When Bizfile was created over 15 years ago, it was regarded as a serious innovation in goverment communication with business. Nowadays ACRA continues to make online data management simple, fast, and efficient. We explain how Bizfile works.
What is ACRA's Bizfile?
Bizfile or Bizfile+ is an online directory for corporate paperwork in Singapore. ACRA introduced it in 2004 as a web system to upload, store, and retrieve data on businesses registered in the country. Since then, ACRA requires companies to submit all due filings online via Bizfile. In 2016 after a major update which helped improve portal’s speed and efficiency, ACRA renamed it Bizfile+, the system we know and use today.
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What are key features of Bizfile that I can use?
As a Singapore entrepreneur, you, or more likely, your Corporate secretary, are going to interact with Bizfile regularly. Residents can access the directory themselves while foreigners need to hire an agent to do that for them. Here are some of the major activities your business might need:
- Online company registration
- Online company cessation
- Annual filing
- Submitting updates on various changes in your business
- UEN search and central directory
- Buying data, for example, industry reports
Ok, I have a real need. How do I update Bizfile on a change of registered address?
Processing your change of address right is important since Companies Act requires your business to have a valid registered address. This is where all your mail goes. A lack of registered address can lead to a S$5,000 fine and other penalties. Note that some addresses need to be government approved first, for example, a flat. If your new address does not require government approval, for example, you get a service from your agency, here is how your Company Secretary will update it on Bizfile:
- Prepare and pass a Board Resolution to change the office address in writing
- Go to http://www.bizfile.gov.sg/ and check in using the company’s CorpPass
- File "Change in Company Information" -> "Change in Registered Office Address and Office Hours"
- Fill in the new address and date of change. If your address required government approvals, attach them
You need to update this information within 14 days after the change took place. Filing is free, but failure to file is not: there is a late penalty of at least S$50 or maximum S$350 for informing ACRA late.
How long does it take Bizfile to process the change and inform other agencies?
Bizfile only needs 5-15 minutes for the transaction to complete. However, it takes ACRA about 3 days to process the changes in the standard cases, and up to 2 months if it needs to contact other agencies to approve or review your application. Once the change is finalized, IRAS will receive it automatically as it updates its records with ACRA on a weekly basis.
Other agencies like Ministry of Manpower and CPF Board need to be informed separately. Log in to MOM online and go to “Change particulars” to provide them with new details. In case of CPF board, you will need to send a form with changes via mail.