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General Overview of Licenses Needed for Various Industries in Singapore

Updated: Mar 23


General Overview of Licenses Needed for Various Industries in Singapore | Bestar
General Overview of Licenses Needed for Various Industries in Singapore | Bestar

General Overview of Licenses Needed for Various Industries


In Singapore, most businesses don't require a license to operate. However, there are certain industries that do need specific licenses or permits before they can start operations. The licenses required will depend on the nature of the business activity. Here's a general overview of licenses needed for various industries in Singapore:


  • Food and Beverage (F&B):  F&B businesses need a Food Shop License from the National Environment Agency (NEA) . If you're a Halal establishment, you'll also need certification from the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) . Other licenses you might need include a Liquor License, a License for Importing Food Ingredients, and Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration.

  • Education: Businesses that operate as educational institutions need a license from the Ministry of Education (MOE) .

  • Travel and Real Estate: Travel agencies and real estate agents need licenses from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) respectively.

  • Finance: Financial institutions need licenses from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) .

  • Shipping: Shipping companies need a Harbour Craft License from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to operate their vessels within Singapore's port. If your vessels will be operated outside Singapore's borders, you'll also need a Port Clearance Certificate. You might also need a Ship Registration Clearance and a Port Limit Manning License.

  • Professional Services: Certain professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, pilots, accountants, architects, and commodity futures traders, must obtain an occupational license from the relevant authority. These authorities include the Ministry of Law, Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, the Board of Architects, Singapore Medical Council, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

  • Event Management: Event management companies organizing specific events or activities may need to apply for licenses like Arts Entertainment License, Copyright Permit, Public Entertainment License, Trade Fair Permit, or Animal Exhibition License.


This is not an exhaustive list, and the specific licenses you need will depend on your business activities. It's always best to check with the relevant government authority to determine the exact licenses and permits you need for your business in Singapore.


How Bestar can Help

General Overview of Licenses Needed for Various Industries in Singapore


While Bestar might not offer the full picture on licensing across all industries in Singapore, we can still be helpful in understanding the licensing process, especially for those related to finance. Here's how Bestar can assist:


  • General Licensing Guidance: Bestar's accountants have a general understanding of the licensing landscape in Singapore and could point you in the right direction for finding the necessary information for your specific industry.

  • Understanding Financial Licenses: If your industry requires licenses related to finance, such as money lending or financial trading, Bestar's accountants can provide more specific guidance on those licenses and how they apply to your business.

  • Compliance with Financial Regulations:  Business licenses often come with specific regulations you need to follow. Bestar's accountants can assist you in understanding these financial regulations and ensuring your business complies.

  • Liaison with Government Agencies: In some cases, obtaining licenses might involve communication with government bodies. Bestar's accountants might be able to help navigate this process and ensure your application is complete and accurate.


However, it's important to remember that Bestar might not be experts in all licensing requirements.

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