Do I need to register a company for my business?

In Singapore, it is a requirement to register with Accounting And Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) for any activities that is carried out on a continuous basis for the purpose of gain (include e-commerce and online business).


Before carrying on business in Singapore, each individual must enroll with ACRA except for the individuals who are exempted under the Business Names Registration Act. An individual need to be at least 18 years old and above to be able to register a business. The application to register a new business must be submitted online via BizFile+, ACRA’s online filing and information retrieval system.


The applicant must log-in to BizFile+ using his/her ID number and SingPass when register a business. The applicant may also choose to engage the services of a registered filing agent such as law firm, accounting firm or corporate secretarial firm especially if the applicant does not have a SingPass.


Exemption from registration

The following persons are not required to be registered when carrying on business in Singapore:

any individual proprietor carrying on business under only the individual proprietor’s full name;
any firm of 2 or more individuals carrying on business under only the full names of all the individuals;
subject to subsection (2), any individual or firm of 2 or more individuals carrying on any business consisting solely of the exercise of any profession which, under the provisions of any written law, can be exercised only by those who possess certain qualifications prescribed by the written law and whose names are registered or otherwise recorded in the manner prescribed by any written law;
a person (A) in respect of or for whom another person (B) carries on business wholly or mainly as nominee or trustee if B has provided the particulars required under section 7(1);
any statutory authority or other body established by or under any public Act for a public purpose;
any institution, authority, person or fund specified in the First Schedule to the Income Tax Act (Cap. 134);
any society registered under the Societies Act (Cap. 311);
any society registered under the Co-operative Societies Act (Cap. 62);
any mutual benefit organisation registered under the Mutual Benefit Organisations Act (Cap. 191);
any trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act (Cap. 333);
the Public Trustee or the Official Assignee of the property of a bankrupt;
any foreign company carrying on business in Singapore which is registered under the Companies Act (Cap. 50) and carries on the business under its registered name;
any company carrying on business under its corporate name;
any limited liability partnership registered under the Limited Liability Partnerships Act (Cap. 163A) carrying on business under its registered name;
subject to section 42(3) of the Limited Partnerships Act (Cap. 163B), any limited partnership registered under that Act;
any other person or class of persons for the time being exempted by the Minister under regulations made under section 43; and
any individual proprietor who carried on any business specified in the First Schedule to the Business Names Registration Act immediately before the date of commencement of this Act and who is alive and continues to carry on the same business on and after that date.


Source : ACRA - Setting Up in Singapore