Singapore Business Permits and Licensing Guide

If your business operates in a regulated sector then you are required to secure a license before you can operate in Singapore. It is essentially a legal documentation that provides authorization to any entity to engage in a specific business. The first step in getting a permit is to register with Registrar of Companies. Once a company is registered then the next step is to apply for the specific license. Permits and licenses are issued anywhere from two weeks to two months depending on the business type. Below is the list of business types that require permits from Singapore authorities.

Specific licensing conditions

Each of the license will have its on specific licensing conditions. You as an entrepreneur will be required to satisfy those conditions before the license is approved. Some of the examples of these specific conditions are as follows;
  1. A travel agency is required to have minimum paid up capital of 100,000 SGD
  2. An employment agency is required to give a security bond of 20,000 SGD to 60,000 SGD depending on the type of license
  3. An importer of medicines is required to prove that he has proper system of record keeping to track batches of medicines and its expiry date
  4. A telecommunication operator with SBO(Individual) license must have 100,000 SGD as paid up capital


Even though many of the procedures involved in registering and securing permits and licenses in Singapore have been simplified, the specific requirements can be complex to understand. Engaging a professional firm for license application is always the best decision.

Check licensing requirements if your business is related to any of the following

Advertising servicesStoring, handling or dealing in Medicines, controlled drugs
Aerospace industry Dealing in Poisons of any class
Architectural Services Postal & courier services
Dealing in arms, weapons, explosives Printing & publishing
Banking, insurance & Financial services (& allied fields) Public Entertainment
Storing, handling or dealing in Chemicals Using or dealing in radiation equipment
Childcare, education & training Real estate, property dealing
Cinematography School, Universities & Educational institutions
Clinics, hospitals, nursing & patient care Second-hand good dealer
Commodities trading (Financial) Security & investigation
Commodities Trading (Rice)Telecommunication, Internet, wireless Transmission
Dealing in copyrighted material Dealing in Tobacco, Cigarettes
Activities related to death & funeral Toxic waste treatment
Employment & recruiting Traditional Chinese medicines
Engineering Services Travel agency
Entertainment, public performance Use of premises for specific purposes
Food processing of any type Utilities, gas, petrol
Food, restaurants & eating houses sea going Vessel
Hotel & staying arrangements Vet products & services
Dealing in Liquor Waste Disposal
Massage establishments