With Singapore’s booming economy comes the need for a wide variety of housing options for the growing employment market. Pouring in from all corners of the globe, business owners, consultants, among others require land, housing and rentals year-round.
To operate as a real estate agency, you must be licensed by the Council of Estate Agencies (CEA). Whether or not the properties you will handle are foreign or local, so long as your business will operate in Singapore, this license is a requirement to begin real estate work. Each real estate agency must also be registered for a Professional Indemnity insurance policy which covers its key personnel and all its employed salespersons.
The following requirements are needed to obtain a license from CEA:
- ACRA-certified copy of Business Profile and Business Name (from BizNet+)
- Business Registration Number from ACRA BizNet+
- Professional Indemnity Insurance policy schedule or cover letter (copy), must be valid for at least one year
The following standards must also be complied with:
- All clauses under the Estate Agencies Act must be fully complied with.
- The agency must exist as a private limited company, sole proprietorship or partnership, registered with ACRA.
- The key persons within the agency must not have previously held management positions within another agency whose license was revoked at any time.
- The agency or key persons within the agency must not currently be a licensed moneylender
- The agency or key persons within the agency are not caught up in any ongoing schemes, convicted by court for fraud, dishonesty or breach of any delineated responsibilities as stated in any contracts.
- The agency or key persons must declare any prior convictions within Singapore or abroad.
- The agency must have established Standard Operating Procedures for salespersons, handling of customer relations, handling of public relations materials, confidentiality agreements, and protection of client information and accounts within its operations.
- Estate agency cards should comply to guidelines set by CEA and agents should wear them while doing estate agency work.
Each real estate salesperson and agency must renew their licenses annually. The annual registration fee for each salesperson is S$230 while the application fee for salespersons’ registration and renewal is S$53.50. Each time a salesperson moves to a new agency, the fee applies again. The agencies are considered liable and responsible for the registration of all salespersons employed under them,
The annual license fees for the agencies vary from a minimum of S$300 to S$3000 depending on the number of professional real estate salespersons employed by the agency. The application fee is a standard S$107.
The approval of licenses is done online. Notices of approval or rejection of pending applications will be sent to your provided email address care of CEA. Should a hard copy of the license be required, this can be printed out from the CEA e-Services website.
Should any changes in application status or license statues be needed, they should be declared through the same CEA e-Services website within 7 days of the change. These changes may include management changes (e.g. key personnel appointments), changes in shareholders, and termination of a salesperson.