Changing your registered business address in Singapore is a simple procedure. We’ve written this guide to walk you through the 5 steps to change your address. We’ll also go over some best practices when changing your address, like notifying your customers and business partners.
Here’s a summary of the 5 steps:
- Pick a location
- Notify ACRA
- Pass a general Board resolution
- Update additional entities
- Other regulatory/government agencies
- Execute the physical move, if you have a commercial space
Step 1: Picking a location
If your business relies on foot traffic, then the address you choose will be absolutely critical. For instance, if you’re running a restaurant, or retail store, you’ll want an address that’s got a good amount of foot traffic. The location’s rent also needs to be cost-effective, and within your budget. You’ll want to physically scout several locations. For such businesses, picking a location will be a much more involved process.
If your business doesn’t rely on foot traffic, and you just need an address for administrative procedure (e.g. receiving mail, having an official-sounding address that isn’t your home), then it’s a simpler process. You can consider using virtual offices, which provide an official-looking registered address for you. This protects your home address from being exposed. Check out our guide on Singapore’s 5 cheapest virtual offices. Some virtual offices are run by corporate secretarial firms, which also offer other services like mail scanning, and helping with various company administrative tasks. You can read about the best online corporate secretaries here.
Step 2: File a Board Resolution for the change of address
So you’ve picked your new address, and you’re going to get rid of your old one. To officially change your address, your company’s Board of Directors will need to grant approval. You can do this by passing a general resolution.
Here’s how to pass a general resolution to change your company address:
- Prepare a written resolution to change the company address
- Set up a date for the resolution, and inform all company directors of this resolution. The resolution must be scheduled at least 14 days in advance, but if the directors (who hold at least 95% voting rights) agree you can schedule it earlier.
- Hold a vote amongst the directors. You must receive at least 50% of the directors’ votes to pass the resolution.
Once the resolution is passed, you have official approval to change your registered address.
Step 3: Update ACRA on your new address
You’ll need to update ACRA within 14 days of the resolution passing. Updating your address is free. If you update your address late, though, you’ll have to pay a $350 fine. So do it early!
Here’s the steps to do so:
- Go to ACRA, and log in to BizFile+ (click here for the link). Use your SingPass.
- Go to Change in Company Information > Change in Registered Office Address and Office Hours
- Enter your new address. Provide the date of address change. Upload required supporting documents.
- Submit the update. You’re done!
Updating your address online is a quick process – it only takes around 10-15 minutes. ACRA will usually require around 3 working days to process your address change.
How do I change my address with IRAS?
There’s no need to update IRAS specifically. When you file an address change request with ACRA, IRAS will be automatically updated.
If you want IRAS to send you documents to an address other than the one registered with ACRA, you’ll have to file a request. Use IRAS’ myTax portal to do so.
Step 4: Update other entities about your new address
ACRA is not the only entity that you should update on your new address. You’ll want to update your bank, other government agencies, and certainly your customers and business partners about your new location. Make sure to do this after ACRA has updated your latest address, as some of these entities will require your latest ACRA profile.
Here’s a list of who else to update:
You’ll definitely want to update your bank quickly on your new address. Your bank may send you physical statements, and you certainly don’t want this confidential information ending up in the wrong hands!
MOM (Ministry of Manpower)
Use MOM’s online service, called EP Online, to update your company address.
This is especially important if you hire foreigners. MOM will require your latest address to issue documents like Work Passes.
CPF (Central Provident Fund)
Use CPF’s online application to change your registered address. You’ll need your SingPass to log in.
Other regulatory/government agencies
Some businesses are governed by other regulatory agencies. For instance, F&B establishments with food licenses should update the SFA (Singapore Food Agency). Financial firms regulated by MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) should update the authority. Law firms should update the LSRA (Legal Services Regulatory Authority). Engineering firms should update the PEB (Professional Engineers Board).
If you have suppliers delivering physical goods, definitely let them know your new address in advance. This way, someone else won’t be profiting from a free delivery.
Your investors and business partners
It’s best to seek your investors consent before changing your address. But late is better than never, and if you forget, make sure to update them once ACRA has processed your address change.
If you rent a physical space, let your business partners know about it too. For instance, if you’re moving your restaurant from one location to another, drop a message to your business associates so they can come and support you.
Depending on how important physical foot traffic is to your business, this could range from redundant to mission-critical. It also depends on whether you’re changing your actual location of business, or just your postal address.
If you’re running, say, a professional consultancy from home, then it really doesn’t matter where your business is located. However, if you’re running a restaurant or retail shop, then a change in physical address could alter the entire course of your business.
For businesses that depend on customers actually stepping into your premises, make sure to announce a change in address as clearly and as broadly as possible. Shout it from the top of the hills. If you do it right, changing address can even make for a nice marketing boost!
Here’s some helpful tips for changing addresses, for businesses that rely on in-person business:
- Make sure all online listings of your address are updated. This means all social media pages, your website, your Google listing, and anything else that is in the public sphere.
- Announce the change on social media
- Promote the post if you have to, so it reaches maximum followers
- Don’t just announce the change once. Do it a couple of times because some people might not see the first post. For example, if you’re moving a restaurant from Orchard to Bugis, you can run a “change of location campaign” for 2-3 weeks
- Google your company, and check for online mentions (e.g. blog posts) about your business. If those mentions include your old address, contact the author of the post to update them on your new address. For instance, if you run a restaurant and you’ve moved, make requests to people who’ve publicly reviewed your food before to update their posts on your location.
Step 5: Arranging the move, if you rent a physical space
Firstly, if you rent a commercial space, you’ll need to plan the logistics of the move. If yours is an office-based business with not a lot of equipment to move around, you could do it yourself. If you’re shifting large quantities of items though, you’ll need professional assistance. Search for a reputable moving company to help you with this. Ask around for recommendations, and check the company’s online reviews.
Secondly, if you need to break your current lease agreement, review the lease document carefully before you do anything. Many leases will either block you from getting out of the lease unless you can find a replacement, or levy a penalty for early cancellation. You may wish to engage a lawyer to review your agreement. Try negotiating with your landlord to see whether they’re willing to let you out of the lease, or try finding someone else who’s willing to take over the balance of the lease.
Beyond the lease agreement, you’ll also need to review any services that you’re using for the current commercial space. Examples include:
- Land line contracts
- Internet contracts
- Utilities contracts
- Equipment servicing contracts
- Miscellaneous business service contracts (e.g. pest control)
Protecting your commercial space
a. Commercial Property Insurance
Renting a commercial premise isn’t cheap. You’ve invested a good sum of money into rent, and potentially equipment and other physical business items. Don’t let your investment get ruined by property damage. Fire, explosions, water damage, and all sorts of other nasties could cause you significant losses. Commercial Property Insurance protects you from a wide range of these risks, safeguarding the capital investments you’ve made.
Commercial Property Insurance covers:
- Physical structure of building
- Fixtures and fittings
- Equipment and machinery
- Electronic equipment
- …and much more
Get Commercial Property Insurance from $9/month
b. Business Insurance Package Deals
If you want more coverage than just for property, a Business Insurance Package is perfect for you. A Business Insurance Package is an all-in-one cover that includes:
- Commercial Property Insurance
- Public Liability Insurance
- Work Injury Compensation Insurance
- Business Interruption Insurance