Company Compliance – Business Licenses and Permits Requirements in Singapore
A quick guide on business licenses and permits requirements in Singapore from 3E Accounting, the industry experts with customizable solutions.
Generally, Singaporean businesses do not need licenses or permits to operate. However, some commercial activities are exceptions to this general rule, requiring approvals from the relevant Government departments. Failure or negligence in getting approvals may result in harsh fines and cessation of operations. Engaging in professional solutions firms such as 3E Accounting will ensure proper compliance. Nevertheless, it is still prudent to be knowledgeable about the ins and outs of business licenses and permits requirements in Singapore.
The Right to Do Business
Singapore is highly efficient in all matters of corporate governance, and this includes company incorporation and approvals. Starting a company usually only takes a few days if your documentation is in order.
The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore regulate company formation. Your company can be any one of the following:
- Sole Proprietorship
- Limited Partnership (LP)
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
- Local Private Company & Local Public Company
Successful registration of your company is usually followed by getting a corporate bank account and registering for taxes. Next comes approvals, and this will depend on the nature of your business. Usually, if the business activity has a more significant impact on society at large, then the Government will adopt stricter monitoring.
Further, regulations, procedures and authorities to apply to vary according to the industry or sector and the type of profession or activity. To avoid confusion or making the wrong applications, consider working with industry professionals like 3E Accounting. Such firms already have the relevant knowledge of what needs to be done and can make the entire process seamless.
License and permit application may take anywhere from two weeks to several months as some businesses require multiple approvals. For example, if you are looking to establish a Clinic Business in Singapore, you will need to apply for approval from several agencies. Registration comes from the Ministry of Health’s Central Licensing Branch. The Building and Construction Authority issue premise and advertising certificates. Fire Safety Certificate is obtained from the Civil Defence Force while a Pharmacy Certificate is needed from the Health Science Authority. All your tools and equipment will also require permits.
In comparison, a Travel Agency has fewer compliance requirements and can be easily applied for online. To run your business, you will need a Travel Agency License from the Singapore Tourism Board. Applications without any procedural problems can be processed within five working days. Similarly, a Courier Service Business will need a license to operate from the Infocomm Media Development Authority. The vehicles that you use in your business will also need to be registered with the Land Transport Authority.
If you’re looking to start up a construction company in Singapore, then a different set of approvals will apply. Not only will your business itself need licensing, but employees such as engineers will need permits as well. Licenses are granted by the Professional Engineer Board. Permits will also be required from the Building and Construction Authority, National Environment Agency, etc. You will even need to apply for a road occupation management permit to do all land works.
Here are a few more examples of businesses that need approvals:
- Educational Institutions
- Event organizing companies
- Financial Service providers
- Publishing companies
- Shipping companies
The Right Way to Do Business
Don’t get lost in the maze of business licenses and permits requirements in Singapore. Speak to professional firms such as 3E Accounting, who offer customizable solutions for all your business needs. From incorporation to approvals, 3E Accounting will get all compliance seen in the right way.
Contact 3E Accounting today for a fresh new take on the best business practices available.