What to Know about ACRA - Singapore Company Registrar
Whether you have a business or plan to incorporate your first company, you must understand that companies worldwide are subject to regulations. Every country has a body tasked with registering, overseeing, and monitoring the activities of the companies in the country. In Singapore, the responsible government body for this is Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
If you are planning to incorporate your company in Singapore, you likely will have questions about ACRA. In this article, we have combined the most common frequently asked questions about this regulatory authority and provided answers.
What is ACRA?
ACRA stands for the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. It is similar to the registrar of companies that you might have in your country.
ACRA Singapore registers new businesses, maintains corporate records and business profiles, and ensures that entities close down correctly, as any other registrar of companies in another country would do. However, unlike other registrars, ACRA is also responsible for monitoring ongoing businesses and their financial reporting.
ACRA’s mission is to ensure that Singapore is a trusted and attractive place for businesses to thrive and flourish. Therefore, as a business owner, you should understand the benefits that ACRA provides.
What is ACRA BizFile and BizFile+?
BizFile is an online filing and information portal which used to provide various electronic services to Singapore businesses. It was replaced by BizFile+ — its upgraded version — introduced in 2016 to handle a more significant number of services and improve the processing time.
ACRA BizFile+ offers more than 300 online services. Those services include submitting statutory documents, retrieving and purchasing information about business entities, choosing a company name, making necessary changes to a company’s corporate structure, receiving annual returns, etc.
How Can I Check if a Company Is Registered with ACRA?
Can Foreigners Self-Register a Company with ACRA?
What Documents Does ACRA Issue Upon Company Registration?
If your registration is successful, ACRA will send an official email confirming the company's incorporation. The email notification will include Unique Entity Number (UEN) and is treated as the official certificate of incorporation in Singapore.
A paper copy of the certificate is no longer issued with incorporation as it is not needed in Singapore. However, if a print copy is preferred, you can make an online request on BizFile+ after the company's incorporation.
Who Сan Access ACRA?
Can I Сheck Сompany Compliance Status in ACRA?
What Are the ACRA Filing Requirements?
Does ACRA Have the Power to Enforce Compliance?
A company has to comply with several obligations, including providing timely and accurate financial information, notifying ACRA about changes to the company’s data, and filing Annual Returns.
If ACRA suspects a breach has been committed, it might start an investigation. If the investigation confirms a breach, depending on its nature ACRA can do the following: issue a warning, strike off the company, disqualify the director, issue a fine or even prosecute the company in court in some difficult cases.
So it is essential to comply with ACRA requirements. Our online portal can help ensure this compliance. It will automatically remind you of upcoming filing obligations, and our team will proactively handle the filing tasks for your company, to make compliance smooth and worry-free for you.
Is Company Information in ACRA Available to the Public?
What Is ACRA Business Profile?
The Business Profile is a PDF extract from ACRA containing your company’s information such as UEN, date of incorporation, principal activities, shareholder’s details and paid-up capital. It is usually used to verify the company’s data.
To obtain it from ACRA, you must make a request online and purchase it.
How to Notify ACRA About Changes to My Company?
ACRA considers it essential that information on the company registers be kept up-to-date. Therefore the incorporated companies must keep ACRA informed about a change of company name, business activities, new appointments or removal of a company director or secretary etc.
To notify ACRA, you must log in to your company account in BizFile+ and submit an online form specifying the changes. If you fail to notify ACRA within 14 days of the change date, a penalty may be imposed by ACRA. Therefore, a good corporate service provider is needed to help you to keep ACRA updated so you do not have anything to worry about.
How Can We Help?
Singapore is one of the best places to operate a business. One of the reasons for this is ACRA and its portal BizFile+.
Сontact us if you have any additional questions about ACRA or if you require assistance with incorporation or managing a company in Singapore. Our team will gladly assist you.
ROGER SMART, TIGER PARTNERS (SG) PTE. LTD.