Online Business Licensing System

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Online Business Licensing Service (OBLS) is a one-stop portal for businessmen to apply for all the required Singapore government licences in a single online transaction. The service routes all applications to various government agency for processing.

The World Bank has ranked Singapore first in the Ease of Doing Business Index. The OBLS system contributes to this ranking.[citation needed]

Background of the Service[edit]

OBLS was first conceived by the Pro-Enterprise Panel, a high level joint public-private sector panel chaired by the Head of Civil Service, Singapore. The panel received a lot of business feedback to cut red-tape in making it easy to start businesses in Singapore.

Small and medium enterprises were the main target of the OBLS project due to their large number. This group were generally unhappy with the costs and complexities of the licensing process.

OBLS was also a key project under the Singapore e-Government Action Plan II.


260 business licences that are issued by more than 30 government agencies in Singapore are found in the OBLS. More than 80% of start-up businesses in Singapore are served by OBLS without having to visit Government counters. The system also offers Update, Renewal and Termination services for 65 licences.


  1. Search for the licences that they may need
  2. Apply for multiple licences at once using the integrated form
  3. Update particulars on existing licence
  4. Renew existing licences that are expiring soon
  5. Terminate licences that are no longer required
  6. Pay for multiple licences via one consolidated transaction


As of 1 October 2005, the average license processing time for all new applications including those not handled by OBLS was reduced from 21 to 8 days as a result of the reengineering exercise and OBLS implementation. 85 licenses were processed in less than a week. Of these, 43 were processed in less than three days.[1] Based on the cost-benefit analysis done at 31 Dec 2006, businesses have benefited from the OBLS project with an estimated cost savings of US$27 million (since the pilot launch in Jan 2004 ). The cost savings were derived from the reduction in the amount of licence fees, reduction in the processing time of licences and the time-savings by businessmen who now do not need to travel and queue up physically and complete multiple application forms that ask for similar information. Businessman have given the OBLS an 80% positive feedback rating.


OBLS won the following awards:[2]

OBLS for other Countries[edit]

It is widely recognised that countries that have invested in infocomm as a key enabler to transform their business environment have reaped tremendous benefits. The success of OBLS in Singapore has caught the attention of countries also keen to promote a world-class pro-enterprise business environment. Singapore, through the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), has been actively sharing their experience on government e-Transformation.


  1. ^ Case Studies: Cross-Agency Integrated e-Services – Online Business Licensing Service [1]
  2. ^ Awards:OBLS has gained recognition for its services

External links[edit]