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Industry Specific Business Licenses in Singapore .pdf

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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 revenues.

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.
For more information on going about applying for
business licenses in Singapore,
visit https://licence1.business.gov.sg.

Import and Export Permit in
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
Info-comm 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.

• Wholesale Dealer’s License for Chinese Proprietary
Medicine (CPM) issued by the Health Sciences
Authority of Singapore (HSA) under the Medicines
Act to allow the companies to import Chinese
Proprietary Medicines (CPM). The CPM must be
listed and approved for sale in Singapore prior to

Retail pharmacy license issued by HSA for
pharmacies or drugstores.

• Cosmetic Products Notification under the guidance of
HSA for retail of cosmetic products.

Singapore business licensing
requirements for construction
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
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,

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
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, nannyplacing agencies and so on.

Singapore business licensing
requirements for travel
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
• arranging or conducting tours within or outside
• hold yourself out as or advertising that you are willing
to carry on any activity referred to in the previous

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 required.

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 AVA.
• 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 AgriFood & 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 regulations.

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 organized. 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
Setting up an educational
institution or to
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 periodical. 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.

In summary, as there are quite a number of industries
that require licenses/permits to be obtained, it’s
advisable to seek help from a professional business
advisory consultancy firm to avoid any delays in the
commencement of business and to prevent adverse
consequences in the future.
At Precursor, we have industry experts who have
served top companies and multinationals for their
business compliance requirements in Singapore, to
find out more please visit us on our website now.

Read more information
click this link:

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