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Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Restaurant Business in Singapore

Starting a Restaurant Business in SingaporeEvery food lover knows that the place to be is Singapore. From Western to Asian, Middle Eastern and more, you’ll find any delicacy to satisfy every craving in this bustling island nation. Singapore is where all the dishes of the world culminate together in one, outstanding location.

For the entrepreneur thinking about starting a restaurant business, there’s no better place to do it than right here in Singapore. People love to eat, and Singaporeans are renowned for their love of food. The business will never be slow when you’ve got mouth-watering dishes to satisfy your customers. Before you do that, though, you’ll need to register your business in the right way.


What is a Restaurant Business?

A restaurant business does the following activities:

  • Operating a restaurant
  • Franchising or licensing of restaurants

Essentially, a restaurant business prepares and serves food and drink to their customers. The services that a restaurant offers include dine-in, takeaway, and food delivery. A restaurant can specialise in one cuisine or offer a variety of cuisines to target a bigger customer base. Some restaurants even serve fusion dishes to blend the best of two worlds.


The Singapore Business Registration Process

The business registration process in Singapore begins with gathering your documents and filing with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). You can do this by logging online to ACRA’s BizFile account using your SingPass ID. If you don’t have a SingPass ID, you can opt to open a restaurant with a partner.

Alternatively, 3E Accounting can assist with this step as your nominated Singapore company registration specialist. We will also be able to help you file with ACRA. We can also assist to 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.

If all your documents are in order, it should only take a day or two for the business registration. Once you do that, you can go ahead and move to the next step, which is to apply to for the licenses and permits you need.


Licenses and Permits You Need for Your Business

Once the business registration process is complete, it’s time for the final step before you can open your doors to the public. You need to get the necessary licenses and permits to operate your business legally in Singapore. Per the Environmental Public Health Act, it is mandatory to secure a Food Shop License issued by the National Environment Agency (NEA) for retailing food and/or drinks.

As your dedicated corporate service provider, 3E Accounting can help you arrange for the relevant licenses and permits you need. Here are some relevant licenses and permits you must apply for when starting a restaurant business here:


Type of License/Permit Purpose of License/Permit
Food Shop License Applications are done online and the processing time is approximately 1-2 weeks. There will be a pre-licensing inspection of the premises where you plan to open your restaurant and depending on the outcome of the inspection, the processing time may be affected.

If any renovations or modifications are done to the premise, it must be according to the layout plan submitted in your Food Shop License application. Once the set-up or renovation of the premises is complete, you will need to inform the NEA to arrange for a site inspection to verify the compliance of all the hygiene requirements.

Upon verification of the hygiene requirements, the license will be issued. The license has to be renewed every year.

Halal Certificate The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) issues this certificate. Getting Halal certification is essential for starting a restaurant business in Singapore, where there is a large population of muslims.

The fee for this certificate is S$480 to S$ 640 depending on the floor area.

Liquor License You will need to obtain a liquor license in Singapore if you want to sell alcohol and liquor in your establishment. This can be obtained from the Liquor Licensing Board.

To serve liquor at your restaurant, you will need two types of licenses. These are the public house license and liquor license. Depending on the retail hours, the public house license is classified into first and second class licenses. The fee for the license varies from S$520 to S$1600 for a period of two years.

Applications for a liquor license can be submitted online.

Entertainment License You will need a public entertainment (PE) or arts entertainment licence is required under the Public Entertainments & Meetings Act for any entertainment that is provided in any place to which the public or any class of public has access.
A License for Importing Food Ingredients To import processed food products and food appliances, you need to apply for a trader’s licence or register with Singapore Food Agency (SFA). Restaurants that offer speciality food would usually require this license.

Processed food products include raw spices, raw or semi-processed food ingredients, flour, bottled water, liquors, wines, confectioneries, noodles & pasta, beverages and more.

You will need a Central Registration (CR) Number from the Singapore Customs before submitting an application with SFA.


Finally, any business that has annual revenue of S$1million or more must register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The GST rate in Singapore is 7% on the price of the goods or services. Our company incorporation specialists can brief you in more detail about how the tax system works in Singapore.


Launch Your Business With the Best of The Best in Singapore

Your business is something you’ve yearned for and envisioned for a very long time. That is why you should launch your business with the assistance of the best of the best in Singapore.

Why not let 3E Accounting take your business to greater heights? With our comprehensive and all-inclusive incorporation packages, you’ll be covered from start to finish until the day your business is ready to take off. For more information about our company incorporation services and other services we offer, contact 3E Accounting or visit our website today.

Starting a Restaurant Business in Singapore