Comprehensive Guide To Temporary Fair Permit In Singapore

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Comprehensive Guide To Temporary Fair Permit In Singapore

Here's an interesting story for you to ponder on in the first place.

Singapore is renowned for its vibrant food scene, offering an array of culinary delights that tantalize the taste buds. From hawker centers to Michelin-starred restaurants, the city-state has something for everyone.

However, with the rise of temporary fairs and events, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has taken measures to ensure that food safety practices and hygiene standards are maintained.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) recently conducted inspections at the Hari Raya Mega Sale 2023 which was held at Singapore Expo Hall 5A, and 24 unlicensed and illegal food stalls, including 3 food trucks, were then subsequently ordered to suspend operations.

As such, it is important for fair operators and food stall vendors to understand the comprehensive guide to temporary fair permits in Singapore, which outlines the regulations and requirements needed to comply with SFA's stringent standards. In this article, we will delve into the key aspects of obtaining a permit, licensing requirements, and the consequences of non-compliance.

A Fair In Need of Temporary Fair Permit?

A temporary fair permit is necessary for any event or fair with stalls for the sale of merchandise and/or food & beverages that is taking place in Singapore, and must be obtained from the SFA . Foods stalls preparing food and beverages at the temporary fair will also require a seperate license from SFA. Note that there is no fee for the licenses of food stalls located in such temporary fair.

The types of events or fairs that require a temporary fair permit include pop-up markets, food bazaars, outdoor events, and any other gathering where food is sold or served. All stalls must comply with the Food Hygiene Regulations (FHR) set by the SFA and are required to have their premises inspected before they can be issued a license. This includes ensuring all stall operators have undergone basic hygiene training and possess valid personal hygiene certificates.

Additionally, all food products need to meet the standard requirements stated in the FHR, including labelling information such as ingredients used, nutritional values, origin of product etc., expiration dates, and temperature control measures during transport and storage.

Furthermore, all vendors are also subject to random inspections by SFA officers at any time during their operations. All stalls must adhere to the code of conduct outlined by SFA which includes proper personal hygiene, temperature control and storage of food products, handling of raw and cooked foods, disposal of waste, etc.

Consequences Of Non-Compliance

The SFA has the authority to take immediate action against any non-compliant stalls or operators who are found to be in violation of the regulations set by the agency.

Just like any regulations, complying with legal requirements is crucial for anyone organising a temporary fair in Singapore. Otherwise, it can lead to serious consequences, including fines, legal action, and the cancellation of the event. It is therefore essential to understand the legal requirements and comply with them fully.

Other Possible Licensing Requirement beside Temporary Fair Permits

There are two other types of Licence one might need to host a fair or events:

  1. Arts Entertainment Licence (AEL) and;

  2. Private Entertainment Licence (PEL).

Before we extend more into these types, you must understand what Public Entertainment Licence (PEL) means to any organisation.

Organisations that provide public entertainment at premises open to the public are required to get permission under the Public Entertainment Act (PEA), with exceptions in certain cases. Make sure that the area is a police-approved location, and a Public Entertainment Licence (PEL) issued by the police is required.

Anyone found to be providing or aiding in the provision of public entertainment without a PEL may face fines of up to $20,000 for breach of conditions. This is likely the case of the story we mentioned about earlier in the article introduction part.

Public entertainment encompasses a wide range of activities that fall under the categories listed in the First Schedule to the Act. These may include anything from gymnastics, acrobatics, or magic performances, to circuses, amusement centers, and even computer games centers. Other popular forms of public entertainment include film exhibitions, music or singing performances, and game machines that offer prizes based on luck.

In addition, there are certain events that are exempted from the requirement of a Public Entertainment License (PEL) under specific conditions. For instance, classical instrument music performances or getai, public entertainment organised in celebration of the Seventh Month Festival, and organised competitions at games of skill or chance in hotels or shopping centers. Other examples of exemptions include busking, carnival games at fun fairs, and animal exhibitions such as pet shows.

Some common exemptions are:

  • Classical instrument music performances or getai (歌台)
  • Public entertainment organised in celebration of the Seventh Month Festival
  • Performance of music, singing or dancing by or for children, any magic show, transmission of recorded music by a DJ, organised competition at games of skill, in hotels or shopping centres
  • Busking
  • Operation of carnival games at fun fairs
  • Any performance of “lion” or “dragon” dance
  • Operation of karaoke boxes
  • Demonstrations of art and craft, sports or cultural activities
  • Any computer games centre in hotels
  • Film exhibitions
  • Transmission of recorded music in premises such as hotels, shopping centres, offices, clinics, shops and restaurants
  • Transmission of recorded music or playing of live-band music at funerals or at weddings held public
  • Any animal exhibitions, including pet shows

It is worth noting that the exemptions provided under the Public Entertainments and Meetings (Exemptions) Order are mainly conditional on the manner in which the event is held. Therefore, to qualify for exemption, event organisers must ensure that they comply with the relevant guidelines, such as avoiding the performance of vulgar or obscene songs.

Overall, the definition of public entertainment is broad and diverse, encompassing a range of activities that are enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. From music performances to magic shows, and from film exhibitions to computer games centers, public entertainment plays a vital role in enriching our cultural experiences and enhancing our quality of life.

Major Fairs

Major fairs are events which are likely to attract a sizable audience or run for an extended period. A more comprehensive licence application process and strengthened compliance regulations apply in these cases.

PEL allows for ad-hoc licences to be applied for major events that require registrations up to 3 months, with 7 day increments or even per day; it is commonly used for beauty pageants and fashion shows.

You will need an establishment licence, usually valid for one year, which is totally different to ad-hoc licence.

Establishment licences can have different operating hours, depending on the type.

- Type A for any business operating until 1 am from Monday to Saturday, and until 2 am on Sunday and public holiday.

- Type B for any business operating until 3 am every Monday to Saturday and 4 am every Sunday and public holiday.

- Type C for any business operating up to 6 am daily.

Individuals who wish to operate the following premises may consider applying for an establishment licence.

  • Social activities such as bars, nightclubs, pubs, discos, KTV lounges, cafes or restaurants.
  • Amusement parks.
  • Billiard halls.
  • Gaming centres
  • Shops that operate game machines such as claw machines.

Minor Fairs

Minor fairs are those that are expected to draw a smaller crowd or are held for a shorter period. The application process for minor fairs is relatively straightforward, but compliance with regulations is still essential.

Here, ad-hoc licences will do for 1-day or 7-day fairs!

Application Process for Temporary Fair Permit

Eligibility Criteria

Firstly, the applicant must be either a Singapore citizen, a Singapore Permanent Resident, or possess a Foreign Identification Number (FIN). Secondly, the licensee must be considered a fit and proper person to hold a PEL, which entails having a clean criminal record and a positive history of adhering to the provisions of the PEA.

Finally, the licensee must be registered as one of the following business stakeholders with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA):

Director for companies,

Partner for partnerships, limited partnerships and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP), or

Sole proprietor for sole proprietorships.

By meeting these requirements, an applicant can become eligible to apply for a PEL.

Required Documents

To apply for a PEL, all complete applications must be submitted electronically through the GoBusiness Licensing website. Additionally, supporting documents must be provided at the time of application.

These documents include

- Land Use Planning Permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA),

- A Letter of Approval from the Housing Development Board (HDB),

- A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Notification Letter on Occupancy Load, and

- A Fire Safety Certificate for Public Entertainment.

It is important to note that incomplete or incorrect submissions will be rejected, and the applicant will be informed of the outcome through SMS or email, as well as through postal mail.

The standard processing time for PEL applications is 12 working days from the date of receipt of the application and all necessary supporting documents, if required.

Fees and Charges

The fees associated with applying for a PEL can vary depending on several factors. Firstly, the type of PEL required will affect the fees charged. Additionally, the duration of the PEL can also impact the cost of the application. Moreover, the specific type of public entertainment being provided will influence the fees. Finally, the permitted hours of establishment, for the establishment licence, may also affect the overall cost of the application.

The fees associated with different PELs are listed below.



Type of public entertainment


Grant or renewal of PEL
Establishment licenceAd-hoc licence
Type AType BType C1 day7 days
1Any reproduction or transmission of recorded music or song.
Any variety act, performance of music, singing or dancing (including dancing by customers), gymnastics or acrobatics.
2Any reproduction or transmission of recorded music or songs in any place where dancing by customers is not allowed.S$260S$350S$440S$22S$44
3Any amusement centre, billiard saloon or computer games centre.S$360S$480S$600S$22S$44
4Two game machines that make use of luck to give out prizes for the first 2 game machines or devices and every additional 2 or fewer game machines.S$360S$480S$600S$22S$44
5Boxing or wrestling contests.S$22S$44
6Any variety act, performance of music, singing or dancing, gymnastics or acrobatics.S$22S$44
7Circus or animal exhibition.S$22S$44
8Any other entertainment (other than arts events requiring an AEL).S$22S$44

Key Considerations for Temporary Fair Permit Holders

Holding a temporary fair requires careful consideration of a range of factors to ensure that the event is both safe and legally compliant. Here are four key considerations for temporary fair permit holders:

Location and Site Restrictions

Temporary fairs are often subject to location and site restrictions. These may include zoning requirements, noise regulations, and accessibility considerations. Permit holders must obtain all necessary approvals and permits before the event can take place. They must also ensure that they comply with all relevant regulations during the event.

Safety and Security Measures

Temporary fairs can attract large crowds, which can pose safety and security risks. As such, permit holders must implement appropriate measures to ensure the safety of participants and attendees. This may include hiring security personnel, implementing crowd control measures, and conducting regular safety inspections.

Operational Hours and Noise Regulations

Temporary fairs are often subject to operational hours and noise regulations. Permit holders must ensure that they comply with these regulations to avoid penalties or fines. They must also consider the impact of noise and operational hours on local residents and businesses and take steps to minimize disruption.

Food and Beverage Regulations

If a temporary fair includes food and beverage sales, permit holders must comply with relevant health and safety regulations. This may include obtaining temporary food service permits, ensuring that food and beverages are prepared and served safely, and adhering to hygiene standards.

Steps to Navigate the Legal Requirements for a Temporary Fair Permit

When planning to hold a temporary fair, it's crucial to obtain the necessary permits to ensure that the event is legal and safe for participants and attendees. However, navigating the legal requirements for a temporary fair permit can be daunting, especially for those who are not familiar with the process.

Explore step-by-step guide provided by Singapore Food Agency for temporary fair permit application here.

Here are seven steps to help you obtain a temporary fair permit and comply with legal requirements:

Identify the Type of Temporary Fair Permit Required

The first step in obtaining a temporary fair permit is to determine the type of permit required for your event. The type of permit needed can vary depending on the location and the size of the event. Contact the local government offices, such as the city or county clerk's office, to find out what type of permit you need.

Gather Required Documents and Information

After identifying the type of permit required, gather all the required documents and information needed to apply for the permit. This may include a detailed site plan, proof of insurance, health and safety plans, and proof of any required licenses or permits.

Submit the Application and Pay the Required Fees

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and information, submit the application for the permit to the relevant government office. The application should include all required forms, plans, and documentation. Make sure to pay the required fees at this stage.

Comply with Location and Site Restrictions

Temporary fairs must adhere to location and site restrictions, such as noise regulations and zoning requirements. Check with local authorities to determine any restrictions that apply to your event.

Implement Safety and Security Measures

Safety and security measures are crucial for temporary fairs. Consider hiring security personnel to ensure the safety of participants and attendees. Implementing crowd control measures, such as fencing or barriers, can also be helpful.

Adhere to Operational Hours and Noise Regulations

Temporary fairs often have operational hours and noise regulations that must be followed. Make sure to comply with these regulations to avoid any penalties or fines.

Comply with Food and Beverage Regulations

If your event includes food and beverage sales, you must comply with food and beverage regulations. Obtain any necessary permits, such as a temporary food service permit, and make sure that all food and beverages sold comply with local health and safety regulations.

Common Challenges in Navigating the Legal Requirements for a Temporary Fair Permit

Navigating the legal requirements for a temporary fair permit can be a challenging process, especially for individuals or organizations without prior experience in the legal system. Some common challenges that may arise include:

Understanding the permit application process: Obtaining a temporary fair permit typically requires completing a comprehensive application process that can be complex and time-consuming. The application may require detailed information about the event, including its purpose, location, size, and anticipated attendance.

Compliance with local regulations: Every state, county, and municipality has unique rules and regulations governing temporary fair permits. It is essential to understand and comply with these requirements to avoid delays or permit denials. Some of the regulations that may apply include zoning laws, health and safety codes, and fire safety requirements.

Liability concerns: Temporary fair permits often come with a certain level of risk, and event organisers must take steps to mitigate potential liability. This can include obtaining adequate insurance coverage, securing waivers and releases from participants, and implementing safety measures to prevent accidents or injuries.

Cost considerations: Obtaining a temporary fair permit can be costly, and event organisers must factor in these expenses when planning their events. Permit fees can vary widely depending on the size and scope of the event, and other costs, such as insurance and security, can also add up quickly.

Time constraints: Obtaining a temporary fair permit typically requires significant lead time, and event organisers must plan accordingly. Permit processing times can vary widely depending on the jurisdiction, and the application process may require several rounds of review and revision before approval.

Overall, obtaining a temporary fair permit requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a thorough understanding of the relevant laws and regulations.


In conclusion, obtaining a temporary fair permit in Singapore requires careful planning and compliance with legal requirements. Here is a recap of the key points to consider:

- Identify the type of permit required

- Gather all necessary documents and information

- Submit the application and pay the required fees

- Adhere to location and site restrictions

- Implement safety and security measures

- Comply with operational hours and noise regulations

- Adhere to food and beverage regulations.

To successfully navigate the legal requirements for a temporary fair permit in Singapore, permit holders should also consider the following final tips:

- Start the permit application process as early as possible to avoid delays or complications

- Work closely with local authorities to ensure that all legal requirements are met

- Create a detailed event plan that includes safety and security measures, operational hours, and food and beverage sales

- Communicate with local residents and businesses to minimize any negative impact of the event

- Conduct regular safety inspections throughout the event

By following these key points and tips, permit holders can ensure that their temporary fair is safe, successful, and legally compliant.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of events require a temporary fair permit in Singapore?

Temporary fair permits are required for any event that involves the temporary sale of goods or services in a public space, including street fairs, night markets, and festive entertainments.

How long does it take to obtain a temporary fair permit in Singapore?

The processing time for a temporary fair permit in Singapore can vary depending on the complexity of the event and the completeness of the application. It is recommended to start the permit application process at least two months in advance of the event.

Are there any restrictions on the location of a temporary fair in Singapore?

Temporary fairs in Singapore are subject to zoning requirements and other location restrictions. Permit holders should work closely with local authorities to identify appropriate locations and ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

What safety measures should be implemented at a temporary fair in Singapore?

Safety measures at a temporary fair should include crowd control, fire safety, and regular safety inspections. Permit holders should also consider hiring security personnel to ensure the safety of participants and attendees.

Do food and beverage vendors at a temporary fair in Singapore require any additional permits?

Yes, food and beverage vendors at a temporary fair in Singapore must obtain temporary food service permits and comply with relevant health and safety regulations. This includes ensuring that food and beverages are prepared and served safely, and adhering to hygiene standards.

Read also: How Will Sustainability Policy In Singapore Impact Food Industry?
Read also: What Must F&B Businesses Do To Comply With Hygiene And Food Safety Standards

Read also: Do Food Safety Regulations Need To Be Updated for Home-Based Food Businesses?



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