What You Need to Know for Various Business Licenses in Singapore

Singapore is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Because of that, there are ample opportunities for both investment and employment. Even foreigners are allowed to set up their businesses in Singapore, but they have to obtain a visa first. Once you get a visa if you are a foreigner, you can then proceed to apply for a business license.

Some businesses require licenses while others do not. That is why you need to conduct checks on the compliance requirements for the business you intend to set up before you launch your operation. Checking whether your line of business requires a permit will put you on the right side of the LAW.

Business licenses often take a period of between two weeks and two months to be processed. If your business requires one, you are advised to prepare early as some business licenses can take more time to be processed than others. Below is a list of businesses that need a license before they are legally allowed to operate.

Construction

This is one area of business that requires multiple permits, approvals, and licenses. For a construction company to be allowed to operate in Singapore, its incorporation is not enough. Detailed inspection must be carried out to ensure that you comply with all of the laid down procedures before your company gets permits approval.

For a foreign company, you first have to apply for a work visa and work permits for you company and employees with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). For professional engineering services, you have to obtain a license from the Professional Engineers Board. Visit the One-Visa official page if you want assistance with applying for work visas.

Food and beverage

Just like the construction business, running a food and beverage business in Singapore also requires multiple approvals. First of all, you must obtain a food shop license, which is processed by the National Environment Agency (NEA). After you have been awarded this license, your operations must be in compliance with the NEA’s Code of Practice of environmental health or you risk having your license revoked.

Additionally, you have to obtain a permit from the Agri-Food and Veterinary authority if you are going to use foreign ingredients. If your restaurant will be selling liquor, then you need a license from the Liquor Licensing Board.

Financial services business

The financial services industry is one of the best performing industry in Singapore. It is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Capital Market Authority. If your business operations fall in security trading, future trading, or fund management, you have to get a Capital Market Services license before your business is allowed to become legally operational. Banks and insurance companies obtain their licensing from the MAS. Retail stores

The license you will need at your retail store will entirely depend on the products that you are dealing with. For instance, if you intend to open a supermarket, you will need a supermarket license, which is a requirement as per the Environmental Public Health Act. If you are opening a pharmacy, you will apply for a certificate of registration from the Health Sciences Authority.

The bottom line

Setting up a business in Singapore might not be much of a hassle, but there are a lot of licensing procedures to be complied with. To be on the safe side of the law, you can seek professional advice to help you set up your business. A professional understands all of the laws and regulations governing business licenses and will save much of your time.  

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