Licenses for Setting Up busines a Hotel Business in Singapore

A Comprehensive Guide to Singapore Employment Act

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Singapore receives millions of tourists, from backpackers to families to high-end consumers every year. The city-state is one of the most visited countries in the world, thanks to its excellent hospitality. No wonder that the tourism sector has become a major industry in the country, contributing to around four percent of its gross domestic product in 2019. Thus, it makes sense to start a business hotel here, regardless of size, due to the number of customers one can potentially get.

When starting a hotel business, one should be aware that they have to license their business according to the various activities and services they choose to offer. Therefore, this article has covered licenses and licensing prerequisites that one must obtain to set up their hotel business in Singapore. 

Licenses for Setting Up a Hotel in Singapore

Under the Hotel Act, anyone wishing to operate a hotel in Singapore, including a guesthouse, boarding house, or guest house, must obtain a Certificate of Registration from the Hotel Licensing Board to use the premises as a hotel and a Hotel-Keeper’s License to manage the hotel.

Pre-Requisites for the Certificate Of Registration And Hotel-Keeper’s License

As a business owner who wants to start a hotel business in Singapore, you will have to complete some preparations before getting a  Certificate of Registration and Hotel-Keeper’s License. So make sure you do the following first:

1. Register your business

You must first register your hotel as a Singapore company with the company registrar, ACRA. For more details on establishing a company in Singapore, please refer to our Singapore business registration guide.

2. Get your premises approved

Ensure your business premises have been inspected and approved for suitability of operation and user safety by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore.

3. Appoint a hotel keeper

You need to appoint a Chief Executive Officer or General Manager to take care of the hotel’s administrative affairs.

 4. Advertise the application

Advertise your application for certification of your hotel business in The Straits Times (English daily) and Lianhe Zaobao (Chinese daily) within fourteen days of the date of submission.

5. Obtain other certain certificates

It is necessary to obtain other important certificates from the National Environment Agency of Singapore, such as a Clearance Certificate (Temporary Occupation Permit) or a Compliance Certificate (Certificate of Statutory Completion).

6. Get approval from the fire safety department

You need to show that your hotel has met the requirements for fire safety. Thus, a Temporary Fire Permit (TFP) or a Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) must be procured from the Fire Safety Bureau of Singapore.

7. Get a permit from the building construction authority

 Finally, you need to obtain a Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) or Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC) from the Building Construction Authority of Singapore.

How to apply for the Certificate Of Registration and Hotel-Keeper’s License

The application period for the Certificate Of Registration and Hotel-Keeper’s License starts from January to November each year.  The Certificate of Registration fee ranges from $200 –  $400 (depending on the number of your hotel rooms), while the Hotel-Keeper’s License costs $100 for hotels of all sizes.

To apply, applicants must submit the following documents:

For the Certificate Of Registration

For the Hotel-Keeper’s License

  • A resume of the proposed Hotel-Keeper
  • Copy of the proposed hotel keeper’s employment pass (if applicable)

Your application will be processed at least two weeks from the pre-opening inspection date, which will be carried out to ascertain the hotel is ready to operate. Checks will include, but are not limited to:

  • Furniture and fixtures in most rooms;
  • Clearly visible front & hotel signage;
  • Reception desk or reception area;
  • Built-in and fully operational security; and
  • Compliance with the terms and conditions listed in the URA’s written permit and the provisions stipulated by other government agencies.

For additional information regarding the certificate and license application, click here.

Other Licenses You May Require to Operate Your Hotel Business

Apart from the Hotel-Keeper’s License, there may be a few other licenses you need to obtain for your hotel operations, especially if your hotel will serve entertaining facilities, food, tobacco products, etc. 

Public Entertainment License

You need to obtain a Public Entertainment License if you intend to organize public entertainment at your establishment, e.g., a bar, nightclub, cafe, KTV, lounge, pub, restaurant, etc. 

Halal Certification

If you want to label your hotel’s restaurant as halal, you must apply for a Halal Certification.  You can apply for the certificate under the Eating Establishment Scheme or Food Preparation Area Scheme.

Swimming Pool License

If you want to establish a swimming pool in your hotel, you must obtain a Swimming Pool License must be obtained from the National Environment Agency’s Environmental Health Department.

Massage Establishment License

If your hotel has a spa and offers massage services, foot reflexology, and manicure treatments, a Massage Establishment License must be obtained from the Singapore Police Force.

Tobacco Retail License

You will require a Tobacco Retail License is required from the Health Sciences Authority for the sale of tobacco products on your hotel premises.

As outlined above, there are several licenses you need to procure to set up a hotel business in Singapore. However, before applying for those licenses, you must have your hotel business registered with ACRA. Thus, to ensure the success of your hotel business establishment, it is best to engage a professional services firm

Feel free to send us any inquiries via email or book a meeting for immediate assistance.

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