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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Registering a Business Name in Singapore

When incorporating a company in Singapore, registering a business name is necessary.

Your business name identifies and distinguishes your company from competitors. Our ultimate guide covers everything you need to know, including choosing a name, registering it, checking its availability, and more.

Let’s get started!

What is Registering a Business Name in Singapore?

If you’re planning to start a business in Singapore, you’ll need to register a business name with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), the national regulator for business entities, public accountants, and corporate service providers.

Registration can be completed quickly and easily through BizFile+ in as little as 10 minutes.”

How to Check if a Business Name is Available?

Choosing a business name is important, but it’s pointless if someone else has already taken it. To check name availability, conduct a quick search on BizFile before submitting your application.

You can search by Entity Name or Unique Entity Number (UEN), and refine your search with criteria such as Entity Name Starting With, Exact Match, or Containing. If the name is taken, the search result will show below, and you can move on to your next choice

Benefits of Registering a Business Name

Your company name is essential for incorporating a business in Singapore. It establishes trust and credibility with potential customers and is their first impression of your business.

A professional name helps you conduct business professionally, and without it, you miss the chance to be unique and attract new customers and investors.

Top Tips on Choosing a Company or Business Name

Choosing a name for your business can be challenging. To help you get started, we’ve listed some top tips for finding the perfect name.

1. Avoid Similar or Identical Names

When selecting a business name, search BizFile, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority’s (ACRA) online portal, to see if the name is taken. Avoid identical or similar names, including those with similar pronunciations or sequences.

Also, check for similar-meaning words to prevent confusion and potential copyright or trademark infringement complaints. For example, you cannot register “Apple” as a sole proprietorship if there’s already a company called Apple Pte Ltd.

2. Avoid Selecting Undesirable Names

To avoid rejection by ACRA, do not choose names containing expletives. Certain names, such as “Temasek,” are also restricted and cannot be registered. Additionally, the registrar cannot accept names directed by the governing body

3. Keep your Name Short, Unique and Relevant to your Business

To make your business memorable to customers, choose a short and memorable name that stands out. Avoid long names and weird characters that can be difficult to remember. The right name can benefit your business, while the wrong one can associate you with undesirable situations.

How to Register for a Business Name in Singapore?

Step 1

Registering Business Name Singapore: Step 1

Step 2

Registering Business Name Singapore: Step 2
  • Click “Application for a New Business Name”
  • Proceed to log-in via SingPass or CorpPass

Step 3

Registering Business Name Singapore: Step 3
  • Click “Next”

Step 4

Registering Business Name Singapore: Step 4
  • Fill in “Proposed Entity Name”
  • The proposed name may be shown as “Available” or “Unavailable” depending on the name you have selected

Step 5

Registering Business Name Singapore: Step 5
  • 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

Step 6

Registering Business Name Singapore: Step 6
  • 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”

Step 7

Registering Business Name Singapore: Step 7
  • Under “Position Details”, select the appropriate fields for your company in “Position Held” and “Category”

Step 8

Registering Business Name Singapore: Step 8
  • Fill up the following fields:
    • Date of Appointment
    • Name
    • Identification Type
    • Identification No
    • Date of Birth
    • Local Fixed Line No.
    • Local Mobile No.
    • Email Address

Step 9

Registering Business Name Singapore: Step 9
  • Fill up the following fields under “Residential Address”:
    • Address Type
    • Level/Unit
  • Select “Add” to confirm the entry

Step 10

Registering Business Name Singapore: Step 10
  • Select “Yes” if you require to submit approval from other authorities, otherwise select leave the default option as “No”

Step 11

Registering Business Name Singapore: Step 11
  • Once all required details are filled up, click “Submit” to proceed

Step 12

Registering Business Name Singapore: Step 12
  • Verify all details in the preview
  • Click “Confirm” to proceed

Step 13

Registering Business Name Singapore: Step 13
  • 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. What is the Cost of Registering a Business Name in Singapore?

The cost of registering a business name in Singapore is SGD 15.

2. What Happens After I Have Register my Business Name?

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.

Once it has been approved, the company name will be reserved for 120 days. Your next step would be to choose from the different types of business entities and structures for your business.

3. Is it Mandatory to Register a Business Name in Singapore?

Here are some exemptions:

  • Conducting your business under your full name as reflected in your NRIC
  • Conducting your business with partners and all of you using your full name as reflected in your NRIC

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