Guide to Applying for a Pet Shop License in Singapore pet-businesses

Guide to Applying for a Pet Shop License in Singapore



Nowadays, as millennials 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 her or his own pet shop or pet care business in Singapore.

In order to start a pet shop in Singapore, you must register a business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (“ACRA”). After that, you would need to have a pet shop license 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. Petionship introduces what licenses you need specifically for your pet shop or pet business and how you apply for such licenses in this blog article.

Pet Shop License

To begin with, you will need a license 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 license are:

  1. Dogs;
  2. Cats;
  3. Rabbits;
  4. Guinea pigs;
  5. Hamsters;
  6. Gerbils;
  7. Mice;
  8. Chinchillas;
  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).

Pet-related Services Licenses

You may also wish to provide the following pet-related services for your pet business:

Pet cremation

Under section 19(2) of Environmental Public Health (Public Cleansing) Regulations, it is an offense 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 intends to provide the pet cremation service will have to get approval from the National Environment Agency (NEA).

Pet grooming

There is neither license nor permit needed for pet grooming business. You only need some skills, talented employees and professional grooming equipment so you can provide competitive services in the market.

Pet boarding

No license is required to run a pet boarding center 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 boarders 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.

Sale of pet feed and pet products

There is no license needed for the 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 license 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.

Pet photography

No license is required for pet photography in Singapore. However, you still have to register your business with ACRA before commencing the pet photography business in Singapore. 

Procedures of Applying for a Pet Shop License in Singapore

The license 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 license, you must attend and pass the mandatory training on pet welfare and animal management conducted by course providers which are 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:

  1. Grant of written permission (for change in use of premises) from the URA;
  2. Letter of approval or no objection (for HDB premises only) from the Housing & Development Board (“HDB”); and
  3. 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:

  1. Medisave statement
  2. A copy of the tenancy / lease agreement or Letter of Intent for the shop
  3. Layout plans of the pet 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 license 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 license has a one-year validity and should be renewed annually.

Pet Purchase Declaration (“PPD”) Form

Under the license conditions, pet shops selling dogs, cats, and rabbits must assess whether their customers are suitable to be pet owners prior to the sale. This presale 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.

To get the latest pet business insights from Petionship, please read our curated blogs for pet businesses


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