In Singapore, the arts and music business, though recreational by nature, is classified separately from the entertainment business. Some examples of arts and music business activities are operas, orchestra concerts, art exhibitions and performance dance. If you plan to start a business in the arts and music industry, you will first have to:
- Register your business first with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA).
Your business must be registered as a sole proprietorship, partnership or a private limited company. As Singapore’s leading company incorporation specialists, Rikvin can advise you on the business structure that is most suitable for your company.
- Secure a premise for your business.
The premise has to be zoned for commercial use and designated for arts or music use by URA, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore.
Securing a Premise
Once you have secured a space, do ensure that it fulfills building codes and fire safety measures. If the existing premise is not set up to accommodate an arts or music establishment, you may discuss with the landlord on how to apply for a Change of Use with URA.
Depending on the type of arts or music business you plan to have, the facility may or may not have stringent guidelines in the design and layout, so it will be worthwhile for you to do the research for the specific entertainment or recreation business you intend to set up to avoid rejection when inspected.
Any major renovation of the premise requires an application for a building work permit through Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA).
When the building works are complete, you will also need to obtain from BCA:
- a Certificate of Statutory Completion and/or
- a Temporary Occupation Permit before you can occupy the space.
All renovation works are to be performed by certified or licensed contractors including architects. A business signage that is to be placed on the building will require an application of an Advertisement License from BCA.
You will also need a Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) prior to occupying the building. You can obtain an FSC from Singapore Civil Defense Force through a registered architect or engineer.
Arts Entertainment Licenses & Permits
The Media Development Authority (MDA) presides over the licenses that allow the operations of the following activities in the business premises:
- public arts and entertainment events such as live concerts, poetry reading and art exhibitions as well as
- screening of films that are rated NC 16, M18 and R21.
Depending on your activities, you may require either of these licenses:
- Arts Entertainment License
- Film Exhibition License
It is advisable for you to check with the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on the appropriate license to apply for. In any case, all events will require at least a Public Entertainment License or a Public Entertainment Ad-Hoc License. You will also need to obtain the Copyright Permit (for Ad-Hoc Events) from the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore to play copyrighted music at the events.
If you need to engage specialists from a foreign country to assist you in organizing an arts or music event you may find out from Ministry of Manpower (MOM) if you qualify to hire foreign workers. MOM evaluates every application on a case-by-case basis. All foreign workers working in your business must have valid Singapore work visas.
For foreigners who are interested in setting up an arts or music business in Singapore, it would be helpful to seek an agency that specializes in company incorporation in Singapore.
Rikvin has helped thousands of entrepreneurs and foreign firms set up their companies since 1995. We can help you register your company with ACRA under 24 hours if all required documents are in order. Our experienced corporate secretarial team can provide you with bespoke services that includes the application of compulsory licenses and permits for your arts or music business. To learn more about our Company Incorporation Services please go to Singapore Company Incorporation Services
Ready to start an art or music business in Singapore?
Rikvin’s expertise is unrivaled in Singapore. With 20 years of know-how in company incorporation, accounting, tax, payroll and immigration services, you can count on us to be your dedicated one-stop business solution.