TRAVEL AGENT LICENCE
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.
|Licence Quick Facts|
|Where to apply:||Via the Travel Agents and Tourist Guides Licensing System (TRUST)|
|Application Fee for a new licence||S$200|
|Licence Fee to be paid to STB:||S$400|
|Validity Period:||Two (2) years from date of issue|
Current licensees can manage licence-related matters such as renewal, cessation or switch of licence tier via the Travel Agents and Tourist Guides Licensing System (TRUST).
For more information, please contact the relevant department in STB at email@example.com.
|Licensing Services||Service Standards|
|Email Enquiry||Reply within 3-5 working days|
|Call request / Missed calls||Call within 3-5 working days|
|Update of Business Particulars||5 working days upon submission of complete supporting documents|
|Processing of New Licence Application||1-2 weeks upon submission of complete supporting documents|
|Processing of Appeal for Waiver of Compositions||4 weeks upon submission of Appeal Form and supporting documentary proof|
WHO NEEDS A LICENCE
Under Section 4 of the Travel Agents Act (Cap. 334), a person carries on the business of a travel agent if the person carries on, or advertises or holds himself out as carrying on, a business of 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; or
e. such other similar activity as may be prescribed.
The term "supply", in relation to a travel product, includes the sale, or arranging for the provision, of the travel product.
This Section applies only where any of the acts described in a. to e. above is carried out in Singapore. For example, an overseas travel agent who arranges and sells a travel package outside of Singapore does not require a travel agent licence, even if the travel package includes travel to or from Singapore.
Despite the above, a person does not carry on the business of a travel agent if:
· For the activity mentioned in (a), the person carries on the activity only in respect of a conveyance the person owns;
· 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 within the meaning of the Bus Services Industry Act 2015 (Act 30 of 2015); or
2. used for a community bus service or courtesy bus service, within the meaning of the Bus Services Industry Act 2015, and that travels only within Singapore; or
3. used for a train service within the meaning of the Public Transport Council Act (Cap. 259B);
· For the activity mentioned in (b), the person carries on the activity only in respect of:
1. a conveyance the person owns; and
2. a hotel or similar boarding premises the person 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); or
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.
Additionally, the following entities do not require a travel agent licence:
· Government and statutory boards
· Institutions of a Public Character
Engaging in the business of a Travel Agent without a travel agent valid licence is an offence under the Travel Agents Act.
TYPES OF TRAVEL AGENT LICENCES
STB currently offers 2 types of travel agent licences. Please check the information below to see which licence you should apply for:
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.
APPLY FOR A TRAVEL AGENT LICENCE
Before applying for a travel agent (TA) licence
Before proceeding to apply for a Travel Agent's licence, you are required to fulfil the following conditions:
- Register the business with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) to conduct the travel agent business. For businesses that are not yet registered under ACRA, please approach STB on how to apply for a travel agent licence.
- Registered business must have a minimum paid-up capital of S$50,000 (for Niche Licences) or S$100,000 (for General Licences), and a net value of the same amount.
- All applicants must nominate a suitable person as the Key Executive.
- The Key Executive is responsible for the day-to-day administration and operations of the travel agency. He should preferably be a director of the business (as listed in ACRA) and have managerial experience in the travel business.
- Set up an e-mail address specifically for the operation of your travel agency business.
- The applicant and all relevant individuals1 of the applicant must be suitable persons to be involved in the management or operation of the business of a travel agent.
- Specify an office to be used for the conduct of the travel agency business.
How to apply
Applications for a travel agent licence must be made online via the Travel Agents and Tourist Guides Licensing System (TRUST). An application fee of $200 is to be paid to STB when submitting an application.
Following the successful processing of an application, a licence of $400 is to be paid to STB before a licence of up to 2 years’ validity is issued, and the applicant’s travel agency is listed on the Travel Agent Directory of TRUST.
Click here to apply for a travel agent licence.
 Relevant individual refers to:
- The applicant, in the case of sole proprietorships;
- A partner, in the case of partnerships;
- A member of the governing body of the unincorporated association (e.g. a member of the executive committee), in the case of an unincorporated association; and
- Any director or officer holding a managerial or executive position (e.g. General Manager or Managing Director), in the case of a company, limited liability partnership or other body corporate.
RENEWAL OF LICENCE
Travel Agencies have a two-year licence and are required to renew their licence before their licence expires on 31 December of the following year after the issuance of their current licence.
To renew their licence, Travel Agencies are to fulfil the following requirements:
- Submit Audited Accounts for the preceding 2 years.
- Submit Annual Business Profile Returns for the preceding 2 years.
- Increase paid-up capital if the net value of the business is below the required $100,000 for General Licences or $50,000 for Niche Licences.
- Pay outstanding fines, composition sums and financial penalties.
- Confirm business particulars.
- Provide any other details as required by the Board.
Following the successful processing of a renewal application, a licence fee of $400 is to be paid to STB before the licence is renewed. Thereafter, the renewed licence in its physical form will be mailed to the business’s registered address.
COMPOSITIONS, ADMINISTRATIVE FINANCIAL PENALTIES AND APPEALS
In accordance with Section 27 of the Travel Agents Act (Chapter 334), for offences under the Act or Regulations as stipulated in Regulation 30 of the Travel Agents Regulations, STB may, at its discretion, compound2 these offences made thereunder at a sum not exceeding the lower of the following:
- one half of the amount of the maximum fine that is prescribed for the offence;
Administrative Financial Penalties
In accordance with Section 9(2) of the Travel Agents Act (Chapter 334), where STB has reason to believe that a licensee has contravened any provision of the Travel Agents Act or Travel Agents Regulations 2017, STB may require the licensee to pay an Administrative Financial Penalty of up to $2,000.
Contravening certain provisions under the Travel Agents Act and Travel Agents Regulations may result in an Administrative Financial Penalty being imposed on the licensee. Applicable provisions include:
Some contraventions under the Travel Agents Regulations where an Administrative Financial Penalty may be imposed are:
Travel Agents Act (TAA) /
|Travel agent licence (breaching any licensing condition)||TAA s.7A|
|Display of licence||TAR r.6|
|Minimum financial requirements for licensees||TAR r.9|
|Place of business||TAR r.10|
|Contact information||TAR r.11|
|Display of signs||TAR r.12|
|Change in financial year||TAR r.13|
|Financial and other information required by Board||TAR r.14|
|Appointment of key executive officer||TAR r.15|
|Carrying of itinerary||TAR r.17|
|Prohibition against touting||TAR r.18|
|Advertisements (particulars required in advertisements)||TAR r.19(1)|
|Advertisements (publishing inaccurate advertisements)||TAR r.19(2)(b)|
|Particulars required in contract documents||TAR r.20|
|Travel insurance||TAR r.21|
|Licensee must inform of cancellation terms||TAR r.22|
|Licensee must issue receipt with breakdown||TAR r.23|
|Prohibition of payment to personal bank accounts||TAR r.24|
|Changes to travel products, etc.||TAR r.25|
|Settlement of disputes||TAR r.26|
|Duties of key executive officer||TAR r.27|
 The offences under sections 6(2), 10(3) or 21(2) of the Travel Agents Act, or under regulations 5, 7(b), 8, 16 or 28 of the Travel Agents Regulations may be compounded by the Board in accordance with Section 27 of the Act and Regulation 30 of the Regulations.