How Significant Is A Registered Office Address?
Under Section 142 (1) of the Companies Act, every registered business in Singapore must also register a valid business address under its name. This business address will serve as the primary link of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) with the said business entity.
An official address is where official correspondences, summons, and all other formal communications intended for the business entity will be sent. In the fielding of these communications, it is imperative for the sender to receive formal feedback that the intended recipient has received the said communication-thus the need for a physical address.
However, not all businesses, particularly the smaller ones, can afford to maintain an office space, and this is a fact recognised by the law. It is for this reason that business law in Singapore has stipulated, for the sake of these small businesses, that a registered address does not need to be the same space where a business entity conducts everyday operations. This means that businesses can use the office address of their corporate service provider, or else that of a professional firm for a fee of course as their official address.
The only important consideration, under Section 387 of the Companies Act, is for businesses to indicate a physical address through which they can be formally contacted. This same address will appear in Singapore’s business registry and will be made available to anyone with authorised access to such information.
In case a business entity changes its registered office address, it must notify the ACRA of the change (and consequently, the new office address) not later than 14 days after the said change. Section 143 (2) of the Companies Act stipulates that, in the failure of a business entity to report such change within the prescribed period, its directors and officers may be held liable and fined up to $5,000 upon conviction.