Retail businesses include stores or shops where owners sell goods or products directly to consumers. Due to quick economic developments, the retail industry in Singapore has been increasingly growing with a gross profit of around S$40 billion and more than 20,000 companies. If you have a considerable amount of capital and motivation to participate in this sector, this guide will show you how to start a retail business in Singapore.
The first thing you need to do before your retail company can operate is to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. Fortunately, this is an easy and quick process which just involves 2 steps that could be done online within 1 hour. Keep in mind that the retail industry in Singapore is fully mature.
Thus, it is advisable to find unique services or products that aren’t currently available to increase your chance of success.
You must be sure that your chosen business premise is approved for retail purposes. If you want to set up a retail outlet in a private property or conservation building, approval from the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority is compulsory to make alterations or additions to the premise. In addition, a Certificate of Fire Safety from the Civil Defence Force of Singapore should be acquired to verify that your retail store meets fire safety requirements. If your store is based in a shopping mall, then the landlord might speed up the required approval for you.
Depending on the type of products or goods that you want to sell, it is necessary to acquire the appropriate licenses. Below are basic guides to three most common forms of retail stores in Singapore, including supermarket, pharmacy, and telecommunication.
If you want to set up a supermarket that prepares and sells cooked or raw food, then it is compulsory to acquire the License of Supermarket under the Environmental Public Health Act. This license guarantees that potential owners will meet the food safety and cleanliness guidelines, as well as prevent any food-borne disease. It often takes 5 working days for processing an online application.
The Applicant can be an individual (permanent resident or Singaporean) or company which is successfully incorporated. Also, the application must include a scaled plan of the premise which shows the layout, stores, toilets, and preparation area. The design of the supermarket should comply with the Practice of Environmental Health Code.
The first thing you need to do to set up a pharmacy store is to acquire the Pharmacy Registration Certificate from the Singapore Health Science Authority. As a first-time applicant, a business owner might nominate up to 2 employees to work as the official administrators of the company.
An application for the certification should include the following information:
Before the Certificate would be issued, a pre-approval audit of your pharmacy store will be implemented by pharmacy auditors from the Health Science Authority. The application fee is S$500. The certificate will be valid for 1 year.
Any businesses that are planning to possess, offer, or sell telecommunication devices must acquire a License of Telecommunications Dealer.