Travel Agent Licence
Updated: Aug 3, 2019
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:
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.
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
For enquiries on licensing matters, please contact Bestar.