Do I need to Register a Business?
A person must register a business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) before carrying on a business in Singapore unless the activity does not come within the definition of a “business”. Please click here for the list of exempted business/entities/individuals.
Individuals and companies, being "legal people", may set up and own a business firm. A business firm, not being a legal entity, cannot register another business firm. A foreign company also cannot register a business firm unless it has registered itself under the Companies Act.
Carrying on a business connotes some continuity in the activity carried out. Failure to register is an offence punishable with a fine of up to $5,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or both. Furthermore, it also results in the rights under any contract being unenforceable by the person who did not register, unless that person applies to the court for relief or permission to enforce such rights.
It would, therefore, be in the interest of all people carrying on business in Singapore, and who are not exempted from registering, to register with ACRA. We will not hesitate to take action against people who have breached the laws under our purview. Members of the public may provide information on possible breaches to ACRA in writing.