Step 5: Take your business further
Congrats on your successful business. Now that you are thinking of expanding operations, here are some things to consider:
Changing business structures
In the beginning, home-based businesses are often incorporated as a sole proprietorship or partnership since it is operated on a small scale by the business owner(s) who are fully liable for the company’s finances.
As you expand, you may consider different business structures.
From sole proprietorship or partnership to a company
The law currently does not provide for the conversion of a sole proprietorship or partnership into a company. You can, however, terminate the business and incorporate a new company.
You may indicate in the incorporation form that the new company will be taking over the commercial activities of your previous sole-proprietorship or partnership.
Then you may need to (i) transfer any business assets and existing contracts over to the new company, and (ii) get new licences or permits under the new company.
If your business is GST registered, you must apply to cancel your GST registration with IRAS.
From Partnership or Company to LLP
You can convert your existing partnership to an LLP if the partners of the existing partnership will be the partners of the new LLP. Similarly, you can convert an existing company to an LLP if all shareholders are going to be the partners of the new LLP, and the company has no outstanding debts.
To convert your business or company into an LLP:
Log in to BizFile+ using your Corppass.
Under ‘File eServices’, click on ‘Limited Liability Partnership’, then click on ‘Make changes’.
Select ‘Conversion of Business to LLP’ or ‘Conversion of Company to LLP’. This transaction costs $40.
Upon conversion, the status of your existing partnership or company will be updated to “Converted to LLP” and the date of conversion will be the date of registration of the new LLP. A new registration number will then be issued to the new LLP.
Applicants are strongly advised to read the Second and Third Schedules of the LLP Act to understand the effects of conversion and the requirements after conversion.
Moving into an external office
For businesses currently under the Home Office Scheme:
You must update your business information on BizFile+ and to HDB via e-feedback form if there are any changes in your business address or your registered office address. You can do this on BizFile+ via:
- For Company: “Change in Company Information including Appointment / Cessation of Company Officers / Auditors”
- For Sole Proprietorship or Partnership: “Change in business information and appointments of business owners and authorised representatives”
- For Limited Liability Pertnership: “Change in LLP information including appointment/cessation of partner / manager”
- For Limited Partnership: “Change in Business Information and Appointments / Cessation of Partners or Managers for Limited Partnerships”
There is no fee payable for notifying ACRA and HDB on the change in principal place of business / office address. Such updates to ACRA must be done within 14 days from the effective date of change.
Upon setting up your office at a commercial premises, more than two employees can physically work at your office premises.
Opening a physical shop
For businesses currently under the Home-Based Business Scheme:
Opening a retail outlet to sell items directly to consumers requires more administrative work than operating a small-scale home business. You can read more under Key Steps to Start a Business.
First, incorporate your business with ACRA. You can get step-by-step guidance via e-Adviser for Starting a Business.
Second, get land use approval for premises. Use the e-Adviser for Premise Use Check to check if a property is approved for your intended use.
Third, apply for relevant licenses depending on the nature of products offered. You can find relevant licences via e-Advisers for Licences. For food service business owners, check out the Food Services Licence Guided Journey.
Fourth, hire employees.
Additional help for expansion
Discover suitable grants to grow your business on the Business Grants Portal.