Guide To Office Rentals In Singapore
Having an office is a key milestone for many start ups. Depending on your resources available and business requirements, there can be a spectrum of office rentals to look at. Virtual offices, service centres, and government-owned or private offices are just some options to explore. If none of them seem to work for you, non-rental options such as home offices are also possible as well.
As its name suggests, a virtual office is not an actual office in real life. It can provide your firm with a business address, unique phone or fax numbers, telephone answering services, mail handling, as well as the use of private meeting rooms on a per-usage basis.
As the cost of renting a virtual office is low, start ups can afford to treat it like a low risk experiment or trial. This is a great starting point before going a step further into pumping capital towards a more permanent office space. In addition, this is useful for business owners who are headquartered overseas and do not wish to hire any local Singapore employees, but need to have a business presence in Singapore. Likewise, business owners who work at home, but want to build a better brand image by having an office address in a prestigious location in Singapore will find virtual offices useful.
Virtual offices may be unsuitable if client meetings are aplenty. This is because clients may be misled to think that your virtual office is a genuine physical space, and may head down to the area expecting to see an office.
Service Centres can typically be found in the Central Business District (CBD) area and are well equipped with amenities necessary for business operations.
Expensive meetings rooms can be accessed on a per usage basis, which brings down the capital required. Rental plans are also very flexible, rendering long-term financial planning associated with renting an entire office unnecessary. For new companies with unpredictable business projections, service centres also allow you to take up more or less space as your company progresses.
Co-working spaces, in particular, have become more popular in Singapore nowadays. 21 Moonstone, Collectiveworks, Distrii, Found., Just Co, Paperwork, Spaces, and WeWork are just some examples. The huge variety of work spaces all have their own unique vibe and crowd type, so do your own research beforehand. You may just be able to find a cluster of like-minded individuals to collaborate with.
While it can be cheap in the short run, service centres can be expensive in the long term. In addition, you will need to share common resources with the other companies using the service centre. This means that there is a chance that popular amenities may be fully booked. It is hence a better temporary office.
Government-owned or private offices
Such offices are empty business spaces available for rent.
With an empty office, you can design the aesthetics of your office however you want, so long as it complies with basic tenant guidelines. By using your preferred furniture, creating your dream pantry, and segmenting the office space according to how you want the different business functions to interact, the office will look and feel more homely and welcoming to employees and visiting clients alike.
Such offices will be less costly in the long run. You can also control your renovation expenditure by sprucing up selectively. For instance, more money can be allocated into meeting rooms that will be used to hold meetings with clients, or on more critical facilities fundamental to the company’s survival.
With a longer tenure, these offices also prevent unnecessary disruptions to your business operations. This sense of relief can provide stability and instill confidence to both employees and clients.
The initial capital required is undeniably a lot higher than that of virtual offices and service centres. In addition, both the long lease period and the fixed office space can be a headache for companies who are unsure of their growth pattern.
Picking the optimum building is also a time-consuming task. A lot of time has to be spent on research or discussions with an agent.
If the options above may be too much to consider at this moment, you may want to set up a home office instead. Home offices are suitable for businesses running on a small scale, and are common for real estate agents, lawyers, and remote employees. Housing Development Board (HDB) has a Home Office Scheme which allows people to be engaged in businesses within their home so long as it is off the negative list.
Remember to do your own set of due diligence before firming up on an office rental type. Good luck.