1. How do I start a pawnbroking business?
You are required to apply for a pawnbroker’s licence from the Registrar of Pawnbrokers. The online application can be made HERE.
Before you submit your application, it is advisable that you familiarise yourself with the provisions of the Pawnbrokers Act 2015 and Pawnbrokers Rules 2015, which can be obtained from the following sources:
i) Online at http://sso.agc.gov.sg;
ii) Toppan Lee Fung Pte. Ltd. Legal Publishing
2. How do I apply for a pawnbroker’s licence?
Pawnbroker’s Licence Application
The following are the criteria for the grant of a pawnbroker’s licence:
i) the applicant must be of good character and a fit and proper person to carry on the business of pawnbroking;
ii) the premises will not be used for the conduct or transaction of any business other than that of pawnbroking, unless approved by the Registrar;
iii) the applicant will obtain adequate insurance against damage, theft or loss of articles that may be pawned with him;
iv) the applicant has produce to the Registry either a Banker’s Guarantee or Insurance Guarantee for a sum of $100,000 as security for the proper conduct of his business under the licence; and
v) proposed pawnshop has a paid-up capital of not less than $2,000,000 (for operators with multiple pawnshops, the minimum paid-up capital for each additional pawnshop is $1,000,000).
Besides the above criteria, a pawnbroker is also required to comply with other conditions which may be imposed by the Registrar from time to time. For example, all the operations of the pawnbroking business shall be computerised, and all the pawnbrokers shall participate in the Interbank GIRO System (IBG)(157KB) and other cashless mode of electronic receipts and payments.
Procedure for Application
The procedures for the application are as follows:
i) Apply to the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) for the incorporation and registration of your proposed pawnshop as a company;
ii) Thereafter, submit your application online HERE. Please note that a non-refundable application fee of $800.00/- will be collected when the application is submitted;
iii) If you are incorporating a company for the pawnbroking business, please ensure that the following object clauses are incorporated in the Memorandum of Association of the company:
“To carry on the business of pawnbroking, to hold a pawnbroker’s licence, to accept pledges from clients, to dispose of overdue unredeemed pledges and perform all the activities of a pawnbroker as permitted under the Pawnbrokers Act.”
iv) Please ensure that the proposed premises can be used for pawnbroking business and the necessary agreement from the owner/lessor has been obtained;
v) Under the Pawnbrokers Rules, upon receipt of the Registry’s in-principle approval for grant of a pawnbroker’s licence and subject to objections, you are required:
to advertise, at your own expense, your application in one English and one Chinese newspaper for two consecutive days;
to paste a copy of the advertisement (one in English and one in Chinese), for a period of three weeks from the date of pasting, at the main entrance of the proposed pawnshop premises. The Registry of Pawnbrokers will inform you of the date you are supposed to advertise. Thereafter, you will be required to send to the Registry a copy of the original advertisements and photographs showing the advertisements pasted at the main entrance of the premises.
vi) When required to do so, you are to permit the Registrar or any person authorised in writing by him, any police officer not below the rank of Inspector and any officer authorised in writing in that behalf by the appropriate building authority, to enter and inspect the proposed pawnshop premises;
vii) In order that you do not incur unnecessary costs, you are advised to commence the renovations of the proposed pawnshop premises only after the Registry has written to you to inform you that you may proceed with the renovations;
viii) You are to submit to the Registry your plans for the renovation and fitting out of your pawnshop which should include and show:
the means of safekeeping your pledges (e.g. strongroom, safes, etc);
a comprehensive security alarm system with monitoring capability;
a working CCTV camera and monitor system;
a computer system for the operations of the pawnshop business.
ix) You are to obtain an insurance policy for the entire duration of your licence from an insurance company or co-operative society registered under the Insurance Act (Chapter 142) and carrying on business in Singapore, for loss of and damage to pledges held in your pawnshop premises.
x) After the renovations have been completed satisfactorily, you would be required to forward to us the following fees for the issuance of a pawnbroker’s licence:
Security Deposit: $100,000
Licence Fee: $3,000 (For each year)
Please ensure that all the information/documents given in the application are correct and in order. The issuance of a licence may require 3 to 6 months from the time of your application depending on the complexity of your case, the time taken by the Police in their investigations (where applicable) and the time taken to carry out your renovation and fitting out satisfactorily.
3. How do I update my company’s or licensee’s particulars?
Update Of Company’s/Licensee’s Particulars
Please submit an online application for the following update/changes to your company’s/licensee’s particulars:
i) Change of company/business name;
ii) New appointment of directors / managing directors / managers / substantial shareholders;
iii) Transfer of shares / Allotment of shares (for any change in substantial shareholdings or substantial shareholders only);
iv) Change of company / business operating address;
v) Resignation of directors / managing directors / managers/ substantial shareholders; and
vi) Change of company / business contact details.
Please note that for updates (i) to (iv), you are required to submit the online application to seek approval from the Registry of Pawnbrokers before you proceed with the update/changes. Please update this information with ACRA only after receiving the approval from the Registry of Pawnbrokers.
For changes relating to (v) and (vi), you are required to notify the Registry of Pawnbrokers by submitting an online application.
A copy of the online application form for the above updates/changes is available HERE.
4. How do I terminate my pawnbroker’s licence?
If you wish to terminate your pawnbroker’s licence, you may submit your termination application HERE.
5. How do I apply for a waiver certificate from the Pawnbrokers Act?
Under section 43(1)(a) of the Pawnbrokers Act, a company or other business entity may be granted a waiver from complying with the provisions of the Pawnbrokers Act. There is no prescribed form for the application of a waiver certificate. Applicants are to write to the Registry of Pawnbrokers with the following information and supporting documents:
i) A brief description of the applicant;
ii) A copy of the Instant Information Service printout on the applicant issued by ACRA;
iii) The business(es) and registered address(es) of the applicant;
iv) The telephone and fax numbers of the applicant;
v) A detailed description of each type of activity for which the waiver certificate is sought and the reasons for seeking a waiver;
vi) A detailed description of the types or classes of pawners in relation to each type of pawnbroking activity for which waiver is sought; and
vii) A draft scope of waiver for our consideration.
Applications may be submitted to the Registry via the following channels:
a) Mail to:
Registry of Pawnbrokers
Ministry of Law
45 Maxwell Road
The URA Centre East Wing
Please note that a non-refundable application fee of $600/- shall apply regardless of the outcome of the application. Payment of the application fee should be made in the form of an account-payee crossed cheque of $600/- in favour of the ‘Accountant-General, Singapore’.
6. Sale of New Jewellery in Pawnshops
Interested applicants are strongly advised to send in their applications by post or e-mail to PB_enquiries@mlaw.gov.sg. The application should be accompanied by an elaboration on how the applicable licence conditions would be met and supporting documents, similar to the approach taken for the application for a second-hand goods dealing business to be conducted on the pawnbroking business premises.
7. How do I make payment when I receive the Notice of Offer of Composition?
Payment for the Notice of Offer of Composition can be made via our E-Services portal.
8. What are the modes a pawnbroker may serve a notice of forfeiture?
Please refer to this infographic for the permitted modes of serving a notice of forfeiture by a pawnbroker.
9. Are pawnbrokers allow to charge a pawner an administrative fee for a pawn ticket?
Yes, pawnbrokers that offer cashless payment modes* may charge a pawner a fee of $2 for each pawn ticket issued. Please refer to this infographic for more information.
*Credit facilities (e.g. credit cards) are excluded.