Do I need to register my Home-Based Business
Pei Lin
18 Oct 2022

Home Based Businesses (HBB) are fast becoming the most common form of business start-ups, a rising occurence that was expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic. Essentially, a HBB is a business that is headquartered and operating in the owner's home.

It is relatively easy to set up your own HBB in Singapore. Listed below are 2 types of business schemes:

Home Office Scheme Home-Based Business Scheme
Allows you to set up a home office within your residence Allows you to set up a small-scale business within your residence
One-time permit required No permit or approval needed
Mainly for administrative work only A wider range of businesses allowed
Can hire up to two non-resident employees to work in your residence No hiring of employees, only residents staying with you are allowed to help
Business must already be registered with ACRA

HBB can range from bakeries, home-made goods, accounting services, tuitions, consultancy, hairdressing, facials to even content creation! While there are more limitations for the Home Office Schemes, the Home-based Business scheme offers alot more flexibility and options. Click the links above for more information of the respective Schemes.


Should I Register my Home-Based Business

While there is no need under the Home-Based Business Scheme to have a permit from Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the need to register your business falls under a different category. Under section 5 of the Business Name Registration Act (BNRA), all types of business except those exempted must be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

You are considered a business if you intend to carry it out on a continual basis with the intention for financial gain and future expansion. In addition, registering your business has a lot of benefits to it.

  • Your business would look more legitimate
    Potential customers and business partners would feel more comfortable and assured transiting with your business. As they would be able to search and verify information about your business via ACRA, it also makes it easier for potential customers to identify, find and transact with your business.
  • Easier to obtain financing and contracting on credit
    Protect yourself from being unable to pursue any legal remedies. An unregistered business may find itself without any legal grounds to claim any liabilities (money owed) from its clients due to the lack of an enforceable contract.
  • Able to pursue contractual rights
    Similarly, banks and investors would be more inclined to invest in your business if it appears more legitimate. In addition, registered businesses would have an opportunity to apply for government grants available.
  • Might protect you from any liability
    Registering protects you from your liability by allowing you to separate your business liabilities from your personal one, if you choose to incorporate a company or set up a limited liability partnership. In the event your business is sued, you are not in danger of losing your personal assets.

How to Register my Home-Based Business in Singapore

Registering your business is a very simple process and would only take up to 15 minutes. You can register to Biz Files, ACRA's online filing and information system. Your SingPass ID is required to log in and once your application is approved, you will receive a Unique Entity Number (UEN) which should be listed in all correspondence with government agencies, including HDB.

For more information with regards to pointers to take note of and how to register a business, watch this space and follow The Collective for the next article!