Under the Home-Based Small Scale Business Scheme by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), residents are allowed to prepare and sell small quantities of homemade food without applying for a license.
But wait! Before you excitedly head off to set up your own bakery, there are several guidelines from the Home-Based Small Scale Business Scheme that you should be aware of. Luckily for you, we've done the hard work of combing through the regulations.
Here's a comprehensive summary of the scheme's key points:
1. You can't register your HDB flat address as a business address
While you are allowed to grow your baking empire from the comfort of your home, your HDB flat is still strictly for residential use, so you can't register it as a business address. On the other hand, you may do so with a private residence address, provided there's no material change in use of the residential premises.
2. Advertising depends solely on your social media clout
Displaying business signboards on doors and windows or paying for advertisements in newspapers and on online platforms like Google, Instagram and Youtube, are a no go. Instead, set up a social media account and grow a loyal cult-like following for your bakes. Alternatively, you could choose to go old school and spread the news of your goods via word of mouth!
3. Friends and family can lend a hand, but only if they are staying in the same household
You can employ members of the same residential household to assist in the preparation and delivery of your baked goods, but when it comes to engaging the help of friends and family living outside your home, the situation gets a little more complicated. If you wish, you may pay them a small sum of money for their efforts but these payments should not be treated as a form of salary. Perhaps a better alternative would be to buy them a coffee!
4. Keep the volume of baked goods small, no loading and unloading of goods from vans and trucks
Your home baking business is strictly meant to supplement your income, not serve as the main source. Hence, you shouldn't be producing your goods in large volumes and requiring vans/trucks to make bulk deliveries. Transport small quantities of your bakes via car or public transport instead!
5. Keep sales of your bakes online/to your home
As the name suggests, your home baking business should be run entirely out of your home. You're not allowed to supply your home-baked goods to eateries, or set up physical stalls at events and food fairs to sell them. Taking orders online and arranging for pick up/delivery is a good enough way to grow your business!
6. Be considerate, don't give your neighbors a chance to complain!
At the end of the day, your residence is primarily for living, so make sure to be considerate of your surroundings when carrying out business activities. Avoid causing nuisances such as excess smoke, smell or noise, that could adversely affect your neighbors' living environment and disrupt their daily activities.
7. Foreigners on a Dependant's Pass in Singapore have to seek approval before starting a home-based baking business
If you're a foreigner on a Dependent's Pass who'd like to start a home baking business, you'll have to register your home bakery as a company in Singapore and apply to the Ministry of Manpower for a Letter of Consent to begin working in the company.