Licensing

Food Retail Licences

Getting started

Individuals interested to start a food retail business can refer to the guidebook, ‘Turning Passion into Profits’, by the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) and supported by SFA and Enterprise Singapore  (ESG). The guidebook is designed to equip aspiring food entrepreneurs and existing F&B owners with tools to navigate the different stages of running their business.

 

Food Retail Licences

All food retail establishments must be licensed in order to operate. There are various licences available depending on the type of food retail outlet.  

For more details on each licence and to apply for one, please click on the relevant licence below.

Licence for retail food shops

For the operation of retail food shops in restaurants, caterers, coffeeshops, canteens, food courts, takeaway kiosks, food vending machines and supermarkets.

Licence for food stalls

For the operation of food stalls in food shops such as private eating houses/ coffeeshops, food courts, and private markets.

Licence for sales of herbal tea

For the preparation and sale of herbal tea, herbal tea eggs within medical halls.

Mobile food wagons

Mobile Food Wagons refer to vehicles that have been retrofitted with a functional kitchen for the purpose of food preparation.

Pet Cafés

There are two types of pet cafes:

1. Pet cafes where patrons may bring their pets (only cats and dogs are allowed) along when they dine

2. Pet cafes where the operator is providing pets for patrons to interact with while dining in.

Pet cafes where patrons can bring their pets along to dine in must put up notices reminding pet owners to maintain good food safety standards. For samples of notices, please click here [PDF, 232.57 KB]

 

Environmental Sanitation Regime

As announced in 2021, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has progressively implemented the Environmental Sanitation (ES) Regime. Selected retail foodshops are required to implement the ES regime and submit the Environmental Sanitation Programme (ESP) within 1 month to NEA. A buffer time of minimally 3 months is required for suitable personnel to undergo the Environmental Control Coordinator (ECC) training and be registered as an ECC and for the Premises Manager to submit the ESP to NEA. Please refer to NEA’s website for details.

Renewal of Licence

All food establishments are required to renew their licence if they wish to continue with the business. They are advised to renew their licence before the expiry date. Operators whose licences have expired will be required to submit a new licence application.

Renewal of the licence can be done through GIRO, AXS or GoBusiness as early as two months before the licence expiry date.  For detailed instructions, please refer to the step-by-step guide on the renewal of licence.

Operators of food establishments are encouraged to sign up for GIRO auto-payment as a convenient way to pay the fees for the renewal of their licence automatically two months before the licence expires. Those with an existing GIRO arrangement with SFA will be able to commence operations after they receive SFA’s approval to operate a food establishment. Those intending to sign  up for GIRO auto-payment must complete the GIRO Application Form and send the original form to SFA via post to:

Singapore Food Agency Finance Department

52 Jurong Gateway Road #14-01

 JEM Office Tower

Singapore 608550

It is an offence to operate a food establishment without a valid licence under the Environmental Public Health Act. Offenders may be fined up to $10,000 for operating a food establishment without a valid licence.

Cancellation of Licence

Food establishments that have stopped their business operations and no longer require the licence should cancel the licence via GoBusiness. Those on GIRO auto-payment arrangements with SFA should also terminate the arrangement with their bank. For detailed instructions, please refer to the step-by-step guide on the cancellation of licence.

If you encounter difficulty in cancelling your licence in GoBusiness, please contact us via SFA’s Online Feedback Form. The cancellation of licences will be processed within 3 working days.

Update of Licensee Details

Licensees should update contact details, such as mailing address, email and contact numbers, through GoBusiness whenever there are changes. This will allow SFA to reach you in a timely manner. Please refer to the step-by-step guide on licence amendment


New Licensing Condition

Director-General of Food Administration (DGFA), pursuant to Section 99(13) and 99(14) of the Environmental Public Health Act 1987 (EPHA), has included a new licensing condition to the food shop licences (i.e. licences issued under section 32(1) of the EPHA). 

The licensing condition requires the operators to provide an adequate number of hand sanitisers or disposable gloves in the food display area of buffet settings, so that food handlers and patrons would have ready access to them.

Licensing condition

An adequate number of hand sanitisers or disposable gloves shall be provided at all times in the vicinity of self-service buffet lines, if food or drinks are displayed for sale or consumption via self-service buffet lines.

Operators who do not comply with this proposed licensing condition shall be liable to have their food licences cancelled or suspended by virtue of section 99(15) of the EPHA.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.       When are food retail licences required?  Does the sale of food in offices, temporary fairs, charity bake sales and charity kitchens require food retail licences?

  • A food retail licence is required when there is preparation of food in a retail outlet for sale to consumers.  
  • For sale of food in offices, charity bake sales, etc., SFA would need to evaluate if it is an ad-hoc or a permanent set-up. For permanent set-ups, food retail licences are required.
  • For charity kitchens providing food for free with no sale involved, a food retail licence is not required. 

If in doubt, please write to SFA via the SFA Feedback Form for clarifications.

2.       Why am I unable to renew my food stall licence?

  • You may have outstanding Medisave arrears and hence will not be able to renew your licence until the Medisave arrears are settled. Under the CPF act, self-employed persons are required to contribute to Medisave if their annual net trade income is more than $6,000. Please log in to CPF website for more information on your Medisave arrears.

3.       Are food retail licences transferable to new owners and/or food retail establishments? 

  • Food retail licences are non-transferable.  For new owners and/or food establishments, please submit an application for a new licence.