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Opening a Transportation Company in Singapore

Opening a Transportation Company in Singapore

Because of its strategic geographical location Singapore has become very attractive for international freight companies. During the last years Singapore has modernized its infrastructure which has led to an influx of foreign investors setting up transportation companies in the city-state. Singapore’s roads and motorways have been developed in the best manner in order to link with airport and harbor routes, and thus providing transportation operators with excellent connections. Moreover, the Government has worked very closely to the Land Transport Authority to provide an appealing environment to foreign transportation operators wanting to have an established presence in Singapore.

For information related to incentives in the transportation industry you can get in line with our consultants in Singapore company formation matters. We can also help local and foreign investors who want to open a company in Singapore with the purpose of operating in the transportation industry.

The video below also shows the main steps one needs to follow in order to open a transportation company:

Open a company in Singapore in the transportation sector in 2024

In order to set up a transportation business an investor must first open a company in Singapore and then obtain the necessary licenses according to the company’s objects of activity. The first step will be to reserve a company name and then submit the Articles of Association with ACRA. The investor will also be required to appoint a local agent who will handle the company registration procedure. Our Singapore company formation experts can take care of the entire company registration procedure.

A Singapore business must have at least one shareholder in order to be registered. The shareholder can be another business or a natural person. Of course, it is also allowed to have multiple shareholders. 50 shareholders are the maximum allowed for a Singapore private limited company. If you are interested in setting up a company in Singapore, contact us.

Licenses for transportation companies in Singapore

In order to open a company in Singapore as a transportation business in 2024 one must apply for different licenses with the authorities. One will need the following:

  • a public service license from the Land Transport Authority if providing bus or taxi services,
  • an express letter service license and a postal services operator license from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore if providing postal services.

If transporting dangerous goods, the Singapore transportation company must obtain a petroleum or flammable materials transportation license with the Singapore Civil Defense Force. Transportation companies must also hire drivers who have obtained the necessary driving licenses according to the type of vehicle they will be operating.

Vocational licenses for transportation companies in Singapore

Those who open companies in the transportation field in Singapore can obtain various licenses, depending on the services they will provide. Apart from the licenses mentioned above, one can obtain the following vocational permits:

  1. an omnibus driver vocational license which is valid only while the driver works with a public transport operator;
  2. a taxi driver vocational license which has a 3-year validity period and can enable a person to operate as a taxi or relief taxi driver;
  3. a private hire car driver vocational license which is also valid for 3 year and for which the licensing procedure is more complex;
  4. a general bus driver vocational license which enables a person to drive various types of buses (this license is also valid for a period of 3 years);
  5. a bus attendant driver license which is necessary only for those operating school buses in Singapore.

All licenses must be obtained with the Land Transport Authority in Singapore (LTA). Our company registration agents in Singapore can offer more information on these licenses.

Multiple licenses when starting a Singapore transportation business

An investor who wants to open a company in Singapore with the purpose of providing transportation services can apply for one or more licenses of those mentioned above. The procedure is slightly different for Singapore citizens and residents, as the following documents must be filed with the LTA:

  • the valid driver’s license;
  • a passport-sized photograph;
  • the education certificate;
  • the letter of employment (in the case of Singapore residents);
  • the company’s business profile issued by ACRA (for Singapore residents working for a transportation company);
  • proof of paying the application fee.

Once the application is approved, the driver must complete the medical examination.

Our Singapore company formation consultants can help you register a business in the transportation industry in 2024.

The transportation sector in Singapore

According to SingStat, at the level of 2017, the Singapore transport industry:

  • the transportation market is projected to have a value of USD 27.92 billion by the end of 2024;
  • the volume of transported goods is expected to reach USD 41.5 billion this year.

New transportation bill passed by the government

In May 2024, the Parliament passed a new transportation bill designating essential transportation services and the requirements for those seeking to open or become shareholders in companies providing these services.

According to the bill, essential transportation services are divided into:

  • public buses and railway for land transport;
  • airport ground handling operations, passenger and cargo air services at Changi Airport;
  • water supply and bunkering services for maritime activities.

In terms of ownership control in designated entities, the following new requirements apply:

  • persons acquiring at least 5% in designated entities must notify the relevant authority;
  • persons acquiring or relinquishing 25%, 50%, or 75% in designated entities must obtain approval from the relevant authority in the transportation sector.

The legislation for transportation companies is very strict so if you want to open a company in Singapore we invite you to contact our local company formation specialists in order to make sure you comply with all the legal requirements for setting up this type of business.