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Industry Specific Business Licenses in Singapore .pdf

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Industry-Specific Business
Licenses in Singapore

Depending on the type of business activities
your company conducts, you may need a
business license before you can start
business operations in Singapore in strict
compliance with Singapore laws.

Before you obtain a license
Before obtaining a business license in Singapore, you
should note the following points:
•Business licenses in Singapore are issued only to
registered companies. This means that your company
must be registered with accounting and corporate
regulatory authority before it can apply for Singapore
business license.

•Operating a business without a license is a punishable
offense under Singapore laws. All businesses are
therefore advised to carefully check the licensing
requirements and get appropriate licenses to avoid any
adverse legal consequences.

Not all business types in Singapore require licensing in
order to do business in Singapore. Even if your business
falls under one of the below-mentioned industries,
whether or not you need license may depend on your
service offerings, areas of service and business
Consult Precursor, your expert business advisory, and
find us at Precursor now.
To help you determine whether your business needs
licensing as well as the accompanying requirements,
please look through the description of the most popular
industries as follows.

Import and Export Permit in Singapore
Singapore permits the import and export of non-controlled
goods without any licensing requirements. However, for
the trading of controlled goods, you will require a relevant
import/export permit license relating to the goods you are
dealing in, issued by the specific governing agency.
Examples of controlled goods include cigarettes and
tobacco products, drugs, petrochemicals, animals and
food products.
The list of controlled goods as detailed down by
Singapore Customs is comprehensive. For more
information, please refer to this link. Here you can find a
whole list of goods that are controlled or prohibited. Do
read through the list first before you decide to start a
trading business in Singapore.

Business license in Singapore
for Retail Business
Business Licensing requirements for retail shops vary
depending on the nature of goods and services being
sold. Following are the licenses required under Retail:

•Tobacco Retail License, issued by the Health Sciences
Authority, for the retail of tobacco products.
•Liquor License issued by the Liquor Licensing Board for
retail of liquor.

•Telecommunication Dealer License issued by Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore for
the manufacture, import, hire, sale, offer or possession
for sale of any approved telecommunication
equipment or equipment set out in the First Schedule
of the Telecommunication (Dealers) Regulations.
•Pet Shop License issued by the AVA, if you intend to
use a premise for the display, sale or export of pets.
You do not need a pet shop license if you are only
selling pet accessories or only engaging in pet
grooming activities.

Singapore business licensing requirements
for construction business
There are several permits, approvals, and licenses that
are required for setting up a construction company in
Singapore. In addition to this, if such a company employs
workers from other countries, one needs to apply to the
Ministry of Manpower for work permits in order to hire
foreign laborers.

Singapore business license for Hotels
Several licenses and permits are required for setting up
and running hotels or boarding houses in Singapore.
Apart from getting the licensing and approval from the
Hotels Licensing Board, Separate permits or licenses
would have to be obtained for activities such as:
organizing ad-hoc entertainment, playing copyrighted
music or videos, running a spa, selling tobacco products,
operating a swimming pool, etc.

Singapore Business license
requirements for Spa
A Massage Establishment License is required in
order to offer massage services, foot reflexology
services, manicure treatments, spa baths or other
similar treatments.

Singapore Business licensing
requirements for Employment Agency
For any business that involves recruitment and job
placement services for other employers, an Employment
Agency License is required from the Ministry of Manpower
(MOM) of Singapore before such a business can
Employment agencies include head-hunting firms,
executive search companies, foreign domestic worker
agencies, local and foreign staffing companies, construction
worker agencies, online jobs portals, nanny-placing
agencies and so on.

Singapore business licensing requirements
for travel agency
Businesses that involve arranging and selling of travel or
tour packages will need to apply for a Travel Agent’s
License with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
The license is required if your business falls within
Section 4 of the Travel Agents Act (Cap. 334) as below:
selling tickets entitling an individual to travel, or otherwise
arranging for a person a right of passage on any
conveyance. A Travel Agency License is not required if
the conveyance is owned by the company.

•facilitating a person’s ability to travel by selling or
arranging transport tickets, hotel accommodation and
foreign visas to destinations outside and within
Singapore. A Travel Agency License is not required if the
mode of transport and the place of accommodation is
owned by the company.

•purchasing for resale the right of passage on any







•hold yourself out as or advertising that you are willing to
carry on any activity referred to in the previous points.

Business license in Singapore for
Medical Clinic
There are three essential types of licenses needed in order
to operate a medical clinic in Singapore.
The Medical Clinic Licenses are compulsory for any Health
Care institutes, and licenses for dealing with hazardous
chemicals, the usage of irradiating equipment or purchase of
certain medicinal products are also needed. Lastly, licenses
and approvals to carry out medical procedures will also be

Business license in Singapore for
Food and Beverage Business
All food related businesses in Singapore are required to
have a Food Shop License from the National Environment
Agency (NEA), which will conduct an inspection prior to
issuing a license. Other related licenses that you may
need or want to apply additionally are:

Halal Certification issued by the Islamic Religious Council
of Singapore (MUIS)
Liquor Licence issued by the Liquor Licensing Board for
the retail sale of liquor, including beer. Different types of
licenses are issued depending on whether consumption is
on or off premises.

Tobacco Retail License, issued by the Health Sciences
Authority, for the retail of tobacco products.
For operating a central kitchen you may require Factory
Registration and a License to Operate a Meat or Fish
Processing Establishment or Cold Store, issued by the
License for Importing Food Ingredients? If you intend to
import processed food products and food appliances,
you need to apply for several licenses with the Food
Control Division (FCD) of Agri-Food & Veterinary
Authority of Singapore (AVA).

Singapore business licenses for
Real Estate Agency
Given the rising importance of Singapore’s real estate
industry, a new statutory board was set up in 2010 to
better regulate the industry and raise professional
standards in the interest of consumers. The new
framework has enhanced the licensing of real estate
agencies, introduced a compulsory registration of real
estate agents since 2011 and established new industry

Singapore business license for
Event Management Business
Event management companies that are in the business of
organizing various types of events will have to obtain one or
more licenses depending on the event or activity being
Examples of such licenses include Arts Entertainment License,
Copyright Permit, Public Entertainment License, Trade Fair
Permit, Animal Exhibition License, etc.

Singapore Business licensing
requirements for Educational Institutes
Setting up an educational institution or to providing
educational services usually requires one or more
license to operate.

Each of the licenses is issued by a different
government authority; it can be the Ministry of Culture,
Community and Youth (MCCY) and/or Ministry of

Singapore business licenses for
Publishing Business

A publishing business publishes written materials such
as books, magazines, newspapers and any sort of

The Newspaper Permit and Printing Press License are
the two primary licenses that are required for anyone
wanting to start a publishing business in Singapore.

Read more information click this link:


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