Unique Entity Number Brings Convenience to Entities06 Aug 2008
Only one identification number is needed to interact with Government Agencies
From 1 January 2009, all entities that are registered in Singapore, such as businesses, local companies, limited liability partnerships (LLPs), societies, representative offices, healthcare institutions and trade unions, will have a Unique Entity Number (UEN) as its identification number. This shall be used for correspondence and interaction with government agencies.
UEN shall be for registered entities as NRIC is for Singapore citizens. The UEN uniquely identifies the entity. Entities will enjoy the convenience of having a single identification number for interaction with the Government, such as filing of corporate tax returns, applying for import and export permits or submitting their employees' CPF contributions. UEN replaces all other identification numbers issued to them by different government agencies.
From 1 January 2009, 51 government agencies (refer to Annex A (43 KB)will use UEN to interact with entities (both over-the-counter and online interactions). The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), the Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB), the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and the Singapore Customs are amongst the 51 agencies using UEN from 1 January 2009.
All other government agencies will use UEN from 1 July 2009.
No change in Identification Number for Businesses and Local Companies
Businesses and local companies currently registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) will retain their ACRA Registration Number as their UEN. The reason for this is to minimise impact of UEN as these two entity-types constitute 85% of all registered entities in Singapore.
Issuance of UEN
Other than businesses and local registered companies, all other registered entities, such as LLPs, foreign companies, societies and management corporations, will be issued with a new UEN.
These entities will be informed, via post, of their UEN directly by the government agencies that register or oversee them. This is scheduled to be carried out from August to October 2008. The list of these government agencies (known as UEN Issuance Agencies) and the entity-types under their charge can be found at Annex B (23 KB).
As LLPs are required by legislation to display their LLP registration number on their official stationery, they will need to change to UEN at their next print of the stationery or by 1 January 2010, whichever is earlier.
All new entities which are formed from 1 January 2009 will be issued with the UEN at registration.
Consultation with Stakeholders
Extensive consultations were conducted with the various stakeholders to facilitate the introduction of the UEN for entities and government agencies. Following the positive feedback from the majority of respondents in a public consultation exercise conducted in early 2006, the Government started on the UEN project in May 2006.
Mr Teng Theng Dar, Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) said "We welcome and support the introduction of UEN as the only identification number that companies need for interactions between businesses and government agencies. The UEN will simplify and reduce possible errors caused by the use of multiple numbers, thus speeding up transactions. This initiative will enable companies to manage their time more productively, and to them, time is money."
Information to Facilitate Use of UEN
Entities can visit the UEN website, www.uen.gov.sg, for more information about UEN. The contact information of their UEN Issuance Agencies and a FAQ section titled "Ask UEN" will be available at the website. By October 2008, the website will include a search function to enable the public to search for entities' UEN.
Some entities may use existing identification numbers issued by government agencies to identify their customers. These entities can request for conversion data from the UEN website from 1 October 2008 to convert the existing identification number of their customers to UEN. The conversion data provides a one-to-one match between existing identification numbers and UEN. This allows entities to update their records and use UEN to identify their customers.
UEN brochures will also be available at government agency counters, such as those at ACRA and the Central Provident Fund Board. Entities may also contact their UEN Issuance Agencies (refer to Annex B) for more information.
Another Initiative of iGov2010
The UEN is another initiative of the Integrated Government 2010 (iGov2010) Masterplan. iGov2010 seeks to delight customers and connect citizens through infocomm.
Annex A (43 KB) - Government Agencies which will use UEN from 1 January 2009
Annex B (23 KB)- UEN Issuance Agencies and the Entity-Types under their Charge (includes Contact Details of UEN Issuance Agencies)
Annex C (14 KB)- Important Dates for Entities in Adopting UEN
Annex D (14 KB) - Quotes from MOF, ACRA and Singapore Customs
Annex E (23 KB) - UEN Format
Annex F (41 KB) - Translations of the term "Unique Entity Number" In Chinese, Malay and Tamil
Annex G (13 KB) - Background Information on UEN
JOINTLY ISSUED BY MINISTRY OF FINANCE, ACCOUNTING AND CORPORATE REGULATORY AUTHORITY, AND INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE