Singapore Company Registration Specialist
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Singapore Business Permits and Licensing

The following guide provides a basic review of the types of Singapore licenses and permits required for performing same types of business activities and running certain industries here.

When you incorporate your Singapore company, it will be required to get a license/permit from the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The license/permit will depend on the type of business you want to run. The automatic system at ACRA will determine if the license or permit needs to be applied to another approving agency during the process of application for approval of name.

It is worth noting that most Singapore businesses will not require licenses and/or permits to run their business operations. However, there are certain types of businesses that have to be regulated by certain government authorities. Examples of these businesses include travel agencies, private schools, banks, moneylenders, importers/exporters, childcare centers, and liquor distributors, retailers or wholesalers.

If you want to get more detailed information on application for licenses and/or permits for your business, you can get help from our Business License Experts through e-mail or phone at +(65) 6438 887.

You can also take help from the useful articles that provide all the information about the incorporation of different types of businesses and the places where you can get the required licenses/permits for operation.

The following Referral Authority Chart will guide you about the approving authority for each business type.

Special Cases that Need Referrals Referral Government Department
Name or service of a company relates to architectural services Board of Architects (BOA)
Name or activities of a company relates to real estate Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)
Name or activities of a company relates to commodities future trading, clearing, brokerage or related International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore)
Proposed company name has terms like “Defense” or “Military” Ministry of Defense – Defense Technology and Resource Office
Proposed activities of a company relate to community services for children, elderly, disabled, youth or families Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS)
An organization offering academic educational/training services. The proposed organization name contains terms like ‘college’, ‘university’, ‘Singapore’ or ‘national’ Ministry of Education – Private Schools Section
Proposed company name contains the term “ASEAN” Ministry of Foreign Affairs
If the proposed organization name or activities have the term “Islam” or “Muslim” Majlis Ugama Islam of Singapore (MUIS)
Proposed company will engage in financial services and has a proposed name with terms associated with financial services like ‘bank’, ‘securities exchange’, ‘clearing house’, futures exchange’ or similar terms Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
Proposed company name or its activities are associated with tourism and contain the term “Merlion” Singapore Tourism Board (STB)
The activities related to arms, ammunition, explosives or chemicals Singapore Police Force – Licensing Division
Proposed company name or activities are associated to law/legal services The Law Society of Singapore

Some business activities require approval in advance from the respective authorities even before registering with the ACRA. This includes the following along with their Referral Authority:

Special Cases that Need Referrals Referral Government Department
Proposed company name or activities indicate accounting services Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS)
Proposed company name or activities have the terms “Clinic” or “Medical” Ministry of Health (MOH)
Proposed company name or activities have the terms “Co-operative” or “Co-op” Registry of Co-operative Societies
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