Online business regulations in Singapore


It is always an attractive option to set up an online business in Singapore. The reason being, with such like a business, it is possible to reach a wider market scope than the traditional form of business.

With the increase in the uptake of online businesses, there has also been an increase in the legislations that are used to govern such entities. The legal and regulatory created by Singapore needs any potential entrepreneur to be familiar with such rules before setting up an online business.



In Singapore, internet content is categorised as broadcast media content and hence need to fulfil the Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA) Act. The need to have online services licensed is to ensure that we have control of what is broadcasted to the public both in Singapore and the rest of the world. For smooth running of an online business, make licensing a major requirement when you decided to build an online business.


Internet content regulation

There is an Internet Code of Practice in Singapore that regulates all the materials that are broadcasted from the e-merchants. The content that undermines public security, public morality or the law of Singapore are not allowed on the internet.

However, the Internet Code of Practice and class licensing scheme are only limited to the ICPs that are locally based and hence servers that are located outside Singapore are not in any way governed by SBA.


Online business activities regulations

Based on the services or products being offered online, they may as well be subjected to rules and regulations that do apply to the physical goods and services. Most of such like businesses include:

Online gambling: In Singapore, there is currently no laws that regulate the online gambling services. However, the services may be regulated by common gaming houses Act and the betting Act. Note should be taken that the Foreign Service providers in Singapore may not be subjected to these regulations.

Online advertising: When ads about alcohol, drugs and other products are done, they need to comply with statutory marketing restrictions put in place. All ads must adhere to the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice and SBA.


Consumer protection legislation

Singapore is on the forefront when it comes to protecting its citizens. All e-retailers, therefore, need to comply with some provisions that are geared towards safeguarding consumers of the products and services being sold online. Unfair Contract Terms Act and Sale of Goods Act are some of the provisions that any business owner need to comply with.

The above rules and regulations shade light to all potential online business owners. Complying with them makes it easier to establish an online business.

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