Licenses to Run Your New Café and Restaurant in Singapore

There are many food licenses and permits an owner has to secure before opening his/her own restaurant/café in Singapore. No owner would want to face legal implications from the government because of negligence over simple paperwork. Especially in Singapore where the food safety regulations are extremely strict. Some of the food licenses required for a restaurant and a café overlap each other. We will go further into detail about these licenses in this article.

 Cafés and Restaurants

  1. Incorporating your company on ACRA.

ACRA is the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority in Singapore. Registering your food business t should be your first step in legitimizing your café/restaurant. After this step, your café/restaurant would be recognized by other vendors and suppliers. You would be able to reach out to suppliers and secure contracts. Visit the ACRA website and follow the necessary steps to get your company incorporated.

  1. Food Shop License

To operate your restaurant, you require a food shop license. Owners can only apply for a food shop license after you have signed the tenancy agreement and your interior layout plan of your café/restaurant has been finished. Make sure you have secured your tenancy and your layout plans early as it can delay the opening of your restaurant drastically. Source for various tenants and interior designers to carry out your plans efficiently.

  1. Basic Food Hygiene Course

Cleanliness is paramount in the F&B industry. Food hygiene regulation is extremely strict. The government enforces this very stringently, where café/restaurant owners must display their cleanliness rating prominently in their restaurants. Owners should send their employees for Basic Food hygiene courses organized by various government approved agencies. Overlooking this food safety option can lead to dangerous outcomes because not only are you risking your customers but could potentially land your restaurant into legal problems.

  1. Importing Foods 

Cafes and restaurants try to differentiate themselves through unique menus and specialties. This requires the import of exotic cuisine. Owners should seek to gain the necessary food import licenses through the Food Control Division, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). Also, owners can source for reliable and legal Food importers to serve their needs.

  1. Halal License

Singapore has a multi-religious and multi racial demographic. The muslim community in Singapore is a group of potential customers you don’t want to miss out on. With a Halal food license, your café/ restaurant would attract the general crowd of muslim patrons. Halal Food suppliers in Singapore are easy to find and most of them comply with the food safety standards in Singapore. Owners can visit third-party platforms such as ThunderQuote to find such suppliers.

  1. Renovating existing premises.

Before you can start renovating your premises and turn it into your dream café/restaurant, owners need to seek out a license to renovate. Companies like ThunderQuote provides a convenient services to source for interior designers that secure your licenses and renovation.

You can learn more about the licenses and permits required on LicenseOne.

More for restaurants

  1. Registering for Central Provident Fund (CPF)as an Employer.

CPF is a social security savings plan mandatory for all Singapore employers to contribute a percentage to their employees’ monthly salary, usually at 16%.

  1. *Optional* Registering for 7% Government Service Tax (GST).

Mandatory only if your company annual turnover is over S$1 million.

  1. Entertainment license

A public entertainment or arts entertainment licence is required under the Public Entertainments & Meetings (PEM) Act, Chapter 257, for any entertainment that is provided in any place to which the public or any class of public has access, whether gratuitously or otherwise. Showing of sports matches or live bands, IT , audio and video services.

You can learn more about the licenses and permits required on LicenseOne.

Singapore prides itself in its efficiency in running businesses and managing new ones that come up each year. While the government makes it very easy for new businesses to establish themselves, these businesses have to make sure that they comply and register for all the mandatory licenses required. So before you begin your adventure in starting your own F&B business, be sure you’re aware of all the licenses you need and apply for them!


For a one-size fits all software, ThunderQuote has the perfect solution for you, join our enterprise system that will allow you to easily get vendors from right within your system

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

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  1. Truly there are quite a numbers of license or paper works to do in order to operate a food oulet.
    We are one of the parties needed also.
    That is obtaining approval electrical license from power grid for power supply.

    Really many paper works…..

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