Starting a Spa or Massage Business in Singapore

Staff Writer

December 16, 2022

What’s in the article?

Spa therapy and massage services in Singapore have grown in demand over the years as consumers increasingly prioritise self-care and personal wellness. In this article, we'll take you through the step-by-step process of incorporating your spa and massage business, and obtain a massage establishment license.

The wellness sector in Singapore is one of the fastest-growing in Asia, with a growth rate of around 8.1% from 2017 to 2019. The industry was the least affected by the pandemic, compared to neighbouring countries. Operating a spa and massage business can be a lucrative venture given the potential for growth in the market.

Spa and Massage Services in Singapore

Spas and massage establishments in Singapore have been steadily increasing in visits over the last three years, with as much as a 16% increase in visits. Self-care and wellness have become integral aspects of Singaporean lifestyles in the current landscape as more people tend to prioritise their wellbeing and mental health.

Spas and massage services provide places of relaxation and comfort, and may also help in relaxing muscle tension, stimulating circulation, increasing suppleness of the skin, and other health benefits. Thus, Singapore established the Massage Establishments Act to oversee the massage establishment licence of spas, massage rooms, and beauty therapy services.

How to Apply for a Massage License (Singapore)

All massage establishments in Singapore must apply for the Massage Establishment Licence in order to operate legally. In this article, we'll present the step-by-step process in applying for a massage license in Singapore.

Take note that not all massage services are required to apply for a license. Manicures, pedicures, and other similar treatments are not required to apply for a license. Therapy done by traditional chinese medicine practitioners are also exempted from applying for a license, and neither are massages at specific areas of the human body (i.e., non-full body massage).

Step 1: Assess the Type of License Application

There are two types of Massage Establishments (ME) licenses you can apply for, depending on specific requirements. Category I ME licence will require you to Accreditation by and Letter of Acceptance from the Consumers Association of Singapore, while Category II ME licence requires the premises to be away from residential areas, places of worship, and schools.

Step 2: Be Aware of the Requirements

There is a list of requirements you need to be aware of when applying for an ME licence in Singapore under the Massage Establishment Act. These apply to both the individual (masseuse), and the business.

For the Business

  • 80% or more of the therapists have proper accreditation to provide massage services such as the ITEC Holistic Massage Diploma, or similar training accreditation;
  • The remaining 20% must have proper licenses within 6 months after application;
  • All employees wear approved uniforms;
  • All massage rooms must be:
  • Brightly-lit enough for the supervisor to observe employees' work;
  • Remained unlocked for the duration of the massage;
  • Within public view: no curtains or partitions for personal massages;
  • Unobstructed so that the client can view the entire room immediately upon opening the door;
  • Others.

For the Individual

  • Must be at least 21 years of age or older;
  • Must be a fit and proper person without criminal record;
  • Valid employment pass for foreigners;
  • Other requirements may apply.

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Step 3: Prepare the Documents

Prepare the documents needed for the application process. You will need your business profile from ACRA, as well as a letter of acceptance. You may also need to submit a layout or floor plan of the massage premises, including the massage rooms, and full photos of massage therapists. Other required documents are available at the Police Licensing & Regulatory Department (PLRD) guidelines website.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

Submit your application, and pay the application fees incurred. The application for a one-year license amounts to $290, $440 for two years, and $590 for a three-year license. You will need to renew the license at the end of the validity period to continue providing massage service.

Step 5: Wait for Approval

Wait for approval from PLRD, which may take anywhere from 21 working days from the submission of application. Once you've obtained the permit, you may provide massage services according to the permissible services included in the license.

Establish Your Spa

Spa management and ownership can be complicated as you aim to comply with the strict rules and regulations surrounding massage services. Establish your spa stress-free, and focus on bringing quality wellness to your clients when you partner with us at WealthBridge to accomplish all your Singapore corporate service needs.

Contact us today to get started, and hasten the incorporation of your spa! 

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