wealthbridge incorporation guideS:

Registrar Of Companies in Singapore

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What is ACRA?

Singapore national regulator of business entities and public accountant is called the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. It’s often referred to as ACRA.

  • ACRA is similar to Registrar of Companies for other countries like India, Bermuda, Kenya, and the U.K. They refer to the same entity.
  • ACRA is the statutory board under the Ministry of Finance that oversees the regulation of companies and public accountants and facilitates the development of companies and the public accountancy profession.
  • ACRA was formed on April 1st, 2004. Its formation was as guided by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Act. During its formation, two entities were put together to form one, which is the Registry of Companies and Businesses and Public Accounts board.
  • ACRA main purpose is to provide a regulatory environment for business, corporate service providers and Public Accountants.
  • ACRA is found on 5 core values which are Integrity, Alert and Agile, Collaborativeness, Respect and Add value.

Its daily roles include monitoring corporate compliance with disclosure requirements and regulation of public accountants performing statutory audit, report and make recommendations then advise the government on all matters relating to registration and regulation of business enterprises, represent the government internationally in matters relating to registration and regulation of business entities and promote public awareness about new business structures and compliance requirements.

With the advantageous tax exempts, Singapore is a hub for business. For example for the first three years of taxable income, non-resident corporations are exempted from tax. This Singaporean economy is quite business friendly thus make it easier for domestic and international businesses to thrive.

Singapore has been working on achieving a transparent and efficient business environment. One that is attractive, reliable and comprehensive for business owners, investors and other shareholders.

ACRA's XBRL System

In its effort, the ACRA recently introduced its XBRL system. XBRL comes as a benefit to businesses and companies. XBRL is a form of reporting language. Companies file their financial statement in XBRL format. This standardized method makes it possible for a company to get free data analysis of its data. This helps in knowing about the past and current economic trends and can enable you to at least compare your company’s’ performance with others, thus you are able to know if you making progress and the market competitiveness.

  • XBRL filing has significantly improved efficiency, reduced overwhelming paperwork for auditors, financial analyst and business owners. All incorporated companies (unlimited or limited by shares) are expected to file their financial statements using XBRL format.
  • ACRA has too an electronic portal which companies can make their submissions and applications. This electronic portal is called Bizfile.
  • Bizfile allows almost all applications and submissions required under the Companies’ Act.

ACRA's Bizfile

Bizfile is an interactive digital tool which is fast, reliable and easier. Companies and business now, don’t need to physically go to ACRA offices for services such as an application for incorporation of the company. They can perform this task at the comfort of their home or consult a professional corporate service provider. It’s advisable to seek the services of a professional corporate service provider so as to minimize errors. Errors on your submission would be a negative reflection of your business or company which can limit investors looking for partnerships.

Bizfile can be accessed from any part of the world, provided you have the Singpass. A SingPass is an electronic identity given to all citizens and Permanent Residents. Foreigners with Employment Passes, Entre Pass, S-Pass, and Dependant Pass can submit an application to get a SingPass.

Recently Bizfile has added more features to it for example including various E- Payment Options. Customers and businesses can make payments using PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay, unlike before where they were limited to use a Master/Visa Credit Card and Debit Cards.

It has included too an enhancement feature known as ’New Company Start-up Kit’. This is a tool that guides newly incorporated companies to better understand their filing obligations. It helps them know what is needed for Annual General Meeting, filing Annual Returns and financial statements to ACRA.

ACRA continues to take advantage of the ever-developing technology to makes its services better. Every year officers from the corporate world meet to share their challenges and developments on best practices on corporate business registration.

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