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ACRA Compliance Guide for Companies in Singapore

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for general guidance only and is not intended as legal advice. We strive to keep our resources up to date with the latest, accurate, and relevant information. However, should you find any information to be misleading or erroneous, we appreciate your effort to notify us. Please email any corrections or concerns to – thank you for your assistance in maintaining the quality of our resources!

1. Introduction

Companies incorporated in Singapore are governed by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The entity plays a crucial role in ensuring that businesses conduct their affairs in line with specific regulatory guidelines. This article seeks to provide a comprehensive understanding of ACRA's regulations, offering insights into achieving compliance, and the potential consequences of failing to do so.

2. Understanding ACRA and Its Mandate

ACRA is the national regulatory body that oversees business entities, public accountants, and corporate service providers in Singapore. ACRA’s mandate involves facilitating business growth, ensuring the regulatory environment is conducive to business development, while simultaneously protecting public interest. This delicate balance is achieved through robust regulation, meticulous supervision, and the promotion of sound corporate governance. To understand ACRA's role and regulations more in-depth, refer to the ACRA's official website.

3. Main Aspects of ACRA Compliance

ACRA compliance can be segmented into three core areas: corporate structure and governance, financial reporting, and annual compliance. Each of these segments has unique regulations that companies must adhere to.

Corporate Structure and Governance

ACRA’s regulations mandate that every company in Singapore must have at least one ordinarily resident director. Private limited companies are limited to a maximum of 50 shareholders, while there's no limit for public companies.

Financial Reporting

Singapore’s accounting standards are aligned with international norms. Companies are required to prepare their financial statements in accordance with the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS), a set of accounting standards modelled closely after the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Annual Compliance

Every company is required to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and file an Annual Return (AR) each year. The AR should contain a company's audited or unaudited financial statements, depending on its size and type.

4. Detailed Look into Compliance Requirements

Now that we've broadly overviewed the main areas of compliance, let's delve deeper into each segment's specific requirements.

Requirements for Corporate Structure and Governance

To comply with ACRA’s guidelines, the company must have:



Resident Director

At least one ordinarily resident director who is either a Singapore citizen, a permanent resident, or holds an appropriate employment pass.


A private limited company can have 1-50 shareholders. There's no upper limit for public companies.

Company Secretary

A company secretary must be appointed within six months of the company's incorporation. The secretary must be a natural person who is a resident in Singapore.

Requirements for Financial Reporting

Adherence to the SFRS is critical for companies operating in Singapore. The specific requirements include:



Accounting Standards

All financial statements must be prepared in accordance with the SFRS.


The financial statements of companies (unless exempted) must be audited annually.

Financial Period

Every company must determine its Financial Year End (FYE). This is not necessarily 31st December; companies can choose a date that suits their operational needs.

Requirements for Annual Compliance

ACRA has strict guidelines regarding annual compliance. These are some of the key requirements:




Every company must hold its AGM within 6 months of the last FYE. For newly incorporated companies, the first AGM must be held within 18 months from incorporation.


The AR must be filed within one month of the AGM.

5. Consequences of Non-Compliance

Failing to comply with ACRA's regulations may lead to penalties and court prosecution, ultimately harming the company's reputation and business operations. This further underlines the importance of staying compliant with ACRA's regulations.

6. Ways to Ensure Compliance

Outsourcing corporate secretarial services is an effective way to ensure compliance with ACRA's regulations. By hiring experts in Singapore's regulatory environment, businesses can focus on growth and innovation while leaving the meticulous regulatory compliance to the professionals.

7. How CW Business Solutions Can Help

Navigating regulatory compliance can be complex, but CW Business Solutions can help. We offer a range of corporate secretarial services designed to help businesses stay compliant with ACRA's regulations. From ensuring your corporate governance structure aligns with ACRA's requirements to handling your annual compliance obligations, we're here to assist.

8. Conclusion

Maintaining compliance with ACRA's regulations is essential for every company. By understanding the requirements and proactively addressing them, businesses can avoid penalties and enhance their corporate governance, contributing to the overall success and growth of their enterprise.

If you're seeking professional guidance to ensure compliance, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Contact CW Business Solutions today for tailored solutions to your business needs.



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