Office & Sign:
The company must also have a physical business office, which would be dedicated solely to the running and operations of the travel agency; the space cannot be used or shared for any other purpose or a different kind of business. A signboard, one that reflects the nature of the business (that it is indeed, a travel agency), must also be erected, and clearly visible.
An individual freelance travel agent who conducts their business from inside a flat or private housing has to obtain approval from the Housing Development Board or Urban Redevelopment Authority before the STB can grant.
Website & TRUST:
A website for business operations purposes is a must-have for the company. It should also observe TRUST, which is an acronym for “Terms and Conditions for the Use of the Travel Related Users’ System (TRUST)”. The TRUST website is a state-sanctioned website, providing relevant information, resources and advice in regards to Singapore’s travel industry.
I’ve done all that, now what about the Travel Agency License Application?
You will have to file an online application, as the STB no longer accepts manual applications. When applying, you also have to declare any shareholdings you may hold in other travel agencies. The processing time for your application will be around 1 week. The normal procedure is as follows: the authorities respond by sending you an IPA – In-Principle Approval – letter, through postal mail. This may take a little longer if they decide that there is a need to perform background financial and criminal checks on selected company individuals. This IPA letter might contain certain conditions that you have to fulfill in order for your application to get approved. One common condition includes the submission of the lease or tenancy agreement for the premises where you intend to do business – the tenancy agreement in question should be a period of at least one year. If the premises belong to you, you will have to show proof of ownership. Upon receipt of your FINAL approval letter, you must collect your Singaporean travel agency license in person – you’ll have to pay the licensing fee of $300.
But what if I get Rejected?
There should be no reasons for the authorities to reject your application if you have submitted all the necessary documents and accurate information, as well as passing any background checks. If you do get rejected, however, you may file an appeal, within one month of being rejected. Expect the review process to take up to two weeks.
Renewing your License
The validity of the Singaporean travel agency license is for a duration of 2 years, expiring on the 31st December of the following year, irrespective of the month in which you made the application (so applying in January will prove advantageous) It is a must to renew your travel agency license one month before the expiry date.