The UEN is a unique identification number assigned to every registered organization in Singapore. It applies to all business entities, including companies, foreign entities, sole proprietorships, partnerships, trade unions, and societies.
It was introduced in 2009 to eliminate the need for companies to register every time they wanted to engage with a government agency. The ACRA registered companies retained their ACRA registration number as the UEN, whereas all the other entities were assigned a new UEN.
What is a UEN Number?
UEN is the identity number of a business entity. The companies can use it while interacting with various government agencies without registering for a new identification number for each one of them.
In Singapore, every individual has an identification number called the National register card number (NRIC) – the same goes for every business entity or organization registered in Singapore; they are all issued a system-generated UEN.
The said company can use UEN for over 200+ government services. For example, they can use it to file the company’s returns, contact authorities to obtain business licenses, register with health science authorities, apply for a trademark and import and export permit, and more.
The government body that would be issuing the UEN depends on the structure of a business organization. For example, the Ministry of Education issues UEN numbers for government and non-government schools, the Ministry of defense issues UEN for foreign military units traveling into Singapore for a mission, and the Registry of Societies (ROS) issues UEN for societal organizations.
Format of UEN
Generally, the two most common formats of UEN are as follows. It is an alphanumeric number generated based on the business structure and year of issuance.
|Issued To||UEN Format|
|Businesses registered with ACRA||nnnnnnnnX
|Local companies registered with ACRA||yyyynnnnnX
|‘n’ = a number
‘yyyy’= year of issuance.
‘X’ = a check alphabet
What is a Special UEN (SUN)?
The UEN number is issued to business entities free of charge, but they can also acquire a Special UEN (SUN) for a fee. SUN is a preferred UEN that companies can choose from a list of reserved UENs during company incorporation or conversion.
There are two different categories of Special UEN that an entity can apply for; an organization can apply for a special UEN through Tier 1 and Tier 2.
- Tier 1: $3000 per SUN. This number contains the same consecutive number or a combination of numbers involving the number 8. Examples are 20188877A and T18LL7708G.
- Tier 2: $1000 per SUN. It has repetitive numbers (excluding the number ‘8’) or ends with triple identical digits. Examples are- 201813131K and T15FC1444N.
The SUN can’t be customized, exchanged, or canceled. In fact, the suffix and prefix of the number are system-generated.
How to Apply for SUN?
Certain perks come with paying for a special UEN, such as ease of remembering your UEN and identifying with it when transacting business with government agencies.
To apply for a SUN, you’ll have to opt for it while incorporating your business or converting entity type. You can’t reserve the SUN beforehand. However, you would get an option to purchase it when you are at the payment stage during entity incorporation/registration and entity conversion. You will get only a 30 minutes window to complete Special UEN selection and payment. If you fail to do so, the selected SUN will be made available to others to purchase.
Afterward, you will be assigned a profile that will contain every detail concerning your business as well as your Special UEN. You can check your business profile through a free search on Bizfile+ or here.
You can only purchase SUN once; you won’t be allowed to convert your UEN to SUN more than once- to do that, you may have to register an entirely new business structure. For example, converting your business from sole proprietorship to a company, only then will you be permitted to purchase a SUN for your company.
A UEN is for life; it doesn’t come with an expiry date. So why not make it more personal by opting to purchase a special UEN. Let HeySara take care of it while incorporating your business. Just let us know your preferences, and we will do the needful.