Start a Hotel Business in Singapore
How to Open a Hotel in Singapore
Does This Guide Apply to Hotels only?
Although this guide is titled ‘How to Open a Hotel in Singapore’, the information presented here is applicable to all sorts of establishment that are in the business of providing accommodation to tourists or people who travel, either for leisure or business. Examples of other establishments that fall under this category are hostels, backpacker inns, lodging or boarding houses, guest houses and so on.
Are There Any Perks to Opening a Singapore Hotel?
Singapore is both one of the top convention/international city in the world as well as a popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia. That means there are many tourists and travelers visiting the beautiful island-state every year, and unless it’s for a stop-over, they’re going to need accommodation. Economic forecasts predicts around an 8% growth in the in the hotel and restaurants sector, and it has become a very robust and financially healthy industry. The good thing about Singapore is that it receives so many different sorts of tourists and travelers, all with different budgets, thus there are ample opportunities for all types of tells, whether they be 5-star luxury hotels, boutique hotels, modest hostels or backpacker lodgings.
What Registration or License Will I Need to Be Able to Run a Hotel in Singapore?
You’ll need two things: a Certificate of Registration and a Hotel-Keeper’s License. The Certificate of Registration is required for you to use the premises as a hotel while the Hotel-Keeper’s License is a requirement for managing the hotel. Both of these are obtain from the Hotels Licensing Board. This applies to all the other establishments that offer accommodation to tourists and travelers, e.g. guest house, hostel, etc.
How Do I Go About Getting These Certificate and License?
There are certain conditions that have to be fulfilled before applying for the Certificate of Registration and Hotel-Keeper’s License.
We’ve outlined the 7 conditions you’ll have to fulfill below:
- Incorporate your Business – The first step is to register the hotel as a Singapore company, business or limited liability partnership. You’ll need to register at ACRA, (Singapore Companies Registrar).
- Approval of Premises – The premises that you’ve chosen for your hotel must be approved by the URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority). The approval will be in the form of a written approval and it is an approval of the use of the proposed premises to run and operate a hotel.
- Appointment of a Hotel-Keeper – You will have to appoint a suitably qualified CEO or General Manager to take care of the hotel’s administrative affairs.
- Advertising the Application – After you’ve submitted the application for a Certificate of Registration, you then have 14 days to advertise the application (in a prescribed format) in two newspapers: The Straits Times (an English daily) and the Lianhe Zaobao (a Chinese daily).
- Clearance from NEA – NEA is the National Environment Agency, and you’ll have to apply to either one of two certificates from their Planning and Development Department: a Clearance Certificate (Temporary Occupation Permit) or a Compliance Certificate (Certificate of Statutory Completion).
- Approval from Building Construction Authority – You’ll need to obtain either a TOP (Temporary Occupation Permit) or CSC (Certificate of Statutory Completion) from the Building Construction Authority of Singapore.
- Approval from Fire Safety Department – You’ll need to obtain either a TFP (Temporary Fire Permit) or FSC (Fire Safety Certificate) from the Fire Safety Bureau of Singapore.
Once you’ve fulfilled all these conditions, it’s time to move on to the actual application procedure:
Applying for the Certificate of Registration and Hotel-Keeper’s License:
- Ensure that you complete and submit the application form to the Hotels Licensing Board. You’ll also need to submit the following supporting documents with your application:
- Cover Letter which indicates the estimated date of the hotel’s commencement of operation
- Written approval grant from URA (Urban Development Authority).
- Copy of the advertisement that was published in The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao.
- Resume of the proposed hotel-keeper
- Copy of all the approvals, permits and certificated from the various agencies mentioned in the pre-requisites section above.
- How Long? – Successful applications will usually be processed within 3 weeks, assuming that there are no objections after 14 days from the date of the advertisement in The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao. If successful, the applicant will receive the Certificate of Registration and the Hotel-Keeper’s License
- Fee and Validity? – The licenses fee is SGD 100, payable upon issuance. The license is valid until December of every year, renewable on an annual basis. There is also an annual registration fee, which will be between SGD 200 – SGD 400, the amount depending on how many rooms you have in the hotel.