How to Start a Retail Business in Singapore

Start Your Own Retail Business in Singapore for $395

Hong Kong and Singapore emerged as the top two retail destinations when compared to other key Asian retail hubs
International e-commerce players like Alibaba and Amazon have already begun establishing physical stores to capture walk-in patrons (knightfrank.com)
Shopping is a national pastime: The millennials love hanging out at malls as a social activity; tourists enjoy the ease of shopping in a country where they can get everything under one roof, and public transport is safe, reliable and accessible to all (TODAYonline)
Opening in 2019, Changi Airport’s Jewel will house 9,000 sq m of retail space and approximately 300 tenants

Retail in Singapore: Innovating and Forging Ahead

The total retail sales value was estimated at S$3.8 billion for 2017, up from S$3.6 billion in the same period last year. Fueled by consistent growth in Singapore’s tourism and a multitude of major international retailers, Singapore is still attracting and assisting many retail companies to set up here. Technological innovations and solutions such as diverse payment options, omni-channel shopping and enhanced experientiality in malls are leading the way to make Singaporeans’ favourite pastime, shopping, bigger and better.

Retail lndustry Areas and Sectors

Broadly speaking, there are 5 Retail Industry Areas covering a total of 18 Industry Sectors.

  • Specialty Retailing: Floristry; Newsagents, Stationery & Bookshops; Community Pharmacy; Specialty Stores; Jewellery; Fashion, Clothing & Footwear
  • Food & Beverage: Supermarkets; Liquor; Fruit & Vegetable; Fast Food & Take-away; Specialty Food
  • Work, Home & Lifestyle: Entertainment, Communication & Technology; Sport, Recreation & Leisure; Home Living; Hardware, Trade & Gardening
  • General Retailing: Department Stores; Discount & Variety
  • Wholesale & Logistics: Wholesale & Logistics

Licences and Legal Formalities for Starting a Retail Business in Singapore

Top Priorities for a Retail Business Start-up

 

Incorporating Your Company On ACRA

Registering your company on the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore is the first step to kicking off your retail business venture.

Approval for Premises

If your intended business outlet is NOT YET set up for retail, you will need to seek approval from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA) for making alterations to the premises. A Fire Safety Certificate from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) must also be obtained.

Additional Permits for Various Types of Retail Outlets

Depending on your retail segment, you may require one or more permits from the following authorities:

  • Health Services Authority (HSA)
  • National Environment Authority (NEA)
  • Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA)
  • Infocommunications Development Authority (IDA)
  • Singapore Police Force (SPF)

Need more information regarding Incorporating a Retail Business and permit applications? Contact one of our experts for a free consultation now.