Change of Business Activity in Singapore

How to Effect Changes in the Scope of Your Business Activity in Singapore?

Once a company is registered, company owners tend to go for a change of business activity in Singapore mostly for staying competitive in business. Changing business activity is normal for business owners in the present time of rapid change and business transformation.

If your company has never applied for a Work Permit or S Pass before, you must declare your business activity before submitting any Work Permit or S Pass application.

Based on your declaration, the regulatory authority assigns your business to the most relevant sector. Your sector will determine the number of Work Permit and S Pass holders you can hire.

Once the sector is assigned, you can proceed to submit the Work Permit and S Pass applications.

Making a Request for Change of Business Activity in Singapore

You have to notify the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) by updating the changes of your company’s information on BizFile+ within 14 days. You may log in to your CorpPass via https://www.bizfile.gov.sg/

Source of Business Activities in Singapore

The Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) is the national standard for classifying economic activities undertaken by economic units and the source for business activities.

In Singapore, Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) codes indicate what your company does and in what field. ACRA demands that businesses submit at least a primary SSIC code and may submit up to 2 with a single sentence customized description of your business activity.

Company secretarial services in Singapore can advise you on the best SSIC code that suits your business and especially at a time when you are not sure about the scope of your business and a change of business activity in Singapore. It is common to spend hours and days deciding on the SSIC.

Raising Resolution for Change of Business Activities

The Singapore Companies Act, Chapter 50 does not specify the exact details of actions the directors of the company needs to undertake for board resolution and depends on the constitution of companies.

The Board Resolutions of private companies need not be submitted to any legal body in Singapore and only show if directors are fulfilling their corporate governance responsibilities to the company. The reason for the change of business activity in Singapore must be specified in the company resolution bearing approval from the directors.

Board Resolution serves as a permanent record of confirmation for the decision for a change of business activity in Singapore and helps auditors verify certain transactions and internal controls.

Penalties for Not Updating Business Activities on Time

Till the right SSIC code is applied and the change of business activity in Singapore is legalized, you are not able to apply for licenses and permits without which you can not operate and be eligible for government incentives specified for different business sectors. Late lodgement fee ranges from SGD 50 to 350 and failure to notify ACRA can also result in a fine of up to SGD 5,000 and a default penalty for a company including individual directors.

Takeaway

Companies evolve either caused by natural expansion or some business and strategic crises. Sometimes it becomes necessary to branch out into something new and go for a change of business activity in Singapore defined by its business scope, a one-sentence description of the industries it is authorized to operate in. Hence any significant change to company operating functions must be preceded by a legally registered change of business scope in Singapore.

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