If you’ve decided to start your business in Singapore, choosing an office space is a general next step, and it can prove to be a rather daunting and time-consuming task for small and medium-sized companies. The process involves careful calculations based on factors such as available budget, projected company growth, and the local economy.
We’ve compiled this comprehensive list of office types you can find in Singapore to provide you with some basic information about finding the right workplace for your business.
1. Serviced Office
Small companies looking for a low startup cost option, flexible lease terms, and a prestigious address for their business may find services offices and business centres a good option. Located in the business districts of Singapore, serviced offices are managed by companies that rent out fully-equipped offices to other companies that can accommodate from 1 to 10 people.
As part of the monthly fee, a dedicated team will take care of managing and maintaining your serviced office. There are usually receptionists, administrative staff, and IT professionals onsite in a serviced office. Serviced offices and business centres provide your business with a temporary, well-fitted, well-equipped office space that will suffice for a few days to a few years until you are ready to move into permanent premises.
2. Virtual Office
In Singapore, most serviced office providers offer virtual offices as an option. With a virtual office, you get a dedicated business address, telephone number, mail handling, and a call answering service. Depending on your package, you may also have access to meeting rooms and secretarial services.
Virtual offices offer the benefit of having an address in the most prestigious office complexes in Singapore, while your employees work from home or in another office space away from the central area, for a significantly lower rent.
Business owners on the other hand can incorporate a company in Singapore, print business cards, and start selling before a physical office is even ready. Entrepreneurs who work from home on the other hand can look like a professional when setting up a meeting in a virtual office.
3. Co-working Office
In a co-working space, a group of independent workers share an office. The best coworking spaces offer fully furnished dedicated work areas, both private and shared, as well as technological equipment, utilities, refreshments, and concierge services.
However, the key benefit of a co-working space is the access you have to similar businesses within the space and the networking opportunities it brings. Many co-working spaces even give members access to community events run in the space that can be beneficial for teams and business owners to upskill themselves.
4. Conventional Office
In Singapore, conventional office rentals usually involve renting empty office space that will need to be furnished on your own with furniture, IT infrastructure, utilities, and manpower. Even though finding the right space and arranging a conventional lease can be a tedious process, if your company is growing steadily, the long-term benefits may make it worth the effort, especially if you have a lot of employees.
These spaces can range in size and come with a variety of fittings or amenities. Even though a private office lease involves substantial initial capital costs, you will probably incur lower monthly rental costs than a serviced office. The rent for these office spaces is likely the most expensive option on this list.
5. Home Office
If your business is very small, you might consider working from home. Under Singapore’s Home Office Scheme, people living in either a private or HDB property are allowed to conduct small-scale businesses in their homes, provided their activities do not fall under the scheme’s negative list.
To use your living space as a home office in Singapore, you need to register with the Housing & Development Board (for HDB premises) or the Urban Redevelopment Authority (for private premises). Small Office Home Office or SOHO, in short, are a popular choice of space for home offices.
Business owners may opt to operate out of a SOHO if they want to reduce commute time or want to prioritize and spend more time with their families.
6. Science or Business Park Office
In Singapore, there are Science Park and Business Park office spaces that consist of a cluster of medium-rise modern office-like industrial buildings for companies involved in high-technology, research and development (R&D), and knowledge-intensive activities.
Both office spaces are beautifully landscaped and boast an array of amenities. Another plus point is its strategic location that’s close to key research and tertiary institutions, national agencies, public research institutions and Singapore’s technology start-up community.
Picking an office space is one of the most important aspects of starting a business in Singapore. We do not recommend rushing into finding an office space, but instead to identify the right type of office, ideal location, and to decide between renting or buying space.