Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Registering a Business Name in Singapore.
Before you can register or incorporate a company in Singapore, the first step is to register a business name.
Your business name allows you to identify your business to your customers and to differentiate your business from your direct competitors.
In this article, we will provide a detailed step by step process on choosing and registering a business and company name in Singapore.
Tips On Choosing A Business Or Company Name
1. Avoid similar or identical names
When selecting a business name, you should first search on BizFile, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) online business registration and filing portal to check if the name has already been taken.
You should avoid selecting business names that are identical to existing ones.
You should also check for names with similar pronunciations or similar names but in different sequences.
It’s also a good idea to check for names with words that have similar meanings.
All of these steps will help prevent confusion for your customers and reduce the likelihood of a party raising a complaint that your business name infringes on their copyrights and trademarks.
For example, if there is an existing company called Apple Pte Ltd, you would not be able to register Apple as a sole proprietorship.
Neither can you register Apples for your business name.
2. Avoid selecting undesirable names
Avoid selecting undesirable names that contain expletives as these will be rejected by ACRA.
Lastly, the law restricts the use of certain business name such as the name Temasek which are not available for registration.
This also includes names that the governing body has directed the registrar not to accept.
Applying For A New Business And Company Name
Once you have decided on a business name, you can log-in to BizFile to submit an application.
Here are the steps to apply for a new company name.
Go to BizFile here.
- Click “Application for a New Business Name”.
- Proceed to log-in via SingPass or CorpPass.
- Fill in “Proposed Entity Name”.
- The proposed name may be shown as “Available” or “Unavailable” depending on the name you have selected.
- Fill in “Primary Activity” and “Primarily User-Described Activity”.
- You must pick both your “Primarily Activity” and “Secondary Activity” from a list of Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) here.
- For example, if you intend to sell cakes and pastries, you would use the SSIC “10712” and then type “Sale of Cake” in the “Primarily User-Described Activity” field
- The “Secondary Activity” field is optional.
- For example, if you intend to sell baking tools, you would then use “47534” in “Secondary Activity” and “Sale of Baking Tools” for “Secondary User-Described Activity”.
Under “Position Details”, select the approriate fields for your company in “Position Held” and “Category”.
Fill up the following fields:
- Date of Appointment
- Identification Type
- Identification No
- Date of Birth
- Local Fixed Line No.
- Local Mobile No.
- Email Address
Fill up the following fields under “Residential Address”:
- Address Type
Select “Add” to confirm the entry.
Select “Yes” if you require to submit approval from other authorities, otherwise select leave the default option as “No”.
Once all required details are filled up, click “Submit” to proceed.
- Verify all details in preview.
- Click “Confirm” to proceed.
- Click “Make Payment” to proceed.
- BizFile accepts the following payment modes: “eNets”, “PayPal” and “Google Pay”.
- Upon successful payment, you will be able to view both the acknowledge page and receipt.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to check the availability of company name in Singapore?
Conduct a search on Bizfile to check on the availability of the company name before submitting a request.
You can choose to search by the Entity Name or Unique Entity Number (UEN).
To streamline your search results, there are also additional search criterias which includes Entity Name Starting With, Entity Name Exact Match and Entity Name Containing.
2. What is the cost of registering a business name in Singapore?
The cost of registering a business name in Singapore is SGD 15.
3. My company name has been approved, what do I do next?
After the application of your business or company name has been approved, you will have up to 120 days to register or incorporate your company.
The name will be released and made available to the public if you failed to register your business entity within this period of 120 days.
Applications to register a business name are usually approved immediately.
They might take from 14 days to 2 months if the applications need to be referred to relevant authorities for review.
For instance, if a name application contains the words “Legal” or “Law”, it will be referred to the legal services regulatory authority.
Business name applications cost SGD 15.
Once it has been approved, the company name will be reserved for 120 days.
During this period, you must proceed to register the business or incorporate the company.
Otherwise, the name reservation will lapse and the name will be released for registration by other parties.
After your name application has been approved, you can choose from the different types of business entities and structures for your business.
We hope this article helped you learn how to choose and register your business name in Singapore.