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What is a certificate of incorporation?

3 minute read


A certificate of incorporation is a document that stipulates the legal formation of a company or a corporation.

The vast majority of countries nowadays have similar laws when it comes to businesses and their types. But the most accurate definition of this certification should be sought in the legal system where it is being used.

If you want to incorporate a company in the US, it would be wise to take a look at their laws that stipulate business structures. On the other hand, in Singapore, the Singapore Registrar of Companies issues an e-notification of incorporation.

If you’d like to learn more about this certificate in Singapore, keep reading.


What information does the certificate have?

Now that you know what is a certificate of incorporation, let’s see what information it includes.

The incorporation certificate for any company registered with the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) includes the information below:

  • Company name
  • Unique Entity Number (UEN)/ Registration number
  • Incorporation date
  • Nature of the business entity (private limited, public limited and so on)
  • Former names of a company (if possible, add up yo five former names)
  • Companies act

All of the details listed above are of the essential importance and can be found on the official issued certification paper that confirms the incorporation.

Where and how do I get a certificate of incorporation for Singapore?

In order to obtain an ACRA certificate of incorporation that confirms a company is incorporated and has a sign of an ACRA officer, there are a few steps you need to take care of.

First of all, you are required to log into the ACRA BizFile website. From there, you need to make a purchase of the certificate.

As soon as you complete the purchase, ACRA shall send a notification to you with a URL that redirects you to a download screen. There, a download will start, and once it is completed, you will see that you have successfully downloaded your electronic certificate.

If your company has changed its name, you should follow the identical procedure, and that includes companies that are seeking a certificate that confirms the incorporation and subsequent name change.

Take a look at the certificate purchase process broken down in steps below:

  1. Visit the BizFile website.
  2. Click on the ‘Buy Information’ tab.
  3. You will see four options listed under the tab (Buy Business Profile, Buy Other Information, Buy Package Information, iShop Membership).
  4. Select the option you need and follow the instructions from there.

Take note that in order to purchase it, you would need to either use your Singpass or click on “I don’t have a Singpass” and then provide your name, email address and contact number.

Once you make a payment that covers the fee, you can download the electronic version of the certificate. Alternatively, the website will send you an email with the download link for the certificate within 30 minutes following your successful payment.

If the document is needed in hard copy, it can be acquired via the ACRA BizFile portal following a similar process.

The hard copy of the document shall be available for collection at the ACRA reception on the next working day (24 hours after making a payment). It is also possible to request the corporate regulatory authority to post the document to a specified address.

Processing time

Once the payment has been completed, an email that includes a URL to access the report shall be sent. This is usually sent within 15 to 30 minutes.

All the payments made via Singpass can be accessed by logging into the ACRA BizFile portal to download the needed information.

The procedure is identical for all electronic certificates.

Who issues the certificate of incorporation?

The responsible authority in Singapore is ACRA. This is the country’s Registrar of Companies.

It issues an e-notification of incorporation following a successful incorporation procedure. The e-notification is emailed to the officers of the company and the person in charge of the incorporation filings.

Why is the certificate important?

The certificate of incorporation is usually required when a company is engaging in any kind of trading agreements or business contracts.

This legal document is also needed when a Singapore company is involved in a transaction with overseas government or agencies of the government.

The transacting parties can and may require the certificate just to validate the existence and nature of the entity involved.


It is clear that the certificate of incorporation is an important document for every company that aims at conducting business successfully. This includes collaboration both with domestic partners and foreign entities.

If you need any help with the incorporation process or you need any additional information, feel free to contact us. If you are looking for a hassle-free company incorporation service, our team of experts has a proven track of success , and we will be glad to do the same for you.


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