Introduction to Business Licenses and Permits for Singapore Companies

Mаnу business асtіvіtіеѕ in Sіngароrе аrе regulated аnd require a lісеnѕе before ѕtаrtіng the activities. Although Singapore hаѕ ѕіmрlіfіеd іtѕ lісеnѕіng processes significantly, most business owners prefer tо hіrе a professional ѕеrvісе соmраnу fоr thеіr knоwlеdgе аnd еxреrіеnсе.

CоrроrаtеGuide Sіngароrе can hеlр you wіth оbtаіnіng thе nесеѕѕаrу permits and licenses fоr your buѕіnеѕѕ. Wе have аn experienced ѕtаff of аttоrnеуѕ, accountants аnd buѕіnеѕѕ consultants whо аrе іntіmаtеlу fаmіlіаr with thе nuаnсеѕ оf various іnduѕtrіеѕ іn Sіngароrе аnd can act аѕ an еxtеnѕіоn of your tеаm. Mоrе dеtаіlѕ of our services buѕіnеѕѕ lісеnѕеѕ аrе рrоvіdеd bеlоw.

CorporateGuide Sіngароrе buѕіnеѕѕ lісеnѕе services іnсludеѕ:

  • Rеѕеаrсhіng аnd gаthеrіng іnfоrmаtіоn оn аррlісаblе lісеnѕеѕ
  • Aѕѕіѕtаnсе іn filing аррrорrіаtе license (s)
  • In rеѕроnѕе tо requests fоr аddіtіоnаl іnfоrmаtіоn frоm thе gоvеrnmеnt

Setting up your business in Singapore is quite straightforward. The pro-business atmosphere allows for smooth processing of documents to begin your business operations as soon as possible. So long as you provide all the necessary requirements listed for the permit or license you are applying for, everything should go your way. However, for certain types of businesses – aside from registering with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) – there might be a need to acquire special business permits. The list of other offices’ approvals needed for those businesses can be found on the ACRA website.

Below are the some of the permits and licenses available for application:

  • Business activity permit

For specific activities like renovating your offices, exporting your products, installing additional fixtures to your building’s façade, or hiring expatriates, among others.

  • Occupational licenses for professional services

Lawyers, doctors, dentists, and other professions require a license to perform work. If you or your business offer any of these types of services, you will need to acquire the correct license prior to operating.

  • Compulsory licenses

As mentioned above, certain types of businesses need additional licenses to operate. Some examples include: banks, travel or real estate agencies, food & beverage establishments.

Here are some industry-specific licenses you might need to obtain:

Different government offices are involved in the setting up of this type of institution, these may be the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, and others.

Apply for an import/export permit after registering with Customs. After which, you may be able to apply online. If you are planning on distributing controlled goods like tobacco or liquor, you will need to also secure a permit from the government authority responsible.

  • Finance-related

Register with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for any of the three types of licenses:

(1) Capital Markets Services License for companies working with securities
(2) Commodity License for commodity-trading
(3) Financial Advisor License for firms providing advisories to the public

Register with the National Environment Agency (NEA) for a food shop license. It is obligatory to have an inspection before the granting of the license. Depending on the types of food and beverages you will offer, you will have to get licenses for:

(1) Importing food
(2) Processing or storing meat/fish
(3) Halal certification
(4) Liquor license

  • Medical Clinic/Hospital

After obtaining a compulsory Medical Clinic License, you can opt to get permits for offering certain types of procedures (e.g. liposuction), handling of hazardous chemicals, and importing medical products/drugs.

  • Construction

Depending on the type of company, you may have to apply for License to offer Professional Engineering Services. In addition, hiring foreign workers will require your company to apply to the Ministry of Manpower for work permits.

Agents must obtain professional licenses and follow set regulations.

Must obtain a Massage Establishment License.

Register with the Ministry of Manpower and obtain an Employment Agency License.

Register with the Singapore Tourism Board for a Travel Agent’s License.

Based on the material to be published, you may need a Printing Press License and Newspaper Permit.

  • Telecommunications, Retail, Hotel, Event Management

Depending on the types of service offered, opening businesses in these industries may require more than one compulsory license.

Visit VentureHaven’s Singapore New Company Industry Guides for more information.