All food retail establishments must be licensed in order to operate. Each licence application is assessed on its own merits. Here is a self-checklist [PDF, 152 KB] for easy reference on the licensing conditions to fulfill. They will be verified through a pre-licensing check of the premises upon the completion of renovations and installation of equipment
Submission of relevant approvals and supporting documents
- Approval from the land agency e.g. URA and HDB (referred to as planning permission from land agencies)*
- Tenancy agreement#
- Details of applicant - one of the following (where applicable):
i. Individual - Both sides of NRIC
ii. Company - Information Business Profile from Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
iii. Society - Certificate of Registration from Registrar of Societie
- Food Safety Course Level 1 Statement of Attainment (SOA) of foodhandlers
- Food hygiene officer certificate (for Food caterers, Restaurants, Foodcourts and Canteens only)
- Cleaning program
- Layout plan of premises (in scaled metric units)
- Letter of authorisation (when submission of application is not done by intended licensee/director of company holding the licence)
- Pest control contract covering the control of rodents, cockroaches and flies during the year-long licensing period. The inspection frequency of the food shop premises covered in the contract shall be at least once a month to detect any sign of pest infestation.
- Supplementary Information form to capture business name, type of food sold, business operating hours, etc.
- Food Safety Management Plan (with critical control points identified) or proof of registration for the “WSQ Apply FSMS for Food Service Establishments” course. (For Food Caterers & premises with permission to cater only). Refer to the following link for more details.
- Photos showing the interior and exterior of the catering vehicle
- Vehicle log card or tenancy agreement for rental vehicle to prove ownership of catering vehicle
- Cleaning program for catering vehicle
*Please note that this is potential pitfall for applicant. Applicant should ensure the relevant planning permission is obtained, prior to signing any tenancy agreement and investing in renovations/equipment for the premises.
#Please notes that the submission of a tenancy agreement is not required during the initial stage of application for a licence. The tenancy agreement will only be required at the final stage, before SFA approves and issues the licence. You are advised not to sign any tenancy agreement, until the land agency concerned has approved the relevant use for the premises, and you are reasonably confident you can meet with the licensing conditions by also verifying with the owner/landlord on the necessary renovations like installation of exhaust system, pipings for sinks etc.
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.
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.
New Licensing Condition
Modification of Conditions of Food Licences of Nightlife Operators which have Pivoted to F&B Operations
SFA, pursuant to Section 99(12A) and 99(12B) of the Environmental Public Health Act (EPHA), has included a new licensing condition to the food licences, i.e. licences issued under section 32(1) of the EPHA) of nightlife operators who have pivoted to F&B operations, under the measures introduced on 6 November 2020. The licensing condition requires the operators to comply with safe management measures or other measures to prevent, protect against or otherwise control the incidence of COVID-19.
The new licensing condition that has taken effect from 29 May 2021 is as follows. Operators who do not comply with this new licensing condition are liable to have their food licences cancelled.
This licence is granted on condition that the licensee comply with any safe management measures or other measures to prevent, protect against or otherwise control the incidence or transmission of COVID-19, including any such measures in any control order issued under Part 7 of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 or any advisory, guideline or circular issued by any public authority. Any breach of this condition can result in the cancellation of the licence under s 99(13) of the Environmental Public Health Act (Cap 95).
In addition to the new licensing condition, during the period of COVID-19 pandemic, operators are required to adhere to the additional requirements stipulated under COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 and any other applicable laws.
Wearing of Masks or Other Forms of Physical Barrier
SFA has put in place new requirements for all personnel engaged in the sale and preparation for sale of food and drinks must wear masks or other forms of physical barrier.
This is to notify that SFA, pursuant to Section 99(12A) and 99(12B) of the Environmental Public Health Act, will be introducing new licensing conditions for all personnel engaged in the sale and preparation for sale of food and drinks must wear masks or other forms of physical barrier.
This new licensing condition takes effect from 13 April 2020, and are applicable to both new and existing licensees. After 13 April 2020, operators who do not comply with this new licensing condition are liable for a penalty of up to $5,000 and/or suspension/cancellation of their licences.
In addition to the new licensing condition, during the period of COVID-19 pandemic, you are required to adhere to the additional requirements stipulated under COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 or any new regulations promulgated. Every individual must wear a mask over the individual’s nose and mouth at all times when the individual is not in his or her ordinary place of residence.
Operators must continue to comply with all other existing measures for safe distancing. Food handlers and employees who are unwell must not work in the premises. Food handlers and employees must also continue to implement the practices in the Sanitation and Hygiene Advisory for Food Establishment issued by NEA and SFA.
Renewal of Licence
Upon expiry of licence, operators are required to renew the licence if he/she wishes to continue with the business. Renewal of the licence can be made as early as two months before the licence expires by GIRO, AXS or GoBusiness portal (step by step guide, PDF). Operators will not be able to make payment and renew once the licence is expired and will be required to make a new licence application.
We strongly encourage operators to sign up for GIRO auto-payment as it is the most convenient way to pay licence fees. Once the GIRO arrangement is made, the operators do not need to track the licence expiry date or enquire how to renew the licence. Please download the GIRO Application Form and send the original form to SFA.
Please be reminded that 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
If operators no longer require the licence as they have stopped operation, they are required to cancel their licence in GoBusiness
We encourage operators to cancel their licence promptly upon cessation of operation to avoid deduction of licence fee for operators on GIRO (step by step guide
, PDF). If operators encounter any difficulty with licence cancellation in GoBusiness, please inform us via SFA’s Online Feedback Form
. Cancellation of licences will be processed within 3 working days.
If operators wish to terminate their GIRO account with SFA, they are required to terminate the affected GIRO reference with the Bank directly. Please ensure that the operators provide the correct GIRO Billing reference number to the Bank when they terminate their GIRO account.