Business trip to Singapore – Know before you go
Your first-time business trip to a major business hub like London, Shanghai or Singapore is like Harry Potter walking down Diagon Alley. Singapore is an international city buzzing with activities. Powered by technology and an integrated network, everything moves 10x faster in Singapore. This is a city to do business and get work done. Business is mixed with pleasure – for networking and fun at the abundance of pubs and restaurants after hours with, clients, partners and colleagues. If you’re planning a business trip to Singapore, be sure to read these 5 essential tips:
1. Prepare Necessary Documents
Prepare your travel documents such as passport, boarding pass and return ticket where necessary.
Before your trip, you should familiarise yourself with Singapore government’s business travel policies so that you’re well prepared. The Ministry of Manpower website details the different passes and application process. Depending on the length of your stay, you may need to apply for a work pass or a permit. If this is the case, you may also be required to bring business documents such as contracts, portfolio and records along. To be safe, prepare hard and soft copies of business documents so you have them handy.
In special cases, you may also be required to take a medical examination and special medical insurance, depending on the sector you’re working in and the duration of your stay.
If you’re looking to simplify business incorporation, UpStart Alliance can help you with incorporation, business secretarial work, accounting and legal advisory.
2. Book your accommodation early
Singapore is an international business hub and a popular tourist destination. Booking accommodations can be a challenge during peak seasons such as trade fairs and events. For example, hotels were at full occupancy during the Formula 1 race weekend.
Are you staying for a few days? A week? Or a couple of months? A hotel located close to your clients or local office will be ideal for a short few days stay. You could stay for example near Orchard or the CBD or further away as transportation is easily accessible.
For week-long or month-long trips, you would be better off renting an apartment. Airbnb for business and Metro Residences can help you book your accommodations. Both offer thousands of options, from studio units to multiple-rooms apartments in many locations.
3. Get to know your workspace
Singapore may be a small country, but it’s a dense island-country, made up of several business areas. Familiarise yourself with the buildings using Google Street View. Plan your travel routes from your accommodation and work with gothere.sg (also available on app). Being late for work or meetings is frowned upon in Singapore, except on days with thunderstorms. Plan a buffer of 20 mins to travel within the CBD area.
If you’re looking for workspace and meeting rooms, GorillaSpace offers a wide range of options that include coworking spaces, private offices, meeting rooms and event spaces for larger groups. These work spaces are available all over Singapore from Jurong in the west to the Central Business District (CBD) to Changi business park in the east. They offer various amenities that cater to your needs.
Lounge @ The Great Room, a co-working space in Singapore
The website is free and easy to use. You can browse hundreds of listings, filter based on your needs, and book on the spot, with no additional fees.
4. Plan some fun
Dining out is one of Singapore’s favourite past-times. A melting pot of many cultures, Singapore is a foodie nation. Use Burpple to experience the best food by types of cuisine, or locations.
Download TopoTogo to see more of the Lion City. You’ll surely impress your local clients and colleagues with the knowledge and sites you visit.
5. Packing your bags
Singapore is a tropical country with lots of air-conditioning, so pack with care! Here’s a checklist we share with our friends:
- Work permit or pass (if necessary)
- Air ticket
- All-purpose charger
- Power bank
- Portable wifi router
- Adapter plugs (Singapore uses the 3 point plug)
- Work occasion appropriate clothes & shoes
- Light sweater (most offices and malls are well air-conditioned)
- Toiletries, including sunscreen
- Casual clothes for the weekend, including swim wear, flip flops
- Small umbrella (especially during rainy season from September to February)
Now, you’re all set for your first business trip to Singapore! We hope this checklist has been useful. Share your feedback with us in the comments below!
For more information to help you prepare for your business trip to Singapore, check out a video from our friend, Glenn van Zutphen, here. In this video, Glenn covers things like traveling around the island, local business etiquette, and more!