Steps to apply Food Shop / Supermarket Licence
You may refer below on the steps for application of Food Shop (step by step guide, PDF) and Supermarket (step by step guide, PDF) licence.
Applicants should log in to GoBusiness Licensing website via CorpPass (if application is under company) or SingPass (if application is under individual name).
Foodshops refer to retail food establishments such as restaurants, caterers, coffeeshops, food courts, cafes, takeaway kiosks.
Submit complete application in GoBusiness
- For complete application with layout plan, SFA will issue the In-Principle Approval (IPA) via email and GoBusiness (under “submitted documents” tab of your application) With the IPA, applicants may proceed with the renovation.
- To avoid delays, please prepare the documents stated in the IPA and upload them in GoBusiness under “submitted documents” tab of your application.
- Incomplete applications without a detailed, drawn-to-scale layout plan will be rejected.
- For Vending Machine applications, it is mandatory to attach the business proposal of the vending machine operations and the equipment layout of the vending machine. Please refer to this page for information on vending machine applications. Incomplete applications will be rejected.
5 working days if application is complete and in order
Book pre-licensing inspection upon completion of renovation
- To avoid delays, applicants should ensure that all the items listed in the IPA have been complied with.
- Since January 2022, SFA has transited from physical to virtual pre-licensing inspections (video conferencing). Depending on the licence category, either virtual pre-licensing inspection or photograph submission will be required. SFA will inform you on the applicable mode in the In-Principle Approval (IPA) document.
2 workings days to confirm inspection date
Make payment after licence approval
Upon full compliance with licensing requirements and submission of required documents, SFA will approve the application. You will receive a notification via email and GoBusiness within 3 working days.
- For applicants with existing GIRO arrangement with SFA, you may start business after receiving SFA's email approval.
- For applicants not on GIRO, you may start your business after you have made payment via AXS or GoBusiness.
Licensees can print their own licences upon successful payment made on or after 1 January 2022.
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
3 working days upon full compliance
FAQs - Food Shop / Supermarket Licence
1. How soon can I hear from SFA after I submit my application?
Refer to Step 1. If you have submitted your complete application with all required supporting documents in GoBusiness, SFA will respond to you within 5 working days.
Any incomplete or incorrect submission without a detailed, drawn-to-scale layout plan will be rejected.
Please also check the email account (including junk / spam mail box) that you have used for licence application to ensure that you have responded to any request for action (RFA) from our officers. SFA will not be able to approve your application until you have responded to our RFAs. If we have not heard back from you after seven days despite reminders, we will take that you are no longer interested in the application and will proceed to take the case as closed.
For company filer who is unsure if any prior application has been submitted for the same premises, you are advised to write to SFA at online feedback form for assistance to check. Please refrain from submitting duplicate applications.
2. When can I start my renovation?
Refer to Step 1. Upon receipt of a complete application (see Step 1), SFA will process and issue an IPA via email within 5 working days. You can also download the IPA at GoBusiness portal under https://www.gobusiness.gov.sg/licences “Submitted documents” tab of your application.
Upon receipt of the IPA, you may proceed with the renovation. Please refer to the IPA for the licensing requirements that you will need to comply with. You may also refer to Licensing Requirements on SFA website.
To avoid delays, you must prepare the documents stated in the IPA and upload them in GoBusiness. The documents include URA’s Change of Use or HDB’s approval, tenancy agreement, cleaning program and pest control contract. It is also important that you plan the renovation and equipment set up schedule ahead of time so as to minimise the time taken for renovation.
3. How is pre-licensing inspection conducted?
From January 2022, depending on the licence category, either virtual pre-licensing inspection (video conferencing) or photograph submission will be required. SFA will inform you on the applicable mode in the IPA.
4. Where can I find out if my application is to go through virtual pre-licensing inspection or photograph submission?
SFA will inform you on the applicable mode in the IPA letter issued for your application.
5. When is the earliest I can book a pre-licensing inspection for my food shop? How can I book an inspection?
Refer to Step 2. Please book the virtual pre-licensing inspection at least 7 days in advance. You can log a request via https://csp.sfa.gov.sg/feedback for the virtual pre-licensing inspection. Please provide the relevant information (premises address, application number/licence number, name and contact number) in your request. SFA will confirmed your pre-licensing inspection date within 2 working days.
6. Do I need to book a pre-licensing inspection with SFA if my application goes through photograph submission?What do I need to submit to SFA instead?
You are not required to book for a pre-licensing inspection if your licence category falls under photograph submission. Upon receipt of the IPA, you may proceed with the renovation. SFA will send you a copy of the photograph submission template, food shop declaration form together with the IPA issued. When the renovation/set up of the premises is completed, please follow up on the items stated on the IPA and submit to SFA. When you have complied with all the outstanding items, SFA will approve the application, as per Step 3.
7. Where can I find more information on virtual inspection or photo submission?
You will receive instructions via email when the IPA is issued by SFA. Should you have further clarifications, please approach the SFA officer directly for assistance.
The step-by-step guides are also available here: User Guide for Virtual Inspection and User Guide for Photo Submission.
8. What will be inspected during the pre-licensing inspection?
During the inspection, SFA will verify if the setup of the premises is in accordance to the layout plan submitted and whether all the items listed in the IPA have been complied with. For example, SFA will check if exhaust is fitted with an air-cleaner, floor trap for the discharge of wastewater to sewer, adequate washing facilities, storage facilities and etc. At the end of the pre-licensing inspection, the officer will issue you with an inspection report
If there are no outstanding issues, the officer will recommend the application for approval.
However, if there are outstanding items that required to be rectified/complied at the end of the pre-licensing inspection, the officer will indicate in the inspection report. Please comply with these outstanding items and inform the inspection officer.
When you have complied with the outstanding items, the officer will recommend the application for approval as per Step 3.
9. Is there a cut-off date to complete the application after IPA issued?
If documentary requirements cannot be fulfilled within 2 months, SFA will treat the application as null and closed. Applicants should submit a new application once the necessary documentation is complete.
10. When do I submit the documents to SFA?
You should prepare the documents stated in the IPA as soon as possible and upload the documents in GoBusiness portal. The documents include URA’s Change of Use or HDB approval, tenancy agreement, cleaning program and pest control contract.
11. How soon will my application be approved after inspection?
Refer to Step 3. SFA will approve the application within 3 working days upon applicant’s full compliance to licensing requirements and submission of required documents.
12. When can I commence business?
Refer to Step 3 on when you may commence business.
13. Can an individual hold a SFA food shop licence if foreign workers are employed in the shop?
Only company entities are allowed to employ foreign workers in accordance with MOM policy. Companies that do so must register the food shop licence in the name of the company. Licence issued in an individual e.g. Director will not be acceptable for the purpose of work pass application.
For more information on work pass related matters, please refer to MOM webpage or call MOM Contact Centre at 64385122.
14. How much does the food shop licence cost and how long is the validity?
The Food Shop Licence including entertainment outlets serving food e.g. pub, bar, discotheque, and night club, costs $195.00 and is valid for one year. Please click here for online services for food shop licence.
Should you have further enquiries, please submit your enquiries via the Online Feedback Form. To help us assist you in the enquiry, please provide details of your intended food business including information on the food items being sold, how the items are processed, and type of equipment used.
15. What is the difference between a food shop licence and a food stall licence?
A food shop refers to a shop operating as an independent unit such as a takeaway kiosk, snack counter, restaurant, caterer, canteen, coffeeshop, food court, etc. A food stall operates within a food shop such as canteen, coffeeshop, food court, private market or hawker centres.
16. I have applied for a licence under the wrong entity/wrong licence type. Can I change them?
Please note the licensee name and licence type cannot be amended and licences issued by SFA are not transferrable.
If you have submitted the application under the wrong entity or wrong licence type, please resubmit the application using correct account (SingPass/CorpPass). If you are unsure on the type of licence to apply, you can write to Online Feedback Form for assistance.
If your business operations have changed and you need an SFA licence of a different type, you are required to submit a new foodshop application via GoBusiness.
If your business experienced a take over or merger, and the operating entity’s UEN has changed, you are required to submit a new foodshop application on GoBusiness using the new UEN’s corpPass via GoBusiness.
FAQs - Food Shop (Pubs/Bars/Nightclubs/Disco)
1. With the announced resumption of the nightlife sector on 19 April 2022, what should operators of pubs, bars, nightclubs and discos do if they intend to operate food and beverage activities?
As announced by the MTI and MHA on 04 Apr 2022 on the resumption of the nightlife sector, all nightlife establishments will be permitted to fully reopen from 19 Apr 2022. To facilitate the resumption of activities, please be informed about the applicable processes for the various scenarios:
If you have obtained URA’s endorsement for a temporary conversion to pivot to F&B operations that remains active on 19 April 2022, SFA will be updating your licence from a Snack counter/Restaurant licence to a Food Shop (Pub/Bar/Nightclub/Disco) licence. During the transition, you may continue operating under the current licence. A notification will be sent via GoBusiness once the update is completed. There is no action required from you except to print out your licence when you receive the notification.
If you have received approval from URA for a Change of Use application to convert your premises to F&B but intend to operate as pub, bar, nightclub or disco, you will need to submit a fresh request to URA to change your premises’ use to Pub/Bar/Nightclub/Disco and submit URA’s planning approval to SFA via the online feedback form on our website for us to update a Snack counter/Restaurant licence to a Food Shop (Pub/Bar/Nightclub/Disco) licence.
If your licence has expired, you will need to submit a new application via GoBusiness to operate a Foodshop in a Pub/Bar/Nightclub/Disco. Incomplete applications without a complete layout plan will be rejected. SFA then will issue an in-principle approval letter within 5 working days after we have received a complete application. SFA will approve the application within 3 working days after necessary inspections and documentary checks.
Should you require further clarification or assistance, you may contact us via our online feedback form.