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Getting Started in the Retail Industry

Before joining the retail trade industry, familiarize yourself with the requirements you will have to meet.

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Published by Enterprise Singapore
on 01 Apr 2018

A. Apply For Licences & Permits

If you are starting in the retail business, the licences and permits you need will depend on:

1. Type of Retail Outlet

Some retail outlets, pet shops for example, require licences or permits before they can begin operations.

2. Type of Goods You Are Retailing

If you are selling either medicine or liquor, you will also need a licence or permit.

3. Your Business Activity

The type of business activity you have may require specific licences or permits. For instance, you need a licence or permit before you can:

  • Advertise or promote your goods (e.g. outdoor advertising, advertisements for medicinal products)
  • Import / export goods
  • Wholesale and distribute certain goods
  • Play or perform copyrighted music at your premises
  • Place a TV or any other equipment with a Broadcast Signal Receiver at your premises
  • Store and transport petroleum/flammable materials at your premises (e.g. LPG Gas for cooking)

The business licensing portal, Gobusiness Licensing Portal, provides more details and information that you can refer to.


B. Learn More About Laws & Regulations

Before you start out in the retail business, it is useful to find out about the rules that apply to the following:

  • Selecting premises approved for retail (including rules on conservation buildings)
  • Hiring foreign workers
  • Settling disagreements with suppliers, customers, etc
  • Licences and permits for the import and export of goods
  • Selling goods & services online
  • Tax schemes and refunds for retailers

If you would like more information, please go to the Business Guides on Legal Information.

Last Modified Date: 13 Jan 2020