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Setting up a Food Trading Company

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Food Trading


The food trading industry in Singapore is a vibrant and growing sector. The country is a major importer and exporter of food, and the government is committed to promoting the growth of the industry.


There are a number of factors that are driving the growth of the food trading industry in Singapore. These include:

  • The growing population of Singapore. The population of Singapore is expected to reach 6.9 million by 2030, and this will create a demand for more food.

  • The rising affluence of Singaporeans. Singaporeans are becoming more affluent, and they are spending more on food.

  • The increasing popularity of international cuisine. Singaporeans are becoming more interested in trying international cuisine, and this is creating demand for imported food products.

  • The strategic location of Singapore. Singapore is a major transhipment hub for food products in Southeast Asia. This makes it a convenient location for food traders to import and export food products.

The food trading industry in Singapore is highly competitive. There are a number of large and well-established food trading companies in Singapore, as well as a growing number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).


To succeed in the food trading industry in Singapore, companies need to have a strong understanding of the market, a good network of suppliers and distributors, and a commitment to providing high-quality products and services.


Here are some of the leading food trading companies in Singapore:

  • AGRO Corporation

  • Olam International

  • Wilmar International

  • Kerry Group

  • Associated British Foods

These companies are involved in a wide range of food trading activities, including importing, exporting, distributing, and processing food products. They have a strong presence in Singapore and the wider Southeast Asian region.


The food trading industry in Singapore is a dynamic and exciting sector. It offers a number of opportunities for companies that are looking to grow their business and expand into new markets.





Why Set up a Food Trading Company in Singapore


There are many reasons why you might want to set up a food trading company in Singapore. Here are a few of the most compelling:

  • Strategic location: Singapore is a major transhipment hub for food products in Southeast Asia. This makes it a convenient location for food traders to import and export food products to and from other countries in the region.

  • Favorable business environment: Singapore has a pro-business government that is committed to creating a favorable environment for businesses to thrive. This includes a low corporate tax rate, a transparent regulatory system, and a well-educated workforce.

  • High-quality infrastructure: Singapore has excellent infrastructure, including a modern airport, a deep-water port, and a well-developed road and rail network. This makes it easy and efficient to import and export food products.

  • Access to a large and growing market: Singapore has a population of over 5.7 million people and is a major gateway to the ASEAN market, which has a population of over 650 million people. This gives food traders in Singapore access to a large and growing market.

  • Competitive labor costs: The labor costs in Singapore are relatively low compared to other developed countries. This can help food traders to reduce their operating costs.

If you are considering setting up a food trading company, Singapore is a great place to do it. The country has a number of advantages that can help you to succeed in the food trading business.


Here are some additional benefits of setting up a food trading company in Singapore:

  • Ease of doing business: Singapore is ranked as one of the easiest places to do business in the world. This is due to its transparent regulatory system, efficient government bureaucracy, and strong rule of law.

  • High standards of food safety: Singapore has strict food safety standards that are enforced by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA). This gives food traders peace of mind that their products are safe to sell.

  • Strong intellectual property protection: Singapore has strong intellectual property protection laws that protect food brands and trademarks. This is important for food traders who want to protect their intellectual property rights.

  • Globally connected: Singapore is a well-connected city with a strong international business network. This makes it easy for food traders to connect with suppliers and buyers from all over the world.

Overall, Singapore is a great place to set up a food trading company. The country has a number of advantages that can help you to succeed in the food trading business.


Setting up a Food Trading Company


Here are the steps on how to set up a food trading company in Singapore:

  1. Register a company. You can register a private limited company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) through its BizFile+ portal. The minimum share capital for a private limited company in Singapore is S$1.

  2. Obtain a food handling course certificate for your employees. All food handlers in Singapore are required to obtain a food handling course certificate from a Singapore Food Agency (SFA)-approved training provider.

  3. Apply for a food license from the SFA. The type of food license you need will depend on the type of food you will be trading. For example, if you will be importing and exporting fresh meat, you will need a meat processing license.

  4. Register with Singapore Customs. All importers and exporters in Singapore are required to register with Singapore Customs. You can do this online through the Singapore Customs website.

  5. Obtain the necessary permits and licenses for the goods you will be trading. Some goods may require additional permits or licenses from other government agencies, such as the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.

Here are some additional tips for setting up a food trading company in Singapore:

  • Do your research on the food industry in Singapore. This includes understanding the different types of food that are popular in Singapore, the regulations governing the food industry, and the competition you will face.

  • Build a strong network of suppliers and distributors. This will help you source quality products at competitive prices and get your products to market quickly and efficiently.

  • Market your products effectively. This includes creating a strong brand identity, developing a marketing plan, and using online and offline channels to reach your target customers.

  • Provide excellent customer service. This is essential for building a loyal customer base and maintaining a competitive edge.



Food Import Licence


Licensing & Registration of Traders


All traders who wish to import, export or transship commercial shipments of food products are required by law to either apply for a relevant trader’s licence or register with SFA. Only companies registered with ACRA can do so.


A licence / registration is required when you are:


· importing, exporting or transshipping meat and fish products; or

· importing or transshipping fresh fruits and vegetables;

· importing fresh table eggs; or

· importing processed food and food appliances (e.g. food ware).

All commercial food imports that enter Singapore must come from accredited food establishments in approved countries.


General Requirements for Traders


Traders who are applying for licences and registration with SFA must meet these requirements.



Your must register a trading company or business with ACRA before conducting business in Singapore.

ACRA issues a Unique Entity Number (UEN) to all Singapore-registered companies.



Companies must register and activate their UEN with Singapore Customs if they intend to import, transship and export food products.


3. Open and maintain a GIRO account


In addition, you must open and maintain a GIRO account with SFA for the payment of fees and permits. Food traders also need to maintain a GIRO account with SFA for the payment of licence renewal fees and permit fees.


Licence / Registration Fees


Meat and Fish Products - S$84 per annum

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables - S$378 per annum


1 – 5 working days to process.


How Bestar can Help


Bestar can help you set up a food trading company in Singapore by providing the following services:

  • Company formation: Bestar will help you choose the right company structure for your food trading business and file the necessary paperwork with the Singapore government.

  • Licenses and permits: Bestar will help you obtain the necessary licenses and permits from the Singapore government, such as a food trading license and a business registration certificate.

  • Accounting and taxation: Bestar can provide you with accounting and taxation services to ensure that your food trading business is compliant with Singapore law.

  • Banking and financial services: Bestar can help you open a bank account in Singapore and provide you with other financial services, such as payroll processing and foreign exchange.

  • Human resources: Bestar can help you hire and manage your employees in Singapore, in accordance with local labor laws.

  • Compliance: Bestar can help you stay compliant with Singapore law, such as the Companies Act, the Employment Act, and the Food Safety Act.

In addition to these services, Bestar can also provide you with guidance and advice on all aspects of setting up and running a food trading business in Singapore.


If you are considering setting up a food trading company in Singapore, Bestar is a valuable resource that can help you make the process easier and more successful.


Here are some additional benefits of using Bestar to set up your food trading company in Singapore:

  • They have a proven track record of helping foreign investors set up and grow businesses in Singapore.

  • They have a deep understanding of the Singapore food industry and the regulatory environment.

  • They offer a wide range of services to meet the needs of food trading businesses, from company formation to compliance to accounting.

  • They have a team of experienced consultants who can provide you with personalized advice and guidance.

If you are serious about setting up a food trading company in Singapore, contact Bestar. They can help you make the process easier, more successful, and more stress-free.





Setting up a Food Trading Company | Bestar
Setting up a Food Trading Company | Bestar

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