Singapore Business License Application

Business incorporation

In Singapore, businesses in certain industries need licenses before they launch their business operations. A number of new start-ups or foreign-owned companies in Singapore may not be aware of the need to apply for the relevant Singapore business license.

These licenses are required because the relevant government authorities have to monitor their business activities for various reasons.

What Types of Businesses Need to Apply for a Business Licence?

In Singapore, businesses in certain industries require official licenses to ratify their operations because the nature of these industries requires closer monitoring by the authorities. Essentially, you should consider applying for your business license as soon as you know the opening date of your business.

You can refer to the table below for specific cases.

Three main types of licenses

All the same, companies have to be registered with ACRA before applying for a business license.

  1. Compulsory Licenses: Certain businesses need to obtain licenses before they can commence operations. For example, childcare centres require a Child Care Centre licence.
  2. Occupational Licenses: Certain professions need to obtain specific licenses from their respective professional organizations. These include doctors, lawyers, architects and accountants.
  3. Business Activity Based Licenses: Some types of business activities require specific licenses or permits. For example, in order to sell liquor, you will need a liquor license.

How Long is the Processing Time for a Business Licence?

The timeframe for license application can vary from a few days to a matter of weeks because some business licenses require approvals from more than one authority. As such, you may have to visit their premised frequently.

However, depending on the type of license/permit one is applying for, the processing time is between 2 weeks to 2 months. We at Tianlong Services not only help local and foreign entrepreneurs set up their businesses in Singapore, but also help them apply for their business licences in the shortest time possible.  

The following table lists these businesses against the name of the business license they need to apply for. We have successfully secured these types of licenses, but not limited to:

Type of Business in Singapore

Name of Business Licence

Arts and Entertainment

  • Public Entertainment (PE) Licence
  • Copyright Licence to play copyrighted music, videos & films.


  • Hotel Keeper’s License


  • Food Shop License
  • Liquor License

Recruitment firms

  • Comprehensive License/Select License

Private Education

  • Mandatory registration if providing education to 10+ individuals.

Child Care/Early Education

  • Kindergarten Licence or Child care centre Licence

Travel agencies

  • Travel Agent License

Shipping companies

  • Harbour Craft License/Port Limit Manning License/Ship Station License

Financial service providers

  • Capital Markets Services License/Financial Adviser’s License

Event-organizing companies

  • Arts Entertainment License / Public Entertainment License

Publishing companies

  • Printing Press License

Telecommunications companies

  • Telecommunications Dealers’ (Class) Licence.
  • Second-hand Goods Dealers Licence, etc.

How Can We Help?

The process of applying for a business licence can be overwhelming and complex to understand, especially if you are not an expert. Therefore, engaging a professional firm like Tianlong Services is advisable to handle these services on your behalf.

Feel free to contact us for a free consultation and we will be happy to assist you with your Singapore business registration needs.





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