Licensing & Permits

Private Canteen

Licensing Approach

In order to ensure food safety and hygiene for consumers, private canteens operated by third party vendors/businesses would need to obtain a licence from SFA. This includes staff canteens and schools that provide boarding services with canteen, operated by third-party companies. SFA considers such operations/arrangements to involve the sale of food, even though it is done under a service contract such as employment contract or contract for accommodation services.

Third party vendors who are operating the canteen can start applying to SFA for the licence with immediate effect. In general, SFA will issue a Food Shop licence when the following conditions are met:

  • [For new premises, and premises undergoing major renovations] Please refer to appended licensing conditions [PDF, 152 KB] . The licensing conditions will be verified through a pre-licensing inspection of the premises upon completion of renovation and installation of equipment.
  • [For all premises] Submission of relevant approvals and supporting documents

Details of applicant (where applicable)

  • Individual (Singaporean or Singapore PR) – Both sides of NRIC or:
  • Company (Pte Ltd/ Ltd/ LLP)– Information Business Profile from Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) or;
  • Society - Certificate of Registration from Registrar of Societies
  • Letter of authorisation (when submission of application is not done by intended licensee/director of company holding the licence)

Details of premises/operations

  • Layout plan of premises (in scaled metric units)
  • Planning permission from relevant land agency e.g. URA and HDB
  • Tenancy agreement
  • Supplementary Information form to capture business name, type of food sold, business operating hours, etc.

Food handlers/Food Hygiene Officer

  • Attend and pass WSQ Follow Food & Beverage Safety and Hygiene Policies and Procedures (Food Handler)
  • Attend and pass WSQ Conduct Food & Beverage Hygiene Audit course (Food Hygiene Officer)

Cleaning and maintenance

  • Cleaning program
  • 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.

Submission of online application and licence fee

The online application for a Canteen licence can be submitted here.
The licence costs $195.00 and is valid for one year.

Frequently Asked Questions

My school provides boarding service for the resident-students. We provide a hostel kitchen for the student to prepare their own food. Do we need to obtain the SFA canteen licence?

No. Since the food prepared are for own consumption and not for sale, this hostel kitchen does not need to be licensed. A SFA licence would be required if the hostel kitchen is managed by third party operator to serve food to the resident-students.

My company provides free-of-charge in-house meal for my staff. The kitchen operation is manned by in-house staff. Will my canteen operation need to obtain a licence from SFA?

No. Only private canteens operated by third party vendors/businesses under a service contract need to obtain a licence from SFA to operate.

My company’s staff canteen is outsourced to a third party operator but my company continues to have an oversight of the canteen operations. Who should apply and hold the licence?

The operator of the canteen should hold the licence. If the third party operator operates the kitchen while your company oversees the operation, the third party operator should hold the licence.

The staff canteen in my company provides free meals to staff. However, the food is catered from external parties, i.e. prepared offsite at the caterer’s premises. Does my canteen need to be licensed by SFA?

No. Since the food are catered from external parties, a SFA licence to operate a food retail establishment is not required. Please note that you should only obtain the catered food from SFA licensed food caterers or central kitchens.