What is Unique Entity Number in Singapore? 5 Things You Need to Know

Staff Writer

June 28, 2023

What’s in the article?

There are many advantages to starting a business in Singapore, but perhaps the most prominent one is the efficiency and streamlined processes that make incorporation and daily operation much easier. One way that the nation-state ensures this is by simplifying and streamlining interactions with government, regulatory bodies and agencies with the help of a Unique Entity Number (UEN). Here are a few things to know about this versatile code!

What is a Unique Entity Number

A Unique Entity Number is a 9 or 10 digit identification number issued by the government to identify and track local and foreign companies, limited liability corporations, societies, organizations, and other entities operating within Singapore. This is a unique permanent code typically assigned by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) upon the successful registration of your company or business without any additional costs.

The Benefits of a Unique Entity Number

The main benefit of a Unique Entity Number is that it makes interactions with government agencies much easier. Rather than being assigned a different identification number with every transaction or application process, the UEN serves as the only identification code you need. It doesn’t matter whether you’re filing your corporate tax returns or applying for a work permit, your company’s UEN is recognized by all government and regulatory bodies in Singapore.

Issuance of Unique Entity Number

While businesses and companies that are registered with ACRA are given their UEN at the end of their application process, there are other existing entities in Singapore that may have to apply for a Unique Entity Number with another issuance agency depending on their entity type:

# Issuance Agency Entity-Type
Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Partnerships, Foreign Companies, Public Accounting Firms.
Enterprise Singapore (ESG)Representative Offices of: Foreign Companies, Foreign Government Agencies, Foreign Trade Associations/Chambers/Non-Profit Organisations
Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (Muis)
Mosques, Madrasahs
Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI)News Bureaus
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth - Charities UnitCharities and Institutions of a Public Character
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth - Registry of Co-operative SocietiesCooperative Societies
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth - Registry of Mutual Benefit OrganisationMutual Benefit Organisations
Ministry of Defence (Mindef)Foreign Military Units
Ministry of Education (MOE)Government and Government-Aided Schools
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)High Commissions, Embassies
International Organisations (registered with MFA)
Ministry of Health (MOH)Healthcare Institutions and Clinics: Only Medical Clinic, Only Dental Clinic, Both Medical and Dental Clinic, Hospitals, Voluntary Welfare Home, Commercial Home, Maternity Home, Clinical Laboratory, Xray Laboratory, Both Clinical and Xray Laboratory. Healthcare Service Providers. NOTE: MOH will issue UENs to providers of healthcare services which are registered under the Healthcare Services Act, progressively from January 2022. UENs of existing healthcare institutions and clinics will be unchanged.
Ministry of Law (MLAW)Foreign Law Practice Representative Offices
Ministry of Manpower (MOM)Trade Unions
Ministry of National Development (MND)Town Councils
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)Financial Representative Offices: Bank Representative Offices, Insurance Representative Offices
People's Association (PA)PA Services, Grassroot Units
Registry of Societies (ROS)Societies
Singapore Land Authority ( SLA)Management Corporations, Subsidiary Management Corporations
Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO)Government Agencies and bodies performing public duties: Organs of State, Ministries and Departments, Statutory Boards and bodies performing public duties

Disqualifications for a Unique Entity Number

While we’ve already established that a UEN will be issued to entities with multiple interactions with government and regulatory agencies, as well as the benefits of having this identification code, a Unique Entity Number will not be issued to the following:

  • Individuals: The UEN is not applicable for individuals as they have the National Registration Identity Card for this purpose.
  • Entities that Rarely Interact with Government Agencies: Entities that either have no interaction or only one interaction with government agencies will not be qualified for a UEN. An example of this is a foreign company that aims to sell its products to government agencies only once.
  • Subsidiaries or Sub-Entities of an Existing Entity: A UEN for branches or divisions of an existing entity is unnecessary as these may be covered by the identification number of the parent entity. However, some government agencies may add sub-entity codes for these divisions in their systems should they need to interact and identify with these sub-entities.

Special Unique Entity Number

Companies are given a Unique Entity Number after successful incorporation or conversion with ACRA, but entity owners are given the option to apply for a Special Unique Entity Number (SUN) instead. At a fee, entity owners can choose a SUN from ACRA’s list of reserved UENs, which may help owners identify and remember their UENs more easily when transacting with the government. 

It’s worth noting that this is only an option, and companies are more than welcomed to simply continue with the free system-generated UENs given to them by ACRA. However, those who wish to avail of this can choose from the following two tiers:

  • Tier 1: With an additional cost of 3,000SGD per SUN, entity owners will get an identification code with a consecutive same number (i.e 201888888A, 53499999Y), or an identification number with the number 8.
  • Tier 2: With an additional cost of 1,000SGD per SUN, entity owners will get a SUN with a repetitive pattern of numbers (i.e 201812121R, 53410101G), or an identification code that ends with a triple identical number (i.e 201801777W, 53415666P).

Easy Incorporation with WealthBridge!

The Unique Entity Number is just one of the many things that you’ll be needing to start a business in Singapore. When it seems like incorporation comes with a long and intimidating to-do list, WealthBridge is here to help you through the entire process. 

With years of experience incorporating businesses from various industries in Singapore, our professional team of staff is more than ready to offer company incorporation services, along with accounting and tax filing services. Let WealthBridge deal with all the administrative work so that you can focus on bringing your vision to life.

Visit our website to learn more about how we can help your business grow!

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