Below is a list of referral authorities who review selected business registration applications before they can be approved in BizFile+. There may be other referrals required by statutory or government authorities that are not listed here. Expand the list to check if the referral authority’s approval is required for your application, based on your proposed business name or selected SSIC code.

Most applications that are referred take between 14 days to 60 days to process.

Board of Architects (BOA) Singapore

Proposed name and activities containing the word “architect” or any of its derivatives, or words, names or designations that will lead to the belief that the person is an architect unless the person is a registered architect. Please refer to the Architects Act for more information.

SSIC Code: 
71111 (Architectural services)

Council for Estate Agencies (CEA)

Proposed activities involving “Real Estate Agent” or "Real Estate Agency", and applications for change of name by entities already carrying on real estate agency activities. 

SSIC Codes: 
68201 (Real estate agencies and valuation services) 
68209 (Real estate activities on a fee or commission basis n.e.c. (excluding online marketplaces))

Enterprise Singapore

Business activities involving “spot commodity trading” and/or “rubber” may require licensing under the Commodity Trading Act 1992 (“CTA”) and/or Rubber Industry Act 1992 (“RIA”), regardless of the SSIC code the entity is registered under. If the applicant intends to engage in business activities that require licensing under the CTA and/or RIA, please apply separately with Enterprise Singapore. ACRA’s approval of the registration of the entity does not reflect the entity’s suitability to be licensed by Enterprise Singapore, and does not imply that the entity is exempted from licensing under the CTA and/or RIA.

SSIC Codes: 
66124 (Commodity (excluding gold) and futures brokers and dealers)
10611 (Rice milling)
10740 (Manufacture of macaroni, noodles, vermicelli and other related products)

Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) –  Charities Unit 

Proposed names for registered charities containing “Foundation”, “International” or “Singapore”. Please click here for more information.

Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) – Defence Industry & Systems Office (DISO)

Proposed names containing "Military" or "Defence".

Ministry of Education (MOE) – Private Schools Section

Establishments functioning as a "school" / "learning centre" / "education centre" / "training centre", excluding those offering instruction of a "non-academic" nature (e.g. beauty care, dressmaking, cooking, sports, games, driving, recreation-related, etc.) 

Names containing "Academy", "College", "Institute", “Institution", "University"; and "National", "Singapore", will normally be disallowed. 

SSIC Codes: 
85211 (Secondary schools including combined primary and secondary schools) 
85212 (Junior colleges and centralised pre-university institutes (post-secondary non-tertiary) including combined secondary schools and post-secondary non-tertiary schools)
85220 (Technical and vocational secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education)
85230 (International and foreign system schools) 
85240 (Schools for special needs) 
85301 (Polytechnics) 
85302 (Universities) 
85303 (Teachers' training institute) 
85304 (Commercial schools offering higher education programmes)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) – ASEAN National Secretariat, Singapore

Proposed names containing "Association of Southeast Asian Nations" or "ASEAN". 

More info on the conditions governing the use of the name "ASEAN" (PDF, 17KB)

Please ensure that your application includes information describing how these conditions are satisfied.

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) – Registry of Foreign and Political Disclosures (RFPD)

Applications to register entities whose activities come under the regulation of the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act 1990 (MRHA). This would include entities whose purpose includes promoting any religion, religious worship or dealing with religious affairs or practising, conducting, teaching or propagating any religious belief. The relevant SSIC Codes are:

SSIC Codes:
94911 (Churches)
94912 (Mosques)
94913 (Buddhist/Taoist temples)
94914 (Hindu/Sikh temples)
94919 (Activities of Religious Organisations n.e.c)

Note: ACRA's approval of the name application of an entity does not affect its obligation to comply with the provisions of the MRHA.

Ministry of Law (MinLaw) – Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA)

Proposed names containing Law-related words or acronyms such as “Law”, “Legal”, “Counsel”, “Chamber”, “Advocate”, “Solicitor”, “Law Corporation”, or “LLC”.

SSIC Code:
69101 (Legal Activities (excluding online marketplaces))

If it is intended that the proposed business will be a law practice, the applicant must apply to the LSRA for a law practice licence via LSRA e-Services, and obtain in-principle approval before registering the business with ACRA. For more information, please refer to the following links:  

Click for more information on the LSRA.

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Proposed names containing the following words:

  • "Bank" and its derivatives (Examples of derivatives of word "Bank" would include "banking", "banque", "banco", "Bancaire”, “Banca” and “Banche”)
  • "Finance Company" and "Finance"
  • "Futures Exchange", "Clearing House" and "Securities Exchange" or titles that resemble these titles or give the impression that the applicant is a securities or futures exchange or clearing house (Examples of titles, which resemble "Futures Exchange", "Clearing House" and "Securities Exchange", would include "stock exchange", and "clearing corporation" and "clearing organisation")

Applications to register entities whose activities come under the Banking Act (Cap 19), the Finance Companies Act (Cap 108), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Cap 186). This would include entities which conduct banking business, merchant banking, or finance company business.

SSIC Codes:
64120 (Full banks)
64130 (Wholesale Banks)
64140 (Merchant banks)
64150 (Finance companies (with deposit taking functions))
64992 (Representative offices of foreign banks)

MAS will consider the applications and will liaise directly with the applicants for further information, if required. 

The following applications need not be referred to MAS. However, if the applicant intends to engage in any activities that require licensing, registration, or approval by MAS, please apply separately with MAS. ACRA’s approval of the registration of the entity does not reflect the entity’s suitability to be licensed, registered or approved by MAS. 

  1. If proposed names contain the words :
    "Futures", "Futures Broker", "Futures Trading Adviser", "Futures Pool Operator", "Securities", "Stockbroker", "Fund manager", "Fund management", "Asset management", "Venture management", "Insurance" or names which resemble these titles; "Financial", "Financing", "Financial Adviser", "Insurance Broker", "Reinsurance Broker", "Assurance", "Reinsurance", "Reassurance", "Insure", "Insuring", "Insuritz". 
  2. Applications to register entities whose operations come under the Securities and Futures Act (Cap 289) and the Financial Advisers Act (Cap 110). This would include entities, which engage in the trading of securities or futures contracts, fund management activities, or the provision of financial advisory services. 
  3. Applications to register entities whose activities include money-changing and remittance businesses. SSIC Codes: 64993, 64994 
  4. Applications to register entities whose activities include the business of issuing credit cards or charge cards in Singapore. SSIC Codes: 64922 
  5. Applications to register entities whose operations come under the Insurance Act (Chap 142). This would include entities which conduct insurance/reinsurance business; insurance broker (life & general); any insurance related businesses including insurance adjusters and surveyors acting as insurance agents. SSIC Codes: 6511, 6512, 6520, 6530, 6622, 6629

Professional Engineers Board (PEB)

Proposed names containing “Professional Engineering”, “Professional Engineers” and “PE”. Please refer to the Professional Engineers Act for more information.

Singapore Tourism Board (STB)

Usage of the Merlion symbol and name is controlled by STB. Click here for more information.

If you wish to apply for a travel agent licence, please visit this link .

Regulatory authorities to seek prior approval before registering with ACRA

In certain cases, applicants must seek approval with the relevant regulatory authority before applying with ACRA.  Please refer to the list below for details.

Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA)

Names and activities containing "Accountancy", "Accounting", "Audit", or derivatives thereof are to obtain approval from ISCA.

Ministry of Health (MOH)

Names and activities containing “hospital”, “medical clinic/centre”, “dental clinic/centre”, “surgery”, “medical/clinical laboratory”, “healthcare establishment” or any other similar terms.  Applicant to obtain approval from MOH.

Registry of Co-operative Societies

Names and activities containing "Co-op" or "Co-operative". Applicant to obtain prior approval from the Registrar of Co-operative Society.

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