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Setting Up a Restaurant

Setting Up a Restaurant

Opening a restaurant in Singapore is an exciting prospect, but it requires careful planning and adherence to regulations. Here's a basic roadmap to navigate the process:

1. Plan and Prepare:

  • Concept: Develop a unique concept, cuisine, and target audience.

  • Business Plan: Create a comprehensive business plan outlining your financial projections, marketing strategy, and operational structure.

  • Funding: Secure funding through personal savings, loans, or seeking investors.

2. Business Formation:

  • Register your business: Choose a business structure (sole proprietorship or private limited company) and register it with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

  • Obtain a Food Shop License: Apply for this crucial license from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA). This involves inspections and adherence to food safety regulations.

3. Location and Permits:

  • Find a suitable location: Consider factors like rent, accessibility, foot traffic, and proximity to competitors.

  • Additional permits: Depending on your concept, you may need permits for serving alcohol (liquor license), importing food (trader's license), or halal certification.

4. Operations and Staffing:

  • Renovation and equipment: Ensure your space meets SFA requirements and invest in necessary equipment.

  • Hire staff: Recruit and train qualified employees. They must obtain mandatory food hygiene certifications from SFA.

  • Register with relevant authorities: Register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other relevant taxes and social security contributions for employees.

Food Shop License

Obtaining a Food Shop License is crucial for operating a restaurant in Singapore. Here's a closer look at the process:


  • This license applies to restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and other establishments preparing and selling cooked food for consumption on or off the premises.

Application Process:

  1. In-Principle Approval (IPA): Submit an application on the GoBusiness portal, including:

  • Business details

  • Food items and preparation methods

  • Equipment used

  • Floor plan layout

  1. Inspection and Compliance: Upon IPA approval, SFA officers will inspect your premises to ensure compliance with food safety regulations and hygiene standards.

  2. License Issuance: If compliant, you'll receive the Food Shop License, typically valid for one year.

Additional Information:

  • Cost: $195, valid for one year.

  • Renewal: Apply for renewal before expiry through GoBusiness.

  • Website


  • Food handlers require mandatory WSQ Food Safety Course Level 1.

  • Ensure your premises meet fire safety and building regulations.

  • Consult SFA for further guidance and specific requirements based on your business concept.

Additional Resources:

Remember, this is a simplified overview. Consider seeking professional guidance from accountants, and business consultants throughout the process to ensure smooth sailing for your restaurant venture in Singapore.

How Bestar can Help

Bestar offers services that could be helpful in setting up your restaurant in Singapore. Here's what we might be able to assist with:

  • Company Formation: We specialize in company formation, which could involve registering your business entity and handling the administrative aspects.

  • Business Registration: We assist with registering your business with ACRA and obtaining relevant licenses, including the Food Shop License.

  • Taxation: We offer tax advice and could help you register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other relevant taxes.

  • Consulting: We can guide you through legal aspects of setting up and operating a restaurant, including contracts, permits, and compliance.

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