistics services and shipping company. The freight forwarder should also offer additional transportation options besides air freight and sea freight to get your cargo to its destination as soon as possible with the following options: rail, van, flatbeds, reefers, and logistics management.

3. Efficient Logistics Services Selection

If they can offer you multiple carrier modes other than land freight, sea freight, and air freight, you should also examine how they go about their carrier selection process. They should be thorough when verifying information such as safety, coverage, and insurance when selecting the best logistics company responsible for the transportation of cargo.
They should also have a contract with the selected shipping company as a guarantee of their quality service.

4. Effective Management and Communication

Good customer service should always be a priority when looking for partners in business, especially when you must trust them to deliver your goods on time and in good condition. The best freight forwarder in Singapore should be more than willing to answer your questions and help you find the best logistics services for local freight and international freight. If they pay attention to your needs as a client, then they are also more likely to exhibit the same dedication and attention to detail when it comes to freight forwarding.

5. Good Credit Background

It’s important to make sure that the freight forwarding company is financially stable, because you don’t want to end up shouldering the burden of payments or delay of cargo transportation because the freight forwarder was not able to pay the carrier. Any delays can cause you additional charges such as detention and demurrage, and that’s on top of being late for the promised delivery to the consignee.

6. Freight Forwarder Has a Lot of Experience

If the freight forwarding services company has been in business in Singapore for years, it’s a good indication that they already encountered most of the challenges in the transportation of cargo. Starting a freight forwarder business is notoriously difficult, especially when it comes to international freight because there are a lot of issues involved such as the rerouting of cargo, shutdown of ports, warehousing problems, and many more. Look for a company that has been around for years, because they have more experience with a lot of problems involved in both local freight and international freight.

7. Freight Broker Carries Cargo Insurance

Choose a freight forwarder that includes cargo insurance in their contract, which is different from the cargo insurance between the freight forwarder and the shipping company. This will ensure that both the freight broker and the carrier will shoulder the liability if something unfortunate happens during the transportation of the cargo. Look for the claims procedure on the contract and the amount covered by the insurance. Don’t forget to also look for the omissions and errors insurance, which is different from the insurance coverage that only includes the loss or damage of cargo.

8. Freight Forwarder Has a Network of Partners and Agents

Not only should the freight broker assigned to you by the freight forwarder have a license, but he/she should also have a lot of connections from various logistics services companies, some of the leading shipping company, and trucking services. Pick a freight forwarding company here in Singapore like www.freightmaster.sg that has connections to different parts of the world. Their partners will not only allow for a smooth and easy transportation of goods, but they logistics company will also have other options that can benefit you.

9. Freight Forwarder Guarantees Carrier Compliance

The carriers or the logistics company that will be responsible for the actual transportation of goods should also have compliance and license to operate. You can ask for the information from your freight broker and their process of qualifying and selecting their carriers. Stay away from double brokering freight forwarders in Singapore as much as possible, because you might end up with a questionable carrier.

10. Good Reviews and Reputation

Lastly, don’t forget to read the reviews of previous and existing clients of the freight forwarder. Their feedback will help you narrow down your list of possible freight forwarders in Singapore, especially if you have special requests and they offer services for the same type of cargo you intend to import or export.

5 Reasons Why You Should Sign Up for Cloud VOIP

Given VoIP’s popularity because of its ease of use, many organizations are have decided to upgrade their communication systems. As telephony technology keeps getting better and more compatible with more different kinds of software, especially cloud services, considering the switch should definitely be on your to-do list, if you haven’t done that already.

When coupled with a hosted PBX service, cloud VoIP gives you more flexibility because you can take and manage calls from any device, be it the phone from your desk or your laptop. All of the features of the office system are accessible wherever you are.

But are the benefits of cloud VoIP worth the hassle? The answer is definitely yes. Here are a few reasons why:

VoIP Makes Your Calls Cheaper
Since VoIP routes phone calls over the Internet and your existing data network, local calls between employees are completely free of charge.

International calls to other countries cost much less than those charged by phone operators. This is good news for your monthly bill, especially given that costs in Singapore are really high.

To estimate how many incoming and outgoing calls you will need to pay for, spend a sample month for noting down the calls you made and received along with their durations, and then place these calls into different categories. One category is for calls that need to go through GSM such as international calls. Another is for calls that are free of charge in your local area via a different service. Contacts that are using the same VoIP service as you are free of charge, though, so you don’t need to worry about those.

You should keep in mind that there are many Singapore voip parameters that affect these costs, including but not limited to voice packet size and frequency (i.e. the number of voice packets that are sent and received per second).

Because in-network calls exclusively transfer over specific data networks and don’t need to travel through public phone lines, several VoIP providers allow you to make calls among your colleagues for free.

Ditch the PBX system
With POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service), you have to purchase and maintain the old PBX phone system yourself. That means purchasing and maintaining equipment, with constant upgrades burning a hole in your budget.

Hosted PBX takes care of all those extensive cable ducts and thousands of feet of copper wire. All PBX phone system features are sent online and can be customized through a dashboard. You don’t even really need to buy any new hardware except for phone adapters.

It’s a Much-Needed Upgrade to Your Office Hardware
For hosted VoIP services, IP phones are pretty much all you need. Most phones come with features that you can upgrade later when you need to.

Through VoIP, voicemails can be transcribed and sent to your email inbox automatically. You are enabled to handle them like you would manage in- all your other emails.

Because most people use multiple devices throughout the day, users can set up rules to make sure that phone calls always reach them. Special features like group voicemail and automatic call forwarding and routing can improve output for employees.

On top of that, VoIP integrates easily with other sales apps. Sales agents can quickly call customers from within their app.

Save Time – For Yourself and Your Customers
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) does away with waiting for your call to be transferred. VoIP also makes call re-routing affordable. Customers can choose who to contact or even dial the person directly if they know the particular extension number.

IP-PBX telephone system servers can handle remote employees as well, whether in Singapore or the United States or anywhere else in the world.

Hardware maintenance can also be a pain because it often disrupts workflow. Hosted PBX, which is PBX that is hosted by a third-party cloud VoIP, can be deployed immediately in a day at most. No need to wait for network technicians to install the phones – when it comes to hardware, automatic provisioning makes it so that all you need to do is plug them in to use.

Pay Only What You Use
Traditional phone systems meant that you had to be specific about the number of lines or numbers you would need in advance. Businesses overestimate their needs and end up paying for resources they don’t use.

Hosted VoIP systems have lines and numbers that can be accessed immediately – you don’t need to be locked within long-term exclusive contracts or expensive hardware upgrades. You can even sign up monthly to manage your cost structure efficiently. Extra resources can also be disconnected, which means that you only need pay for services that you actually use.

These are many other reasons to make the switch to VoIP. Vendors are introducing new services and features at breakneck speed, and these services and features, be it better IP-PBX telephone systems, IP phones, or even lower rates. And because this is Singapore, the list of features goes on as technological upgrades in terms of both hardware and software get better and more efficient. The sooner you make the switch to VoIP, the faster you can stay on top of the latest in telecommunications.

Perhaps the best reason to transfer is its ease of use – all you need is a stable internet connection. Sign up for a service provider, choose the kind of service that you need, and then plug your hardware in. It’s that easy.

VoIP is the future. Don’t get left out – switch now!