Laws and Etiquette to Keep in Mind on a Business Trip to Singapore

Singapore is somewhere that is fast on the rise in the business world and a place quite unlike anywhere else in the world. On a surface level, you will notice the stunning skyscrapers, designer shops and futuristic environment, but Singapore is also somewhere that is deeply traditional with many different cultures and histories influencing the way of life here.

Marina Bay, Singapore

photo credit: Skyler W / Unsplash

There are many laws and cultural expectations here that you will not find elsewhere so it is important to brush up on these before a business trip.


Singapore is different when it comes to law as it is very liberal and progressive in some ways but also has some very strict laws, strong surveillance throughout and serious punishments. This means that Singapore is actually somewhere that is very safe and clean, but you must be aware of what these laws are.

The most notable laws to be aware of as a visitor in Singapore are that chewing gum is banned here and litterers could be made to appear in court or receive a fine. Smoking is also only permitted in certain areas and jaywalking is illegal, so you need to cross the road at designated crossings.

Business Etiquette

Business etiquette is taken very seriously in Singapore and you certainly won’t want to offend while you are here. Dressing smartly, punctuality and formal introductions are important no matter where you are in the globe, but it is a priority here so you always need to make extra effort when meeting for the first time. Therefore, it may be a good idea to book into serviced apartments in Singapore to ensure that you can prepare yourself for business meetings and arrive promptly.

On top of this, respecting senior positions is very important here as there are strong hierarchical relationships that must be respected and seniors are often deferred to in situations so you need to be aware of this. There is also a mask of personal dignity known as “face” which must always be maintained, which means remaining calm and patient and never taking action that would cause someone else to lose face.

Small talk is also more important here and you will be expected to engage in small talk at the start of a meeting in order to build rapport. Despite being technologically-advanced, the exchanging of business cards is also a key part of business here and a respected tradition, so you should have your own cards to exchange with others.


Now Over to You

Hopefully, this post will help you to prepare for a business trip to Singapore and enjoy all that this fantastic destination has to offer.


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