Food Manufacturers

Setting Up Food Establishments

What You Need to Know before Setting Up

You must get a licence from SFA if you are:

  • Setting up a food processing establishment
  • Setting up a cold store
  • Setting up a slaughter-house

You must be registered with SFA if you:

  • Setting up a food storage warehouse

*Please note that all existing licences issued by AVA before 1 Apr 2019 will remain valid till the stated expiry date.

Application Process

Before applying for a licence to operate a food processing establishment, coldstores and slaughter-house, you are required to register with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) under the Business Registration Act (Cap. 32); or in the case of a company, incorporated or registered under the Companies Act (Cap. 50). To register, please click here.

A licence from SFA is required before you can carry out any food processing or storage for wholesale distribution.

A food processing establishment licence is required if you are carrying out any processing activities to the food products. A food processing establishment which is carrying out processing of meat and/or seafood products falls under “Meat and/or Fish processing establishment”. Other manufacturing activities including central kitchen and repacking of food products falls under “Other Processed Food. If you are storing meat and seafood products without any processing activities, a coldstore licence is required.

All food processing establishments, cold stores and slaughterhouses have to comply with the Wholesome Meat and Fish Act, Sale of Food Act and the licensing conditions.

Step 1: Check suitability of premise's location

Food processing premises, cold stores and slaughterhouses should be located within a food zone area or area with compatible industrial uses. You may refer to the list of areas/ buildings approved for food use here.

Step 2: Apply to SFA for a licence

Apply to SFA for a licence via online at the GoBusiness Licensing website once the site is suitable. The following documents are required for SFA’s preliminary evaluation. The application and licence fees are indicated under “Fees and Charges”. A copy of the document samples can be found here for your reference.

SFA will contact you upon receiving the application. SFA will assess the proposed plans and provide professional advice.The premises must be designed in a way that allows one directional flow to prevent cross-contamination between raw and finished products in compliance with SFA's food safety requirements.

Any shortcomings and appropriate decision will be conveyed verbally during the site inspection. The submitted proposal will be evaluated and an approval notification will be sent to you for commencement of renovation works once the documents are in order.

Step 3: Final Inspection

You will be required to contact SFA upon completion of renovation. A final inspection will be carried out at the premises before issuance of licence. Any non-conformances at this stage will affect the licence approval.

The following additional documents are to be submitted during the final inspection. Please note that a licence can only be issued after SFA officer has conducted the final inspection following the renovation works, and that we are satisfied that our licensing requirements are met.

Please also note that it is an offence under the Sale of Food Act and Wholesome Meat & Fish Act to operate a food establishment without a valid licence.
Type of programme Description
Maintenance programme
Programme to include maintenance procedures. Draw up schedules for maintaining all equipment, fitting, building and work areas.
Cleaning and sanitation programme
It should include these areas and items:
  • equipment to be cleaned
  • frequency of cleaning
  • method of cleaning
  • staff responsible for each specific task
  • monitoring arrangements
Waste management Draw up a waste management plan. Waste material should be handled in a manner that avoids contamination to food. To prevent accumulation, waste should be removed from food handling areas frequently and at least once daily.
Waste storage facilities, receptacles and equipment should also be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Pest control programme It has to be both an effective and continuous program for control of pests. Control measures involving treatment with chemical, physical or biological agents should only be undertaken by or under the direct supervision of a qualified personnel.
Transportation of finished products To include details of the mode of transport for the finished products – the internal construction and the temperature setting of the compartment of the vehicle. All finished products should be transported in covered vehicles under appropriate conditions to prevent deterioration or contamination to the products.
Personal particulars and academic experience of the appointed hygiene officer
Officer must be trained and qualified in food hygiene. Responsibilities include  overseeing plant sanitation, good hygiene practices and other matters concerning food safety. You can refer to the Form for Particulars of Hygiene Officer to submit the particulars of the appointed hygiene officer.
Particulars of food handlers Food production employees (refers to personnel engaged in supervising the preparation of any food in a food establishment).
You can refer to the Form for Food Handlers to submit the particulars of the food handlers.
Leased (tenancy) agreement A copy of the leased (tenancy) agreement of the premises (if applicable) is required
Step 4 : Licence Approval 

The application for the new licence will be approved via the GoBusiness Licensing (SFA e-Licensing) system and you will be able to print the licence online upon payment of the licence fee . The details of the approved activities will be printed on the licence. 

If you intend to carry out additional trades in the future, you have to write in to SFA for approval. Please refer to Responsibilities of Food Establishment Operators for more information.

Setting Up a Food Storage Warehouse

A “food storage warehouse” is defined as any building, facility, structure, or premise, where food is stored for the sale or distribution to other processors, wholesalers or any other business selling or distributing to the ultimate consumer. Warehouse includes coldroom for storage of fruits, vegetables, dairy products but it does not include coldstore used for storage of meat & fish products. For meat & fish storage, a coldstore licence from SFA is required. 

A “warehouse operator” will be defined as a person engaged in the business of operating or controlling a food storage warehouse.

Before applying for food storage warehouse, you are required to be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (or ACRA) under the Business Registration Act (Cap. 32); or in the case of a company, incorporated or registered under the Companies Act (Cap. 50).

Companies that Need to Register

The below illustrates whether an existing food storage warehouse required to be registered with SFA:

No. Scenario Yes No
1. Warehouses that are situated at SFA licensed food processing establishment
2. All existing SFA licensed cold stores storing only frozen meat and seafood that are already licensed under the Wholesome Meat and Fish Act
3. All other cold stores storing other processed food products and do not hold an SFA food processing establishment licence
4. Warehouses that are currently under the purview of other government agencies such National Environment Agency
5. Importers /traders whom engage third party/ service warehouses who had already registered their warehouses with SFA
6. All other food storage warehouses (none of above) including third party/service warehouses
Warehouse Categories

The registration of the food storage warehouse will start with effect from 1 November 2011. A warehouse is categorized into four categories based on the risk of food products.

Category Example of Products in this category
(High Risk Products)
Cheese, butter, ice cream and infant/baby food
(Chilled & Frozen Food)
Juices, pastries, desserts, fruits and vegetables and soups.
(Food requiring cool storage environment)
Spices, dried goods, chocolates, chocolate confectionery, sauces, cereals, jams, spreads, coffee beans, tea leaves, shelled eggs, egg products and alcoholic beverages (e.g. beer, wine etc)
(Food usually stored at ambient temperature)
Instant noodles, snacks, nuts, canned food products, rice, edible fats and oils, food ingredients and bakery products.
Application Process

An applicant should submit a duly completed application form for the Registration to operate a food storage warehouse on-line via the GoBusiness Licensing website together with the supporting documents such as layout plan, pest control contract and tenancy/purchase agreement/ letter of declaration

The complete warehouse application with all relevant supporting documents will be evaluated and processed within 14 working days. The Warehouse Registration Number will be issued and applicant will be notified via email upon successful registration. A copy of the warehouse approval letter can then be retrieved and self-printed by the applicant via the GoBusiness Licensing  system.

Fees & Charges

You have to pay an application fee of S$157.50 (inclusive of 7% GST) for any new application made for food processing, cold store and slaughter-house licence. 

The application fee covers:

  • evaluation of floor plans and process flow chart
  • a joint site inspection of the completed premises with the Licensing to ensure it complies with SFA's requirements before we can issue a licence

For registration of food storage warehouse, the application it is currently free.

Annual licence fees

More information on the fees & charges for each category of new licence can be found below. We encourage payment for the subsequent annual licence fee to be made through InterBank GIRO. Non-Giro users can pay via e-payment. 

Type of annual licence Fee
Licence to operate a cold store for storage of meat & seafood products S$260
Licence to operate a food processing establishment:
- Meat & Fish processing establishment
- Other processed food establishment
   a) Below 200 m2
   b) 200 to 750 m2
   c) Above 750 m2


S$180 (S)
S$360 (M)
S$600 (L) 
Licence to operate a meat or fish processing establishment where meat or fish products in containers are hermetically sealed and thereafter preserved by subjection to heat treatment S$840 
Licence to operate a slaughter-house for poultry
Licence to operate a new slaughter-house for livestock S$4000
Registration of food storage warehouse