Launch of GoBusiness Licensing Portal

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1. To promote a pro-enterprise environment and use digital technology to serve businesses better, the Ministry of Trade & Industry (MTI), Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) and Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) will launch the GoBusiness Licensing portal on 31 October 2019.

2. For a start, the portal will enable the licence application process for companies in the food services sector to be simpler, faster and better. We will progressively extend the portal’s coverage to other types of companies, and to other forms of transactions between businesses and Government.  


GoBusiness Licensing portal: Partnering for Digitalisation


3. The GoBusiness Licensing portal is a result of a deep dive into the regulatory requirements for the food services sector conducted by MTI, SNDGO and GovTech. A key finding of the deep dive was that setting up of a food services business required business owners to apply for multiple licences, permits and certificates spanning various government agencies. This process can be complex, especially for first-time business owners.

4. A user-centric approach was adopted for the development of the GoBusiness Licensing portal, similar to the approach being used to develop the “Moments of Life” application for citizens. A review of the existing requirements, licences and processes was undertaken to streamline regulations, and simplify and automate the processes.


5. This review process included interviewing companies to get their feedback, and collaborating with Trade Associations & Chambers (TACs) such as the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) to ensure that the features provided by the platform were beneficial to businesses.


New Guided Journey Feature: Simpler, Faster, Better


6. The portal will have a Guided Journey feature that helps businesses navigate the licensing landscape by providing a step-by-step guide that will recommend the licences required to set up their food services business based on their business concept, and map the order in which licences need to be applied. The Guided Journey will enable the licence application to start a food services business to be:


a. Simpler

Food services business owners no longer have to search for the specific licences they need to apply for. Instead, the Guided Journey feature asks a series of questions on the various aspects of the companies’ business concepts, and recommends the licences required based on the inputs of the business owners.


In the past, some business owners may unknowingly miss applying for key licences. The Guided Journey feature will help business owners avoid this by recommending the order of licences to be applied for based on the company’s business concept.


b. Faster

Food services business owners can expect to complete their licence application process faster with turnaround time reduced by between 10 to 14 days. Previously, depending on the complexity of their requirements, business owners had to fill up to 845 data fields across 14 forms administered by different government agencies to set up a new food services business. Under the Guided Journey feature, businesses will only need to fill in one application form with no more than 90 data fields, depending on the number and type of licences the businesses are applying for.

The Guided Journey feature will also auto-route the application forms to relevant agencies concurrently where practical, to enable parallel processing. This will yield time savings for businesses.


c. Better

Applicants can potentially enjoy up to $560 in cost savings. The savings come mainly from automated checks that remove unnecessary steps in the application process. 


7. "The GoBusiness Licensing portal is a great initiative. For new restaurateurs, getting the correct licences and documents in order can be a very time-consuming process. The new system will allow us to streamline the application process so business owners can focus their time and energy on other important areas such as operations and logistics. We are looking forward to the launch and educating our community on these improvements," said Mr Vincent Tan, President of the Restaurant Association of Singapore.


Future Plans


8.       The retail sector has been identified as the next sector to be covered by the GoBusiness Licensing portal. We also intend to streamline other forms of transactions between businesses and Government, such as grant applications, so that businesses may experience smooth and convenient service from Government throughout their business life cycle.



1 October 2019




For media enquiries please contact:


Amanda Kee

Assistant Director, Corporate Communications Division

Tel: +65 6332 1187, Mobile: +65 9159 7033



Goh Yu Chong

Senior Manager, Adoption & Engagement Directorate

Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

Mobile: +65 9644 1674





Last updated on 17 Jan 2020