Few 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 licence in Singapore, the company must be first registered with the registrar of companies.

Typically application for licenses and permits in Singapore can only be done after successful incorporation of your company; however, in a few instances, application for licenses and permits is done simultaneously with the application for name approval from Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), whereby the ACRA system will indicate if another approving authority is required to grant licenses or permits.

There are several businesses that will require licenses or permits to operate. Private schools, travel agencies, liquor distributors, moneylenders, banks, childcare centres, importers/exporters, wholesalers and retailers of liquors are some examples of businesses that require license or permits by the Singapore authorities

Types of Business Licenses in Singapore

The various types of Singapore licenses and permits are:
Occupational licenses for professional services – Professionals such as lawyers, doctors, financial planners, pilots, commodity futures traders and accountants need to obtain occupational licenses to practice.

Compulsory licenses – Certain types of businesses require a special license before they can operate. Private schools, travel agencies, liquor distributors, money remittance agencies and childcare centres are some examples.

Business activity licenses and permits – Licenses and permits you need if you decide to carry out certain types of business activities.

For instance, you may need to renovate, erect advertising billboards on your premises, or export your products. For each of these activities, you need to get a license or permit.

In general, it may take between one week to two months to get a business license or permit depending on the type.
Hiring local and foreign employees
You business can hire local and foreign employees.
If you plan to hire a foreign employee (for short or long-term assignment), you company must obtain a work pass for the employee from Ministry of Manpower.

If you are considering to use your personal residence as your home office, Singapore’s Home Office Scheme allows you to conduct small-scale businesses from your home provided the business activities do not fall under the scheme’s negative list.
To run a home office, you must be the owner, tenant , or be authorized to stay at the place.

The scheme defines Home Offices as “premises used by its occupants primarily for residential purposes with part or parts of the premises being used by the occupants as an office” and emphasizes that the said premises cannot facilitate more than two persons who are engaged in the operation of the office and who are not residents in those premises.

Rikvin is a leading corporate services firm that assists entrepreneurs and investors with the processes required to form a Singapore company, along with a range of other corporate services. Rikvin caters to the needs of foreign investments in terms of Singapore company registration, processing of work visas, and post-incorporation considerations including obtaining business license and permit and compliance matters.

“Our phones are answered during business hours by specialists and not by an answering machine. We appreciate the value of your time and understand that a person cannot be replaced by technology. This is especially true when it comes to making important business decisions.” If you are interested in learning more about Rikvin’s Services kindly email us at info@rikvin.com or give us a call at +65 64838887