Certain types of business activities require a business license in Singapore. Essentially, a business license is a permit issued by a Singapore government agency that allows you to conduct a specific type of business. In order to apply for a business license in Singapore, the company must be first registered with the registrar of companies. To find out how to register a private limited company in Singapore, see Singapore company registration guide.
The purpose of this guide is to provide a basic introduction to industry-specific business licenses in Singapore.
Industry-Specific Business Licenses in Singapore
Certain types of businesses require a special license before they can operate. Listed below are some of the industry-specific licenses that must be obtained in order to run a particular business in Singapore. In general, it may take between two weeks to two months to get a business license or permit depending on the type
Running a retail shop
Licensing requirements for retail shops vary depending on the nature of goods and services being sold. Our guide on Setting up a Retail Outlet in Singapore offers comprehensive information on the licensing requirements for three popular types of retail stores viz. supermarkets, pharmacies and telecommunications stores. In addition, the guide outlines the licenses and requirements in order to retail certain popular items such as cosmetics and liquor.
Starting a construction business
There are several permits, approvals and licenses that are required for setting up a construction company in Singapore. In addition, one needs to apply to the Ministry of Manpower for work permits in order to hire foreign laborers. For more information on this topic, please refer to our guide on Setting up a Construction Company in Singapore.
Engaging in trading activities
The guide on Starting a Trading Company in Singapore provides an overview of the various aspects of trading in Singapore including: opening a customs account, applying for import/export licenses and permits, types of goods that can be imported/exported, taxes and fees, trade financing options, cargo clearance procedures, goods storage options etc. The informational guide on Importing Controlled Goods into Singapore details the licensing requirements for importing “sensitive” goods into the country while the Guide to Singapore’s Global Trader’s Scheme provides information on tax incentives that are available to global trading companies that establish a presence in Singapore.