Guide to Starting a Pet Shop in Singapore
Nowadays, as millennial and Generation Z consumers have come into adulthood, they have embraced the pet-owning and pet-loving lifestyles to a far greater extent than their elders. The pet industry has been experiencing explosive growth recently. In this case, one may grab the business opportunity by setting up his or her own pet shop in Singapore.
In order to start a pet shop in Singapore, you must register a business with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (“ACRA”). After that, you would need to have a pet shop licence which issued by Animal & Veterinary Service (“AVS”), a cluster of the National Parks Board before the pet shop is allowed to display, sell, distribute, or export pets.
You will need a licence from AVS before your pet shop is allowed to display, sell, distribute, or export pets. The types of animals that are allowed to sell will be printed on the pet shop licence:
(4) Guinea pigs;
(9) Red-eared slides (red-eared terrapins);
(10) Land hermit crabs (Coenobita rugosus);
(11) Green tree frogs (Litoria caerulea);
(12) Fish (fish listed in the CITES Appendices must be imported with CITES permits or Certificates of Origin);
(13) Birds (birds listed in the CITES Appendices must be imported with CITES permits or Certificates of Origin);
(14) Malayan box turtles (Cuora amboinensis) listed in CITES Appendix II; and
(15) Dragon Fish (Asian arowana or Scleropages formosus which allowed only bred in captivity and beyond first generation).
You may also wish to provide the following pet-related services:
(1) Pet cremation
Under section 19(2) of Environmental Public Health (Public Cleansing) Regulations, it is an offence to bury the animals in a public place. Hence, cremation is the only option for pet carcasses as there are no burial sites for animals in Singapore. Pet establishment which intend to provide the pet cremation service will have to get approval from National Environment Agency (NEA).
(2) Pet grooming
There is neither licence nor permit needed for pet grooming business. You only need some skills, talented employees and professional grooming equipment so you can provide the competitive services in the market.
(3) Pet boarding
No license is required to run a pet boarding centre or hotel. Unlike pet farms (some of which have commercial pet boarding facilities) that need a farm license for commercial production and sale of animals, pet boarder do not have to comply with AVS licensing conditions nor are they subject to regular spot checks. The only concern is that you may need to apply for the pet boarding usage of the premise from Urban Redevelopment Authority (“URA”) before you can run the business.
(4) Sale of pet feed and pet products
There is no license needed for sale of pet food but import, manufacturing, and processing of pet food and feed in Singapore will have to get approval from relevant authorities. All local commercial producers of pet feed must get an AVS-issued licence before they can manufacture and process pet feed. Every consignment of pet feed must be accompanied by a cargo clearance permit, which also serves as an AVS-issued import permit. However, AVS does not regulate the import of pet products such as veterinary drugs, and inedible pet products such as dental wash, pet shampoo, eye drops, and ear drops.
(5) Pet photography
No license is required for the pet photography in Singapore. However, you still have to register your business with ACRA before commencing the pet photography business in Singapore.
Pet shop license is different Veterinary license. In order to provide medical services to non-human animals, you must obtain a Veterinary license. For more information about how to obtain a Veterinary license, please visit our article on “Guide to Starting a Veterinary in Singapore”.
The licence application is to be submitted online through the e-licensing website (GoBusiness Licensing Portal) and no animals can be displayed or sold prior to receiving the final approval.
(1) Compulsory structured training for pet shops
Before applying for a pet shop licence, you must attend and pass the mandatory training on pet welfare and animal management conducted by course providers which recognized by AVS such as Temasek Polytechnic’s Temasek SkillsFuture Academy. The training is aimed to meet the high standards of professional competency demanded by the pet operators.
(2) Approval from relevant authorities
You must obtain the approval from relevant authorities to operate a pet shop in Singapore:
(a) Grant of written permission (for change in use of premises) from the URA;
(b) Letter of approval or no objection (for HDB premises only) from the Housing & Development Board (“HDB”); and
(c) ACRA certificate or business profile from ACRA.
(3) Submit required particulars and shop layout plans
The following documents have to be submitted together with the approval from relevant authorities mentioned above:
(a) Medisave statement
(b) A copy of the tenancy / lease agreement or Letter of Intent for the shop
(c) Layout plans of the shop
Include the layout of cages (to indicate quantity and dimensions of the cages) in the animal display area and locations of the quarantine area, exercise area, food preparation area, wash area, ventilation system, and waste discharge system.
(d) Design and construction plans of the enclosures or cages of the animals
The dimensions of the enclosures must meet the requirements that each dog (for example) must be able to move, turn around without hitting the sides of the cages. The structure of the enclosures must also be safe for the animals and must not be damaged or have corroded surfaces with uneven or sharp edges.
(e) Certificate of Completion showing that the applicant has attended compulsory training on pet welfare and animal management which conducted by course providers recognized by AVS.
(4) Inspection of the Singapore pet store
AVS will carry out an interview with the applicants and an inspection of the shop premises to ensure that they meet all the requirements.
The new licence application will be approved within 3 working days upon receipt of all supporting documents listed above and the applicant has passed the interview and inspection carried out by AVS. The pet shop licence has a one-year validity and should be renewed annually.
Under the licence conditions, pet shops selling dogs, cats, and rabbits must assess whether their customers are suitable to be pet owners prior to the sale. This pre-sale screening process involves having both buyer and seller complete the PPD form. Those buying a dog will have to complete the online PPD via the Pet Animal Licensing System (“PALS”) when the retailer transfers ownership of the dog upon completion of the sale.
Kaizen suggests you to consult with professional advisors before the proposals coming into effect. Kaizen Singapore office is able to provide clients with the pet shop licence application and consultancy services, please consult our professional consultant.