When you encounter any of the common tactics from a specific business entity, you may wish to first find out more information about the entity before deciding whether you want to deal with it further.

ACRA has a range of information services available to help you get basic information and conduct background checks on business entities/ people involved with them.

(i) Free directory search for a business entity

You may use ACRA's free online directory search to find out the following information about the business entity. Simply enter the name of the business entity or public accountant and click "Search".

iShop Directory Search 2020

The status of the business entity:

You should only deal with a business entity whose status is 'live' in ACRA's register. A 'live' status means the business entity is currently in existence in our records.

The registered address of the business entity:

The search result will also show the validity of the registered business address. If you are unable to contact a business entity at its registered address or principal place of business, or if you suspect that it might have suddenly moved premises, exercise caution before dealing with it.

The free directory search is also available on: BizQuery on OneMap - a service provided by ACRA and the Singapore Land Authority which enables the public to access to ACRA’s directory search by locating the business entity on SLA’s OneMap.

(ii) Business Profile

You may purchase a Business Profile on ACRA’s iShop to find out more information about a business entity. You may also buy it to find out more about a second business entity which contacts you with offers to resolve existing problems with a first business entity. Click here (PDF, 116KB) for a sample of a business profile of a company.

Understanding some terms in a business profile of a company

Item What does it tell you 
Registration number, and date of incorporation under the Companies Act  - The first 4 numbers in the registration number shows the year that the company was incorporated.
- Indicates the company’s history and whether it was incorporated recently.
Amount of issued share capital and paid up share capital, and the company’s shareholders - Issued share capital is the total of the share capital issued to shareholders for subscription.
- Paid up capital is that part of the called up share capital of the company which is actually paid up by the shareholders.
The officers of the company
- These include the company’s directors and secretaries. The board of directors is responsible for managing the business of the company. The company secretary deals with the company’s administration and ensures compliance with the legal regulations affecting it.

Click here (PDF, 113KB) for a sample of a business profile of a sole proprietorship / partnership

Understanding some terms in a business profile of a sole proprietorship/ partnership

Item< What does it tell you 
Registration date and date of commencement of business - Indicates how long the business been in operation
Sole proprietors, partners or managers  - A sole proprietor is an individual running a business.
- A partnership is a firm comprising 2 to 20 partners running a business.
- The sole proprietor or partners are responsible for the business. If the sole proprietor or partners reside outside Singapore a local manager must be appointed for the running of the business.

(iii) People Profile

If you wish to find out more information about people involved with a business entity, a People Profile lists all the business entities that a person is involved in, his roles in these entities, and the status of these entities.

Click here to find out how you can purchase a people profile.
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