Unique Entity Number (UEN) is a 9 to 10 digit identification number that allows you to identify the specific entity. The Unique Entity Number (UEN) is similar to the identification number of individual persons; local companies and businesses are also issued a Unique Entity Number (UEN) after registering their business with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The company registration number is also considered a Unique Entity Number (UEN). Earlier in 2009, the Ministry Of Finance and Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) together taken an initiative to issue a UEN for each entity.
UEN allows each entity to interact with several government agencies under one number conveniently. Prior to the Unique Entity Number (UEN) launch, there were several identification numbers to interact with various government agencies regarding the business. However, many people are still unaware of acquiring a Unique Entity Number (UEN) in Singapore for the business. Don’t worry; in this article, we have outlined everything you must know about the Unique Entity Number (UEN) and steps to acquire it.
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3 How Do You Get a UEN?
What is a UEN?
A Unique Entity Number (UEN) is the set of numbers that describes the specific entity. An entity not simply means few companies. Instead, it involves several other business structures under which business operates, including partnership and sole proprietorships. Therefore, an individual like you cannot be considered as an entity.
For the business in Singapore that are registered with ACRA, including local companies, the registration number of such Companies will be their UEN. However, several other registered companies will be provided separate Unique Entity Number (UEN)s, which will be different from the entity’s registration number. Excluding the below-mentioned entities, which will not be provided UEN:
- Companies that do not usually interact with anyone or have only one-time interaction with the government agency;
- For example, an entity that does not need to pay any taxes locally, do not contribute to central Provident fund for their employees, and is not involved in applying for import or export permit (such interactions is considered government interactions) is not provided a Unique Entity Number (UEN). In comparison, several operating entities will be provided a UEN because such interaction with the relevant government agency usually takes place in the form of legal compliance.
- Sub-entities are also not issued a Unique Entity Number (UEN), including branches and divisions of the company.
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What Can Your UEN is used For in Singapore?
The Unique Entity Number (UEN) is referred to as the standard number for interaction and communication with the relevant government agency regarding your business. Once you have been issued with a Unique Entity Number (UEN), you will no longer require a different number like updating particulars with ACRA, making central Provident fund contributions for employees, filing tax returns, applying for the trade permits, and so on.
If your business has been issued with a Unique Entity Number (UEN), then your business will appear to be more genuine for the customers, potential business partners, and suppliers. The registration and the information of your business can also be searched and verified through ACRA, which therefore ease financing and contracting on credit.
However, acquiring the Unique Entity Number (UEN) also enables your entity to use Pay Now Corporate by linking the Unique Entity Number (UEN) to your business bank account. By utilizing the Pay Now corporate, you can quickly receive and transfer funds to the customer and several registered businesses right away. This thing will be useful especially for online businesses or those entities seeking alternative low-barrier modes of payment for their customers and registered businesses.
How Do You Get a UEN?
If you have your business registered in Singapore, you will be automatically provided a Unique Entity Number (UEN) that you can quickly find by going through your business profile.
Moreover, if you do not have your business registered in Singapore and still do not have the Unique Entity Number (UEN), keep following the steps to acquire the Unique Entity Number (UEN):
1) Choose a business structure
You have to start with choosing a business structure; there are a number of business structures to choose from, depending on your needs. Some of the business structures include registering a company and building a limited partnership or Limited liability partnership.
A partnership is a small-scale business in which partners are usually involved in managing the activities of the business. The partnership business is subjected to less complicated legal rules and enables extra flexibility in respect of conducting the business. For example, you do not require to undertake the annual general meetings. Partners are only required to declare their personal income and pay the required taxes on them.
In comparison, the entities are a reliable option for future expansion and raising funds. Moreover, they are also required to fulfill strict regulatory rules, including conducting general meetings, audit requirements, filing of returns, etc.
2) Register your business
The registration of the entity can be done through the Biz File+ website. Business registration is a very quick and hassle-free process that can be done usually by sitting at the comfort of your home until your entity engages in certain regulated industries, including real state, defense, and architecture.
In terms of the partnership, Limited liability partnership, and sole proprietorship business, the company registration fee for one year is $115, and for three-year registration, the fee is $175. You also have the option to apply for the renewal of the registration if your business keeps on operating.
For various companies, the fee for one-time incorporation is $315, which involves the registration of the business name.
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3) Decide if you want to get a special UEN (SUN)
Special Unique Entity Number (UEN)s are several UENs that have been reserved for being generally easy to remember and nicer looking. However, you are required to pay additional costs for acquiring SUN apart from the cost of business registration.
4) Check your UEN after registration
After registration, you will be provided with a business profile that includes the complete details of your business along with the Unique Entity Number (UEN).
You also have the option to check your Unique Entity Number (UEN) (or you can also check the Unique Entity Number (UEN) of any business if they have one) by doing the free search on the Biz File+ website or UEN.gov.sg.
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How Do You Get a Special UEN (SUN)?
Instead of just acquiring the system-generated Unique Entity Number (UEN), you can also opt for acquiring the SUN from the list of reserved Unique Entity Number (UEN)s. Getting SUN also increases the reputation and prestige of any business, and thus they are also very easy to remember. There are two tiers of SUNs.
- Tier 1 SUNs usually have the same subsequent numbers, or they comprise of a number “8”. Few examples are 20188888A, T18LL7777F, and 201800800K. The cost of each SUNs is $3000; it does not include the price of incorporating the entity as mentioned above.
- Whereas Tier 2 SUNs usually consist of repetitive patterns or ends with triple identical numbers. Few Examples of Tier 2 are 201812121R, 53410101G, and T18LL1222N. The cost of these SUNs is $1,000 each, excluding the costs of incorporating the business.
In comparison with SUNs, the UEN looks like the random one. A few of its examples are 201024853H and 201328326E.
Do note that you can get the SUN only at the payment gateway of incorporating a business in Singapore. Later on, you will not be provided a second chance for converting your Unique Entity Number (UEN) to the SUN until you register an entirely new business or transfer your business structure.
For example, suppose you wish to convert your existing sole proprietorship business into a company. In that case, you can get a second chance to purchase a SUN for your company.
When Must You Display Your UEN?
You can utilize your Unique Entity Number (UEN) when interacting with the government agency, including the Department of statistics, the central Provident fund board, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, and Accounting and corporate regulatory Authority.
Moreover, for several companies, the Unique Entity Number (UEN) will appear on all the business letters, official notices, publications of the company, statement of account, and invoices.
Can You Change Your UEN?
No, you are cannot change your Unique Entity Number (UEN) after acquiring it. Moreover, you have the option to acquire a new Unique Entity Number (UEN) only when you are registering a new business or converting your existing business structure.
Do You Need to Renew Your UEN?
The company enjoys perpetual succession upon Incorporation. That’s why the Unique Entity Number (UEN) for the companies does not require to be renewed. However, the company’s Unique Entity Number (UEN) will be valid until the company keeps on operating and remains in the company’s register.
Additionally, the partnership and sole proprietorship business are registered on a term basis. Therefore, when the particular term expires, you will again have to apply for the renewal of the Unique Entity Number (UEN) to keep operating the business and retain the Unique Entity Number (UEN).
Is ACRA the same as UEN?
Local companies and businesses presently registered in Singapore with ACRA will automatically consider the ACRA registration number as their Unique Entity Number (UEN). Apart from several businesses and locally registered companies, all other registered entities will be provided with separate Unique Entity Number (UEN)s.
How can I change my UEN number in Singapore?
The Unique Entity Number (UEN) is the permanent and unique number that cannot be changed even if your business name changes. However, the Unique Entity Number (UEN) assigned to you will not be provided to any other business entity.
Can a business entity or local company have more than one UEN?
No, only one Unique Entity Number (UEN) is provided by the relevant issuing agency and will be the only number needed for any government transaction for your business.
Who is exempted from getting UEN?
Individuals who hold their own identification number and the foreign-based entities who rarely interact with the government agency or have undergone one-time transactions with the government are exempted from UEN.
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After going through each detail given above, you might have understood the importance of a Unique Entity Number (UEN) and the steps to obtain it. The information in the above article is sufficient enough to let you understand complete each detail to obtain a Unique Entity Number (UEN).
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