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Starting a Publishing Company in Singapore

Updated on Tuesday 04th July 2017

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With one of the highest literacy rates in the world, the publishing industry in Singapore provides high quality newspaper, specialty books and magazines. Considering the well-regulated intellectual property protection regime and the educated labor force, Singapore has one of the most appreciated publishing industries in the Middle-East. Moreover, publishing companies in Singapore benefit from the Publishing Grant Scheme enabled by the National Arts Council. The Publishing Grant Scheme offers both local and foreign enterprisers up to 20,000 SGD per year for publishing or translating Singapore artists.

For setting up a publishing company or additional information about the Publishing Grant Scheme you may rely on our company registration specialists in Singapore .

The video below presents the main steps and requirements to start a publishing business in Singapore:

Obtaining a newspaper or a printing press permit in Singapore

All Singapore companies conducting written publishing activities are required to obtain a newspaper or a printing press permitNewspaper permits must be obtained with the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), while the printing press permit is issued by the Registrar of Newspapers. Newspaper permits in Singapore are required for the following activities:

  • ·         - printing or publishing a newspaper in Singapore
  • ·         - selling and distributing foreign newspapers in Singapore.

The printing press permit is required for publishing companies in Singapore operating presses in order to print publications. Before applying for a printing press license, one must have a company registered with the Singapore Companies Register and must have permit from URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) to run a printing press in the desired location.

The Singapore Newspaper and Printing Press Act also allows companies to run online publishing activities without any licensing requirements. However, companies providing internet content in Singapore must register with the Media and Development Authority.

Documents related to obtaining a newspaper permit in Singapore

Singapore businesses operating as publishing companies must file the following documents in order to obtain the newspaper license:

  • -       samples of the most recent issues of the magazine, newspaper or tourist guide;
  • -       personal information about the Editor-in-Chief;
  • -       an authorization letter, if a representative of the company applies for the license.

In the case of offshore magazines or newspapers, a guarantee of 200,000 SGD must be deposited with a Singapore bank. Also, after receiving the license, the Singapore publishing company must issue its first number within 3 months. Also, the first two copies of the issue must be submitted with the Newspapers Register. The newspaper and the printing press licenses have a one-year validity period and are renewable.

Our Singapore company formation agents can assist with the registration of a publishing company or even of a bookstore in the city-state.

Are there any other requirements for setting up a publishing company in Singapore?

The publishing industry implies a wide range of activities which is certain additional special license may be required in Singapore. Among these are advertisement licenses and a license to reproduce currency designs. One must also choose the appropriate location to set up the publishing company in and hire staff.

Apart from advertising their work, Singapore publishing businesses must also comply with other regulations, among which:

  • -       to comply with the moral and ethical guidelines imposed by the MDA;
  • -       publishers importing magazines or other content must ensure that these abide by the Content Guidelines for Imported Publications;
  • -       the publications must also bear certain consumer advice depending on the content they offer;
  • -       online magazines must comply with the regulations applying to all Internet content providers in Singapore and to the Internet Code of Practice.

For complete information about publishing licensing requirements and documentation we invite you to contact our Singapore company formation agents. Please keep in mind that we can also help you open a company in Singapore in the publishing industry.

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