ACRA is the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore which is a statutory board under the Ministry of Finance of the Singapore Government. The primary function of ACRA is that of serving as a regulator for businesses, public accountants, and corporate service providers in Singapore. Every business owner in Singapore must utilize the services of ACRA at some point.
ACRA’s main role is to enforce Singapore’s Company Law and to keep a register of up-to-date information about companies and business which have been incorporated in Singapore. ACRA also plays an important part in advising the Singapore legislature to help create a regulatory ecosystem which would make it easier for companies to manage their business activities in Singapore.
ACRA has also been endowed with the right to impose composition fines against and issue court summonses to companies which have failed to fulfill the compliance requirements which have been specified in the Companies Act.
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Is ACRA the same with Singapore Registrar of Companies (ROC)
Yes, ACRA and the Singapore Registrar of Companies (ROC) are the same entity. ACRA was formed in 2004 after the merger of the Public Accountants’ Board (PAB) and Registry of Companies and Businesses (RCB). Today, ACRA administers the registration and incorporation of all businesses in Singapore. ACRA has done much to serve the community of business owners in Singapore. Singapore’s corporate scene would not be able to function as it does today without the assistance of ACRA.
What is Bizfile?
Bizfile is ACRA’s online portal which permits users to fill out and submit company registration applications as well as compliance forms.
Before Bizfile was created, all applications and submissions to be made had to be done in person at ACRA’s service center. However, through the use of Bizfile, such is no longer the case. ACRA’s creation of Bizfile has permitted companies across Singapore to make applications and submissions via the Internet. Thus, Bizfile has caused the process of making any necessary applications and submissions to become much simpler and more understandable. Furthermore, Bizfile also permits companies as well as all members of the public to retrieve the applications and submission electronically. Thus, ACRA’s creation of Bizfile has brought about a great many positives.
Although the process seems fairly simple, it is certainly possible that an application or submission made through Bizfile may contain several errors. Thus, companies ought to consult a professional corporate service provider and seek its advice and assistance to ensure everything has been done correctly. It is crucial that a company does not make any errors in any application or submission made through the use of Bizfile because potential investors or joint venture partners may choose to access such information before they decide to invest in or work with the company.
How does one access Bizfile?
The first step to be taken is that of receiving a digital ID known as CorpPass which provides its owner with access to Bizfile. The government of Singapore has introduced the CorpPass for the filing of all business transactions with several government agencies including ACRA as well as all software created by these agencies including Bizfile.
Through the use of the CorpPass, one may complete all company registration and compliance tasks required by ACRA by using Bizfile. Among the tasks which ACRA allows one to complete through the use of Bizfile include the registration of a new Singapore company or Singapore branch office of a foreign company, the filing of company’s annual returns, and any notification of any changes to the company’s business structure.
What to Know Before Registering a Company with ACRA by Using Bizfile
As Bizfile is hosted online, it is not only accessible from Singapore. Bizfile can be accessed from anywhere in the world. According to current information on the Bizfile website, the Bizfile website is best viewed on either a version of Internet Explorer which is 9.0 or newer or a version of Google Chrome which is 43.0 or newer.
As has been mentioned, to make any application or submission through Bizfile, one is required to have the CorpPass. Foreigners ought to know that CorpPass is available to foreign-registered entities and businesses for the conducting of transactions with specific Singapore government agencies.
Unless one is familiar and well-versed with the company laws of Singapore, it is advisable to connect with an agent for the registration filing process and the management of the ongoing compliance matters of the company. Singapore’s company laws mention that all foreigners are to register with ACRA through a professional corporate service provider.
Work with Paul Hype Page & Co
Some might choose to complete the registration process through Bizfile themselves if they believe that they have the requisite knowledge and information on the requirements and procedures which are required by ACRA. Nevertheless, it is always an acceptable option to work with a professional corporate service provider so as to prevent any errors, hasten the process, and avoid any delays which might occur should ACRA not be satisfied. As a certain level of understanding and familiarity with ACRA and Bizfile is required before making any applications and submissions, it is imperative to engage with knowledgeable and experienced experts so that ACRA’s expectations are suitably fulfilled.
We at Paul Hype Page & Co always ensure that all company registration and compliance forms fulfill the high level of preparation and knowledge of Singapore company law as required by ACRA.
Our team at Paul Hype Page & Co which includes professional corporate service providers are able to provide services ranging from registering a company with ACRA to filing annual returns with ACRA to notifying ACRA about any significant changes in a specific company.