Tips for Doing Business in Singapore


Singapore is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s one of the thriving business travel destinations in South East Asia. Many business people travel to Singapore to do business. Doing business Internationally can be very intimidating. It is important to research before traveling and doing business in a foreign country. Below are a few tips that you can use when traveling to Singapore.


The four major languages spoken in Singapore are Mayla, Mandarin Chinese, Tamil, and English. However, the most common language used in the business field is English. It is best to avoid humor because it can be misunderstood, as well as discussing personal issues (World Business Culture, 2019). Do not get overly emotional when communicating. Speak in a low tone and do not display anger. Wait 10 seconds before responding, it shows that you are listening and have giving consideration to what you heard before responding (Kelly, 2018).


Handshaking is common in Singapore, but not all cultures are accepting of handshakes. For example, Mayla men shake hands and Mayla women do not. If a Mayla woman crosses her hand in front of her chest, give her a slight head nod to acknowledge her (Corbin, 2016). If you are unsure of how to appropriately great, pay attention to the senior in the room and follow their lead. Also, allow counterparts to introduce themselves so you can hear how to address them properly.

Business Cards

Business cards are exchanged immediately after first meeting when doing business in Singapore. Make sure the business cards are fresh and clean. It is important to use both hands when exchanging business cards. You should also make sure the message is facing the receiver of the business card. Treat the business card with respect. You can put the card in a business card holder or face-up on the table next to you. Do not put the business card in your back pocket, it’s considered insulting in Singapore  (Corbin, 2016). It is a good idea to have business cards printed with English on one side and Chinese on the other.

Dress Code

The weather is warm in Singapore, and the majority dress business casual in business settings. Men wear dress pants, long-sleeved dress shirts, and ties. Suit jackets are acceptable in certain situations. Women wear skirts, dress pants, and blouses. The goal is to dress professional, but also cool for the weather.



Corbin, A. ( 2016, December 22). A Quick Guide To Business Etiquette In Singapore. Retrieved on August 10, 2019, from

Kelly, D. (2018, July 14). Cultural Tips for Doing Business in Singapore. Retrieved on August 10, 2019, from

World Business Culture, ( 2019). Singaporean Communication Styles. Retrieved on August 10, 2019, from

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