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Compliance and Regulations

ACRA Bizfile: What Is It and The Uses Of It

06 March 2024
Grof Writer
6 Minutes Read
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Are you an entrepreneur or a small business owner in Singapore looking to streamline your business processes and stay compliant with regulatory requirements? Understanding ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) and its invaluable tool, Bizfile+, is crucial for the success and legality of your business. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the ins and outs of ACRA and explore the versatile applications of Bizfile+ in Singapore's business landscape.


As a Singapore business person, you need to interact with BizFile regularly. ACRA introduced BizFile, an online web system that enables users to file, retrieve and buy business data, making it an essential resource for anyone wanting to register a company in Singapore. With BizFile, you or your company secretary can easily perform online business registration and manage the cessation or discontinuation of the company, among other essential activities. 


Overview of ACRA Singapore  

ACRA, the regulatory body overseeing business entities in Singapore, plays a pivotal role in maintaining the country's corporate governance standards. Its primary objective is to ensure transparency, accountability, as well as legal compliance among businesses. Now, let's delve into the powerhouse tool that ACRA offers to businesses - Bizfile+.   


What Is Bizfile+?  

Bizfile+ is an online platform provided by ACRA that offers a wide array of services and information related to business entities in Singapore. This user-friendly bizfile platform, known as the ACRA online portal, allows entrepreneurs and business owners to access critical information about their businesses. Besides that, you can file necessary documents and conduct various transactions with ease. 


How Can I Check My ACRA Business Profile?  

Curious about how your business is portrayed in the eyes of ACRA? With Bizfile+, checking your ACRA business profile is a breeze. Simply log in to the platform and navigate to the 'Business Profile' section. There, you'll find a comprehensive overview of your business details, thus ensuring accuracy and completeness.  


How Can I Use Bizfile for Company Incorporation?  

Thinking of taking the entrepreneurial plunge and incorporating your company? Bizfile+ streamlines the process, making company incorporation a seamless experience. You can submit your application, track its status, and receive notifications – all within its user-friendly interface.  


How do you Register a Company using ACRA BizFile? 

Registering a company in Singapore through ACRA BizFile is a straightforward process. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the registration process: 


  1. Obtain a SingPass or CorpPass: To access BizFile+, you will need to obtain either a SingPass or CorpPass. SingPass is a digital signature that verifies your identity and is available only to Singapore residents. CorpPass, on the other hand, is granted to Singapore residents, certain work pass holders, and permanent residents. 
  2. Log in to BizFile+: Once you have obtained the necessary login credentials, log in to BizFile+ using your SingPass or CorpPass account. 
  3. Provide Company Details: Fill in the required information, such as the type of company, intended company name, key activities, details of company directors, contributors or shareholders, share capital, and registered address. Ensure that the registered address is a locally registered Singapore address and not a PO box. 
  4. Submit the Application: Review the information you have provided and submit the application. You may be required to pay the necessary fees during the submission process. 
  5. Approval and Incorporation: ACRA will review your application and, upon approval, issue the necessary documents to officially incorporate your company. You will receive a notification via email or SMS once the incorporation process is complete. 


Benefits of Using Bizfile  

Using ACRA BizFile offers numerous benefits for businesses operating in Singapore. Let's explore some of the key advantages: 


1. Streamlined Business Registration 

In the past, business owners had to visit the ACRA office in person to complete the formalities of registering a company. This process was time-consuming and often involved lengthy paperwork. With ACRA BizFile, business registration can now be done entirely online. Whether you are a Singapore resident or a foreign individual or company, you can easily incorporate your Singapore company through the platform. 


2. Efficient Compliance Filings 

ACRA BizFile simplifies the process of filing annual returns and other compliance documents. Businesses can submit their annual returns, financial statements, and other required filings electronically, saving time and effort. This electronic filing system eliminates the need for physical submission of documents, reducing the risk of errors and delays. 


3. Convenient Company Updates 

BizFile+ allows businesses to make changes to their company details easily. Whether it's updating the company address, appointing or removing directors, or changing shareholders, these updates can be done online through the platform. The streamlined process ensures that businesses stay compliant with regulatory requirements and maintain accurate and up-to-date information. 


4. Access to Essential Business Information 

ACRA BizFile provides businesses with access to a wealth of information, including industry reports, business profiles, and unique identification numbers (UENs) through the central directory. This information is crucial for making informed business decisions, conducting due diligence, and staying updated on industry trends. 


The Extensive Features of Bizfile+  

Bizfile+ isn't just a one-trick pony; it offers a myriad of features that cater to various aspects of business management. So, here's a closer look at some of its notable features:  


Electronic Transactions  

Bizfile+ facilitates secure and efficient electronic transactions, allowing you to submit documents and make payments online. This not only speeds up the process but also enhances the overall security of your business transactions.  


Information Retrieval  

Need specific information about your business or another entity? Bizfile+ provides a robust information retrieval system, allowing you to access a wealth of data, including business profiles, registration details, and filing histories.  


Name Reservation  

Before officially registering your company, you might want to ensure that your chosen company name is available. This nifty platform allows you to check the availability of business names and reserve them for future use.  


Navigating Bizfile+ for Maximum Efficiency  

To make the most out of Bizfile+, familiarise yourself with its user-friendly interface. The platform provides step-by-step guides for various transactions, ensuring that even those new to the system can navigate it effortlessly.  


Additionally, ACRA’s user-friendly portal offers a comprehensive helpdesk to assist users with any queries or challenges they may encounter. This ensures that support is readily available, making your experience with the platform smooth and hassle-free.   


Stay Informed with ACRA Updates  

The ACRA regularly updates its policies and procedures to align with the evolving business landscape. Stay informed about these updates through Bizfile+ alerts and notifications. This proactive approach ensures that you are always aware of changes that may impact your business operations.  


How to File Annual Returns with ACRA 

Filing annual returns is a mandatory requirement for companies in Singapore. ACRA BizFile simplifies the process of filing annual returns, ensuring that businesses stay compliant with regulatory obligations. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you file your annual returns: 


  1. Prepare Financial Statements: After the end of your company's financial year, prepare the financial statements. This can be done by your in-house finance staff or outsourced to an accountant. 
  2. Schedule an Annual General Meeting (AGM): Present the financial statements to the shareholders at the AGM. For listed companies, this is typically done by in-house chartered corporate secretaries, while smaller companies may engage external secretarial teams. 
  3. Upload Financial Statements and Other Required Details: Once approved by the shareholders, upload the financial statements and other required company details to BizFile+. Ensure that all necessary information is provided accurately to avoid delays or penalties. 
  4. Submit Annual Returns: Submit the annual returns through BizFile+ within 30 days after the AGM to avoid penalties. If you are unable to submit the returns within the specified timeframe, you may request an extension. However, continuous failure to submit the returns can result in hefty fines. 


It's important to note that certain companies may be exempt from conducting the AGM, and alternative procedures may apply. Consulting a qualified corporate service provider such as Grof that can help ensure compliance with specific requirements. 


Conclusion  

In essence, Bizfile+ is more than just a tool; it's a powerful ally for businesses navigating the regulatory landscape in Singapore. By embracing the features and functionalities offered by this platform, entrepreneurs and small business owners can ensure that their businesses operate smoothly, efficiently, and in full compliance with ACRA regulations.  


As you continue your entrepreneurial journey, leverage the capabilities of Bizfile+ to propel your business to new heights. Explore Grof’s Incorporation Services and open a business account with Grof today to experience the full spectrum of benefits that ACRA and Bizfile+ have to offer. 

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Uncover the nuances of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the advantages for companies registered for it, alongside the responsibilities of a GST-registered business. Get your free copy today!
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