Business Registration Act

(Original Enactment: Act 36 of 1973)

(31st July 2001)
An Act to provide for the registration of persons carrying on business in Singapore and for matters incidental thereto.
[1st September 1974]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Business Registration Act.
2.—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“business” includes every form of trade, commerce, craftsmanship, calling, profession and any activity carried on for the purposes of gain but does not include any office, employment or occupation, or any of the businesses specified in the First Schedule;
“business name” means the name or style under which a person carries on business;
“certificate of registration” means a certificate issued under section 9;
“corporation” means a company registered under the Companies Act (Cap. 50) or under any corresponding previous legislation and includes any body corporate formed or incorporated outside Singapore and any branch or subsidiary thereof;
“firm” means an unincorporated body of 2 or more individuals, or one or more individuals and one or more corporations, or 2 or more corporations, who have entered into partnership with one another with a view to carrying on business for profit;
“foreign firm” means any firm, individual or corporation whose principal place of business is situated outside Singapore;
“individual” means a natural person and includes an administrator, executor, liquidator, trustee, nominee of any person, guardian and committee having a direct control or management of any business but does not include a corporation;
“inspector” means a person authorised in writing by the Registrar to be an inspector for the purposes of this Act;
“person” includes a corporation, firm, foreign firm and individual;
“person responsible for the management of a business” includes every director, manager, partner, officer, individual, secretary, agent or employee at any time charged either solely or to a substantial extent with the management of a business;
“register” means any register kept under or by virtue of the provisions of this Act;
“Registrar” means the Registrar of Businesses appointed under section 3 and includes any Deputy Registrar or Assistant Registrar of Businesses appointed under that section.
(2)  A person who has a place of business in Singapore shall be deemed to be carrying on business in Singapore for the purposes of this Act.
(3)  Where a person carrying on business is required under this Act to do any act or thing, the person responsible for the management of the business for or on behalf of the first-mentioned person shall also be answerable for the doing of or omission to do that act or thing.
Appointment of Registrar of Businesses, etc.
3.—(1)  The Minister may appoint a public officer by name or office to be the Registrar of Businesses and may also appoint from amongst public officers such Deputy Registrars and Assistant Registrars of Businesses as he may consider necessary for the purposes of this Act.
(2)  The Registrar may, subject to such conditions or restrictions as he thinks fit, for the purposes of the administration of this Act delegate to any person all or any of the powers, functions and duties vested in him by this Act.
(3)  The Registrar shall be responsible generally for the carrying out of the provisions of this Act and for the collection of the fees thereunder and shall pay all amounts collected in respect thereof into the Consolidated Fund.
4.—(1)  This Act shall not apply to —
(a)any individual or class of individuals carrying on any of the businesses specified in the First Schedule;
(b)any statutory authority or other body established under any written law;
(c)any institution, society or person specified in the First Schedule to the Income Tax Act (Cap. 134);
(d)any society registered under the Societies Act (Cap. 311);
(e)any society registered under the Co-operative Societies Act (Cap. 62);
(f)any mutual benefit organisation registered under the Mutual Benefit Organisations Act (Cap. 191);
(g)any person carrying on any business consisting solely of the exercise of any profession which under the provisions of any written law can be exercised only by those who possess certain qualifications prescribed by the written law and whose names are registered or otherwise recorded in the manner prescribed by any written law;
(h)any charitable institution which is exempt from tax under section 13(1)(g) of the Income Tax Act (Cap. 134);
(i)the Public Trustee or the Official Assignee of the property of a bankrupt;
(j)any foreign company carrying on business in Singapore which is registered under the Companies Act (Cap. 50) and carries on the business under its corporate name; and
(k)any other person or class of persons for the time being exempted by the Minister, by notification in the Gazette, from all the provisions of this Act.
(2)  This Act shall not apply to any company registered under the Companies Act or any previous legislation carrying on business under its corporate name.