Created by entrepreneurs,
curated for you.

Read our in-house blogs to gain insight about prepping up your corporation

10 Essential UEN Singapore Details

27 Mar 2024  ·  Grof Writer
8 minutes Read

Share this article
10 Essential UEN Singapore Details
Jump To:

UEN Singapore: 10 Essential Details You Need To Know

So, you’re an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or maybe you’re just diving headfirst into the exciting world of business in Singapore. One of the first things you’ll encounter is the mysterious “UEN”. It’s a nine- or ten-digit code that seems to pop up everywhere – tax forms, business permits, even that snazzy PayNow app.

But what is the meaning of UEN, and why should you care? Well, essentially, a UEN is a unique identification number assigned to every business entity in Singapore. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the essentials of UEN Singapore, answering key questions and shedding light on its significance for businesses in Lion City.

Can Anyone Get a UEN Singapore?

Not exactly. Think of it as a VIP club for registered entities in Singapore. Businesses, local companies, societies, representative offices, healthcare institutions, and trade unions all get their own unique UEN upon registration. Individuals (like you and me) and foreign companies with no local dealings, however, remain on the outside looking in.

Who Can Obtain a UEN Singapore?

UENs are not limited to local companies alone but also cover limited liability partnerships (LLP), foreign companies registered in Singapore, and representative offices. Local companies are entities registered under the Companies Act, and LLPs are registered entities with two or more partners. Foreign companies, which are registered entities incorporated or registered outside of Singapore, are also eligible for a UEN if they have a place of business in Singapore.

Representative offices of foreign companies, which are established to conduct market research and feasibility studies, can also obtain a UEN. Additionally, limited partnerships, which consist of both general and limited partners, are also eligible for a UEN in Singapore.

Eligibility Criteria for Obtaining a UEN in Singapore

To obtain a UEN Singapore, entities must fulfill certain eligibility criteria. These criteria include registering with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), having a registered business name, and determining the business structure. Some entities may require a UEN Singapore for specific operations, such as retail customers, export permits, corporate tax returns, or special UENs. Registration with the Registry of Societies and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore also necessitates a UEN. The UEN is issued by the respective government agencies based on the entity type and year of issuance.

  • UEN is mandatory for entities engaging in business activities, including retail customers.
  • Entities that need export permits, corporate tax returns, or special UENs require a UEN.
  • Businesses registered with the Registry of Societies must have a UEN.
  • UEN is also essential for entities registered with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore.
  • UEN is issued by the respective government agencies based on the entity type and year of issuance.

What Is the Purpose of a UEN? 

The UEN serves multiple purposes in Singapore’s business landscape. Firstly, it is an identification and registration number for entities, making it easier for government agencies, such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore, to regulate and monitor businesses. Additionally, UEN Singapore is integrated into the business structure, acting as an essential identifier for entities. It is printed on business documents, including invoices, contracts, and company registration certificates, to establish credibility and legitimacy. Moreover, the UEN is used for GST registration, ensuring compliance with tax regulations.

Identification and Registration of Businesses in Singapore

The UEN is a unique entity number assigned to business entities during the registration process. It is a single identification number that is used by local government agencies, such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore, to identify and regulate businesses.

The UEN Singapore is an essential part of business registration and is printed on various business documents, including invoices, contracts, and company registration certificates. It is also used for GST registration, ensuring compliance with tax regulations. Your UEN acts as your unique fingerprint, streamlining and simplifying every official transaction. 

How Does Having a UEN Benefit Me? 

Think convenience. No more juggling multiple IDs, wasting time deciphering paperwork, or playing hide-and-seek with the right government agency.

Streamlined Business Registration Process 

Expediting the business registration process, UEN enables the efficient establishment of entities, especially with government bodies. It serves as a foundational requirement for obtaining business name and structure approval, enhancing credibility with regulatory authorities.

Additionally, UEN simplifies the creation and maintenance of business divisions within an entity, allowing for streamlined communication and interaction with different government agencies. Moreover, it is crucial for entities to obtain a GST registration number, facilitating tax compliance.

What Exemptions Exist for Getting a UEN Singapore? 

Are there any exemptions for obtaining a UEN? Yes, certain entities like representative offices may be exempt from getting a UEN. Foreign companies operating in Singapore may also have UEN registration exemptions. Depending on their operations and structure, specific business entities may not be required to have a UEN. These exemptions are evaluated by government agencies and are subject to review and approval.

How Do I Apply for a UEN Singapore? 

Curious about the application process? Applying for a UEN is a straightforward procedure that can be done online.

If you’re registering a business or local company, your UEN will be automatically assigned. For other entities, the process is just as straightforward. Simply head over to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) website or visit any biz service provider, and voila! Your UEN is just a few clicks away.

What Is a UEN Suffix? 

A UEN suffix is an alphanumeric code assigned during UEN registration. It represents the entity type and is crucial for a company’s UEN number. The suffixes are allocated based on entity types and often denote specific business structures or divisions. Understanding the UEN suffix is essential for businesses in Singapore.

The UEN Suffix Demystified

Don’t be surprised if your UEN ends with a mysterious letter. That’s your UEN suffix, and it acts like a little quality check, ensuring the number’s accuracy. For example, the UEN for a limited liability partnership (LLP) formed on 1 January 2009 could be ‘T09LL0001B’.

UENs are written in standard formatting; the legend is as follows:

  • ‘n’ = a number
  • ‘P’= an alphabetical letter
  • ‘Q’ = an alpha-numeric digit
  • ‘PQ’ = Entity-type 2
  • ‘Tyy’ / ‘Syy’ / ‘yyyy’= year of issuance 3
  • ‘X’ = a check alphabet

What Is a PayNow UEN? 

In the digital age, financial transactions are evolving rapidly. A PayNow UEN is a feature that allows businesses to receive payments seamlessly by linking their Singapore UEN to their respective Singapore bank accounts. By linking your UEN to PayNow, you simplify transactions and enhance the efficiency of your financial processes. It’s a modern solution that aligns with Singapore’s push towards a cashless society.

How to Use and Manage Your PayNow UEN Effectively? 

Streamlining payment processes for both businesses and customers, the PayNow UEN provides an efficient way to receive online payments using a unique number. Effectively managing the PayNow UEN involves updating company information with relevant government agencies such as Enterprise Singapore, ensuring seamless fund transfers. As a crucial tool for businesses, leveraging the PayNow UEN facilitates quick and convenient transactions, contributing to enhanced operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Can I Change My UEN? 

No. Your UEN is permanent and unique, therefore you will not be able to change your UEN once you have obtained it. It’s your business’ forever friend, so choose wisely and treat it with respect. However, you can obtain a new UEN by registering a new business or converting your business structure.

Is My UEN the Same as My ACRA Number? 

Yes, for businesses and local companies registered with ACRA, your UEN is simply your old ACRA registration number in disguise. So, no need to learn a whole new number – the one you already know is your ticket to all things government-related.

How Do I Perform a UEN Search? 

To look up an entity’s UEN, there are a few methods you can use. One option is to perform a search directory, which provides access to a company’s UEN status and other relevant details. This search can be done through the Singapore government’s online search directory available here. Here, you will be able to find the UEN, name and type of the entity, the status of the entity’s UEN, the agency that issued the number, and a partial address.

Additionally, you can find an entity’s UEN through its respective Singapore bank accounts, which often display the UEN alongside the company name. Official documents, business correspondence, and registration certificates may also contain an entity’s UEN. These methods help individuals, such as retail customers, verify an entity’s UEN for various business transactions, such as PayNow corporate transfers.

Where Should a UEN Be Displayed? 

As a responsible business owner, it’s essential to display your UEN prominently. According to Singapore’s regulatory requirements, UENs should be displayed on various business materials, including letters, invoices, and official company correspondence. It is also required to have UEN displayed on websites, business cards, and other official materials. Additionally, UENs must be visibly indicated on business premises and on order forms and online materials.


So, there you have it! 10 things you absolutely need to know about your UEN. Remember, it’s not just a random string of numbers – it’s your key to unlocking a world of possibilities in the Singaporean business landscape. Embrace your UEN, wield it with pride, and watch your entrepreneurial dreams take flight. And hey, if you’re still hungry for more information or haven’t taken the plunge into business ownership yet, we’ve got your back. Check out Grof – we’re the pros at helping aspiring entrepreneurs like you navigate the exciting world of Singaporean business!