The importance of doing a Singapore business search and verifying a corporation cannot be overstated. Like how employers run background checks on potential workers, it is crucial to run a Singapore entity search to investigate the legitimacy of possible partners that you might work with.
Businesses, just like any other individual, have their own credit history and legal past. If you are considering business arrangements like partnerships, you are advised to do a Singapore business search and we will explain how you can do so.
Related Read: 34 Success Tips for New Business Owners »
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Why Conduct Singapore Business Search?
It is important to carefully select your business partner by doing a Singapore business entity search. By doing so, you can avoid putting your Singapore business name at stake and incur financial losses owing to the counterparty’s unjust behavior.
Companies might be deemed untrustworthy if they fail to meet their duties to relevant stakeholders. For instance, bankrupt companies or those that provide false information on their operations are classified as unreliable. Hence, you should verify open sources to protect your business from entering into a contract with such partners.
How To Do Singapore Business Search?
You can easily conduct a Singapore Entity Search yourself to check the counterparty. You can use the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)’s free online directory search that is publicly available. You can look for a particular company by simply entering its Singapore business name. Here are the 4 steps in how you can do so.
- Visit ACRA’s website to access the free online directory platform BizFile+
- Enter the Singapore business name you want to look for
- Complete the required CAPTCHA verification
- After that, you will be given the following company information
- Company’s name, address, industry and its Unique Entity Number (UEN)
- Current business status
- Last filing date of annual return
- Filing dates of financial statements
- Date of last held AGM
6 Things To Consider When Doing a Singapore Business Search
Once you have used the Singapore business name search tool and performed your Singapore entity search online, here are 6 things you should look out for:
1. Company Status
This metric indicates whether the company is fully operating or has ceased its operations. The ‘live’ status highlights if the company is actively operational and existing. All registered Singapore businesses are required to update their company status on a regular basis, and failure to do so is a warning sign you should not overlook when doing your Singapore business entity search.
The existence of a significant number of distinct types of business activities is an alarming sign you should look out for when doing Singapore entity search.
3. Details of Business Address
You should also look at the validity of the registered business address. Any incorrect or questionable address would immediately raise a red alert.
Moreover, double-check to see if it’s a legitimate address or just a nominal mailbox. You can ask for the mailbox provider’s contact information to make sure the business partner is legitimate.
4. Company Annual Returns
All Singapore businesses are required to file an annual report to ACRA within 30 days of shareholders’ AGM under the Singapore Companies’ Act. This report includes the most recent filing date and the fiscal year end for limited and limited liability partnerships.
Related Read: Tax Planning to Optimise your Business »
5. Company Financial Statements
This section contains information on whether the company has met the compliance requirements for submitting its financial statements to ACRA.
6. Company Annual General Meeting
When doing a Singapore entity search, you can check this field to see the date of the company’s most recent AGM. “N.A” indicates that the company has not informed ACRA of any AGMs held.
Do note that private corporations may not be required to hold AGMs.
Related Read: All You Need to Know about Incorporating a Singapore Company »
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