Before operating any business, the business owner is required to apply a license regarding on which type of business you are going to have. Different type of business acquired different types of license. Some businesses even required more than one license or permit to operate.

Retail shop

There are three popular types of retail stores viz. supermarkets, pharmacies and telecommunications stores and the licensing requirements for retail shops depends on the nature of goods and services being sold.

Construction business

Setting up of a construction business required several types of permits, approvals, licenses and also the work permits in order to hire the foreigners.

Trading activities

Setting up a trading company required a customs account to engage the local freight forwarder to arrange the import and export items. The import/export licenses and permits, taxes and fees, cargo clearance procedures, and goods storage will be handle by the local freight forwarder.


There are several licenses and approvals to be obtained in order to set up a hotel or boarding house in Singapore. Apart from the principal Hotel-Keeper’s License and approval from the Hotels Licensing Board, permits or licenses will have to be obtained for the following types of activities: housing TVs, organizing ad-hoc entertainment, playing copyrighted music or videos, running a spa, selling tobacco products, operating a swimming pool, etc.


Massage Establishment License should be applied in order to offer massage services, foot-reflexology services, manicure treatments, spa baths or other similar treatments as part of your spa offerings.

Western medical clinic

There are three essential types of licenses in order to operate a western medical clinic in Singapore:

a) the Medical Clinic License which is a compulsory license for all health-care institutions;

b) licenses for dealing with hazardous chemicals, using irradiating equipment or for purchasing certain medicinal products

c) licenses and approvals to carry out medical procedures such as such as liposuction, abortion and sterilisation. Employment agency Employment Agency License is required prior to start the employment agency.

Travel agency

A travel agency license is required in order to conduct business as a Singapore travel agent.

Financial services business

Financial advisers must be licensed in order to carry out certain regulated financial services activities. There are two types of licenses which are Capital Markets Services License and Financial Advisers License

Foods and Beverages business

A food shop license is required to open a restaurant in Singapore

Shipping business

A license to set up shipping/maritime business operations should be applied in Singapore.

These include legislation for:

a) operating vessels within and outside Singapore

b) crew members to work on board the vessels,

c) anything deals with dangerous goods,

d) operating certain communication equipment on board vessels,

Event management company

Event management companies that are in the business of organizing various types of events will have to obtain one or more licenses depending upon the event or activity being organized. Examples of such licenses include Arts Entertainment License, Copyright Permit, Public Entertainment License, Trade Fair Permit, Animal Exhibition License, etc.

Real estate agency

Given the rising importance of Singapore’s real estate industry, a new statutory board was recently setup in order to better regulate the industry and raise professional standards in the interest of consumers. The new framework has enhanced the licensing of real estate agencies, introduced a compulsory registration of real estate agents and established new industry regulations.

Publishing business

Required The Newspaper Permit and Printing Press License

Telecommunications business

The licensing requirements vary depending upon the type of telecommunication service being provided. Each type of business activity requires a compulsory license and may require one or more additional licenses.

Private education business

There are certain mandatory licenses that one needs to obtain in order to setup an educational establishment in Singapore. Which include starting childcare centers, kindergartens, academic schools and non-academic schools in Singapore.