In an environment like this, it is unsurprising that there are many ways of getting funding for your locally-registered business.
The Singapore government offers a great number of loans, grants and subsidies in addition to non-financial help. Loans can be used to buy fixed assets, finance overseas projects, expand your business or get working capital. Grants offer funding to embark on productivity/process improvement projects, train staff, develop new products, increase business capabilities, undertake R&D, protect your intellectual property, venture overseas and more. You can get tax incentives or exemptions to reduce operating costs, and apply for equity financing to raise funds by selling a portion of your business to investors through dollar-matching and co-investment schemes. Non-financial assistance includes getting help to secure a premise, improving your operations or training staff among other aspects of expanding your business.
Websites such as Enterprise One have comprehensive lists and details of the availability and eligibility of such government aid.
In addition to government loans, grants and subsidies, local and international banks offer institutional banking services that also offer various loans to suit your needs. These range from unsecured short term loans for day-to-day business operations and working capital requirements to fixed assets financing and more. These financial institutions also have the benefit of offering other services you will need, such as business accounts in local and foreign currency, time deposits, conveyancing accounts and Islamic banking accounts. Banks also offer business and cashflow services, which include helping you manage and monitor transactions, make payments, receive payments and business insurance. Some banks will also offer services for large corporations, and have specialised teams to provide effective industry-specific insights and financial solutions.
Another way to get loans is to approach licensed moneylenders. To cope with irresponsible borrowing and the rising complaints against a few licenced moneylenders, the Registry of Moneylenders (ROM), a division of the Insolvency & Public Trustee’s Office (IPTO), has implemented new measures to secure the safety of borrowers. These new measures came in effect on 1 November 2011, and will tighten regulation and supervision over licenced moneylenders. These encompass the regulation of advertising and marketing activities and the imposition of more stringent conditions, for the grant of a moneylender’s licence. Under the new conditions, all the moneylending outlets need to be managed by someone who has passed the Registry’s Moneylender’s Written Test. A person’s appointment as manager must also be approved by the Registrar. This is to weed out unscrupulous moneylenders and raise the professional standards of the moneylending industry, to ensure that borrowers can have peace of mind when approaching moneylenders.
A list of licenced moneylenders in Singapore can be found at www.ipto.gov.sg under the On Moneylenders FAQ.