The Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA) takes care of the registration process for business entities in Singapore. In Singapore, ACRA is also known as the Registrar of Companies. Both of these terms are used interchangeably for the same entity. The merger of the Public Accountants’ Board with the Registry of Companies and Businesses that took place back in 2004 resulted in the formation of ACRA in Singapore.
Who Needs to Register With ACRA
All companies conducting their business in Singapore have to be registered with ACRA. Therefore, these companies need to choose their business structure carefully and take all the necessary steps to register with ACRA in Singapore.
How to Get Your Company Registered in Singapore
If you want to register your company with ACRA, you have to do it via BizFile+. BizFile+ is the online filing and information retrieval system of ACRA.
What You Need to Know About BizFile+
BizFile was introduced as a corporate information storage portal that can be used for uploading, storing, and retrieving business data for companies in Singapore back in 2004. However, BizFile changed its name to BizFile+ in 2016, right after a significant speed and efficiency-related update in the system happened. That being said, BizFile+ is an improved version of BizFile.
When it comes to BizFile+, it allows the general public to access more than 400 services online, and it has made the act of doing business in Singapore so much easier and more convenient. BizFile+ allows the general public to access a wide variety of services upon request. It includes submitting all the necessary statutory documents and retrieving information about business entities registered with ACRA in Singapore.
According to the statistics, the number of transactions that take place on BizFile+ every year is higher than one million. The BizFile+ login form can be accessed via the official ACRA portal.
The Most Important Features of BizFile+
BizFile+ has made its users’ lives much easier by allowing them to easily access a wide variety of features from the comfort of their homes. The following is a list of the features that can be accessed through BizFile+:
- Registering a business, a local company, a foreign company, an LLP, or a public accountant electronically
- Maintaining and regulating transactions of companies, public accountants, and business entities
- Collecting information about just about any registered company online
- Conducting online checks when it comes to seeking approval from other referral entities
- Accessing a user-friendly graphical interface that can be used for different payment methods
- Checking the status of transactions by sending an inquiry online
- Receiving either SMS or email notifications for successfully completed transactions
- Purchasing information about business entities
There is no doubt that BizFile+ is one of the most useful customer-centric platforms available today. Moreover, when it comes to maintaining important company information, BizFile+ is one of the most secure, flexible, and cost-efficient systems that you could possibly find these days.
The main goal of ACRA is to make it easier for both businesses and individuals to set up and register their companies in Singapore. It is also responsible for ensuring that every registered company in Singapore complies with all the statutory regulations and ensures that every registered company in Singapore maintains its corporate information with ACRA.
As far as BizFile+ goes, it primarily covers two areas of improvement from its original version (BizFile):
- Compliance with the Singapore Companies Act, Chapter 50 (the ”Companies Act)
- Better User Interface
It should also be noted that some amendments were made to the fees of some transactions right after the update took place. For instance, the registration fee has slightly increased, and the penalty amount for late filing of annual returns and late holding of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) has gone through a change. However, some ad-hoc transactions that previously required payment are now available for free.
Services Provided via Bizfile+
This online information portal provides an accurate report of all the registered businesses in Singapore. The residents of Singapore can use their SingPass to gain access to BizFile+. On the other hand, foreigners will have to hire an agent to do this on their behalf.
Every company is required to complete all the statutory requirements that are related to the company registration process in Singapore, as well as all the ongoing compliance requirements that have been mentioned in the Companies Act. The following is a list of the most common tasks:
- Taking care of the company registration process in Singapore
- Registering a foreign company’s branch office in Singapore
- Filing annual return every year for all the company
- Notifying the accounting and corporate regulatory agency of any changes when it comes to the business’ address, company structure, and particulars of members and officers
- Notifying ACRA About Changes to the Company
Every business entity in Singapore must notify ACRA about any business-related changes within 14 days from when the changes took place. The following are some of the business-related changes that ACRA has to know about:
- Change of the company name
- Change of a registered address
- Modifications of business activities
- Appointment or removal of a company officer
- Change of an officer’s and a member’s personal information
- Certain ordinary resolutions or special resolutions that the company passes
Failure to notify ACRA of any of the above-mentioned changes may result in a late fee for your company, which can be anything between S$50 and S600. In addition, there may also be an additional default penalty in play.
How Long Does It Take For BizFile+ to Process a Transaction
It should not take more than 15 minutes for BizFile+ to process a transaction. However, it might take much longer than that (even up to two months) if the process requires either review or approval from an ACRA officer (or any other agency for that matter).
If you would like to learn about what HeySara could do for you regarding these services, do not hesitate to send us a message. We would be more than happy to help you out!