In October 2018, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry (MTI) Chee Hong Tat announced that the application process for local F&B licenses will be updated to be quicker, more convenient and cost-effective from next year onwards.
During the debate on the President’s Address held earlier this year, Chee had announced a review by the MTI’s Pro-Enterprise Panel to streamline the application procedure. The Panel comprises staff from the Ministry, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, GovTech and the Public Service Division.
While the review is still ongoing, some measures will be pushed out first starting 2019. Chee shared that where “previously, a company which wants to set up a food shop would need to fill up to 845 data fields across multiple forms administered by different government agencies” – this has been reduced to 200 data fields, with hopes to further condense the process to less than 100.
On top of that, the total amount of licensing fees for each applicant has been cut by SGD 500. The exact fees to be paid by the individual businesses depend on the number of licenses they have applied for, their business models and premise size.
In addition, the time taken to process an application has been streamlined from 42 days to 28 days. Moreover, the necessary supporting documents will only need be uploaded once, even when applying for F&B licenses across the different government agencies.
To prepare for the roll-out of the new process, Chee also revealed that the government will be working with the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) to trial-run the new system and make further enhancements before it is officially launched to all users.
Speaking at the RAS’s Excellent Service Award ceremony, Chee elaborated on their review, explaining that they have “relook(ed) the entire service journey from a company’s perspective: from setting up of the company to receiving the required license approvals to commence operations”.
Chee also presented awards at the Excellent Service Awards ceremony to more than 2,400 recipients for providing outstanding service, including staff from familiar brand names such as fast food conglomerate McDonald’s and bubble tea chain LiHo.
Source: The Business Times