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How To Change My Singapore Company’s Name?

How To Change My Singapore Company’s Name?

There might come a point when the name you chose for your company during incorporation no longer fits where you want it to go. While you could wind down the current company and set up a new company in Singapore, often an application to ACRA to change your company name might be more efficient and cheaper, too.

There’ll also likely be times when you need to update your company’s registered office address, appoint a new company director or secretary, update their personal particulars, or the personal particulars of shareholders. This not only keeps your company records (or Business Profile) up to date, it’s also a requirement under the Companies Act that you update ACRA within 14 days of the change.

This guide will show you how to go about changing the name of a company and updating your company information.

We’ve divided the guide into 2 sections: for local companies and for foreign companies. The steps are very different for these two categories, so make sure you’re referring to the correct part of the guide.

Section 1: For Local Companies In Singapore

Fortunately for company directors of Singapore companies, all changes can purely be made online via ACRA’s filing portal, BizFile. As BizFile is organised into various transaction forms, the main form you’ll be using to log changes is the “Change in Company Information including Appointment/Cessation of Company Officers/Auditors” form under the File eServices > Local Company > Make Changes section. Only changes related to the personal particulars of company secretaries, company directors, and shareholders will be using different transaction forms, which we’ll share with you in a bit.

Here’s how to make the various changes.

How To Change The Company Name

Step 1: Pick a new company name. Check that it meets the company name guidelines, and hasn’t been taken by or sounds too similar to an existing company. If your chosen company name is too similar to another entity’s, it may cause confusion among customers. In this case, ACRA may order you to change your company name again.

ACRA’s general guidelines on company names

  • Cannot contain vulgar or offensive words.
  • Cannot be too similar to other entities or existing government bodies.
  • Not a prohibited name. (For instance, the name “Temasek” is protected by the law and is unavailable for registration.)

Step 2: Log on to BizFile, fill out and submit the “Change in Company Information including Appointment/Cessation of Company Officers/Auditors” form, under File eServices > Local Company > Make Changes. Pay a filing fee of S$15.

Step 3: If the request is approved, pass a Special Resolution. Here are the sub-steps:

  • Prepare a written resolution to change the company name. This will eventually become the Special Resolution.
  • Propose to your company’s shareholders regarding the passing of the Special Resolution on the name change. You must give them 14 days’ written notice (in the case of a private limited company) for the meeting, although you can shorten the notice period if shareholders with at least 95% voting rights collectively agree to do so.
  • At least 75% of shareholders with voting rights must collectively agree to the resolution to change the company name.

Step 4: Once you’ve obtained shareholder approval, file a Notice of Resolution with ACRA within 14 days of its passing. In BizFile, go to the “Notice of Resolution” form under File eServices > Local Company > Make Changes. This transaction is free.

Step 5: Receive from ACRA a Notice of Incorporation under your company’s new name. The change of name will take effect from the date of issuance of the notice.

That’s all for executing a company name change in Singapore.

The next time somebody searches for your company in BizFile’s search directory, they’ll see your new company name with your old company name indicated in brackets. “N.k.a” stands for “now known as”, and “f.k.a” stands for “formerly known as”. This way, your company will be found whether the user types in the new or previous company name.

Bizfile search results

How To Change Company Registered Address, SSIC Code Or Business Activity, Or Where Register Of Members Is Kept

If your company has relocated to another office, changed its business activities, or will be shifting where the register of members* is kept, then you’ll need to update ACRA of these changes.

To make these changes, log on to BizFile, fill out and submit the “Change in Company Information including Appointment/Cessation of Company Officers/Auditors” form, under File eServices > Local Company > Make Changes.

There’s no filing fee but you must do it within 14 days of change or face a late filing penalty.

*Companies incorporated before 3 January 2016 were required to keep hard copy records of their shareholders (aka members). While they previously didn’t need to share the actual records with ACRA, they had to declare where they were keeping the register. This doesn’t apply to companies incorporated after 3 January 2016 which start off with an electronic register under the amended Companies Act.

How To Change Company Secretary And Company Director

If you need to appoint or replace a new company secretary or company director, you can easily do so by following these steps. Log on to BizFile, fill out and submit the “Change in Company Information including Appointment/Cessation of Company Officers/Auditors” form, under File eServices > Local Company > Make Changes.

This transaction is free but you must do it within 14 days of change, or face a late filing penalty.

Make sure you have their personal details on hand, such as their:

  • Name
  • Identification number
  • Nationality
  • Residential address
  • Alternate address (if any)
  • Contact number and email address

Newly pending-to-be-appointed company secretaries and directors will have to use their SingPass to log in to BizFile separately to endorse the appointment before they can be appointed officially.

How To Update Changes In Company Secretary’s And Company Director’s Particulars

If there are changes in the personal particulars of your company secretary or any of the directors, you can update ACRA via the following steps. Log on to BizFile, fill out and submit the “Change in Personal Particulars of Company Officers” form, under File eServices > Local Company > Make Changes.

This transaction is free but you must do it within 14 days of change, or face a late filing penalty.

Make sure you have their personal details on hand, such as their:

  • Name
  • Identification number
  • Nationality
  • Residential address
  • Alternate address (if any)
  • Contact number and email address

Tip

Singaporeans and permanent residents who have changed their residential address and updated ICA need not update ACRA separately. ACRA’s BizFile will automatically pull the new information from ICA’s database.

How To Update Changes In Shareholders’ Particulars

If you need to update the personal particulars of your shareholders, you can do so by logging on to BizFile. Fill out and submit the “Change in particulars of shareholders” form, under File eServices > Local Company > Make Changes.

Updating these changes is free of charge, but make sure you do so within 14 days of change to avoid late filing penalties.

For a smoother transaction, have on hand their personal details, such as:

  • Name
  • Identification number
  • Nationality
  • Residential address
  • Alternate address (if any)

Section 2: For Foreign Companies In Singapore

Foreign companies that need to change their company name, appoint new authorised representatives and company directors, or update other information can do so online via BizFile. In certain cases, you may need to provide supporting documents from your head office, which must be translated (if applicable) and notarised by a Notary Public in Singapore. ACRA gives foreign companies 30 days to file these changes.

Here’s how to make the various changes.

How To Change A Foreign Company’s Name

If your head office has changed its name which would then affect your branch’s name in Singapore, follow these steps to change your foreign company’s name with ACRA.

Step 1: Log on to BizFile, fill out and submit the “Change in the Foreign Company Information including Appointment/Cessation of Directors/Authorised Representatives” form under File eServices > Foreign Company > Make Changes. Pay a filing fee of S$15.

Step 2: If the request is approved, file a “Notice of Change of Company Name” with the  supporting documents that show your head office’s change of name. You can find this form in the same section of BizFile, under File eServices > Foreign Company > Make Changes. This transaction is free.

How To Prepare The Supporting Documents

  • Gather a copy of the certificate of incorporation or registration, or any similar document by the foreign company registry that shows your head office's change in company name.
  • If the head office’s documents are not in English, you must also have them translated by a certified Singapore Court translator or interpreter in Singapore. Alternatively, a professional company secretary or authorised representative should be able to easily arrange this for you.
  • Have all supporting documents, including translations, notarised by a Notary Public. You can approach any of the Notary Public listed in the Singapore Academy of Law’s directory. Similarly, your professional company secretary should be able to easily arrange this for you.
  • Attach the above documents when submitting the form.

If your foreign company branch has relocated to a different office address in Singapore, changed its company activity, or shifted its register of members, you’ll need to update ACRA of these changes. Likewise, you also need to inform ACRA if your head office has changed its legal form (e.g. from a corporation to a corporate society) in its foreign jurisdiction.

To update your company’s official records of these changes, log on to BizFile, fill out and submit the “Change in Foreign Company Information including Appointment/Cessation of Directors/Authorised Representatives” form, under File eServices > Foreign Company > Make Changes.

This transaction is free, but you’ll need to do it within 30 days of the change to avoid any late filing penalties.

How To Change Authorised Representative Or Company Directors

If you need to appoint a new authorised representative or company director, you can easily do so by following these steps. Log on to BizFile and submit the “Change in Foreign Company Information including Appointment/Cessation of Directors/Authorised Representatives” form, under File eServices > Foreign Company > Make Changes.

It’s free of charge, but you must update ACRA within 30 days of the change, or you might face a late filing penalty.

For a smoother transaction, have on hand their personal details, such as:

  • Name
  • Identification number
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth
  • Residential address
  • Alternate address (if any)
  • Contact number and email address

Newly appointed authorised representatives and company directors will have to use their SingPass to log in to BizFile separately to endorse the transaction.

How To Update Changes In Authorised Representatives’ Or Company Directors’ Particulars

If there are changes in the particulars of your authorised representative or company director, you can update ACRA via the following steps. Log on to BizFile, fill out and submit the “Change in Personal Particulars of Authorised Representative or Directors” form, under File eServices > Foreign Company > Make Changes.

This transaction is free but you must do it within 30 days of change to avoid late filing penalties.

The information you’ll need to prepare include their:

  • Name
  • Identification number
  • Nationality
  • Residential address
  • Alternate address (if any)
  • Contact number and email address

Tip

Singaporeans and permanent residents who have changed their residential address and updated ICA need not update ACRA separately. ACRA’s BizFile will pull the new information from ICA’s database.

Key Takeaways On Changing Company Name And Other Information

  • ACRA prizes up-to-date information for the benefit of the business community. This is why it’s important to be on time with company filings to avoid unnecessary penalties.
  • All filings can be done online and are free of charge except for a change of company’s name.
  • BizFile and its assortment of forms can be overwhelming to navigate. If you prefer ease and convenience, consider hiring Osome’s expert company secretaries to perform the filings for you efficiently. Check out our attractive company secretary services today.
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