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How to Verify a Company in Singapore?
Just like ordinary individuals out there, a business/company has its own credit history and a legal background, too. Therefore, it is not unusual that company or customer will check the worthiness of the company before the formation of any business relationship.
While you can run a business background check with the assistance of third-party investigator, you can also do it on your own. The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (“ACRA”) has provided the free online directory search that public can search for a business entity by just typing in the company name.
Here is how it works:
1. Go to ACRA’s free online directory search platform: https://www.bizfile.gov.sg/
2. Key in the “company name” (which you would like to verify)
3. You will be prompted to go through CAPTCHA verification (note: CAPTCHA verification is to make sure that you are human but not a spam-sending computer).
4. You will then be presented with information related to the company.
- a) The company’s name, address, UEN and industry
- The validity of the registered business address of the company will be shown here. This is particularly useful when you are running background check – a wrong registered address / suspicious premise location will raise a red flag.
- b) The business entity’s status
- You will see a piece of information stating the status of the company. The “live” status is important as it tells whether the company currently exists and operating, or otherwise.
- c) The entity’s compliance rating for annual filing
- While a green tick indicates that, the company complies with the annual filing requirements under the Companies Act, a red cross means otherwise. Tobe precise, a green tick shows that the company has held its Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) in a timely manner; has its latest accounts presented at the AGM; has filed the Annual Return (“AR”) within 30 days after the AGM.
- You can click “click to see more” to find out more information like the last AR’s date, last AGM’s date etc.
It is always a good practice to run background check on new business partner to identify the worthiness of the company. A thorough background check can help you to make decision and protect yourself from fake or dubious companies.