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Guide to Starting a Massage Establishment Business in Singapore

Guide to Starting a Massage Establishment Business in SingaporeSingapore is an attractive, vibrant country in Asia which draws thousands of tourists towards its shores every year. Food, shopping, tourism, travel are all part of what make Singapore such an attractive destination. Demand to meet the needs of locals and tourists has risen dramatically over the past few years, and among the industries which are booming include massage establishment business and spa businesses in Singapore, which fall under the wellness industry category.

This sector has become highly sought after by international investors who want to consider starting a massage establishment business in Singapore because of how successful this – along with the spa industry – is. Currently it is one of the most lucrative areas which contribute to the country’s GDP annually, and this number is only set to grow even more.

If you are looking for a guide to massage establishment business in Singapore, the information below will provide you with the essential information you need to get started.

What Documents Do I Need to Start a Massage Establishment Business in Singapore?

Aside from the documents for the incorporation of your company, you will need the following the documents as well when starting a massage establishment business in Singapore:

  • No Objection Letter from the management of the building or the landlord if the premises is leased
  • URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) planning permit
  • A plan number from the Fire Safety and Shelter Department
  • A blueprint of the premises
  • In the event the premises is rented, you must provide a copy tenancy agreement for at least 2 years

You will also need to provide:

  • Provide a list with the details of the employees
  • Detailed information about the amounts invested in the spa
  • Photos of the staff employed at your establishment in their uniforms


What Licenses Do I Need to Start a Massage Establishment Business in Singapore?

Once you have your massage establishment business in Singapore incorporated, you will need to get your licensing permits and documentation prepared to legally operate the business in the country. If you have not incorporated your company, you may register your company online with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore, or enlist the help of company registration specialists who will be able to assist you throughout the entire process.

For your massage establishment business in Singapore, under the Massage Establishment Act Singapore, there will be two types of permits you can apply for:

  • Category 1 License – This permit will allow you to operate within residential areas, including neighbourhoods, hotels or commercial centers.
  • Category 2 License – This permit will allow you to operate in non-residential areas.

Category 1 Licenses

Category 1 Licenses will allow your massage establishment business in Singapore to operate only within a strict set amount of hours. There are also age restrictions which come with this license. You will be allowed to employ foreign professionals to work within your establishment. To meet the requirements for this license category, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have an accreditation from Case Trust
  • Minimum paid-up capital of S$50,000 in rental, renovation or asset costs
  • 80% or more of the technicians and therapists must be licensed according to the ME Act.
  • Meet one of the following requirements: the location for the establishment is at least 100 SQM or the lease for the rented location is a minimum of 2 years

Category 2 Licenses

Category 2 Licenses will require that your massage establishment in Singapore is located far away from residential areas, hospitals and schools. With this category, you will only be able to employ Singaporean and Malaysia citizens or residents to work in your establishment. To meet the requirements for this license category, you must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Have an accreditation from Case Trust
  • Employees providing massage services must go for a compulsory medical health screening before they can be registered with the PLRD.
  • Requirements for the premises must be met. These requirements may include no locks on doors which lead to areas for administering services, all staff rooms must have “No Entry”  signage, and clear segregation when it comes to female and male areas as an example.
  • The company uniform which has to be worn, also needs to be approved by PLRD
  • The shop should have a minimum 2-year lease or have a floor area of at least 100m2.

The permits and licenses for massage establishment businesses in Singapore will be granted for the activities below:

  • Establishments offering foot reflexology services
  • Establishments offering massage services
  • Establishments offering manicure and pedicure services
  • Establishments offering spa services

Those who intend to apply for a permit to start a massage establishment in Singapore must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must not have a prior criminal record
  • Be at least 21-years of age
  • Hold a Singapore Employment Pass if you are not a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore

Investors who intend to apply for a license for the massage establishment business in Singapore must adhere to the following conditions:

  • The business must provide staff uniforms for all who are working at the establishment
  • The business must have the minimum SGD 550,000 in capital which will be utilized for investment purposes
  • The premise must be a minimum of 100 square metres at least
  • The business must have a Case Trust Accreditation for Spa and wellness

If you are incorporating your company through the assistance of company formation specialist agents, they will assist you with the permit and license application as they have a vast experience in doing so for several types of business industries and will be familiar with what the local laws and legislation requirements are.

Do the Employees Working at a Massage Establishment Need to be Accredited?

Yes, any employee – or at least 80% of your employees – who is working in the business must have at least one of the following accreditations:

  • CIDESCO Beauty certification
  • CIBTAC Beauty Therapy Services certification
  • CIBTAC Spa Therapy certification
  • ITEC Beauty Specialist certification
  • ITC Holistic Massage certification


How Long Will the License Application Process Take?

The average processing time license applications in Singapore is 12 working days. A Massage Establishment License is valid for up to 1-year only, after which it must be renewed after that time.