Starting an Art or Music Business in Singapore

Staff Writer

January 17, 2022

What’s in the article?

How to Open an Art or Music business

As the standard of living in Singapore is quickly increasing over the past decades, more and more people look for new ways of entertaining and enhancing their mental aspects. Although the art and music business is basically recreational by nature, it is currently categorized as a different sector from the entertainment industry. A few examples of this area include performance dance, art exhibitions, orchestra concerts, and operas.

If you are planning to open up a company in the art and music market, there are three necessary steps that you need to follow. These are:

  • Register your company with the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
  • Find and secure the premise for your company
  • Acquire necessary limits and licenses

Keep reading to learn more about how to start an art or music business in Singapore.

1. Register your company

The first step you need to do when opening up a new music and art company is to register the business with the government – the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority or ACRA.

According to the regulations, a company in Singapore can be registered as a private limited, partnership, or sole proprietorship business. Each entity will have its own pros and cons concerning capitals, human resources, and requirements by the government. Thus, make sure to consider every factor carefully to choose the right option for your business model. If necessary, it is advisable to seek professional consultation.

2. Find and secure the premise for your company

Next, you should find and secure the premise for your company. In general, it should be zoned for the commercial use and assigned for music and art usage by the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority, or the URA.

Once you already have a secured space, make sure that it meets all fire safety and building codes. If the existing area is not used for a music and art establishment, you might discuss more with the landlord on how to submit the application to the URA for a Change of Use.

Depending on the form of music and art business that you are going to have, the premise may have some strict guidelines in the layout and design. Therefore, it is advisable to do your own research and look for specific requirements to avoid rejection during the inspection.

Any major restoration of the facility requires an official application to the Singapore Building and Construction Authority or BCA to acquire a constructing work permit. When the constructing work is complete, you would also need to acquire the following permit or certificate from the BCA:

  • A Temporary Occupation License before you would occupy the premise
  • A Statutory Completion Certificate

All renovation tasks must be done by a licensed or certified building contractor, including professional architects. You need to apply and acquire an Advertise License by the BCA before placing business signage on the building. Also, it requires a Certificate of Fire Safety prior to the occupy of the premise. You could acquire this license from the Civil Defense Force of Singapore through a registered engineer or architect.

3. Get permits and licenses for art and music operations

The Singapore Media Development Authority or MDA is responsible for the licenses and permits which allow businesses to operate the following music and art activities in their premises:

  • Screening of movies which are rated R21, M18, and NC16
  • Entertainment and public arts events like art exhibitions, poetry reading, or live concerts

Depending on your specific activities, it also requires either of the following licenses:

  • The license of Film Exhibition
  • The license of Arts Entertainment

In addition, it is necessary to check with the Police Force of Singapore on the right license you need to apply for. In many cases, all events would need at least a License of Public Entertainment or an Ad-Hoc License of Public Entertainment. Also, you will have to acquire the Copyright Permit from the Singapore Authors and Composers Society to perform copyrighted work at your events.

If you want to engage any foreign specialists to help you with organizing a music or arts event, it is advisable to consult the Ministry of Manpower or MOM to find out whether your company is qualified to sign a contract with foreign employees. The department will evaluate every application. Also, make sure these international experts much have a valid work visa before working for your company.

What's popular