How to Set Up Food and Beverage Business in Singapore [2021] (2022)

Singapore is nominated to be one of the best destinations for foodies in Southeast Asia. For that same reason, a lot of "food-preneurs" from all around the world are eyeing on Singapore as the next strategic location to set up a food and beverage business.

However, starting a food business in Singapore is not all rainbows and unicorns. Incorporating a restaurant business in Singapore can be quite costly and expensive, which will be the biggest challenge for startups with limited capital.

How to Set Up Food and Beverage Business in Singapore [2021] (1)

Nonetheless, Singapore is known for its hassle-free business set-up process and has consistently top World Bank's Ease of Doing Business report. Thus, doing a comprehensive preparation should be helpful in encountering the challenges that you might face in the future.

7 Steps to Set Up a Restaurant in Singapore:

1. Incorporate a Company

First and foremost, you will need to incorporate a company to start a food business legally in Singapore. Completing this initial step will save you a lot of time and other paperwork in the future.

3 Simple Steps to Set Up a Company in Singapore:

1. Choose a business entity

Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) has provided a range of options for businesses to decide its entity based on the structure for their needs. The entity types are Partnership, Sole Proprietor, Companies, Limited Liability Partnership, Limited Partnership, and Public Accounting Firm.In deciding which entity suits your business best, there are some things to take into considerations:

  • The nature of the business you want to undertake
  • Number of owners
  • Amount of capital
  • Risks are you able to take
  • Long term plan for your business
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the different business vehicles
  • The requirements you need
  • Is the business vehicle easy to close

Though options exist, many new companies register as Private Limited Companies due to its scalability. Learn more about the types of business entities in Singapore here.

2. Set up your company

As a newly-incorporated company, you will need to purchase a business profile from ACRA to report details information regarding your business, including your registration number (UEN), etc. This profile will be required to open a 'business bank account' or a 'business account' and apply for licenses you may need (types of licenses will be discussed in the next point).To purchase a business file from ACRA, you will need:

  • Approved company name by the ACRA
  • Minimum of one shareholder
  • At least one director that resides in Singapore
  • Singapore resident company secretary
  • Paid-up capital of at least $1
  • Registered physical office address (you may register your home address if your office is in your own private property)

(Video) To Succeed in the F&B Industry in Singapore: You need to know this KSF!

3. Opening your account

After incorporating your company, you can open a 'business bank account' from banks or a 'business account' from other payment service providers in Singapore. A separates business account from your personal account will help you keep business transaction records separate from any personal finances.

Here's an in-depth guide on how you can register your business in Singapore.

2. Apply for License

Singapore is considered strict when it comes to food and beverage establishments. There is quite a list of licenses that you need to take note of before operating your restaurant business:

How to Set Up Food and Beverage Business in Singapore [2021] (2)

In addition to that list, you will need to register the license for:

  • Liquor license, if you plan to serve alcohol
  • Halal license, if you want to serve Halal food
  • Import license, if you plan to import the ingredients
  • Tobacco license, if you want to sell tobacco in your restaurant
  • Register for GST, if your annual revenue exceeds S$1 million

3. Budgeting

Cost is every food entrepreneurs' biggest challenge in operating the business. Thus, doing proper budgeting will be helpful for you to estimate how much you will need to prepare for capital, and how much you will need to spend for monthly expenses.

Average cost of starting a restaurant business in Singapore:

1. Rental
  • Core Central Region (CCR): $12 - $18 per square foot
  • Rest of Central Region (RCR): $10 - $22 per square foot
  • Outside of Central Region (OCR): starting from $6 per square foot

Assuming you need to pay at least for 1,200 square feet, the range of rental cost will be around $7,200 - $26,400 depending on the area of your restaurant. On top of this, you may need to set aside between $4,000 to $6,000 to restore the property to its original state if you should close down the restaurant.

2. Manpower
  • Part-time staff typically earn $7 per hour
  • Full-time workers typically earn $1,800 to $2,000 per month
  • Head chefs typically earn $5,000 to $6,000 per month
  • Line cooks and others earn $3,000 to $4,000 per month

Some restaurants provide incentives such as year-end bonuses or share in the business especially for the head chef. Additionally, an extra 16% of your employee's pay should be provided to pay their CPF.

How to Set Up Food and Beverage Business in Singapore [2021] (3)

(Video) A Business Owner’s Guide to Setting Up an F&B Company in Singapore in 2022

3. License
  • Food Shop License from the National Environment Agency (NEA) will cost $195 a year
  • Employees who handle food will need to go through the Food Handler's course, it will cost $21.40 for Singaporean employees and $107 for foreigners.
  • First Class Liquor License (if you want to serve alcohol from 6am to midnight) will cost you S$1,740 for every two years
  • Second Class Liquor License (if you want to serve alcohol between 6am to 10pm) will cost you $1,329 for two years
  • In the future, if your annual turnover exceeds $1 million, you will need to register for the Good and Services Tax (GST).

4. Others
  • On average, raw ingredients usually will take up 20% of your revenue, although there is no clear cost estimation here.
  • Utility bills may cost between $1,200 to $2,500 a month.
  • Set aside an extra $3,000 a month for the miscellaneous cost to

4. Choose a Location

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One of the most important factors in setting up a restaurant business in Singapore is deciding on the location. You may have the best Steak Frites, the best interior or even the best price. If the location is not convenient for those going by foot or accessible to those driving, you may have missed a big opportunity in obtaining more income.Hence, take your time, be patient and do extensive research on the best location to operate your business. There are many locations available to choose from. It does not have to be in the heart of the CBD area if you don't have the budget yet, but again, it depends on who your target market is.Websites to help you find the best location:

5. Hire Staff

This has been the second biggest challenge for food business owners in Singapore (after the cost of starting a business). Although Singapore has millions of people, it has been proven that hiring staff is difficult due to the low local demands and certain restrictions in hiring foreign labor.Here is a list of staffs that are commonly needed to operate a restaurant business:

  • Executive Chef/ Kitchen Manager
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Server
  • Bartender
  • Host
  • Dishwasher
  • Bookkeeper or Accountant.
  • Maintenance

However, if your food business is relatively small and makes more sense to have people do multiple roles, it will be better as it will cut down labor cost.

6. Find Suppliers

As previously mentioned in the breakdown of cost, ingredients may take up to 20% of your revenue. Hence, getting suppliers with the best price while maintaining its quality will be very beneficial in the long run.

Here are some local food suppliers you can consider, as recommended by The Smart Local:

1. Ban Lee Heng Kway Teow - East Singapore

Kway Teow, Mee Pok, Vermicelli, and their friends. You can grab a gargantuan for $2 per kg, sold only a packet of 3kg. Compare that to $1.50 for 400g at Cold Storage.

Original Price: $7 for 3 kg packet of beehoon

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Wholesale Price: $6 per 3 kg packet of beehoon

Address: 3017 Bedok North Street 5 Gourmet East Kitchen #04-23, Singapore 486121

Contact: +65 6298 3958

Opening Hours: 5 am – 6 or 7 pm (best to go before 6pm because their closing time is not fixed)

2. Q.B. Food Trading Pte Ltd - West Singapore

From pizza to crepes, Q.B. Food Trading Pte Ltd provides quality food at discounted prices. At the factory, you can collect your ordered items online and also buy anything else off the shelves.

Original Price: $58.90 for 1 KG of SAVOUR Australian Fresh Beef Striploin at Cold Storage

Wholesale Price: $28.30 for 1 KG of Hunter Valley Australia Grass-Fed Striploin (While this may not be the best comparison because the brands are different, it gives you an idea of how the prices for Australian Striploin steak can differ vastly between supermarkets and food factories!)

Address: 8 Chin Bee Crescent, Singapore 619893

Contact: +65 6261 6410

Opening Hours: 9 am – 6 pm

Website:https://www.qbfood.com.sg

How to Set Up Food and Beverage Business in Singapore [2021] (5)

3. Fassler - North Singapore

The place for fresh seafood in Singapore. From Scallop Chowder to Hungarian Beef Goulash Soup, Fassler has the most extensive frozen soup selection in Singapore.This is also where you should go for all your fresh seafood purchases. Fassler sells pre-sliced think and fleshy salmon sashimi. At $14.80 for 300g (approximately 34 slices), probably one of the cheapest sashimi with high quality in Singapore.

(Video) Set Up a Food Processing Company in Singapore

Address: 46 Woodlands Terrace, Singapore 738459

Contact: 6257 5257

Opening Hours: 8pm – 5pm (Mon to Fri), 8pm – 1pm (Sat)

Website: https://fasslergourmet.com

7. Partnership

Last but not least, do partnerships that can help improve your customers' experience. For example, by working with food delivery companies. Some famous food delivery services in Singapore are Food Panda, Deliveroo, Grab Food and Why Q (for Hawker foods).

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Additionally, you can also work with companies like GrabPay and FavePay to provide additional payment methods, providing customers with more options on what is more convenient for them.

Key Takeaways

Setting up a restaurant business in Singapore should not be a burden if you have done your research and preparation. The government and many other private services have provided the support that you might need to reach your dreams.

  1. Register a company to save you from a lot of time and work in the future
  2. Apply for licenses needed for a restaurant to fully operate in Singapore, including liquor license, halal license, etc
  3. Do the proper budgeting including all the costs that may occur when your restaurant operates
  4. Take your time in choosing the right location to operate
  5. Hire staffs
  6. Find the right supplier
  7. Do some partnerships for a better customer experience

Ready to register your restaurant business in Singapore? We got you covered!

Aspire and Osome partners to offer the first same-day online incorporation and business account opening in Singapore from anywhere in the world.

This partnership will bring more convenience, ease and speed for directors who want to open a business in Singapore. This new service is 16% cheaper than doing both processes separately on your own.

FAQs

How can I start a small F&B business in Singapore? ›

Step by step guide on starting a F&B business
  1. Incorporate your company. ...
  2. Hire a company secretary. ...
  3. Come up with a business plan and structure. ...
  4. Acquire all necessary licenses. ...
  5. Hire an accountant & bookkeeper. ...
  6. Find and hire the right people. ...
  7. Market and sell your products. ...
  8. Scale with calculated steps.

How much does it cost to start a F&B business in Singapore? ›

Setting aside your Capital

Do not underestimate the cost of setting up your F&B establishment in Singapore. Depending on the location and size of your establishment, the average startup cost of setting up a F&B business typically ranges from $50,000 – $500,000.

How do I start a F&B business? ›

How to Start Your Food Business: an 8-step Guide
  1. Make a solid Business Plan. ...
  2. Secure your financing. ...
  3. Choose your location. ...
  4. Design the layout of your space. ...
  5. Choose your suppliers. ...
  6. Get your licences and permits. ...
  7. Start hiring your employees. ...
  8. Advertise your business.

How much do you need to start a food business in Singapore? ›

Average cost of starting a restaurant business in Singapore:

Assuming you need to pay at least for 1,200 square feet, the range of rental cost will be around $7,200 - $26,400 depending on the area of your restaurant.

What license do I need to sell food in Singapore? ›

For the operation of a food shop where there is retail sale of food and/or beverage. You will need to apply for a Food Shop Licence if you intend to operate a retail food outlet where food and/or drink are sold wholly by retail. This is a requirement under the Environmental Public Health Act.

Can I sell food from home Singapore? ›

The Home-based Business Scheme by HDB and URA allows residents to prepare small quantities of food in their homes for sale. The scale of operations in a residential unit is limited.

How much capital is needed to open a bar in Singapore? ›

The entire cost of setting up such a business depends on several factors, among which the size of the bar, its location and even the type of license required. However, you should consider that the minimum amount of money is around 50,000 – 60,000 USD.

Which business is best in Singapore? ›

The Top Ten Answers To 'What Businesses to Start in Singapore'
  • Education. The education system in Singapore is regarded as one of the world's best. ...
  • Social Media Management. ...
  • Web Design. ...
  • Advanced Manufacturing. ...
  • Delivery Services. ...
  • IT (Information Technology) Support. ...
  • E-Commerce. ...
  • Robotics.
31 Mar 2022

How much capital is needed to open a small restaurant? ›

Average cost to open a restaurant

Depending on your rent, furniture choices, and how you're renovating your space, total restaurant startup costs can range from $95,000 to over $2 million, according to Fit Small Business .

What are 3 types of food service? ›

Understanding these 5 different types of food and beverage services and their benefits and challenges will help you decide which one to use for your restaurant.
  • Waiter service. ...
  • Chinese banquet service. ...
  • Buffet service. ...
  • Self-service. ...
  • Semi-self service.

How do I start a food shop in Singapore? ›

Legal Checklist for Setting Up a Restaurant in Singapore
  1. Incorporation of Company. ...
  2. Identify Your Restaurant's Premises. ...
  3. Apply for Planning Permission (If Needed) ...
  4. Comply with the Code of Practice of Environmental Health. ...
  5. Apply for the Food Shop Licence. ...
  6. Sign a Tenancy Agreement. ...
  7. Review the Property Owner's Fire Certificate.
25 Feb 2020

How much does it cost to set up a food business? ›

According to a survey from Restaurant Owner, restaurant startup costs can range anywhere between $175,500 and $750,500. That's a lot of money, but how do you know exactly how much money you'll need? With a lot of careful planning.

Do hawkers need to register with ACRA? ›

Like most businesses in Singapore, starting a hawker stall business means you will need certain permits and licenses to operate legally. After registering with the ACRA, you need to apply for a Hawker Stall License. This requirement is per the Environmental Public Health Act.

hoW do I set up a drink stall in Singapore? ›

hoW do i apply for a haWker stall? You can tender for a stall under the NEA's monthly tender exercise. The exercise is usually held from the 13th to 26th of each month. If the 13th or 26th falls on a weekend / public holiday, the opening / closing of tender will take place on the next working day.

What is included in the food and beverage industry? ›

What is included in the food and beverage industry? The food and beverage market consists of fresh, prepared, or packaged food as well as alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. It also includes manufacturing, packaging, and distribution to meet consumer demand.

How much is SFA license? ›

Fees for New Licences and Renewals of Licences
Type of annual licenceLicence Fee
Licence to operate a food processing establishment: - Meat & Fish processing establishment - Other processed food establishment a) Below 200 m2 b) 200 to 750 m2 c) Above 750 m2S$260 S$180(S) S$360(M) S$600(L)
4 more rows

What Certificate do you need to sell food? ›

You need to acquire a Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene for Catering certificate if you prepare and distribute the food yourself. Even if you're selling pre-packaged food from home, it's still advised that you take Level 2 Food Hygiene training.

How long does it take to get a SFA license? ›

How soon will my application be approved? Refer to Step 2. SFA will approve the application within 5 working days upon applicant's full compliance to licensing requirements and submission of required documents.

How can I start my own business from home in Singapore? ›

The First Steps to Starting a Home-Based Business
  1. Allocate a Place in the House as Your Office. The very first step is to decide which area in the home would be ideal for you to run a home-based business from. ...
  2. Set Up Furniture. ...
  3. Connect Your Devices and Ensure Good Internet Connection. ...
  4. Prepare a Thorough Business Plan.
7 Dec 2020

What is SFA license? ›

All traders who wish to import, export or transship food products are required by law to either obtain a relevant trader's licence or register with SFA.

Do you need a food hygiene certificate to sell tea and coffee? ›

In the UK, food handlers don't have to hold a food hygiene certificate to prepare or sell food.

How do I start a food shop in Singapore? ›

Legal Checklist for Setting Up a Restaurant in Singapore
  1. Incorporation of Company. ...
  2. Identify Your Restaurant's Premises. ...
  3. Apply for Planning Permission (If Needed) ...
  4. Comply with the Code of Practice of Environmental Health. ...
  5. Apply for the Food Shop Licence. ...
  6. Sign a Tenancy Agreement. ...
  7. Review the Property Owner's Fire Certificate.
25 Feb 2020

How much does it cost to set up a food business? ›

According to a survey from Restaurant Owner, restaurant startup costs can range anywhere between $175,500 and $750,500. That's a lot of money, but how do you know exactly how much money you'll need? With a lot of careful planning.

How much capital is needed to open a bar in Singapore? ›

The entire cost of setting up such a business depends on several factors, among which the size of the bar, its location and even the type of license required. However, you should consider that the minimum amount of money is around 50,000 – 60,000 USD.

How do I start a food stall in Singapore? ›

The Steps to Owning a Singapore Hawker Stall Business
  1. Secure a Premise for the Business. First of all, you need to have a premise for your hawker stall. ...
  2. Get a Hawker Stall License. ...
  3. Ensure All the Food Handlers are NEA-Registered. ...
  4. Abide By the Environmental Health Regulations.
9 Dec 2020

How much is SFA license? ›

Fees for New Licences and Renewals of Licences
Type of annual licenceLicence Fee
Licence to operate a food processing establishment: - Meat & Fish processing establishment - Other processed food establishment a) Below 200 m2 b) 200 to 750 m2 c) Above 750 m2S$260 S$180(S) S$360(M) S$600(L)
4 more rows

How do I set up a drink stall in Singapore? ›

hoW do i apply for a haWker stall? You can tender for a stall under the NEA's monthly tender exercise. The exercise is usually held from the 13th to 26th of each month. If the 13th or 26th falls on a weekend / public holiday, the opening / closing of tender will take place on the next working day.

What is included in the food and beverage industry? ›

What is included in the food and beverage industry? The food and beverage market consists of fresh, prepared, or packaged food as well as alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. It also includes manufacturing, packaging, and distribution to meet consumer demand.

How much does it cost to start a small restaurant? ›

Opening a restaurant in India can cost you anywhere between 5 lakh to 1 crore (could be more or less depending upon the location, type of food, customers and costs that you want to undertake).

How do food businesses make money? ›

Like all businesses, restaurants make money by selling more in product than they spend. This requires keeping prices high enough to more than cover the cost of goods sold and labor costs.

How much do restaurant owners make? ›

According to Payscale.com, restaurant owners earn $33,000 to $145,000 each year. They also estimate that the national average is roughly $73,000 per year. According to Simplyhired.com, with an average salary of $44,897 per year, the lowest 10% earning approximately $17,144 and the highest 10% earning around $117,575.

Can foreigner start food business in Singapore? ›

Under the Singapore Immigration Regulations, foreign entrepreneurs who wish to setup a restaurant in Singapore will be required to apply for an Entrepass if they wish to relocate to Singapore to operate their business.

Can a foreigner open a restaurant in Singapore? ›

If you are a foreigner or have a foreign partner who wishes to work with you in Singapore, they will first need an Entrepass. You can apply for the Entrepass with the Ministry of Manpower. After getting the Entrepass, a Singpass will be required before the company can be incorporated.

How much do bar owners make a month? ›

Estimates suggest the revenue of the average bar is between $25,000 to $30,000 per month. These estimates are based on certain assumptions: An average price of $8 for drinks, $6 for appetizers and $13 for mains. Your profits will depend on how well you run your bar and manage your operating costs.

How much does it cost to open a drink stall in Singapore? ›

TL;DR: How Much Does It Cost To Be A Hawker & How Do I Become A Hawker?
DescriptionEstimated Starting Cost (w/o GST)
Setting Up Your Stall - Metalwork - Kitchen equipment - Utensils$8,000
Total set-up cost:$15,237
Monthly Recurring Costs
Monthly Stall Rental$1,514 to $4,000
8 more rows
24 May 2022

How much do hawkers earn Singapore? ›

The highest salary for a Hawker in Singapore is $3,000 per month. What is the lowest salary for a Hawker in Singapore? The lowest salary for a Hawker in Singapore is $2,000 per month.

Do hawkers need to register with ACRA? ›

Like most businesses in Singapore, starting a hawker stall business means you will need certain permits and licenses to operate legally. After registering with the ACRA, you need to apply for a Hawker Stall License. This requirement is per the Environmental Public Health Act.

Videos

1. Anticipate the Largest International F&B Showcase in Asia at FHA-Food & Beverage 2021
(Food&HotelAsia)
2. How To Sell Food Online In Singapore | Selling food online from home | Online food Delivery Customer
(Oncoffeemakers - F&B | Coffee Business Guide)
3. APAC Food & Beverage Innovation Summit 2021 Part 1
(Foodland Ventures)
4. A Successful FHA2018 Set New Record Highs
(Food&HotelAsia)
5. How To Start A Food Business At Home [STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE]
(Wilson K Lee - How To Open A Restaurant / F&B Shop)
6. Food Manufacturing Industry in Singapore | SMEs Go Digital
(IMDA Singapore)

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