How to Choose Best Registered Filing Agents in Singapore
In Singapore, stakeholders are responsible for discharging their company’s legal obligations. It includes the submission of required documents. Failing to comply with obligations mandated by Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is not a good sign. Registered filing agents Singapore can help you master the task.
Not meeting your statutory responsibilities is a bad example of corporate governance. It can expose your business to legal difficulties: fines, penalties or imprisonment. It may happen due to incompetence, ill advice, or malice. Whatever the case, it will lower customers’ and investors’ confidence in you.
Experienced registered filing agents can ensure your company’s overall compliance, including meeting statutory filing dates. They help, ultimately, avoid bad publicity and protect your corporate image and goodwill.
Benefits of Hiring Singapore Registered Filing Agents
Singapore is a competitive marketplace. You have to multitask, use time judiciously, and stay focused. Many Singapore company directors outsource their non-core compliance-related tasks to their registered filing agents. Doing so saves you a lot of time and resources. Most importantly, it lets you stay focused on the core goals and functions of the company.
How to Select the Best from the Registered filing Agents in Singapore?
Selecting the best from many experienced registered filing agents is a challenge. Here is a list of factors that can help you filter them.
Put a word out in your circle of influence and try to get references to the reputed registered filing agents Singapore. Know more about each individual agent before engaging them. Try to do a background check. Talk to one of their clients. Search for someone reliable, experienced and trustworthy.
You should choose an agent as per your current business needs. If you run a streamlined company, you may already know about compliance-related issues. In this case, you may hire a less experienced agent and keep the costs down.
On the other hand, if you are a new company and know nothing about its statutory obligations, then search for experienced registered filing agents Singapore. They will take charge of your compliance and advise you on each step.
Technology and software automate workflow to a great extent. It saves time, effort and money. Search for a company that has technology-savvy employees.
Hidden costs can ruin your plans. Have an open discussion with your registered filing agent and make sure their costs are transparent. Ensure the services you are paying for will completely take care of your business needs.
What is a Registered Filing Agent Singapore?
Registered filing agents Singapore are individuals or business firms that take care of transactions with ACRA for their clients.
Services by the registered filing agents may include:
- Production, delivery, or lodging of any documents asked by ACRA
- Sending applications, submissions or requests to ACRA
- Conveying declarations and legal undertakings to ACRA
- Accessing or retrieval of company documents maintained by ACRA
Registered filing agents must be registered qualified individuals or firms. In addition, they must fulfil at least one criterion listed below. They need to be a,
- Lawyer of the Supreme Court of Singapore
- Public accountant registered under the Accountants Act (2004)
- Member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants
- Member of the Association of International Accountants (Singapore)
- Member of the Institute of Company Accountants (Singapore)
- Member of the Chartered Secretaries Institute of Singapore
- Corporate Secretary
Registered filing agents Singapore must also have the following:
- Exemplary previous conduct and compliance record as a registered qualified/filing individual
- Implacable reputation, a record of non-involvement in any professional misconduct, breach of fiduciary duty or serious negligence
- Capability to act as a registered qualified individual under the terms and conditions in force
- Promote the public interest through their standard work
When Does Your Company Requires Services from a Registered Filing Agent?
As per Singapore Companies Act, you must hold the Annual General Meeting (AGM) as per your schedule. You also need to file an Annual Return disclosing details: names of directors and secretary of your company and the date of financial statements.
A director or secretary can discharge various statutory obligations of the company. However, registered filing agents can do it professionally and as per the latest rules.
The agents visit BizFile+, ACRA’s portal, to file the required documents within due dates and assist you in avoiding late fees or penalties.
Is Your Registered Filing Agent Qualified?
In Singapore, individuals and business entities can act as registered filing agents. Both need to show or be able to show that they are fit and proper.
The businesses must be registered with ACRA. They can be a Singapore company, a limited liability partnership or a limited partnership.
Training to Qualify as a Registered Filing Agent
- Individuals wanting to qualify as registered filing agents must complete compulsory training.
- Training is also compulsory for the individuals directly or indirectly involved in managing a business firm wanting to qualify.
- To qualify, they must successfully complete;
- Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) course
- AML/CFT Proficiency Test
The registered filing agents who lost their registration due to the breach of requirements or failing to pay the resulting penalty must wait for at least 2 years before reapplying.
What else can Registered Filing Agents do for you?
If you want to incorporate a Singapore company, you may need to hire registered filing agents Singapore. It is especially true for foreigners wanting to set up their Singapore business.
The foreigners cannot self-register their Singapore business and must hire an agent. This agent can help them choose a tax-efficient business structure, advise on the required incorporation & KYC documents, etc.
Many Singapore secretarial services providers specialise as registered filing agents. Knowing their full services may prove useful if you desire to replace your existing corporate secretary or hire one for the first time.
SBS Consulting Pte Ltd can streamline the preparation and filing of any documents for your existing company. As a registered filing agent, we can also help you realise your dream by incorporating a new Singapore company.