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Setting Up Restaurant, Food & Beverage, Cafe Business in Singapore

Last modified: February 10, 2021
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Setting Up Restaurant, Food & Beverage, Cafe Business in Singapore

Are you opting for a food and beverage company registration in Singapore? Well, think hard. It could work for you because Singaporeans love to eat out. In this regard, they are citizens of the culinary capital of Asia. You also need to take into account the growth of the tourism industry.

The country has a multi-dimensional and $8.3 billion strong Food and Beverage (F&B) industry. African, Indian, Italian, Thai, Malaysian, Mediterranean, Moroccan, & Mexican cuisines form the main ingredients of Singaporean food culture.

 

Company Registration in Singapore

To register a new food and beverage business in Singapore, you need to opt for private limited company registration. The incorporation procedure has only 2 steps. You initiate the procedure by applying to ACRA, the Company Registrar, via e-portal BizFile+. You can also appoint an agent like SBS Consulting for the task.

Choosing to set up a company in Singapore is beneficial. It is the most favoured business structure as it limits the liability of its members. A local company has access to tax benefits, exemptions and rebates offered by the Singapore government. As a separate legal entity, a private limited company, if it comes to that, can sue and be sued under its own name. It can also buy real estate for its use. You need to meet the following key pre-incorporation requirements:

  • At least one shareholder
  • At least one local director
  • At least one company secretary
  • Minimum initial paid-up capital of S$1
  • Registered Singapore office address

 

Laws & Rules to Run Your New Food & Beverage Business in Singapore

The laws and rules you need to follow to run your Singapore F&B business are as follows:

  • Employing workers
  • Choosing premises for food business and getting planning permission
  • Halal certification
  • Environment health regulations
  • Import & export of food items
  • Complying with rules for obtaining a license and registering the food factory
  • Keeping records & complying with tax rules

 

Employing Staff

You can easily hire Singaporeans. If you want to hire foreign workers, you need to follow MOM’s rules. You need to fulfil the specific requirements to hire foreigners for your F&B business: nationality of the worker, quota, and foreign worker levy. To hire foreigners for your Hotel, coffee shop, restaurant, food court (excluding food or hawker stall):

  • You need a license for food establishments from the National Environment Agency
  • The license needs to mention the company, sole proprietor or partner name
  • You can hire foreign workers only from Malaysia, China Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan
  • These workers must fulfil the criterion for age and the maximum period of employment
  • They (excluding Malaysians) need to have level 4 of the Workplace Literacy (listening and speaking) assessment administered by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency

 

License for Your Food Establishment

As per the Environmental Public Health Act, you need a Food Shop License to sell food and drink by retail. Get one for your market produce, food, cake or coffee shop, restaurant & eating house, food court & catering business, snack & drink counter, and mobile food wagon. You need to fulfil the criteria given below:

  • Singaporean Residents
  • ACRA registered company
  • Association/ Society registered with Registrar of Societies
  • As a self-employed individual, you need to pay MediSave contributions
  • Comply with hygiene requirements by the NEA Regional Office

 

Submit Following Documents to NEA

  • Approval from URA and/or HDB
  • Tenancy agreement
  • Your details as an applicant
  • Basic/Refresher food hygiene certificate of food handlers
  • Food hygiene officer certificate (if required)
  • Cleaning program
  • Layout plan of premises
  • Letter of authorization (if required)
  • Pest control contract (rodents, cockroaches and flies)
  • A supplementary form giving company name, food type, operating hours, etc.
  • Food Safety Management Plan
  • Photos (for catering vehicle)
  • Vehicle log card (if necessary)
  • Cleaning program for catering vehicle

Get your Food Shop License in the name of your company; otherwise, there could be a difficulty with work pass applications. NEA takes about a week to a few months to process the application. You need to pay S$195 as a 1-year license fee.

 

Liquor License

If you are going to sell liquor in your food establishment, you need Liquors License. Get one from the Liquors Licensing Board (LLB). Depending on your intentions, the LLB issues one of the following licenses:

  • For the retail sale of intoxicating liquors for consumption on or off the premises
  • Do not forget to get these two licenses to conduct both retail sales and wholesale

The licensing fees range from S$520 to S$1600 for two years. The LLB may take 14 days to process your application.

 

Halal Certification

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) provides 7 types of Halal certification schemes to the food-related businesses. For your restaurant, snack bar, Halal corner, confectionery, bakery shop, food stall get certification under Halal Eating Establishment Scheme. The certification fee ranges from S$480 to S$ 640.

  • To import food into Singapore, first, get general import/export license from Singapore Customs
  • Then, apply for a trader’s license or register with AVA
  • Only ACRA registered companies can apply for a license

For imported pre-packed food for commercial purposes, you need to fulfil AVA’s rules on food labelling & advertisements.

 

Public Entertainment Establishment License

If you are going to offer public entertainment at your Food & Beverage establishment, unless exempted, you need to get a public entertainment or arts entertainment license.

 

Register for GST (Goods and Services Tax)

If you are opting for company registration in Singapore to establish your food business, discussing your business needs with a registered filing agent like SBS Consulting will be beneficial. We have affordable packages, starting at only S$699, for Singapore private limited company registration. Call us on +65 6536 0036 or email us at info@sbsgroup.com.sg for answers to your queries.

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