Generally, all businesses must register on BizFile+. However, some business owners may not be required to do so because they are exempted from registration.
Watch a video summary on Do I Have to Register My Business?
Who needs to register
You must register a business if you are carrying out any activity for profit on an ongoing basis unless you are exempted (see below). The minimum age for registration is 18 years old.
Benefits of registration
There are several advantages to registering a business with ACRA, such as:
- Allowing members of public to search and verify information about your business and its owners
- Making it easier for customers to identify, find and transact with your business.
- Allowing you to participate in government tenders and secure intellectual property or patents for new products and technology.
- Giving your business access to governmental funding, such as those made available by Enterprise Singapore.
Additionally, if you choose to incorporate a company or set up a limited liability partnership (instead of registering a sole-proprietorship or partnership), your personal and business finances are separated. This means your personal liabilities are limited i.e. in case the business is sued, you are not in danger of losing your personal assets.
Exemptions from registration
Your business is exempted from registration if:
- You choose to conduct business using your full name as reflected in your NRIC.
- You choose to conduct the business with one or more partners using their full names as reflected in their NRICs.
Note: If you choose to add descriptive words before or after your name (e.g. Flowers by Tan Mei Ling), you must register the business.
The full list of exemptions is specified in Section 4 of the Business Names Registration Act.