Starting a business requires compliance with laid-down regulations, including setting up a registered business address in Singapore. There are several mandatory requirements to keep in mind to avoid getting sanctioned for your operations. Notable among these requirements are the laws regarding having a registered business address in Singapore.
According to the Section 142(1) of the Companies Act 1967, it’s mandatory for every business to have a local registered business address in Singapore when it’s incorporated. But what are the essential details concerning registered business addresses in Singapore? Keep reading to find out.
Why Do You Need a Registered Business Address in Singapore?
A registered office address is undoubtedly essential for every start-up in Singapore. Without this address, it would be impossible to complete the business registration process. The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) enforces this regulation. Business owners who have only recently moved here may find it difficult to submit a registered business address in Singapore.
So, why does ACRA insist that business owners submit a registered business address in Singapore to commence operations? The answer is quite simple – for transparency and accountability. A registered physical address will allow potential investors and customers to visit the location of your business before they begin to deal with you. Also, the registered business address in Singapore is where government officials or regulatory bodies will visit to inspect your operations or company documents.
Regulatory bodies and government agencies will use this address when sending correspondence. This type of correspondence is usually crucial to the successful running of your business. Often, they contain essential information, such as policy changes, annual tax filing reminders, new government scheme or policy, etc. It’s also a good idea to have a registered business address in Singapore when seeking financing from financial institutions as they will send correspondence regarding your account information to this address.
Where Should I Register My Office?
The location of your registered business address in Singapore is dependent on your choice. You may decide to rent an office space or convert any suitable space into your office. Like most business owners, you may consider using your home as your registered business address. You can do this in accordance with the Home Office Scheme, via URA or HDB. However, you’ll need to fulfill certain criteria to convert your home address to an office address. The permit will not be granted if you fail to meet these conditions.
You’ll also need to look closely at the activities that are allowed under the Home Office Scheme. This scheme will determine if your business operations will be permitted within your home. Certain business operations are not allowed within the home or any living space, including courier services, manufacturing, beauty services, catering, etc. However, you need to keep it in mind that using your home address as a registered business address in Singapore will affect your privacy. Office addresses are usually made public which means that anybody can intrude on your privacy.
What Are the Criteria to Be Fulfilled for a Registered Office Address?
Regardless of the location you’ll be using as your registered business address in Singapore, it’s essential that certain laid-down criteria are met. These standards help to ensure that all your business activities are safe and properly monitored by the right authorities. They include the following:
- On each business day, the company must ensure that this location is accessible to the public for a minimum of 3 hours during work hours. A business day is any other day aside from Saturday, Sunday, or public holidays. By making your business accessible to the public, it will allow your customers to locate you easily and make it easier to receive correspondence. Companies that fail to meet this requirement will be fined S$5,000.
- The registered address must be located in Singapore. However, it doesn’t have to be the place of your operations. For instance, your registered address may be in Raffles Place while you conduct your operations or factory out of Woodlands. What’s essential is that the location is accessible.
- Business owners are not allowed to use a P.O. Box address as a registered office address.
Renting a Virtual Office
Undoubtedly, getting a physical address that can be used as a registered business address in Singapore is relatively difficult. An exciting solution business owners can opt for is to rent a virtual office. While this will not be your physical space, it can still serve some of the functions you would want from a physical location.
Virtual office space will also help you to save costs as a small business owner. You would not have to worry about setting up your office and purchasing equipment, since a virtual office can be set up with a relatively small fee and in just a few steps. When using a virtual office, you’ll gain access to services such as mail forwarding and mail notifications, among others.
By opting for a virtual office as your registered business address in Singapore, you can save costs and direct your funds toward other important activities such as marketing campaigns, surveys, research or fine-tuning products. A virtual office is the way to go if you’re a small business with limited funds, looking to spend on other important business aspects. It’s also a useful option for foreign companies looking to set up a registered business address in Singapore.
Frequently Ask Quenstions
Getting a registered business address is a mandatory requirement for Singapore start-ups and organizations. A registered business address is essential to start a business because it fosters trust and credibility. Not having a physical business address may discourage clients from doing business with you.
Businesses are not allowed to use a P.O. Box as their office address. It’s essential that your registered business address in Singapore is a physical address. If you cannot rent a space for your office, Singapore regulations allow you to use your home for this purpose, if certain criteria are met.
Yes, sole proprietors need a registered business address in Singapore. Similar to a local company, the registered business address cannot be a P.O. Box address.