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How can you safeguard your privacy as a Singapore company's officer or shareholder?

Singapore has turned into a startup hub by attracting thousands of foreign entrepreneurs and business owners every year. The company incorporation procedure is straightforward, with no red tape. The country is corruption-free and promotes transparency in its corporate landscape.

As much as transparency is necessary, it also sometimes put people's privacy at risk.

ACRA, the Singapore Registrar, maintains a public register of all Singapore-registered companies. As the name suggests, the information is publicly available, and anyone can purchase any company's profile at a nominal fee.

The company profile data contains details of the company's officers and shareholders that also include their addresses.

How providing your residential address could impose a risk to your privacy

Public disclosure of personal information such as the residential address of an individual could impose serious risks.

Your address is available to:

  • Business competitor
  • Unsatisfied or unhappy customers
  • Adversarial lawyers
  • Previous employees

All of the people mentioned above can misuse your residential address. Additionally, reselling firms purchase multiple companies' information at once and resell to bulk marketing firms.

How can you safeguard your residential address?

Many people had criticized ACRA for providing people's residential address details just for being associated with a company. As a result, ACRA introduced a new provision. The new provision allows individuals to register an alternate address as their residential address in the company profile. This company profile, along with the alternate address, will be stored in the ACRA's public register.

Singapore company's officer - Residential address

This provision is applicable to both locals and foreigners who are linked with a Singapore-registered business. These people include:

  • Shareholders
  • Company secretaries
  • Directors

However, not many people are still aware of this provision and not taking advantage of it.

If you register an alternate address, that address will be available in all the company profile's public disclosures. Your residential address will also be registered with ACRA as it is a requirement. However, it will be listed in ACRA's internal records and remain confidential.

Criteria for an alternate address

You must satisfy the following requirements to register an alternate address with ACRA:

  • The alternate address must be different from your residential address.
  • ACRA only allows one alternate address to one individual.
  • The alternate address must not be a PO Box number.
  • The alternate address has to be in the same jurisdiction as your residential address. For example, a person who lives in Malaysia must provide an alternate address that is in Malaysia.
  • It is imperative that the person can be contacted at the alternate address.

The last requirement must not be overlooked under any circumstances as it could result in a penalty.

Singapore company's officer - Criteria for an alternate address

Outcomes of violation

If somehow you are not reachable at your alternate address, ACRA considers it a serious violation. The outcomes are as follow:

  • S$10,000 as fine
  • Imprisonment of up to two years
  • Or, both

In addition to that, ACRA can make your residential address public. Furthermore, you cannot register an alternate address for the next three years with ACRA.

If you are looking forward to Singapore company registration and are worried about your privacy by disclosing your residential address to the general public, Epica would gladly assist you with registering an alternate address. However, you have to make sure that you are reachable at the alternate address you provide, or else you might face a penalty.

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