If you are a budding entrepreneur or even someone with years of experience in the corporate industry, you often need to partner or interact with other companies and suppliers.
But before you get into any legal contract with them it’s better to do a thorough check. The reason is to check the credibility, verify the background and assess the legitimacy of the potential businesses or workers you are planning to work with. Moreover, this helps you protect your business from scams and financial fraud.
Every country has different laws and legalities that people and their businesses must conform to.
So, if you are in Singapore and planning to start your own company or build a partnership with others, we can help you with the business search and explain the verification process.
Let’s get started.
Why Should You Verify The Details Of A Company?
An in-depth background check alongside verification on a company’s history and legal aspects navigates trust credibility and errs you to the side of caution and financial security.
Collaborating carelessly with any company can lead to dire consequences such as loss of money, labour, and time- causing severe damage to the reputation of your business. Moreover, without proper verification of the details of a company, you can get caught up in false information and fall prey to unreliable partners.
To ensure maximum financial security and protect your own business, it is essential to double-check reliable sources before closing a deal with a company.
In Singapore, you can easily verify the business integrity of anyone by getting in touch with the official statutory body—ACRA. From the company’s registration number to their legal and financial statements, you can get access to credible information that will enable you to make a better, informed decision.
Now, you must be wondering how to go about the entire process that can help you safeguard your company’s future. Worry not; keep scrolling to get reliable answers to your queries.
How Should You Check and Verify?
In Singapore, you can either seek assistance from a third-party investigator to verify the relevant company’s details and run a background check or do everything yourself.
ACRA, which stands for The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, enables its users to get free access to the online directory search. You can search for any “legal and registered” company in Singapore by entering the company’s name in that search directory as ACRA has the complete Singapore Company’s Registered List.
Here are two ways to verify if a company is registered in Singapore or not.
- Use the company search tool provided by ACRA.
- Use the business profile function provided by ACRA
Even though both of these functions provide you with everything you need to know about a company, the ACRA’s search tool gives you access to some additional information.
Information provided by both functions:
- The name of the company
- Company’s registration number (UEN)
- Company’s operational status
- Address of the registered company
- Principal activities of the company
ACRA’s company search tool allows the user to leverage some bonus verification points about the company such as:
The best part is that you can get your hands on all the required information on ACRA’s website. However, if you need to research more and investigate in-depth, you would have to buy that company’s profile from ACRA.
Once you purchase the profile, you can get access to:
- Company or business type
- Relevant information about the business owners, directors and shareholders
- The date of incorporation for the company
ACRA is a valuable asset for businesses that want to play safely in the industry.
Here is how you can get your hands on the authentic information for any company:
ACRA’s Company Search Tool
Follow these steps to use this function:
- Visit ACRA’s website.
- Go to ACRA’s registry—a search platform with a free online directory.
- You will see a “search field” at the top of the page.
- Type the company’s name in the search bar that you want to verify.
- Once you hit the “search” button, CAPTCHA verification will appear (to ensure that you are a human.)
- Complete the CAPTCHA.
- You will get access to your desired company’s information (as discussed above.)
- Analyse and evaluate the information.
- Make the right decision.
ACRA’s Business Profile Function
Here’s how you can use this:
- Follow all the steps as you did for ACRA’s company search tool.
- Click on “business profile.”
- You will be directed to make the payment.
- Once you make the payment, you will receive a URL for the downloadable version of the business profile via email within 15 minutes.
- Analyse and evaluate the information.
- Make the right decision.
What Should You Look Out for?
The entire process of obtaining any company’s information in Singapore seems easy and hassle-free, and it is.
However, once you start analysing the company’s information provided by ACRA, you must look out for specific things that will help you check and verify it, such as:
1. Company Status
Every registered company in Singapore constantly and regularly updates its company status. If the status shows “live, “you can rest assured that the company currently exists and is actively operational. Otherwise, it would be a red flag warning that you need to reconsider working with this company.
2. Business Activity
It is never a good sign if you come across some information while searching for the entity that tells you the company has been involved in many particular types of business activities. It would be best if you looked out for such alarming signs.
3. Business Address
Always double and triple-check the legitimacy of the address or mailbox provided in the company’s profile. An incomplete, questionable and incorrect business address instantly puts the company in the red zone.
4. Annual Returns (A.R.)
All registered and legitimate companies in Singapore must file an annual report to ACRA within 30 days of the shareholders’ meeting (AGM). If you cannot find the company’s information related to the A.R. (filing date, limited liability partnerships, etc.), do not get involved with them
5. Financial Statements
All Singapore-registered companies are required to submit their financial statements to ACRA. If they fail to meet these compliance requirements, it raises a red alert.
6. Annual General Meeting (AGM)
If you come across “N.A.” in the field of AGM on a company’s profile, it means that they have not held any recent AGMs or not bothered to inform ACRA- another concerning aspect you need to look out for.
To keep your business safe from fraud and dubious companies, it is essential to check and verify if they are registered or not. All the reliable and trustworthy businesses are registered in Singapore, and you can easily obtain all the information through ACRA.
Do your “business search” to become less vulnerable to future scams and maintain your reputation in the industry.
If you find yourself in a nook, you can always take help from experts in the field.