This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified))

Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Cafe Business in Singapore

Starting a Cafe Business in SingaporeWhen it comes to heaven on earth in terms of food, there is no place like Asia. In Singapore, you will always find that the food and beverage industry is thriving. Why? Well, because people love to eat! That is one of the many reasons why starting a cafe business in Singapore could be the best idea you ever had.

Singapore, like many places in Asia, is home to many mouth-watering delicacies and cuisines from all over the world. The entrepreneur with a passion for business and a love for food will be thrilled to find their calling here. There is no better place to launch the food business you’ve always dreamed of. You’ll be pleased to find that the restaurant business is one of Singapore’s most successful business types.

Before you venture on starting a cafe business in Singapore, there are several things you need to think about. First, it’s good to know that food is something that will always be in demand. This is good news for your business because it means your business will always have a steady stream of customers if the food is good and the price is right. Next, although food is an industry that is very in demand, success is not going to happen overnight. It’ll take some time before your business builds up the momentum and reputation needed to turn a profit.

To draw in your customers, your business must offer them value. You need good food, great price, and fantastic customer service to start out with. Be adventurous and willing to explore new areas and neighbourhoods to launch your business. Don’t be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone, provided you’ve done your research. Your business might be the next “hit” cafe that all the customers are talking about on social media. Finally, the Singapore company registration process is going to be a breeze with the 3E Accounting team helping you out.


What Does the Cafe Business Involve?

Before starting a cafe business in Singapore, it is important to have a clear idea of the business model. There’s a broad definition encompassed under the “cafe business” umbrella. Essentially, restaurants, fast food, cafes, and cafeterias are some examples of what the cafe food and beverage business involves.

Your business will be involved in the preparation, packaging, and serving of food and beverages to the customers. If you offer online delivery, then your business is going to be involved in the food transportation aspect of it too. The latter is often outsourced to other food delivery businesses for a more cost-effective option.


The Business Registration Process

Once you’re ready to begin the Singapore company incorporation process for your business, the first step is to register your business name with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). This must be your first step before you continue along with the company registration process. ACRA is responsible for regulating all businesses based in Singapore.

Registering with ACRA is quick and simple. Using your SingPass ID, go online and login to BizFile and fill in the necessary details. This is the online platform that is managed by ACRA. As your corporate service provider, 3E Accounting can help you draft and notarise your company’s Articles of Association. We will also be able to help you file them with ACRA. Prepare the details and particulars of the directors and shareholders of the company. If you are a foreign entrepreneur, you will need to submit a copy of your passport and your address as proof of residence.

Once you have successfully registered your business, the next step is to register your company for tax and GST with the relevant authorities. The final step would be to apply for the necessary licenses and permits to legally operate your company in Singapore. If all your documents are in order, it should only take a day or two for your business to be registered.


The Licenses and Permits You Need

The cafe food and business industry in Singapore is one that could involve multiple licenses and permits. The licenses and permits you need will depend on what your business is involved in. Before applying for your licenses and permits, you will need the following documents:

  • If you are a foreign entrepreneur, you will need copies of your ID, passport or residence permit
  • Copy of the approval that has been issued by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Housing and Development Board
  • A certificate for food and hygiene for the manager and the staff that will be working in the business
  • A safety management plan for your intended premise.

Some examples of the types of licenses that you would need to apply for include the following:

  • A Food Shop License for businesses intending to operate eating houses, coffee shops, food court, canteen, market.
  • A Food Stall License if you intend to operate your café food and beverage business in Singapore inside a food shop with private ownership.
  • A Hawker Stall License if you intend to operate a food stall that is under a food shop that is government-owned.
  • A Copyright License for your premise if you intend to play music at a pub, café, restaurant, food court etc.
  • A Public Entertainment License if you intend to provide live music performances, play recorded music, have a live music lounge or even offer cabaret shows.
  • A Liquor License if you intend to sell alcohol at your establishment.


Ready to Take the Next Step?

Can’t figure out what licenses and permits you might need? Not sure if you’ve got all your documents in order or missing something important? Don’t worry, that is why we are here to help. For more information on starting a cafe business, contact 3E Accounting and let our friendly staff guide you the rest of the way.

Starting a Cafe Business in Singapore