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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.

To apply, please click here.

Mobile food wagons

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

To apply, please click here.

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]

To apply, please click here.

 Temporary Fairs Temporary fairs with stalls for the sale of merchandise and/or food & beverages. 

[New] Review on Licensing Regime for Stalls within Markets and Food Centres

By 1 January 2025, operators of market stalls selling non-food items or low-risk food items, such as pre-packed food, will not need to hold a SFA licence. This change will be implemented in phases.

Phase 1

From 1 April 2024, new stall holders selling non-food items can commence operations after they have signed the tenancy agreement with the National Environment Agency or its managing agent. Existing stallholders can continue operation after they renew their tenancy agreement.  They will no longer require a SFA licence to operate.

Affected operators will be notified by SFA before 1 April 2024 that there is no need for them to renew their licences upon expiry.

Phase 2

More details of Phase 2 will be made available in 4Q2024. Similarly, affected operators will be notified by SFA.

[New] Review on Licensing Regime for Food Vending Machines

From 1 April 2024, operators of food vending machines selling prepacked food that is obtained from SFA-licensed sources (without any in-machine food preparation) are not required to hold a SFA licence.

Affected operators will be notified by SFA before 1 April 2024 that there is no need for them to renew their licences upon expiry.

Moving forward, only operators that deploy vending machines with in-machine food preparation; or for the sale of raw meat (including poultry) or seafood (including fish) must be licensed.

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 establishment operators are required to renew their licence before the licence expiry date if they wish to continue with the business. Before licence expiry, SFA sends multiple renewal notices to remind operators to renew their licence.

Operators whose licences have expired will be required to submit a new licence application and stop operating the business until they have obtained a new licence.   

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.

For detailed instructions, please refer to the step-by-step guide on the renewal of licence.

GIRO Arrangements with SFA

Payment of licence fees for renewal of licence can be done through GIRO, AXS or GoBusiness as early as two months before the licence expiry date. 

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 (Note: there must be sufficient balance in the bank account linked to GIRO for the licence fee deduction) before the licence expires.

Operators intending to sign up for GIRO auto-payment can 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

Update: SFA briefed licensees on the licence renewal process and the benefits of GIRO application. The slides are available here: Applying for GIRO Arrangements with SFA to facilitate seamless licence renewal.

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 Licence 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 arrearsand 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.

4.       Are retail food establishments legally required to display their grades at their establishments? Why?

  • While it is a requirement for retail food establishment licensees to display their licence at their licensed food establishment, it is not mandatory to display their grade decals.
  • Consumers looking to view the grade of a food establishment can scan the QR code on the licence.