Business licensing will be a further cinch for companies in pro-enterprise Singapore when a new integrated system comes into service by end 2013. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) are working with 18 Government agencies to consolidate more than 250 business licences on a common portal to deliver a more user-friendly and interactive business licensing experience.
Announcing this at the Shell LiveWIRE Awards Presentation Ceremony, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr. Teo Ser Luck said that, “Businesses want to get the licensing done with minimum hassle, and get down to the business of doing business. The new system will help businesses meet their regulatory obligations in a simple and convenient way. This is part of the Government’s continuing efforts to foster a more pro-enterprise environment in Singapore.”
One-stop portal offers time savings
With the new and more advanced system, the whole business of applying/updating/renewing/termination of licences will be made simpler. First the new one-stop portal will offer more than three times the number of licences available on the current Online Business Licensing Service (OBLS) today to better serve the needs of businesses. Second, it will allow businesses to apply for multiple licences from different agencies as a single integrated application. Third, it will be more user-friendly and intuitive, as businesses can effortlessly search, sort and apply for the licences required. Businesses will also be able to manage and keep track of all their licence-related transactions with their own e-folder in the new system. All these will translate into time-savings for businesses.
To illustrate, a business generally requires between two to four licences in order to start operations. Under the OBLS today, licence applications are routed to the respective agencies for processing. Then, the various agencies might separately follow up with the company for additional information to support its licence applications. Under the new system, the Government agencies will share a common database that provides them with a consolidated view of each company applicant’s licensing requirements. This will enable the agencies to collaborate with the necessary information to complete licence processing. In a case where one agency’s licence approval is dependent on another agency’s decision, the two agencies can consult each other in the background to expedite licence processing. This will shave off administrative time and bring about convenience and a better customer experience to businesses.
The system, estimated to cost about S$30 million, will be rolled out in three phases. The first phase will be rolled out by the end of 2013 when businesses can apply for some 160 licences on the new portal. The second phase will come in the second half of 2014 with about 80 licences added, and the remaining will be made available in the first half of 2015. The InfoComm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) serves as project manager in this project.
List of participating agencies
1. Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)
2. Council for Private Education (CPE)
3. Housing and Development Board (HDB)
4. Health Sciences Authority (HSA)
5. Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)
6. International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore)
7. Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS)
8. Media Development Authority (MDA)
9. Ministry of Law (MinLaw)
10. Ministry of Education (MOE)
11. Ministry of Health (MOH)
12. Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
13. National Environment Agency (NEA)
14. PUB, The National Water Agency (PUB)
15. Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)
16. Singapore Police Force (SPF)
17. Singapore Tourism Board (STB)
18. Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)