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5 Government Grants & Subsidies To Know When Starting A Business

Government grants and subsidies, for Singapore businesses.

This article was written in collaboration with GovTech. All views expressed in this article are the independent opinion of based on our research. is not liable for any financial losses that may arise from any transactions and readers are encouraged to do their own due diligence. You can view our full editorial policy here.

According to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), there are a total of 579,221 business entities registered in Singapore as of May2023. This means that, on average, for every 10 people in Singapore, there is one business.

The majority of these business entities (416,356 as of May2023) are companies, making them the most prevalent and familiar type of business entity.

Similar to Singaporeans, who can receive support from the government, Singapore-registered companies also enjoy government support schemes such as grants and subsidies. These support schemes are specifically designed to provide a helping hand to businesses, including new companies that are just starting out. These could be in areas such as fundraising for the company, mentorship for the founders and the adoption of technology to improve workflow.

However for many first-time business owners, understanding which government grants that their company qualifies for can be confusing. In this article, we hope to steer you in the right direction by highlighting some of the key grants and subsidies that are available when you start a business.

Register Your Business First

Before you can apply for any of these government grants and subsidies, you should first register your business with ACRA.

As explained by GoBusiness, the go-to platform for businesses in Singapore to access Government e-services and resources, anybody who intends to carry out an activity for profit on an ongoing basis must register a business with ACRA, unless they meet the criteria for exemption.

Source: GoBusiness

Business registration is like registering the birth of a newborn baby. By registering your business, your business is officially recognised as a Singapore-registered company. You will have a business profile with your own Unique Entity Number (UEN). This is similar to how all newborn Singaporeans have a birth certificate number.

By registering your business and having a UEN, you can perform corporate actions such as opening a business account, contributing to our employees’ CPF and applying for and receiving government grants and subsidies.

Being a business owner also means that you have to comply with specific regulatory requirements, such as filing annual returns and appointing a corporate secretary for the company. So, do note some of these obligations as well.

Read Also: Singapore Companies Act: What Business Owners Need To Know When Starting A Company

Once you have successfully completed your business registration,  you may consider applying for some of these relevant government grants and subsidies that may be suitable for your newly registered business entity.

Here are 5 government grants and subsidies that are available.

#1 Startup SG Founder

The Startup SG Founder (SSGF) programme supports aspiring first-time entrepreneurs to start their own innovative businesses by providing mentorship and financial support.

Through the Startup SG Founder programme, companies can get a grant amount of $50,000 over a 12-month grant period. Do note a co-matching investment amount of $20,000 is required from the company and the company should also have at least $10,000 as paid-up capital on ACRA at the point of application. Besides the financial support, founders will receive mentorship from Accredited Mentor Partners (AMPs).

The Startup SG Founder (SSGF) programme is only applicable for first-time founders of companies, so those who have started a business before or are serial entrepreneurs won’t qualify for it. In addition, you have to work full-time on your startup and cannot be externally employed.

For those who meet the criteria, this is definitely one programme that you shouldn’t miss out on.

Find out more about the Startup SG Founder (SSGF) programme and the eligibility criteria here.

#2 Startup SG Tech

If you are a deep startup with proprietary technology and a scalable business model, you may want to consider the Startup SG Tech grant.

Depending on the stage of development of the technology or concept that your startup is in, the Startup SG Tech grant can support Proof-of-Concept (POC) with a grant of up to $250,000, or Proof-of-Value (POV) with a grant of up to $500,000.

To be considered for this grant, your startup should be developing a solution with breakthrough level of innovation and technology that involves Intellectual Property (IP) or Intellectual Assets (IA) that is owned by the individual/startup. ­

Source: Startup SG

Find out more about this grant and its eligibility criteria here.

#3 Start Digital

The Start Digital programme by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) provides SMEs with assistance to adopt digital solutions so as to enhance their business processes and improve productivity. It provides support in the form of digital solution bundles, which include essential digital tools and services from various technology providers.

Under the Start Digital programme, eligible SMEs (including sole-proprietorships, partnerships, etc.) can receive free access to various digital solutions, including accounting and HR software, digital marketing tools, and cybersecurity solutions, from participating service providers that are offering pre-approved solutions.

Digital solutions will likely form a vital component of all business operations from day one. Start Digital enables business entities to try these solutions first at no cost and to leverage technology to streamline their operations and enhance their overall business capabilities.

You can sign up for Start Digital through the Start Digital Partners, which include DBS, Maybank, OCBC, UOB and Singtel, or access Chief Technology Officer-as-a-Service (CTO-as-a-Service) here.

#4 Enterprise Development Grant

The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) is a grant aimed at supporting local companies in their efforts to upgrade capabilities, innovate, and expand overseas. Administered by Enterprise Singapore, the EDG typically funds up to 50% of qualifying costs for SMEs (sustainability-related projects may be supported at up to 70% from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2026).

Grants provide funding to cover qualifying costs associated with projects that fall into three main categories:

Core Capabilities: Help companies strengthen their overall capabilities to remain competitive and grow. The EDG can cover costs related to activities such as capability development, business strategy development, and implementing productivity enhancements.

Innovation and Productivity: Supports companies in their efforts to innovate and improve productivity. Eligible costs may include expenses related to research and development (R&D), technology adoption, process redesign, and automation.

Market Access: Assists companies in expanding their presence in overseas markets. The EDG can cover expenses incurred for market entry and market expansion activities, including market research, marketing and branding initiatives, and overseas market development.

Note that companies should be financially ready to start and complete the project. Find out more about the eligibility criteria and how to apply for the EDG here.

#5 Productivity Solutions Grant

Administered by Enterprise Singapore, the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) is aimed at supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their efforts to adopt pre-approved productivity solutions and technologies.

The PSG provides funding support to these companies looking to improve their productivity and efficiency through the adoption of solutions across various business areas. These solutions are typically pre-scoped by industry and have been identified to deliver significant productivity gains for SMEs.

The PSG covers a wide range of business areas, including but not limited to:

IT Solutions: Digital solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, human resource management systems (HRMS), accounting software, inventory management systems, and e-commerce platforms.

Equipment and Hardware: Supports the adoption of equipment or hardware solutions that can enhance productivity, such as automation equipment, machinery, and tools.

Training and Consultancy: Provides funding for training programmes and consultancy services to help SMEs upskill their workforce and optimise their business processes.

From 1 April 2023, the maximum support level provided will be up to 50% for all sectors. Find out more about the PSG here.

Search & Apply For Suitable Grants On The GoBusiness Platform

While the grants and subsidies that have been highlighted in this article would be suitable for newly registered Singapore companies, they are not an exhaustive list. There might be other grants and subsidies that a company can qualify for, depending on the sector it is in and the stage of business growth it is at.

Jointly developed by GovTech, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), GoBusiness is a trusted platform you can use to find and apply for over 100 government schemes anytime you want. This ranges from funding support to references and programmes for building capabilities, skills and knowledge. Information on GoBusiness is frequently updated so you can be assured of content accuracy on the website.

With so many government grants and subsidies available, it might be understandably challenging to locate the right support schemes that are relevant to your company.

This is where the e-Adviser for Government Assistance, a simple questionnaire that takes less than 8 minutes to complete, can help. By answering some basic questions, the e-Adviser can shortlist relevant support schemes that your company might qualify for.

The best part about GoBusiness is that it’s free and there is no need for any registration to use the platform. So this means you can apply for some of these schemes on the Business Grant Portal (BGP) that is on GoBusiness without needing to engage and pay any third-party consultants.

Besides searching and applying for suitable support schemes, GoBusiness also provides useful guides and e-Advisers for other important business topics, such as how to start a business and select your business structure. So for new business owners, be sure to bookmark GoBusiness so that you can easily refer to it when you need it.

You can also subscribe to the GoBusiness mailing list to get emails on the latest content, new features, important announcements and more.