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FAQ Singapore Business

Singapore Business FAQ

Foreigner Setting Up Business In Singapore

What does a foreigner have to do if he wants to register a business firm in Singapore?

Answer: A foreigner needs to apply for an Approval-In-Principle EntrePass if the foreigner wants to register a business and act as a local manager of the business firm. The foreigner must also have a Singapore residential address in the above cases. After obtaining the AIP-EP, the foreigner will have to approach a professional firm or a service bureau for submitting the BizFile transaction on his behalf to register a new business.

I am a Singapore Permanent Resident. Do I need to apply for AIP EP before registering a business in Singapore?

Answer:  No, Permanent Residents can register a business without an Employment Pass.

If I am holding a valid EntrePass (EP) for the company that currently employs me and at the same time, wish to start my own business without resigning from my present job, must I cancel my existing EP before applying for AIP EP?

Answer:  No, you need not cancel your existing EP. Rather, you should apply for AIP EP along with a letter of no objection from your current employer. Your AIP EP will be treated as an application for an additional EntrePass to work for another company.

If I am holding a valid EntrePass for the company that currently employs me but wish to leave the current post to start my own business venture, must I cancel my existing EP before applying for AIP EP?

Answer:  Yes, you will need to cancel your existing EntrePass before applying for AIP EP.

What is an EntrePass?

Answer:  Workpass

I have a Dependent’s Pass. Can I set up a business?

Answer: Yes. However you are required to apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC) from the Ministry of Manpower.

Business Address

Can I use my friend’s home address as my business address?

Answer:  No.

Can I use a PO Box address as my business address?

Answer:  No, P.O.Box address is not allowed to be used as the business address.

Can I use PO Box No. for my business address?

Answer:  No.

Can I use my residential address as my business address?

Answer:  With effect from 10 Jun 2003, all homeowners will be allowed to conduct small-scale businesses in their homes under the Home Office Scheme. The scheme will apply to both private and HDB properties.

Closing A Business

When does ACRA send the cancellation notices?

Answer:  The cancellation notices are sent when the business registration has expired and has not been renewed. The notices are usually sent about 2 – 3 months after the expiry date.

I have received a cancellation notice from ACRA but have no intention to renew my business registration. Do I need to notify ACRA or take any further action?

Answer: We sent the cancellation notice because our records show that the business registration has expired and has not been renewed. We are therefore assuming that the business is dormant and that the owner has no intention to carry on business. We will proceed to cancel the business registration once the grace period of one month (given in the cancellation notice) expires. There is no further action required on your part.

What should I do if I receive the cancellation notice and I do not wish to continue my business?

Answer: ACRA will automatically cancel the business registration one month after the expiry of the cancellation notice. There is no further action required on your part.

I received a Cancellation Notice and wish to renew the business registration. Is this possible?

Answer: Yes. Please log into www.bizfile.gov.sg using your ID No and SingPass to renew your business registration. A penalty will be imposed for late renewal.

My business has been cancelled. How can I revive it?

Answer: The business registration has been cancelled and the Registrar is unable to reinstate the business as there is no provision in the Business Registration Act empowering the Registrar to do so. You may choose to register a new business using the same name. The fee payable is $65. On the other hand, you may choose to submit an appeal to the Minister of Finance through ACRA for the reinstatement of the business registration. You will have to send your appeal in writing (setting out the grounds for the appeal) and pay an appeal fee of $50 via cheque made payable to ACRA. This letter is to be addressed to the Registrar, ACRA.

How do I close my business?

Answer: If you no longer intend to continue with your business and have decided to close it, there are 2 ways in which you can close the business; you may choose to file a Notice of Termination or a Notice of Cessation. There are some differences between terminating a business and submitting a notice of cessation, which are given in the following: 1. When you file the notice of termination online, you have to pay a filing fee of $20. However there is no fee payable for filing the notice of cessation. 2. Termination requires the endorsement (consent) of all the partners but cessation can be filed by any one partner. 3. The date of termination can be decided by the owners and it has to be a date before the date of expiry of the business registration. However the date of cessation is the date of expiry of the business registration and cannot be changed to another date. If you are able to wait until the expiry of the business registration and then close the business, we would advise you to submit a notice of cessation. However, if for any reason, you need to close the business immediately, then you will have to submit the notice of termination online and pay the filing fee of $20.

I do not wish to carry on business. How can I close my business firm?

Answer: You can choose to terminate the business or submit a notice of cessation. Both transactions must be lodged online via www.bizfile.gov.sg.

What is the difference between termination and cessation of business?

Answer: Termination carries a $20 filing fee whilst the notice of cessation is free of charge. Termination can be done anytime before the expiry of the business registration but cessation can only be filed after the expiry of the business registration. Termination needs the consent of all the partners but the notice of cessation can be submitted by any one partner.

I do not wish to carry on business after the expiry of the business registration. What can I do to close the business?

Answer: You can submit a notice of cessation online via www.bizfile.gov.sg. There is no fee payable.

My business registration has expired and I have received a cancellation notice from ACRA. I do not wish to carry on business. What should I do?

Answer: You need not do anything. ACRA will cancel the business registration when the grace period given in the cancellation notice expires.

My business registration has expired. Will ACRA cancel the business?

Answer: Yes. We will send you a cancellation notice giving you a grace period of one month to renew the business registration. If you fail to do so, we will cancel the business registration.

I have terminated the business online and paid the filing fee of $20. Why does the business profile show that the business is still live?

Answer: One possible reason is that the other partners of the business firm have not logged into the system using their ID No and SingPass to endorse or consent to the transaction. Please advise them to attend to this matter immediately so that the status of the business firm can be updated accordingly.

I terminated my business registration by mistake. Can I undo the termination?

Answer: No. You may choose to register a new business using the same name as the previous business. This is on condition that the partners of the new business were also the partners of the previous business.

I want to close my business. Do I need to secure the consent of my partners?

Answer: For termination, you need the consent of all the partners. For cessation of business, no such consent is required.

I want to close the business but cannot locate my partners. How can I close the business?

Answer: If you are terminating the business, you can make an online declaration setting out the reasons why you are unable to contact the partners. You may choose to file a notice of cessation which does not require the consent of the partners.

What is the fee for terminating a business?

Answer: For terminating the business, the fee is $20.

What is the fee for filing a notice of cessation?

Answer: There is no fee payable. This service is free of charge.

I have terminated my business. Can I register a new business using the same name?

Answer: Yes; provided the partners of the new business were also the partners of the previous business.

ACRA has cancelled my business registration. Can I still carry on business?

Answer: No. It is an offence to carry on business once the registration has been cancelled. If you want to carry on business, please register a new business using the same name as the previous business; provided the partners of the new business were also the partners of the previous business.

I have terminated the business. Will ACRA inform the other agencies?

Answer: No. It is the responsibility of the business owner to notify the other agencies accordingly.

I want to close the business but my partners do not agree. What can I do?

Answer: You can choose to withdraw as a partner of the business firm and leave your other partners to carry on with the business. However, all the other partners need to consent to your withdrawal from the firm

Why does ACRA send so many copies of the cancellation notice by registered post?

Answer: We want to ensure that it is brought to the attention of the business firm and its owner(s) and manager(s) that we are going to take action to cancel the registration of the firm.

I have received the cancellation notice and need more time to renew. Can I apply for an extension?

Answer: Yes. You may call us at 62486028 or drop us an email at www.acra.gov.sg/askacra. We will extend the deadline for you. Please contact us before the expiry of the grace period in the cancellation notice.

My business registration has been cancelled. Can ACRA reinstate the business to live?

Answer: No. The Registrar has no power to reinstate the business to live. We would advise you to register a new business using the same name. This is on condition that the owners of the new business were the owners of the previous business.

If my business registration is cancelled and I register a new business, do I retain the same registration number and the date of registration?

Answer: No. You will be issued with a new registration number and the date of registration will be the date you pay the registration fee to register the new business.

If I am issued with a new registration number, how will I convince the other agencies that it is the same business firm?

Answer: You have to purchase the business profiles of both the old and the new entity and produce it as proof to these agencies.

I want to do business with a business firm. However the status is shown as registration expired and has not been renewed. What does this mean?

Answer: It means that the firms business registration has expired but the owner has not taken steps to renew the business registration.

Does ACRA have the power to cancel my business registration?

Answer: Yes. Section 15(5) of the Business Registration Act empowers the Registrar to cancel the business registration if the firm is not carrying on business.

Will ACRA notify me once the business is cancelled?

Answer: No. You may purchase a business profile to check on the status of the business firm.

I have received a cancellation notice. Can I renew the registration without paying my Medisave with the CPF Board?

Answer: No. You will have to settle your Medisave first and then renew the business registration. If you need more time to attend to this matter, please call us at 62486028 or drop us an email at www.acra.gov.sg/askacra. We will extend the deadline for you. Please contact us before the expiry of the grace period in the cancellation notice.

How do I terminate my business firm?

Answer: Please submit an online transaction via www.bizfile.gov.sg. The fee payable is $20. Termination requires the consent of all the partners (if the business firm is a partnership) and the partners have to log into the system using their individual ID and SingPass to endorse the transaction to terminate the business. Once everyone has endorsed, the status of the business will be updated as terminated.

How to cease my business firm?

Answer: Please submit an online transaction via www.bizfile.gov.sg after the expiry date of the business registration. There is no fee payable for this transaction. The date of cessation will be the date of expiry of the business registration.

Do the partners need to endorse the transaction to cease business?

Answer: No endorsement is required for cessation of business. Endorsement is only required for termination of business.

Why do I have to pay for termination when the filing of the notice of cessation is free of charge?

Answer: Termination is a voluntary act by the owner to close the business firm. The owner can choose any date of termination but the date must be before the date of expiry of business registration. Cessation on the other hand is a decision by the owner not to carry on business after the business registration has expired. The owner cannot choose the date of cessation. It is defaulted to the date of expiry of business registration. This is why there is no filing fee for submitting the notice of cessation.

Can I postdate the termination date?

Answer: No. You cannot postdate the termination date unless you are planning to terminate the business and incorporate a company (private limited) using the same name.

When can I file for notice of cessation?

Answer: You can file the notice of cessation after the date of expiry of the business registration.

If there is a disagreement between the business partners and none of them wants to terminate or cease the business, what can I do?

Answer: Under such circumstances, it is advised that you seek legal advice on what should be the best course to protect your interests in the business firm.

I am unable to terminate my business on the business expiry date. What should I do?

Answer: Please file a notice of cessation online. There is no filing fee payable for submitting this online form.

 I have received a cancellation notice from ACRA. What should I do?

Answer: If you want to renew the business registration, you will log into www.bizfile.gov.sg to renew the business registration. In addition to the renewal fee of $20, you will also have to pay a penalty for late renewal.

How long can I postdate the termination date if I want to terminate the business and incorporate a company?

Answer: You can postdate up to 6 months.

Can I postdate the termination date to a date after the expiry of the business registration?

Answer: No.

Do I still need to renew my business registration if the renewal date falls within the post-dated termination?

Answer: Yes.

Is there any implication if I allow my business registration to be cancelled by ACRA without taking step to terminate or cease my business?

Answer: No, there are no implications.

If there is a disagreement between the business partners and none of them wants to terminate or cease the business, what can I do?

Answer: Under such circumstances, it is advised that you seek legal advice on what should be the best course to protect your interests in the business firm.

I am the manager of the business firm. Can I terminate the business?

Answer: No. Only the owner can terminate the business.

Do I need to inform IRAS that my business is terminated?

Answer: Yes.

Will I be black listed if my business registration is cancelled by ACRA?

Answer: No.

Can a local manager terminate the business on the behalf of the owner who is a foreigner?

Answer: No. If the foreigner wants to terminate the business, he has to engage the services of a professional firm or service bureau to assist in the termination of the business.

What happens if I do not renew the business registration?

Answer: We will send you a cancellation notice and then proceed with cancellation if the registration is still not renewed.

General Enquiry On Businesses

Do I need to print my business name and registration number on the invoice, etc?

Answer:  Every business firm must print i’ts full registered business name and the Registration Number on every letterhead, invoice, bill and other documents used for purposes of its business.

I am an EntrePass holder. Can I register a business?

Answer:  Yes.

I am an S Pass holder. Can I register a business?

Answer: An S Pass is not an EntrePass. Please check the terms and conditions of your S Pass. If unsure, you should consult Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

I have an Approval-in-Principle Entrepass. Can I register a business?

Answer: Yes.

Changes In Business Particulars

My partner wants to withdraw from the business. What should I do?

Answer: The correct procedure to notify us of the withdrawal of the partner is by submitting an online transaction via www.bizfile.gov.sg. The steps that are to be taken are as follows: 1. The existing or withdrawing partner logs into www.bizfile.gov.sg using his own NRIC No and SingPass to notify us of the withdrawal. 2. The said partner submits the transaction and pays $20 by credit card (Visa/Mastercard) or Internet Banking. 3. The other partner(s) of the firm log into BizFile individually using their own NRIC No and SingPass to endorse the transaction. These include everyone else except the person who logged into the system to submit the online transaction. After everyone, who needs to endorse the transaction, has done so, our records will be updated accordingly. Please note that the endorsement must be done within 3 days from the date of submission of the transaction; otherwise the transaction will lapse and will be rejected by the system.

I want to make some changes in my business particulars. How do I do it?

Answer: Please log in to www.bizfile.gov.sg to file the changes. A fee of $20 is payable.

How do I change my business address?

Answer: Please log in to www.bizfile.gov.sg > Business to file the changes. A fee of $20 is payable.

What must I do if my partner wants to withdraw?

Answer: You must log into Bizfile to submit an online transaction to withdraw the owner. The fee payable is $20. Thereafter the withdrawing partner must log into Bizfile using his ID No and Singpass to endorse the transaction within 3 days.

What if I would like to add in more business activity?

Answer: As there are only 2 activity codes allowed, you may reclassify one or two of your activities and also describe your activities under the description column.

How do I inform ACRA about the death of an owner?

Answer: You may engage the service of a professional firm or service bureau to file such transaction on your behalf. Alternatively, the next-of-kin must be present with the death certificate; together with any one existing owner(bringing along his/her I/C) to file this transaction at our office. A fee of $20 by Nets is payable for the transaction.

What if the owner did not do the endorsement within 3 days?

Answer: The transaction will lapse. You may send an email to www.acra.gov.sg/askacra to request for extension of the deadline for endorsement.

Can the sole director be the sole shareholder of the company?

Answer: Yes, the director and shareholder of a company can be the same person.

Is there a fee payable for change in owner’s email address & mobile phone number?

Answer: No fee is charged for the change of the owner’s email address and mobile/phone number.

Do I need to submit a copy of the Deed Poll to ACRA when I file the change in my personal name?

Answer: No. You are required to key in the details in the Deed Poll into the system.

How do I pay online?

Answer: You can make payment through credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or internet banking. You can also pay by CashCard if you have a CashCard reader attached to your computer.

My online refund request was rejected and I was instructed to apply for a manual refund. How do I submit an application for manual refund?

Answer: We will arrange for a manual refund. Please provide the following information: Name of Bank Name of Branch Account No Account Holder’s Name (Full Name as in NRIC) Account Holder’s NRIC No Mailing Address Business Registration Number Amount to be refunded Receipt Number & Date of Payment Reason for Refund Once we receive the information, we will process the refund immediately and send the application to our Finance Division who will then take action to credit the money into your bank account.

I made an error in my online transaction. Can I rectify it?

Answer: Certain errors cannot be rectified. For those that can be rectified, you can file an online transaction to rectify the error. The fee payable is $30.

I want to add in a foreign owner who holds a foreign passport. Can I do it online?

Answer: No. The foreign owner will not be issued with a SingPass. You and your new foreign owner need to engage the service bureau or seek professional help to file the transactions for you.

I want to change my business activity. Where can I find the activity code?

Answer: Please click on the online SSIC Search (Singapore Standard Industrial Classification) which is available at our homepage at www.acra.gov.sg.

What must I do if there are changes to my personal/business particulars?

Answer: You have to notify the Registrar regarding any changes in the particulars of your business firm within 14 days, after such change has occurred by logging into www.bizfile.gov.sg and submitting the online notification of the change.

What if my partner is a foreigner holding a foreign passport? Can he/she file the changes online?

Answer: No. He will need to engage a professional firm or service bureau to file the changes on his behalf.

If I change my residential address and I notify the NRIC office or the Police Post, must I submit this change online to ACRA?

Answer: No. Our records will be automatically updated.

Business Changes

What are the changes that I can file online?

Answer: They include the change in the Business Name, Business Activity, Principal Place of Business, Branches, Entry/Withdrawal of Owner/Manager, Change in personal particulars of Owner/Manager & Termination or Cessation of Business.

Can one owner file all changes in the business?

Answer: Most changes can be filed online by any one owner who can access it thru his SingPass. They include change in Business name, Business Activity, Principal place of business,Branches & Cessation of Business. Changes such as Entry/Withdrawal of owner, Entry of new manager, Termination of business will require other partners to complete the online filing by endorsement using their own SingPass. If it is a change in personal particulars of one owner such as email address, handphone number, residential address or change in his or her personal name (such as taken up a deed poll to give up the previous personal name), it can be filed by that owner only.

Can I file more than one changes in my business registration & what’s the fee like?

Answer: Yes, you can file more than 1 changes. You will need to save up successfully the respective changes before you proceed to do the next one. After you have completed all the necessary changes, you will need to click the “submit” button & proceed with the payment. The fee for all changes will be $20, except the change in business name which is $35

Conversion To A Company In Singapore

Can I convert my sole-proprietorship to a company?

Answer: Technically, a sole proprietorship cannot be converted to a company. A sole proprietorship is a separate legal entity from a company and the law does not provide any process for conversion. Instead, what needs to be done is to terminate the sole proprietorship, inform ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business as a sole proprietorship and incorporate a new company. In that case you may need: (i) to transfer the business assets that will be used in the business and any existing contracts over to the new business structure; and (ii) to get new licenses or permits (as licenses and permits usually cannot be transferred). You should seek the advice of the agency issuing the licenses or permits on their validity and seek professional advice generally if you are uncertain as to what should be done. At the point of submission of the online transaction to incorporate the company, you may indicate in the online form that the company is going to take over the business of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship). You are required to provide the details of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship) as well as the date of termination of the business (which can be postdated up to 3 months). Thereafter you will have to submit an online transaction to terminate the business registration (that is, notify ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business). The fee payable is $20. The fee payable to incorporate the new company is $315.

Can the sole director be appointed as the company secretary?

Answer: No, the sole director of a company and the company secretary cannot be the same person.

How many directors and shareholders must have a company?

Answer: With effect from 1st April 2004, a company must have at least one director and one shareholder.

What must I do if I want to convert my business to company?

Answer: Technically, a registered business (whether sole proprietorship or a partnership) cannot convert to a company. A registered business (that is, a sole proprietorship or a partnership) is a separate legal entity from a company and the law does not provide any process for conversion. Instead, what needs to be done is to terminate the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership), inform ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business as a registered business and incorporate a new company. Then you may need (i) to transfer the business assets that will be used in the business and any existing contracts over to the new business structure; and (ii) to get new licenses or permits (as licenses and permits usually cannot be transferred). You should seek the advice of the agency issuing the licenses or permits on their validity and seek professional advice generally if you are uncertain as to what should be done. At the point of submission of the online transaction to incorporate the company, you may indicate in the online form that the company is going to take over the business of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership). You are required to provide the details of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership) as well as the date of termination of the business (which can be postdated up to 3 months). Thereafter you will have to submit an online transaction to terminate the business registration (that is, notify ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business). The fee payable is $20. The fee payable to incorporate the new company is $315.

I have a partnership. How do I change it to a private limited company?

Answer: Technically, a partnership cannot convert to a company. A partnership is a separate legal entity from a company and the law does not provide any process for conversion. Instead, what needs to be done is to terminate the partnership, inform ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business as a partnership and incorporate a new company. Then you may need (i) to transfer the business assets that will be used in the business and any existing contracts over to the new business structure; and (ii) you may need to get new licenses or permits (as licenses and permits usually cannot be transferred). You should seek the advice of the agency issuing the licenses or permits on their validity and seek professional advice generally if you are uncertain as to what should be done. At the point of submission of the online transaction to incorporate the company, you may indicate in the online form that the company is going to take over the business of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership). You are required to provide the details of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership) as well as the date of termination of the business (which can be postdated up to 3 months). Thereafter you will have to submit an online transaction to terminate the business registration (that is, notify ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business). The fee payable is $20. The fee payable to incorporate the new company is $315.

Currently I have a registered business. Can I change it to a Pte Ltd company?

Answer:

Technically, a registered business (whether sole proprietorship or a partnership) cannot convert to a company.

A registered business (that is, a sole proprietorship or a partnership) is a separate legal entity from a company and the law does not provide any process for conversion. Instead, what needs to be done is to terminate the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership), inform ACRA that you have ceased to carry on businesses as a registered business and incorporate a new company. Then you may need (i) to transfer the business assets that will be used in the business and any existing contracts over to the new business structure; and (ii) to get new licenses or permits (as licenses and permits usually cannot be transferred). You should seek the advice of the agency issuing the licenses or permits on their validity and seek professional advice generally if you are uncertain as to what should be done. At the point of submission of the online transaction to incorporate the company, you may indicate in the online form that the company is going to take over the business of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership). You are required to provide the details of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership) as well as the date of termination of the business (which can be postdated up to 3 months). Thereafter you will have to submit an online transaction to terminate the business registration (that is, notify ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business). The fee payable is $20. The fee payable to incorporate the new company is $315.

How can I convert my business to a Singapore company?

Answer: Technically, a registered business (whether sole proprietorship or a partnership) cannot be converted to a company. A registered business (that is, a sole proprietorship or a partnership) is a separate legal entity from a company and the law does not provide any process for conversion. Instead, what needs to be done is to terminate the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership), inform ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business as a registered business and incorporate a new company. Then you may need (i) to transfer the business assets that will be used in the business and any existing contracts over to the new business structure; and (ii) to get new licenses or permits (as licenses and permits usually cannot be transferred). You should seek the advice of the agency issuing the licenses or permits on their validity and seek professional advice generally if you are uncertain as to what should be done. At the point of submission of the online transaction to incorporate the company, you may indicate in the online form that the company is going to take over the business of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership). You are required to provide the details of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership) as well as the date of termination of the business (which can be postdated up to 3 months). Thereafter you will have to submit an online transaction to terminate the business registration (that is, notify ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business). The fee payable is $20. The fee payable to incorporate the new company is $315

What transaction must I submit if I wish to change my business to a company?

Answer: Technically, a registered business (whether sole proprietorship or a partnership) cannot be converted to a company. A registered business (that is, a sole proprietorship or a partnership) is a separate legal entity from a company and the law does not provide any process for conversion. Instead, what needs to be done is to terminate the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership), inform ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business as a registered business and incorporate a new company. Then you may need (i) to transfer the business assets that will be used in the business and any existing contracts over to the new business structure; and (ii) to get new licenses or permits (as licenses and permits usually cannot be transferred). You should seek the advice of the agency issuing the licenses or permits on their validity and seek professional advice generally if you are uncertain as to what should be done. At the point of submission of the online transaction to incorporate the company, you may indicate in the online form that the company is going to take over the business of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership). You are required to provide the details of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership) as well as the date of termination of the business (which can be postdated up to 3 months). Thereafter you will have to submit an online transaction to terminate the business registration (that is, notify ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business). The fee payable is $20. The fee payable to incorporate the new company is $315.

What forms must I lodge to ACRA for conversion from a business to a company?

Answer: Technically, a registered business (whether sole proprietorship or a partnership) cannot convert to a company. A registered business (that is, a sole proprietorship or a partnership) is a separate legal entity from a company and the law does not provide any process for conversion. Instead, what needs to be done is to terminate the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership), inform ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business as a registered business and incorporate a new company. Then you may need (i) to transfer the business assets that will be used in the business and any existing contracts over to the new business structure; and (ii) to get new licenses or permits (as licenses and permits usually cannot be transferred). You should seek the advice of the agency issuing the licenses or permits on their validity and seek professional advice generally if you are uncertain as to what should be done. At the point of submission of the online transaction to incorporate the company, you may indicate in the online form that the company is going to take over the business of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership). You are required to provide the details of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership) as well as the date of termination of the business (which can be postdated up to 3 months). Thereafter you will have to submit an online transaction to terminate the business registration (that is, notify ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business). The fee payable is $20. The fee payable to incorporate the new company is $315

What on-line transaction must I file to convert a business to a company?

Answer: Technically, a registered business (whether sole proprietorship or a partnership) cannot be converted to a company. A registered business (that is, a sole proprietorship or a partnership) is a separate legal entity from a company and the law does not provide any process for conversion. Instead, what needs to be done is to terminate the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership), inform ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business as a registered business and incorporate a new company. Then you may need (i) to transfer the business assets that will be used in the business and any existing contracts over to the new business structure; and (ii) to get new licenses or permits (as licenses and permits usually cannot be transferred). You should seek the advice of the agency issuing the licenses or permits on their validity and seek professional advice generally if you are uncertain as to what should be done. At the point of submission of the online transaction to incorporate the company, you may indicate in the online form that the company is going to take over the business of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership). You are required to provide the details of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership) as well as the date of termination of the business (which can be postdated up to 3 months). Thereafter you will have to submit an online transaction to terminate the business registration (that is, notify ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business). The fee payable is $20. The fee payable to incorporate the new company is $315.

Do I need to terminate my business registration before incorporating a new company using the same name?

Answer: Yes, but you may postdate the date of termination of the business registration by up to 6 months.

How long can I keep my business registration live if I am planning to incorporate a company using the same name as the business firm?

Answer: You can postdate the termination date of the business registration up to 6 months.

Can I use the same name for a business and a company?

Answer: No, The law prohibits a registered business from having the same name as another registered business entity (i.e. a company or limited liability partnership).

My business registration has been cancelled and I have ceased carrying on business under the business name. What must I do if I want to convert it to a company?

Answer: Technically, a registered business (whether sole proprietorship or a partnership) cannot be converted to a company. A registered business (that is, a sole proprietorship or a partnership) is a separate legal entity from a company and the law does not provide any process for conversion. Instead, what needs to be done is to terminate the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership), inform ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business as a registered business and incorporate a new company. Then you may need (i) to transfer the business assets that will be used in the business and any existing contracts over to the new business structure; and (ii) to get new licenses or permits (as licenses and permits usually cannot be transferred). You should seek the advice of the agency issuing the licenses or permits on their validity and seek professional advice generally if you are uncertain as to what should be done. At the point of submission of the online transaction to incorporate the company, you may indicate in the online form that the company is going to take over the business of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership). You are required to provide the details of the registered business (that is, the sole proprietorship or partnership) as well as the date of termination of the business (which can be postdated up to 3 months). Thereafter you will have to submit an online transaction to terminate the business registration (that is, notify ACRA that you have ceased to carry on business). The fee payable is $20. The fee payable to incorporate the new company is $315.

My business registration has been cancelled. Can I register a new company using the same name?

Answer: Yes. Where the registration of a business has been cancelled, you may incorporate a company using the same name as the former business name.

How long can I postdate the termination for my business registration (that is, the date I cease to carry on business) if I am going to incorporate a company using the same name?

Answer: The maximum period that you are allowed to postdate the cessation of carrying on business in such a case is 6 months

What are the suffixes that I can use for a company?

Answer: There is a list of suffixes that you can select for registration of company. Some examples are Pte Ltd and Private Limited.

Must I use the words Pte. Ltd. or Private Limited as part of my company name?

Answer: Yes, if the company is a private company. However, charitable companies and certain other companies may omit the word Limited or Ltd. if the Minister approves.

Must the person who submits the name application to incorporate the company be the proposed director or shareholder of the company?

Answer: No

Can we change the director of the company at the time of incorporation?

Answer: Yes.

What is the minimum number of directors for a company?

Answer: The minimum number of directors is one.

I am the applicant for the proposed Singapore company name which has been approved. However when I log into Bizfile to incorporate the company, the system does not allow me to incorporate the company. Why?

Answer: The person who logs onto Bizfile to incorporate the company must be one of the proposed directors named in the company name application.

I applied for the company name which has been approved. Now the system prompts me with a message that I am not authorized to incorporate the company. Why?

Answer: The person who logs onto Bizfile to incorporate the company must be one of the proposed directors named in the company name application.

I am the name applicant but I am not one of the proposed directors of the new company. May I proceed to incorporate the company?

Answer: The person who logs onto Bizfile to incorporate the company must be one of the proposed directors named in the company name application

If I have an existing company or business, can I convert it to an LLP?

Answer: Yes, you may submit an online transaction to convert the company or business into an LLP. This is on condition that the partners of the business firm and the shareholders of the company are going to be the partners of the LLP and the company has no outstanding security interests in its assets at the time of the application for the conversion.

If a professional firm e.g. accountants or lawyers wish to convert to LLP (assuming the relevant professional act has been amended to allow this), will this be by way of conversion or required to register a new LLP.

Answer: With effect from Jan 2007, a law practice may convert to a law LLP by filing an online transaction called “Conversion from Professional Firm to Limited Liability Partnership” under Limited Liability Partnership Transactions viaWww.Bizfile.Gov.Sg.

Is it correct to say that the offices of directors and companies and secretaries cease upon conversion of a company to LLp?

Answer: It is more correct to say that once the company has been converted to an LLP, the company ceases to exist.

After conversion from Sole-Proprietorship to LLP, is it necessary to inform all vendors/client/banker before the conversion, especially when the liability has been changed from unlimited to limited.

Answer: The Act requires the LLP to ensure that for a period of 12 months commencing 14 days from the date of registration, every invoice or official correspondence of the LLP shall carry the information that the LLP has been converted from a business firm to LLP and the name and registration number of the business firm which it has been converted from.