​What is ACRA BizFile and how to get ACRA BizFile 2024?

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Written By Loanbuddy Singapore
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​What is ACRA BizFile and how to get ACRA BizFile 2024?

ACRA BizFile is a web platform that enables Singaporean companies to store, upload, retrieve and purchase key business data. It is also effectively used to furnish due filings and perform significant business tasks.

In Singapore, every company must submit its information to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority aka ACRA. ACRA was introduced in 2004 to give entrepreneurs freedom from completing the formalities in physical form. Since then, It has become so easy for companies to perform their regular tasks in accordance with ACRA rules. An entrepreneur can register its company online with ACRA BizFil

BizFile was last redesigned in 2016 to BizFile+ to improve the processing time and enrolling for growing number of new transactions. BizFile+ helps businesses to avail around 400 services online.

BizFile is used by all companies and businesses in Singapore. Are you are new in your entrepreneurial journey? Here’s everything you need to know about ACRA BizFile and how to get one.

ACRA BizFile

How does ACRA work in Singapore?

As the Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, ACRA is a national body that regulates all businesses, corporate service providers and all public accountants. It essentially works to:

  • Enforce Singaporean Company Law.
  • Maintain a register for the all businesses that are registered in Singapore (both past and present).
  • Stimulate the legislation and regulations to pleasantly conduct businesses in Singapore.
ACRA BizFile

What is ACRA BizFile in Singapore?

As mentioned, ACRA BizFile is a tool to perform essential business processes electronically. If you want to do any business in Singapore, it becomes mandatory for you to incorporate your company online using ACRA BizFile. Through ACRA BizFile, companies can submit their due filings hassle free and in minimum time.             

Who are eligible to use ACRA BizFile?

If you are a permanent resident in Singapore, a citizen or fall under the selected permit holders, you qualify to use ACRA BizFile. However, if a foreigner wants to use ACRA BizFile, he or she will need a qualified agent or an online corporate secretary to handle these duties for him or her.

How to obtain an ACRA BizFile?

In order to register your company on ACRA BizFile, you need to first login into BizFile+. You will need your SingPass to verify your identity for first time registration. SingPass (Singapore Personal Access Password) is a digital signature used in verification of identities. Foreign users are required to hire corporate service providers to handle this task (registration of a new company) on their behalf.

Once your company is incorporated, you will also need to register with CorpPass. CorpPass serves as an authorization platform for managing digital service access of employees to perform their corporate transactions. There are above 200 government services and agencies at present for the purpose of interaction with companies.

Likely to BizFile, CorpPass is also only available to Singaporean permanent residents, citizens and work permit holders.

After both of the tasks, follow these steps to sign up in BizFile:

  • Visit BizFile+ homepage.
  • Select your company’s entity structure in ‘For Business’ section.
  • Click on ‘Register’.

There are multiple payments modes available at BizFile which you can opt. After successfully completing a transaction with BizFile, its users can receive notifications through SMS or Emails.

What details should you submit while registering your company on ACRA BizFile?

Keep the below information with you at the time of incorporating your company on ACRA BizFile-

  • Your Company’s type.
  • Your Company’s intended name. It’s noteworthy that the name must be pre-approved before applying for registration.
  • Company’s key business activities.
  • Information of company’s Directors: Singaporean permanent residents, citizens, and foreigners are eligible to become a company’s director. However, at least one director in a company must be a PR, citizen or holds employment pass.
  • Shareholders’ details. Both individuals and corporates can become shareholder in a company.
  • Details of share capital.
  • Company’s registered address. The address must be a local Singapore address and PO box is not accepted. Generally, the premises you have rented can be used as registered address. Also, a co-working space can also be used as registered address. You can also go to a corporate service provider online to complete your registered address details.

Essential things you can do with ACRA BizFile

Every Singaporean business comes in regular contact with ACRA BizFile to perform various activities. Here’s the list of significant activities you can do with ACRA BizFile:

  • Business incorporation electronically.
  • Where the company cease to exist or discontinue its operations.
  • Make changes in registered address of company, you need to inform ACRA.
  • For making changes in company’s structure or hierarchy.
  • Online annual return filings with ACRA BizFile.
  • Furnish financial statement to the Singapore government.
  • For making changes in  details of the company’s personnels, controllers, and contributors.
  • Access and search in the central directory of the UIN (Unique Identification Number).
  • Companies can also interact with the IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore).
  • Obtainment of industry reports and other essential data.
  • Acquisition of business profiles such as ACRA business profile.
  • Companies can also conduct investigation for approvals and also other professional referrals.
  • Conducting investigation involving CPF owner status and Medisave partners.

It may be noted that industries that require a license to commence their business need BizFile for purchasing those licenses. For example, a business that comes under food and beverages industry will need BizFile as part of their process to obtain license.

What are the Key Benefits one gets for using ACRA BizFile?

BizFile has streamlined various remarkable processes such as registration, cessation/discontinuation of the company, financial reporting, documents handling etc. Therefore, it operates company’s end-to-end transactions. Companies save significant amount of time since paperless BizFile has been introduced by the ACRA. Not only time, it has also become very easy and simple to maintain transaction records in online mode. Earlier the companies would need a lot of time and efforts to complete its processes which is now done in a few minutes.

Here’s how ACRA BizFile benefits the businesses-

  • Effective and efficient operational business performance.
  • Transactions are done at ease with a great convenience.
  • Regulatory requirements are fulfilled and their acceptance has seen an ongoing increment.
  • As compared to paper-based transactions, BizFile gives cost-effective and environmental friendly experience to its users.
  • The accuracy of data has been increased with the use of ACRA BizFile. 

What are the steps to furnish Annual returns with ACRA BizFile?

Companies Act of Singapore mandates the companies to file their annual return using ACRA BizFile. It can be done online by submitting company’s financial statements and latest information of the company. Details include information of directors and shareholders.

Here is the step by step guide to file a company’s annual return with ACRA BizFile:

  • Prepare company’s financial statements after financial year-end (FYE). The financial statements are prepared by the finance team or you can also hire an outsourced accountant.
  • Set up the company’s AGM (Annual General Meeting) for the shareholders. A company’s own chartered corporate secretary presents the financial statements before the shareholders in case of listed companies. This task can be done by board of directors in other cases. For small or medium-sized, external secretarial teams can be hired for assisting in AGM responsibilities.
  • After getting approval from shareholders, the financial statements can be uploaded on ACRA BizFile within 30 days to avoid any penalty.

A company can upload its annual return even without conducting an AGM. It should be noted that a company can be granted an extension if it fails to comply within 30 days. However, continuous failure will attract bulky penalties.

Under what circumstances you will need to notify ACRA?

Whenever you incorporate any changes to your company’s details, you will mandatorily require to inform the same to ACRA within a period of 14 days. These below changes in your company need to be notified to ACRA:

  • Change in company’s registered address or company’s name.
  • Change in company’s business activities.
  • Changes in share capital of the company- Increase or decrease.
  • Removal or addition in shareholders’ register.
  • Appointment or removal of any director.
  • Changes in personal details of company’s members.

What are the consequences of failure to furnish changes to the ACRA?

If your company does not file details to the changes made within the specified time of 14 days, the ACRA imposes a penalty of S$50 which can go upto S$350 depending upon case to case.

However, a penalty of S$5,000 can also be levied by the ACRA for non fulfilment of any demands from ACRA. Provisions of default penalties on the company and its directors are also attracted in this case.

Within what stipulated time you can file a change and update with other agencies?

The ACRA BizFile takes between 5 to 15 minutes to process the change of company’s address. For updating the address with other agencies, the ACRA can take from 3 days (standard cases) to 2 months depending upon each case. ACRA may also take longer time to process and review your application with other agencies. It must be noted that you will need to manually update your company’s address with other agencies such as Ministry of Manpower or the CPF Board.

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