Too many consultants, books, and articles will tell you that the first steps to starting any business is choosing the legal structure; corporations, partnerships, LLCs, sole proprietorship, etc. What terrible advice!
Start as a sole proprietor, there’s no paperwork or fees required. Most of the businesses in Singapore are sole proprietorships. If liability is a concern, insurance is a more logical and affordable solution. However, as tutors, we don’t have to worry much about liability unless you tutor clients in your own home, apartment, or office.
The point is, you do not need to buy business cards, rent office space, find a team of lawyers/accountants, open a business banking account, create a corporation, or file for an UEN. Just start tutoring. Put up an ad on craigslist, set up tutoring sessions, and go tutor!
Of course, there is an appropriate time and place for the aforementioned topics, but during the start is not that time. Save the profits from your tutoring and use those to cover the costs of any business-related expenses you choose to incur in the future. Also, if it turns out that you don’t like tutoring or for whatever reason you can’t continue to perform your service, then you don’t waste all that money, time, and effort on things that you do not need to start tutoring.
In short, the first step to start tutoring is to start tutoring. Have fun!