What is a Compliance Policy?
Singapore is among the countries that make it easy for investors to start businesses in, no doubt. However, that has become a success because of the strict compliance policy. Do you know what a compliance policy is? If no, then worry no more. A compliance policy is a combination of statutory rules, regulations, laws, and standards laid down by a country. Companies are obliged to comply, and the legal system is ready to act upon those defying them. These obligations are in Singapore’s Companies Act, and they guide the interested parties in their operations.
What a Compliance Policy in Singapore Entails?
A compliance policy differs from one country to the other. Here are details of the dos, when, and who to do them to be compliant in Singapore.
- Tax and Accounting Requirements
The company should submit particular documents annually to IRAS. They include a financial report, tax returns, accounting records, and estimated chargeable incomes.
- Financial Year End
Companies must mark the end of their financial years. Subsidiaries of a particular company and their parent firm should share a financial year’s end to prepare their accounts reports easily.
- Disclosure of the Registration Number
ACRA issues a unique entity number to a new organization upon registration. It shouldn’t be omitted in official invoices, audited accounts, business letters, or when corresponding to government authorities officially.
- Office Address
It should be local and not a P.O. Box. The regular working hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and the company should open for at least 3 hours daily. Businesses can operate outside the regular hours but only if they have a valid reason. Under such circumstances, they should notify ACRA about their operational hours.
- Registration of the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
You should pay it as long as you are supplying goods or services within the boundaries of Singapore. It is also applicable when importing goods into the country. However, it only applies to a company with yearly taxable revenue of over S$1 million or is expected to exceed that figure.
- Appointing Auditors
The appointment of an auditor should happen not later than three months after the incorporation date. However, it is not applicable if the individual shareholders are below twenty. If not a single shareholder is a corporation, the appointment is also unnecessary. The same case applies when the firm’s annual turnover is below S$5 million.
- Changes Notification
Notify ACRA upon nominating a secretary or director among other officers as soon as it happens. In case share capital increases or decreases, do the same. Transfer of shares and resignation of officers should also be reported to ACRA.
- Permits and Licenses for the Business
As long as your business falls under categories that have to apply for licenses, the compliance policy demands that you do so.
- Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Annual Returns Filing
A new company should hold its first AGM not more than 18 months since its existence. As for the existing ones, it should be within 15 months from the last one. Another option is once per calendar year, and it should choose the option that gives the earliest date. After the AGM, annual returns filing should be done with the ACRA within a month.
- SDF Registration or CPF Registration
The Central Provident Fund applies to Singapore citizens or foreigners residing there permanently. It is a pension fund, and both parties, employees and employers, contribute depending on the monthly salary. It is mandatory as long as the pay is over $50. On the other hand, Skills Development Fund is for people with employment passes and work passes.
No company can afford to ignore the compliance policy of the state it operates in, and Singapore is no exception. After all, failure to comply would see the firm incur penalties and fines. Why wait for that when it is avoidable?