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Travel Agent Licence

Updated: Oct 30, 2022

Travel Agent Licence Application


Companies or persons in the business of making travel arrangements or conducting tours in or outside of Singapore are required to apply for a Travel Agent Licence under the Travel Agents Act (Chapter 334).


Who Needs a Licence


You will need to apply for a travel agent licence with Singapore Tourism Board (STB) if your business falls within any of the following:


(a) Supplying any person a right to travel on any conveyance;


(b) Supplying any person a right to travel on any conveyance to, and a right of accommodation at a hotel or similar boarding premises at one or more places, whether in Singapore or elsewhere;


(c) Purchasing, or reserving, for resale to a person a right to travel on any conveyance;


(d) Supplying any tour (whether or not organised by the person) to any other person.


The term “supply”, in relation to a travel product, includes the sale, or arranging for the provision, of the travel product.


However, there are certain exemptions or different types of travel agent licences available in the following scenarios:


o Operators carrying out activities do not require a Travel Agent Licence if they are using conveyances owned by them;


o Operators carrying out activities do not require a Travel Agent Licence if the conveyance travels only within Singapore and the operator does not carry on a business of supplying tours;


o Operators carrying out activities do not require a Travel Agent Licence if they own the conveyance and either own or operate the place of accommodation;


o Operators carrying out the activities do not require a Travel Agent Licence if they are supplying tours only at any place or point of interest owned or operated by them (e.g. a museum conducting tours within the museum itself);


o Operators carrying out activities do not require a Travel Agent Licence if they are supplying tours where participants only visit places or points of interest within Singapore and where:


§ The operator does not provide any conveyance to the participants of the tour; or


§ Every participant is required to contribute to the movement of the conveyance provided (e.g. walking, cycling or Segway tours);


This Act applies only where transactions in relation to any of the activities described above are carried out in Singapore. For example, a travel agent based overseas who arranges and sells a travel package outside of Singapore, and for which payment is collected outside of Singapore, does not require a Travel Agent Licence, even if the travel package includes travel to or from Singapore.


Types of Travel Agent Licences


STB currently offers 2 types of travel agent licences.


Niche Licence


The holder of a niche licence can sell, arrange or advertise only tours within Singapore, that provide conveyance to participants but without any right of accommodation (e.g. sit-in coach tours).

General Licence


The holder of a general licence can carry on the business of any or more of the following:


a. Supplying any person a right to travel on any conveyance


b. Supplying any person -


i. a right to travel on any conveyance to; and

ii. a right of accommodation at a hotel or similar boarding premises at, one more places, whether in Singapore or elsewhere;

c. purchasing, or reserving, for resale to person a right on any conveyance;

d. supplying any tour (whether or not organised by the licensee) to any other person.


Requirements


Before proceeding to apply for a Travel Agent's licence, you are required to fulfil the following conditions:


1. Registration of Business Entity


All applicants are required to first register the business entity with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) solely for the purpose of conducting the business of a travel agent.


For Sole-Proprietors (SP), Partnerships, & Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP), applicants are also required to register your business with ACRA solely for the purpose of conducting the business of a travel agent.


2. Paid-Up Capital and Net Value


For registered business entities (including dormant entities) applicants shall ensure that at any time, the issued and paid-up capital in the business entity’s latest ACRA bizfile is at least S$100,000 for general travel agent licences or S$50,000 for niche travel agent licences and, the net value is not less than that amount.


For sole-proprietors, partnerships or unincorporated association, the applicants shall ensure that the net value is not less than $100,000 for general travel agent licensees or $50,000 for niche travel agent licensees.


Sole-proprietorships and partnerships are also required to submit a Credit Bureau Singapore report for verification of their credit worthiness.


3. Key Executive


All applicants must nominate a suitable person for the position of a Key Executive (KE). The KE is the contact person between the Board and the travel agency. He / She is responsible for the proper day-to-day administration, operations and management of the affairs of the travel agency. To ensure clear lines of accountability and full commitment, the KE appointee should not be a concurrent KE of another licensed travel agency.


A Directors’ Resolution for the appointment of the Key Executive, printed on business entity’s letter head and signed by more than 50% of the directors (if there are two or more directors), is required to be submitted. The nominee for the Key Executive of the business entity is subject to the approval of the Board.


The Key Executive can be a Singaporean, Permanent Resident or a foreigner holding a valid employment pass or entrepreneurial pass. An employment pass / entrepreneurial pass of minimum six months validity period is required if the Key Executive is a foreigner.


The Key Executive should preferably be a Director of the entity or an equivalent to the head of the business entity with at least 1 year of managerial experience in the travel business.


For sole-proprietor or partnership, the Key Executive should preferably be the sole proprietor (Owner) / Partner.


4. Business entity Internet E-mail Address


Applicants will have to create an e-mail address specifically for the operation of your travel agency business. All e-mail correspondence regarding the travel agent licence application will be made via this e-mail address, including the notification of final approval for the Travel Agent’s Licence.


5. Management Staff and Personnel


All directors, executives and managerial staff of the entity must be persons of good character and fame. Applicants may be required to produce satisfactory evidence to support such requirements.

·

6. Operating Address and Signboard


Applicants may not have secured an office for conducting the travel agency business at the time of Travel Agent licence application; it is advisable for applicants to consider possible locations of the office in advance. In-Principle Approval assures applicants with confidence in securing office premises for their business operations before Final Approval. When the Travel Agent licence application is given In-Principle Approval, the applicant will be notified to locate a suitable office, subject to the Board’s approval of the following conditions:


(a) The applicant must produce documentary proof (e.g. certificate of stamp duty, tenancy agreement, etc.) for the premises where you intend to conduct travel agency business.


(b) The office shall be used exclusively for the conduct of the business of a travel agency.


(c) The office space may either be purchased by the business entity or leased for a minimum period of one year. If you own the premise, you need to show proof of ownership.


(d) If the Landlord is an individual, a copy of the stamped duty or property tax document should also be submitted.


(e) For home office premises, documents showing approval from the relevant authorities (HDB/URA) that it is under the ‘Home Office Scheme’ should be submitted.


If there is any sharing of premises, you must submit relevant supporting documents and ground plan showing proper demarcations from other businesses.


(a) A copy of the tenancy agreement


(b) Agreement from main tenant on the sharing of premises in a business letter.


(c) A ground plan showing proper demarcations between the licensee and other occupant(s) should be submitted.


(d) A proper signage display at the main lobby/entrance and within premises.


You must declare any shareholdings in other travel agencies.


All submissions to the Board should be submitted in soft copies to the Travel Agent Licensing & Regulatory Review Department, via email to stb_ta@stb.gov.sg.


How to Apply for a Travel Agent Licence


Application must be made online via the Travel Agents and Tourist Guides Licensing System (TRUST).


You can log in to Travel Agents and Tourist Guides Licensing System (TRUST) with your Singpass details.


COMPANY'S BUSINESS PARTICULARS


Company / Organization Name:

ACRA Registration No. (UEN):

Email Address:

Office Phone No.:

Fax No.:

Website Address:


Personnel Particulars


Input the Key Executive / Director / Shareholder / Partner/ Sole Proprietor personal particulars.


Full Name:

NRIC/Passport/FIN No.:

Nationality:

Date of Birth (DD/MM/YYYY):

Gender: Female / Male

Date of Appointment (DD/MM/YYYY):

Designation: Eg: KEY EXECUTIVE/DIRECTOR

Residential Address:

Residential No.:

Mobile No.:

Email Address:

No. of Shares Held:


TOTAL BUSINESS OPERATION


Inbound Operations: %

Outbound Operations: %


Types of activity intended and their respective proportions of the business. Estimated percentage of the inbound and outbound operations.

Type of Services

​Inbound Operations (%)

Outbound Operations (%)

Accommodation

Transfer (e.g. Airport & Hotel transfer)

Air Ticketing

Ferry Ticketing

Train Ticketing

Sea Cruises

Tours (e.g. Sightseeing, Educational Learning Journeys, etc.)

Vehicle Rental

Travel Insurance

Visa Services

Others (Please specify)

Total

​100%

100%

MARKET SPECIALISATION


Indicate the countries and % that your business is planning in to bring to Singapore.

​Inbound Operations (Indicate source countries and %)

​Outbound Operations (Indicate recipient countries and %)


​Country

%

Country

%

Eg: CHINA

​Eg: 50%

Eg: CHINA

​Eg: 50%

​Eg: MALAYSIA

​Eg: 50%

​Eg: MALAYSIA

​Eg: 50%

​Total

100%

Total

100%

AREA(S) OF FOCUS


Indicate if you have any area(s) of focus:

Area of Focus

Inbound Operations

​Outbound Operations

Remarks (if any)

​Leisure

​Education

​Adventure

Heritage

​Eg: /

BTMICE

​Religion

Eg: /

​Haj tours

​Sports

​Eg: /

Golf tours

​Nature / Ecology

​Medicine / Healthcare

​Others (Please specify)


Do you have any overseas travel agent business branches? Indicate if there are any overseas operations:


BUSINESS WRITE-UP


1. Provide a brief write-up for your travel agent business.


Eg: My current business is...


2. Target date of commencement of travel agent business:


Eg: 31 December 2022 or Upon approval of TA licence application


3. For companies which are already in operations, describe your current business activities.


Eg: My Business will offer a complete travel experience for my clients, etc...


3.1 Elaborate on the decision to apply for a travel agent licence. If possible, support with Board of Directors' minutes of meetings or Directors' Resolution:


FINANCIAL YEAR END


Business Incorporation Date: (example: 4 January 2022)


Financial Year End (FYE): (example: 31 December


In accordance with Travel Agents Act, Regulation 14(1)(a) and 14(1)(b), every travel agent is required to submit its annual business profile return (ABPR) and audited statement of accounts (AA) within 6 months after the close of the financial year.


Example

If the financial year ends on 31 December, ABPR and AA are required to be submitted by 30 June the following year.

If the financial year ends on 31 March, ABPR and AA are required to be submitted by 30 September the same year.


For Newly Incorporated Business

Please note that the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) requires a new company to hold its fist Annual Meeting (AGM) within 18 months of its incorporation and lay its company accounts at the AGM.


For Existing Business

For an existing company/business, the first set of ABPR and AA must be submitted to STB within 6 months after the close of its ongoing financial year.



KEY EXECUTIVE DELCARATION


1) If you are a Key Executive in any travel agency licensed under the Travel Agents Act & Regulations at this time, please provide details.


2) If any of the directors in the business or you have immediate family who is holding or have previously held the Key Executive or director position in another travel agency in the last 5 years, please state name, NRIC no. of the family member(s).


Documents Required for Licence Application


(a) Latest ACRA Bizfile of the business entity


(b) Business Activities & Market Specialisation Form / Business Operations & Markets Specialisation Form


(c) Latest bank statement of your business entity (if incorporated more than 18 months)


(d) Resume and Testimonial (optional) of the Key Executive


(e) Front & Back copy of the Key Executive’s NRIC /Employment Pass/ Entre Pass


(f) Key Executive Declaration Form


(g) [Optional] Key Executive Letter of Employment and Business Entity’s Organisation Chart (only for non-ACRA listed directors)


(h) Director Resolution on the appointment of the Key Executive, printed on business entity’s letter head and signed by more than 50% of all directors if the entity has two or more directors.


(i) Confirmation of Business Particulars Form


(j) Tenancy agreement & Certificate of Stamp Duty of the premises. Ensure that the copy shows the address that has been approved and to be used as office. For home office premises, documents showing approval from the relevant authorities (HDB/URA) that it is under the ‘Home Office Scheme’.


(k) Sole-proprietors/partnerships are also required to submit the Credit Bureau Singapore reports for the sole-proprietor/partners.

(You can find out more about this from Credit Bureau Singapore: http://www.creditbureau.com.sg/)


(l) If the entity has already been in operations for more than 18 months, you are also required to submit the following:


(a) The latest audited financial accounts as part of the application.


(b) Indicate the reason(s) on the decision to apply for travel agent licence. You are required to state your reason(s) in the Business Operations & Markets Specialisation Form.


Please submit the documents via email to stb_ta@stb.gov.sg and include the following in your email subject:


(1) Business Entity Name

(2) Application Reference No.


Processing Time


The application will take approximately one to two weeks to process upon full and complete submissions of all supporting documents and information. Thereafter, you will receive an In-Principle Approval (IPA) notification via e-mail.


Validity Period


The licence will expire on 31 December of the following year in which it was issued.


Examples


Approved date: 01 Jan 2020 » Expiry date: 31 Dec 2021

Approved date: 31 Dec 2020 » Expiry date: 31 Dec 2021


Fees


An application fee of S$200 is to be paid to STB when submitting the application.


A licence fee of S$400 is to be paid to STB upon approval of the application.


Connect with Us


Should you have any queries regarding the Travel Agent Licence application process, please contact us.


xxx


Who Needs To Apply For A Licence


You will need to apply for a travel agent's licence with Singapore Tourism Board (STB) if you carry on, or advertise or hold yourself out as carrying on, a business of any of the following activity:

a. Selling tickets entitling an individual to travel, or otherwise arranging for a person a right to travel on any conveyance; b. Selling to a person right to travel on any conveyyance to, and accommodation at hotels or similar boarding premises at, one or more places whether in Singapore or elsewhere; c. Purchasing, or reserving, for resale to a person a right to travel on any conveyance; or d. Arranging or conducting tours within or outside Singapore.

Despite the above, a person does not require a Travel Agent’s licence if:

​- For the activity mentioned in (a), the person carries on the activity only in respect of a conveyance owned by him;


- For the activities mentioned in (a) or (c), the person carries on the activity only in respect of a conveyance that is:

1. used for a regular route service; or

2. used for a community bus service or courtesy bus service, and that travels only within Singapore;

3. used for a train service;

- For the activity mentioned in (b), the person carries on the activity only in respect of:

1. a conveyance he owns; and

2. a hotel or similar boarding premises he owns or operates;

- For the activity mentioned in (d), the person carries on the activity only in respect of any place or point of interest that the person owns or operates.

- The person supplies a tour where participants only visit places or points of interest within Singapore and where:

1. the person does not provide any conveyance to the participants of the tour (e.g. walking tours);

2. every participant is required to contribute to the movement of the conveyance provided (e.g. cycling tours);

- The person supplies a right to travel on any conveyance only within Singapore and does not carry on a business of supplying any tour.


- The person supplies services to a licensee for the purposes of a tour.

Types Of Travel Agent Licences

STB currently offers 2 types of travel agent licences:

Niche Licence

Travel agents who intend to sell, arrange or advertise only tours within Singapore, that provide conveyance to participants but without any right of accommodation (e.g. sit-in coach tours) can apply for a Niche licence.​ The Niche Licence has lower minimum financial requirements of $50,000.

General Licence

Travel agents conducting any other activity beyond what is described in the scope of a Niche Licence should apply for a General Licence. The General Licence has minimum financial requirements of $100,000.

Conditions To Fulfill

Before proceeding to apply for a Travel Agent's licence, you are required to fulfil the following conditions:

1. Registration of company

All applicants are required to first register the company with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) for the purpose of conducting the business of a travel agent.

Registered companies must have a minimum paid-up capital of S$50,000 (for Niche Licences) or S$100,000 (for General Licences), and shall ensure that at any time, the net worth is not less than that amount.

2. Nomination of a suitable person as the Key Executive (KE)

The KE is the contact person between the Board and the travel agency. He / She is responsible for the day-to-day operations and proper administration and management of the affairs of the travel agency. The nominee for the Key Executive of the company is subject to the approval of the Board.

The proposed Key Executive should preferably be a director of the company (as listed in ACRA) with relevant managerial experience in the travel business. Otherwise, he/she should have at least one year of managerial experience and be familiar with the travel business.

The KE can be a Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or a foreigner holding a valid employment pass issued by Ministry of Manpower (MOM). An employment pass of minimum one year validity period is required if the Key Executive is a foreigner.

The proposed KE’s curriculum vitae (CV), testimonials and recommendation letters are required to be submitted to STB for assessment and approval. A Director’s Resolution signed by all the directors of the company with a valid company stamp and a letter of appointment stating his/her position within the company should be submitted for reference.

All directors, executives and managerial staff of the company must be persons of good character and fame. Applicants may be required to produce satisfactory evidence to support such requirements.

3. Specifying an office premise to be used for the conduct of the travel agency business

Applicants are not required to secure an office premise for conducting the travel agency business at the time of Travel Agent licence application; it is advisable for applicants to consider possible locations of the office in advance. When the Travel Agent licence application is given In-Principle Approval, the applicant will be notified to locate a suitable office.

The office space may either be purchased by the company or leased for a minimum period of one year. The applicant must produce documentary proof (e.g. certificate of stamp duty, tenancy agreement, etc.) for the premises where you intend to conduct travel agency business. If you own the premise, you need to show proof of ownership (a copy of the stamped duty or property tax document).

The office shall be used exclusively for the conduct of the business of a travel agency. If there is any sharing of premises, you must seek approval from the Board and submit agreement from main tenant on the sharing of premises in a business letter, and ground plan showing proper demarcations between the licensee and other occupant(s).

For Home Office Premises, documents showing approval from the relevant authorities (HDB/URA) should be submitted.

A proper signage must be displayed at the main lobby/entrance and within premises.

How Soon Application Can Be Processed

The application will take approximately one to two weeks to process upon full and complete submissions of supporting documents. Thereafter, you will receive an In-Principle Approval (IPA) notification via e-mail.

In-Principle Approval assures applicants with confidence in securing office premises for their business operations before Final Approval.

Licence Fee And Length Of Validity

An application fee for a new licence of S$200 is to be paid to STB when submitting an application.

Following the successful processing of an application, a licence fee of S$400 is to be paid to STB before a licence of up to 2 years is issued and the applicant’s travel agency is listed in the Travel Agent Directory of the STB Corporate Website.

A Travel Agent's Licence will expire on 31 December of the following year in which it was issued.

Example: Approved date: 01 Jan 2013 - Expiry date: 31 Dec 2014 Approved date: 31 Dec 2013 - Expiry date: 31 Dec 2014

Enquiries

For enquiries on licensing matters, please contact Bestar.


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