Registering addresses for businesses in Singapore
Most business owners would not be confused about the address they put on their business cards and stationery. However, the address that a business registers with ACRA may not be the address that goes on a business card. Below are the various types of addresses that can be registered with ACRA.
For sole-proprietorships, partnerships, and limited partnerships
A Business Address is the place where a sole proprietorship, partnership or limited partnership carries out its business. For many such entities, it may also be the residential address of the sole proprietor or partner of the business.
However, prior approval must be sought to use a residential address as a business address under the Home Office Scheme. The approving authority is HDB and URA for HDB flats and private properties respectively.
Do take note that ACRA routinely conducts inspections regarding the accuracy of addresses provided and complaints about the unauthorised use of residential addresses as business addresses. Penalties may be meted out for erroneous registrations or fraudulent use of residential addresses.
Registered Office Address
For companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs)
A registered office address refers to the place where all communications and notices to the company or LLP may be sent and the place where the company’s or LLP’s register and records are kept. According to ACRA, the registered office must be operational and accessible to the public during regular office hours. However, the registered office does not need to be where the entity conducts its activities. For example, the business may be run out of a factory in Jurong, while the registered office address may be that of a company that provides a registered address service and corporate secretarial services.
Residential Address of business owners and company officers
Under ACRA’s regulations, all business owners and company officers must provide their residential address to ACRA when registering their business entities. When the public purchases information about a business entity, the residential address of the business owners and company officers will be made available.
Business owners and company officers who do not wish to disclose their residential address to the public may register an additional Alternate Address with ACRA. In this case, instead of their residential address, the alternate address will be displayed in the Business Profile for public information. However, it must be an address where the business owner or company officer can be contacted and within the same jurisdiction as the residential address. Notwithstanding registering an alternate address, they must submit their residential address to ACRA for record purposes.
With so many options available, it may be confusing for those unfamiliar with the intricacies of registering business addresses, particularly if you are new to starting a business in Singapore. Engaging a company that provides incorporation services in Singapore and corporate secretarial services should help you find the best solution for your business.