Business license in Singapore

Business license in Singapore

As required business license in Singapore first of all permission from ACRA and BiZFile are must to be obtained to start trading. To start a business venture in Singapore, registration under Singapore Company act Chapter 50 as amended in 2006 at Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority [ACRA] is mandatory unless otherwise stated.

This being the first step requiring around 24 hours and S$315, there are some businesses requiring some specific licenses to start operation involving some government bodies costing certain fees and times. After being registered as a legal entity or Company with ACRA licenses are required to obtain to start operating.

Retail Outlet Business License in Singapore

To retailing tobaccos a license from the Tobacco Regulation Branch is required. This costs S$400 as fee and remains valid for 1 year.

To retailing drugs and medicines a pharmacy registration under Health Sciences Authority HAS is required upon depositing a fee of S$500. This too remains valid for 1 year.

To retailing Telecommunication accessories and equipment a Dealer’s license is required from Info communications Development Authority of Singapore [IDA]. Both individual person and a registered company can do this business. This license requires two working days for processing and costs individual S$250 and a company S$50.

To retailing Liquors license from the Liquors Licensing Board LLB is to obtain at costs of S$220 and 12 working days. This remains valid for 2 years.

Retailing Cosmetics requiring no special license if local cosmetics are sold but Health Sciences Authority HAS required to be notified.

In addition, one needs to apply to the Ministry of Manpower for work permits in order to hire foreign laborers.

Construction business setting up license in Singapore

To engage in Professional Engineering Services license is required from the Professional Engineers Board [PEB] in exchange of a fee of S$300. The license remains valid for 1 year. A minimum paid-up capital requirement for this business to register with ACRA is S$500,000.

Export-Import Business Licenses in Singapore

To starting a general trading business in Singapore, after registering with ACRA the account of the company has to be activated by Singapore Customs requiring 1 - 2 working days. Moreover, IN and OUT permits through TradeNet have to be obtained for importing and exporting respectively.

License for Setting Up a Hotel

To run a hotel or a Guest house in Singapore a registration certificate required to be obtained from the Hotel Licensing Board HLB. This requires S$100 as fee and 14 days for issuance. This remains valid for 1 year.

Employment Agency License in Singapore

An Employment Agency License is required EAL to start operation from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore. It require S$400 as fee and 3 ~ 5 weeks to processing.

Travel Agency License

The services of a Travel Agent must comply with the Travel Agent’s Act the Cap 334.The Singapore Tourism Board [STB] is the licensing authority to this business. The license fee is S$300. The minimum Paid-up capital requirement of Travel Agent companies is S$100,000.

Event Management Licenses

Events are of different types. Different types required to permit different types of event management.

Art Entertainment License: Art Entertainment License is issued by Media Development Authority for musical and on-stage shows. For plays, musical and dancing shows/concerts the license fee is S$10/day and for art exhibitions, puppet shows S$5/day. License issued within 8 weeks, and is valid only for the dates of the performance or exhibition.

Public Entertainment License: Issued by Singapore Police, Fees S$20/day and S$40/7 days. Processing time is 12 working days.

License for Trade Fair:  Issued by National Environment Agency NEA. Fee is S$60. Time require 2 weeks to issue license. 

License for Annual Exhibition:  Issued by the Agro-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore AVA. License application fee is S$94.50 and license fee is S$126 and processing time is 4 working days.

License for Real Estate Agency

Council of Real Estate issues the license CEA. The annual license fee for real estate agencies varies from S$300-S$3,000 depending upon the number of real estate agents employed to run the agency. The annual registration fee is S$239 for each agent employed by the company.

License for Publishing Business 

Newspaper: Issued by Media Development Authority of Singapore. Licensing is free of charge but requiring a guarantee deposit of S$200,000. Processing time required 15 working days.

Printing Press: Printing Press is Issued by Register of News Papers free of fees and the License valid for 1 year from the date of issuance.

On-Line Publishing:  No license or permit is required for on-line Newspapers or any on-Line publications by the Singapore Newspaper and Printing Press Act.

Well, Singapore is a country meant for doing businesses and where no term exists like Red tap-ism. What one entrepreneur requires seeking permission of business and doing so is just to follow the prescribed steps or formalities and the guide lines.

For setting up a business in Singapore, checkout this guideline.


Company Registration Expert Since 2012