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The need for a Business license in Singapore and the procedure of obtaining one in Singapore
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In Singapore, establishing a business is a simple process. In fact, Singapore company incorporation can be done in the matter of hours by our corporate service team. While the procedure of Singapore company incorporation is straight-forward, certain businesses require a business license in Singapore. This depends on the type of industry that your Singapore business deals with and the business activities that your company conducts. A business license or permit may be required before you can start doing certain businesses in Singapore.

Essentially, a business license in Singapore is a permit issued by a Singapore government agency that allows you to conduct a specific type of business. The permit is issued only to registered companies, which means that your company must be incorporated with the Registrar of companies (ACRA) before you can apply for the respective business license in Singapore.

How would you know if your company in Singapore requires a business license?

Generally speaking, depends on what types of business you decide to do in Singapore, business license in Singapore will be required. For instance, in the finance industry, if an individual wants to start a business that lends money to others, providing investments to others or helping other corporations in compliance matters such as audit and taxation, licensing with different financial organizations and institutions in Singapore must be completed before the company can start its business.

In other stances, if you are engaging in export/import business in Singapore, it is required that you must apply for licenses with Singapore Customs and several other assigned authorities that range from Singapore Police Force to Health Science Authority.

The above are just some examples of licensing requirements in Singapore. For more information as to whether you need a business license in Singapore, it is advisable to contact a professional business advisory firm such as Precursor. More details can be found on its website,

How to apply for a business license in Singapore

The procedure of applying for Singapore business license varies on the respective license you need. Certain business licenses in Singapore need approval from more than one authority and may require a site visit before approval. For more information about a business license in Singapore, you can check out:

Typically, application for licenses and permits in Singapore can only be done after successful incorporation of your company; however, in a few instances, application for licenses and permits is done simultaneously with the application for name approval from Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and another approving authority if required.

The steps to apply business license on LicenceOne Portal

Here are the procedures on LicenceOne that you can apply their required business license in Singapore. Firstly, you can apply for New License on the portal. In addition, you can also choose to apply, amend, renew or cancel your licenses on the portal. Then you can select the license you need by either searching for the particular license or via agency search on the portal. Subsequently, after understanding the requirement of a business license in Singapore, you can gather and upload the required supporting documents for the license you need.

Lastly, do note that different business license in Singapore needs different sets of supporting documents and requirements. More information can be found on the website. Once you selected the required license, do prepare all the required documentations and submit the documents to the respective agency to the LicenceOne Portal.

How long does it take to approve your license?

In general, it takes between two weeks to two months to get a business license or permit depending on the type. The time frame for license application can vary from a few days to a matter of weeks.

Non-compliance of Singapore business license requirement may cause a penalization of your company is well as the suspension of your business activities in Singapore and therefore it is important for every company to obtain the necessary business licenses in Singapore. Not all companies and types of businesses are required to obtain licenses though.

At Precursor, we provide consultancy, support and help for getting business licenses in Singapore. We have years of experience, coupled with a track record of working alongside some of the top companies in Singapore backed by a team of expert professionals who are keen to help in all aspects at whatever stage of your business.

Our Corporate Secretarial Services Team provides clients with a one stop service to set up and do business in Singapore,  be it a branch, representative office, partnership, Singapore incorporated company or offshore entity, our clients are assured with a  peace of mind while entrusting us to do the set-up and advising of all the compliance matters.

Get in touch with us now at Precursor 

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