Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Which business is for me ?

There is basically a few types of businesses a person can choose to embark on. It very much dependent on his financial standing, skills and business knowledge and much more.

Common Types of Business

Sole proprietors / traders

Most people who start in business do so as sole proprietor or traders, working on their own, often from home. They alone receive the income and are therefore liable for any losses or debts. Having no colleagues can be liberating, but might equally be isolating with no one to provide motivation or inspiration.

E.g : home-based online traders, ABC Computer Services


You could set up in business with one or more colleague(s), relative(s), or friend(s). This form of business relationship is usually known as a ‘partnership’. Each partner might be equal or some may have a larger share of the business. Your income and liability are proportionate to your share in the business.

E.g : ABC Computer Services ( does not reflect a Pte Ltd at end of name.)

Limited companies

As a limited company, the business is registered with ACRA ( Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority ). There are more regulations associated with running a business this way but these are generally offset by tax advantages. Those directing the company have shares proportional to their involvement.

E.g. XYZ Freight Forwarding Private (Pte) Limited


Two type of people here :


They expand by getting other people to buy into their established business which provides equipment, raw materials, training and a well-known commercial name, thus allowing the franchisee branch make an individual profit. An obvious advantage is that it presents a ’best of both worlds’ scenario. On the other hand, initial outlay can be high and income is not guaranteed.


People who are wants a faster way into a proven business system. Their initial investment can be very high although it comes with training and support including setting up of branch. The franchisor makes a monthly Royalty income from the business generated.

E.g. of franchise business : MacDonald restaurant

Buying a business

Also commonly known as Merger & Acquisition.

Taking over an existing business is still better than starting up on your own, but make sure you do your research! It will be much easier to invest in an established firm with a solid customer base and a motivated workforce, rather than one with liabilities or a poor reputation. You can find a business to buy through local press, estate agents, trade associations and websites dedicated to this sort of provision.

Social enterprise

This is an expanding area and has evolved from a desire to help the disadvantaged, providing much needed resources or services in disadvantaged areas and offering employment to those who would otherwise be unwaged.

E.g : for the Disabled.


Charity Portal, ,provides you with all answer regarding charities matter in Singapore. Certain trading activities are barred to organizations with charitable status.


Quite similar to Sole Proprietor or Sole Trader.

Freelancers offer a skill or service to other businesses which employ them as needed for particular projects or for set lengths of time. They may be given office space or work from home, delivering work to (often tight) deadlines. Some freelancers will actively market themselves. Others may obtain work through agencies or by a direct approach from employers.

E.g. : Computer Support or Monthly Nannies

It is therefore not an easy choice for anyone to start a business; however, with proper considerations and decision making, anybody can start to do something that can literally change their life in the near future.

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