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Start a Singapore Event Management Company

How to Start an Event Management Company in Singapore

Start a Singapore Event Management Company

What Is an Event Management Company?

An event management company plans and executes events. The steps required to create a successful event is generally as follows, in order:

(1) Create a concept/theme

(2) Come up with designs for all event elements as well as source for the materials and manpower to turn those designs into a reality

(3) Set up the event elements in the chosen area and finally

(4) Manage the event when it goes live. Different events have different elements and it is up to the event management company to manage all those elements while still keeping within the client’s budget.

Are There Any Perks to Starting a Singapore Event Management Company?

Singapore has a strong reputation as one of the top convention/international city in the world. The Singapore government has poured a lot of heart and soul (and money) into the beautiful island-state’s event management industry, girding the financial power with solid infrastructure development, the modern of meeting facilities and breath-taking attractions that promise tons of fun and enjoyment. Interest in the industry is always growing, and with even more sophisticated and enjoyable developments going up here and there, the event management industry in Singapore is poised to see very solid, very healthy growth.

What Sorts of Events Take Place in Singapore?

Singapore is host to all sorts of events. There are events that lean more toward the corporate business world side of things, while others tickle your imagination in ways that you’ve never imagined. Generally though, we can classify events into three categories:

(1) MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) – examples would be like end-of-year company meetings, conferences/seminars about the latest developments in a particular industry, etc.

(2) Performing Arts Events – this would include musicals, plays, dance performances, etc.

(3) Leisure and Lifestyle Events – this could range from sports-type events and adventure-style events to glam-and-glitz events like fashion shows or similar community/lifestyle-based events. Note: Casino junkets will not be covered in this guide; their licensing requirements falls under the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore, a different set of requirements as compared to normal event management companies.

What Do I First Need to Do to Start Event Management Company in Singapore?

to Start Event Management Company in Singapore 1

The first step towards conducting business as an Event Management Company in Singapore is to incorporate a company.

to Start Event Management Company in Singapore 2

That’s pretty much it! Starting an event management company in Singapore is a simple and easy affair because you don’t have to apply for any major business license. However, the special thing about event management companies is that they do need to apply for licenses, but these are licenses that are for the events, rather than the company itself.

So What Are Some of the Possible Licenses I May Need When I’m Organizing an Event?

The licenses and permits that you need would depend on the event itself. The majority of licenses and permits are valid only for the duration of the event. Below are the licenses and permits we’ll be covering in this guide:

  • Trade Fair Permit -for organizing trade fairs.
  • Arts Entertainment License – to organize events that involve the performing arts. This would include musicals, plays, dance performances, art exhibitions, music concerts or variety shows.
  • Public Entertainment License – for organizing entertainment events that are accessible to the public. Those events that involve the performing arts would require the Arts Entertainment License instead.
  • Copyright Permit – for when you want to play or reproduce copyrighted music or videos at any event. Animal Exhibition License – for organizing events where animals will be on show or involved in performances.

Trade Fair Permits

What is a trade fair? A trade fair is any activity that involves the setting-up of makeshift stalls, for the purpose of selling food and non-food goods and entertainment. The NEA (National Environment Agency) issues the Trade Fair Permit which you’ll need if you want to organize a trade fair. Be aware that only Town Councils, grassroots organizations and educational, religious, social, charitable and civic institutions are allowed to hold fairs. If the trade fair is to be held in public areas, you must have obtained the approval from all the relevant authorities/agencies as well as get all the shopkeepers in the neighborhood to agree. Head over to the NEA’s website to find the Trade Fair Permit Guidelines and Requirements; you’ll have to ensure compliance with this if you intend to hold a trade fair. Applying for a Trade Fair Permit: 1. Complete and submit the application form. 2. Ensure that you submit the application form with the following documents:

  • Map of the venue;
  • Scaled Layout plan, showing all the stalls involved;
  • A list of stallholders;
  • Approval letter from the relevant agencies or authorities.
  • Copy of the daily cleaning schedule within the fair’s grounds, plus the contract with the Cleaning Contractor.

3. Pay the permit fee of SGD 55.

How Long? – Successful applications will usually be processed within 3 days. If successful, the applicant will receive the Trade Fair Permit. Note also that once the permit is granted, the Licensing Officer may impose certain compliance requirements.

Public Entertainment Licenses

The Public Entertainments & Meetings Act states that anyone organizing any sort of ad-hoc entertainment, in any place accessible to the public, regardless whether it offers free or paid entry, must have a Public Entertainment (Ad-Hoc) License. The Singapore Police Force is the authority that issues this license. Some example of such an event would be (but are not limited to): circus show, karaoke show, wrestling match, computer gaming event, and so on. There are some events that are exempt from requiring the Public Entertainment License. Please go to the Singapore Police Force website to go through a list of events that exempted events. Applying for a Public Entertainment License:

  • Obtain approvals from all relevant authorities, such as the URA (Urban Development Authority) for approval of the premises, the Fire Safety Certificate from the Singapore Civil Defense Force, and so on.
  • Complete and submit the application form with the following documents:
  • Pay the license fee: (1) SGD 20 per day, or (2) SGD 40 for every 7 days, whether consecutive or otherwise. How Long? – Successful applications will usually be processed within 1 week. If successful, the applicant will receive the Public Entertainment License. Note also that once the license is granted, the Licensing Officer may impose certain compliance requirements.

How Long? – Successful applications will usually be processed within 1 week. If successful, the applicant will receive the Public Entertainment License. Note also that once the license is granted, the Licensing Officer may impose certain compliance requirements.

Copyright Permit

If you’re going to be organizing an event that involves the playing or reproducing of copyrighted music and/or videos, you must have the permission from the copyright owners before you can use their copyrighted work. Since there are a lot of copyright owners out there, they are usually represented by a Collective Management Organization, such as COMPASS (Composers and Authors Society of Singapore), which represents composers and lyricists. You can learn more about the various Collective Management Organizations by visiting the IPOS’s (Intellectual Property of Singapore) website. If the event you’re organizing involves the public performance or reproduction of musical lyrics or musical works, you have to apply for a Copyright Permit for public performance rights and/or reproductions rights from the relevant Collective Management Organization. Some examples of activities requiring a Copyright Permit are:

  • Playing music from the original media itself, like playing music from a CD
  • Playing music that has been copied from an original media (like a CD). Examples of this would be digitized music (mp3) on a laptop’s hard dish.
  • Showing music/karaoke video from the original media, such as playing the videos on a DVD player.
  • Showing music/karaoke video that has been copied from an original media (like a DVD). Examples of this would be in a Karaoke system, where you can select and choose from among hundreds of different songs/videos.
  • When featuring a live band.

Applying for a Copyright Permit: 1. Complete and submit the application form to the relevant Collective Management Organization. 2. Pay the permit fee: varies. How Long? – Successful applications will usually be processed within 2-3 weeks. If successful, the applicant will receive the Copyright Permit. Be aware that this permit is only valid for the duration of the event.

Animal Exhibition License

If you’re going to be organizing an event that involves the exhibition of animals, or involves the animals putting on a performance, you must have the Animal Exhibition License, issued by AVA (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore). You must also comply with AVA’s ‘Animal Exhibition Licensing Conditions and Guidelines’ and ‘Animal Performances Guidelines’. Please visit AVA’s website to go through these guidelines. Applying for an Animal Exhibition License: 1. Ensure that you complete and submit the application form with the following documents: Approval letter from the landlord/management of the exhibition area. Letter of No Objection from the appropriate NEA Environmental Health District Office. The layout plan for the animal exhibition as well as any related information. 2. Pay the license fee: SGD 126 (license fee) plus SGD 94.50 (application fee). How Long? -Once AVA has received the application, they’ll arrange for an interview and inspection of the exhibition premises. Expect to be interviewed about the animal exhibition and be ready to have the answers to any questions beforehand. If the AVA deems the evaluation of all supporting documents, the interview and the inspection satisfactory, they will issue a letter of approval. Successful applications will usually be processed within 1 week. If successful, the applicant will receive the Animal Exhibition License.

Ready to incorporate with professional help?

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Paul Hype Page & Co. is an ACRA-certified business adviser. Our team of seasoned professional can help you set up a company in Singapore very quickly and easily following all legal entities, and offer you sound advice on how to make it successful too.

What Are The Guidelines For Foreigners to Start a Business in Singapore4

In addition to business registration, we’ll also guide you how to:

  1. Write a business plan – Learn how to write a compelling business plan by accessing our sample business plans, or other helpful market research information
  2. Perform market research – Understand your business market, learn how it can enhance your business growth, and how to properly conduct a market research for your business
  3. Corporate Secretary Services – If you are registering a company in Singapore, you will need a Corporate Secretary. Corporate compliance in Singapore is a complex legal requirement for all Singapore registered companies. Our company secretarial team helps our clients and their officers to fulfil their statutory obligations in an efficient manner.
  4. Manage your finances – We’ll offer you the best resources and information to help you fully understand all financial concepts and teach you how to perform basic accounting tasks like budgeting, bookkeeping, financial analysis, among others

To further aid you, we have provided here a resource area with industry specific information and other industry resources to help you successfully start and run your business.

  1. Singapore Business Opportunities 
  2. Singapore Business Licences
  3. Singapore Tax Planning
  4. Singapore Company Incorporation
  5. Singapore Company Yearly Statutory Requirements
  6. Singapore Working Visa Guide

By Eric Eio
Managing Partner of Paul Hype Page & Co.

Eric was awarded an ACCA graduate in 2000 and also graduated from University of Sydney with a Bachelor degree in Computer Science & Accounting. Since graduation, he had worked in Big 4 as an auditor , including a one year overseas stint with Ernst & Young, Shanghai in 2005. He left his last appointment as an Audit Managerial position with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Singapore in 2008 before setting up his own Certified Public Accountant Practice – Paul Hype Page & Co. His firm is being selected to be one of the advisory panel for Singapore top 500 SME.