What Is ACRA & What Is It Responsible For?
If you have a business registered in Singapore, you will have had some interaction with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.
As a business, you will know that both your company and your work itself are subject to various rules and regulations.
These are designed to protect you, your employees and your customers.
ACRA holds the regulatory burden for companies in Singapore.
It is also tasked with making sure the environment for business is as good as it possibly can be to allow companies to thrive.
The goal? Making Singapore the best place for business.
Here’s some more information about What ACRA does and how it affects your business.
What Is ACRA?
The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is the regulatory body in Singapore for companies and public accountants.
Locals may also simply refer to it as the Registrar of Companies, its purpose is to oversee the lifecycle of a business.
That means it is responsible for the registration of new businesses, monitoring ongoing businesses and ensuring businesses are closed down properly when they cease to exist.
On top of this, ACRA is responsible for overseeing financial reporting and the facilitation of enterprise.
ACRA also has the power to impose fines and issue court summons to companies. These powers will be utilised when companies fail to comply with their compliance requirements, as set down by the Companies Act.
What Does ACRA Do?
ACRA’s role is to monitor the corporate compliance of businesses and ensure they meet their disclosure requirements.
It is also tasked with regulating public accountants who are performing statutory audits.
This makes for a safer environment for both businesses and customers in Singapore.
The Functions Of ACRA
What functions does ACRA play in the setting up of a business? · All new companies in Singapore should register their business with ACRA through the BizFile+ system.
- ACRA oversees the regulation of companies and public accountants.
- Provides companies with an UEN (Unique Entity Number) so they can operate in Singapore.
- It collects data on those involved with a company such as directors, corporate secretaries, shareholders, etc.
Who Needs To Register With ACRA?
If you conduct business in Singapore, you need to register with ACRA. This applies to all legal structures of businesses be it Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Partnership, Private Limited companies etc.
You have to go through the necessary steps to register the business with ACRA and then submit your application through BizFile+.
What Is BizFile & BizFile+?
BizFile+, formerly known as Bizfile was introduced in 2004 as an online portal for businesses to use in uploading, storing, and retrieving business data for companies in Singapore.
BizFile+ is ACRA’s online filing portal, through which companies can make applications and submissions.
There are over 400 services available online to the public through BizFile+. Having so many of these services online and easily accessible makes doing business in Singapore much easier than before.
Businesses can use the system to both submit documents to ACRA and retrieve information regarding other businesses.
Some Examples Of Services You Can Access Through BizFile+ Are:
- Registering a company (local, foreign, LLP, business, and Public Accountant).
- Search information about registered companies online.
- Buy information about ACRA registered entities.
- Upload documents and file changes required by ACRA such as Annual Reports and changes to director/company information.
ACRA Filing Requirements
ACRA has some statutory requirements of documents to file and things it needs companies to do every year to remain compliant.
- Annual Return – Companies must file an annual return within 7 months of the end of their financial year. This includes details of directors, secretaries, members. It then asks for year-end financial statements, designated business activities, and share capital.
- Changes in Company Information – ACRA needs updating within 14 days of any changes to the company such as its name, address, and business activity it undertakes.
- Changes in Personal Information of Company Officers and Shareholders – As above, the company has 14 days to update ACRA with any changes in the personal particulars of company offices and shareholders.
If you currently run a business in Singapore or are thinking of setting one up, you’ll find that you come into contact with ACRA regularly.
It’s important to both you and your business that you comply with the filing requirements set down by the Companies Act and enforced by ACRA.
It’s worth spending some time making sure you understand what is required of you.
The introduction of the BizFile+ system makes it so much easier for businesses in Singapore to submit their information to ACRA. There is plenty of information available on the website to help you get started in using the system.
How Can Sprout Help?
Though ACRA has simplified the filing process for many businesses, it is vital to acquire the help of a professional in order to successfully guide your company by
managing the many compliance requirements and filing deadlines. Interested? Engage with us and receive a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your company
and what we can do to help.