How to get a UEN number in Singapore?

Apr 05, 2024

If you are an enthusiastic entrepreneur who wants to start a business in Singapore but are not sure what is UEN number in Singapore, UEN is a unique 10-digit number that is used to identify businesses and entities in the country.

The UEN number is issued by the Singapore government to all kinds of business structures including partnerships, sole proprietorship, LLPs, trade unions, societies, etc.

This number is constant — even if your business name changes, this number will not change nor be distributed to any other entity. 

UEN replaces the complex system of having different numbers during every stage of business registration and substitutes them with the single UEN number system.

This number will be useful for the company in any interaction with the government, tax filing, and when you are applying for import and export permits, etc.

UEN will not be issued to individuals, branches, and sub-entities of an already existing company, and foreign companies that have no connection with government agencies.

Where can the UEN number be used for?

The UEN number is more than the identification factor for businesses. Any government agencies you will contact in the future will rely on this number to pull out your company records and assist you better.

Two businesses might have the same or similar names; the UEN number comes in handy in those cases to identify and tell one from another. You can use your UEN number to access any online portal of government agencies and schemes.

1. File taxes

The incorporated businesses in Singapore that make revenue out of their business have to pay taxes. The good news is that one can file taxes and estimated charges income online through the IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore) portal. UEN number is the key identification factor for IRAS to recognize the tax filing corporation.

2. Updating your company-related information

ACRA is the government-authorized portal that acts as a database and access point for every business registration in Singapore. If you look for how to get UEN numbers or how to register businesses in Singapore, ACRA is the site for it.

So, for any information updates, you can log in to ACRA and update the changes online. The UEN number acts as your login credentials for ACRA.

Who are the issuers of UEN number in Singapore?

Any business or local company in Singapore can get the UEN number in Singapore when they incorporate their business through ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority).

ACRA is the authority board that regulates the way businesses operate in Singapore and helps them with business registration and financial reporting.

Businesses are allowed to retain their registration numbers provided during the time of registration as UEN numbers. 

• Enterprise Singapore (ESG) - for representative offices of foreign companies in Singapore

• Ministry of communications and information (MCI) - news bureaus

• Ministry of culture, community, and youth - cooperative societies

• Registration of societies - societies 

• Ministry of health - for healthcare clinics, institutions, and laboratories 

• Ministry of manpower - trade unions

• Ministry of national development - town councils

• Monetary Authority of Singapore - representative offices of banks and financial institutions

• Ministry of culture, community, and youth - public charity institutions

There are other ministries and agencies too like Smart Nation and the digital government office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and people associations that answer your question ‘what is UEN number in Singapore’ and provide you with one.

How can organizations obtain their UEN number in Singapore?

TIN used to be the Tax Identification Number in Singapore since 2009. After that, Singapore altered its regulations and made the UEN number the tax identification number.

Companies can get the UEN number during their registration through any one of the above boards mentioned that is relevant to them and their business structure.

If you haven’t registered your business and are not sure what is UEN in Singapore, here is how to get UEN numbers.

1. Choose a business structure

In Singapore, you can register your entity as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC, LLP, and private company.

This depends on the business structure, stakeholders and directors' rules, liabilities and rights, tax benefits, number of partners, and decision-making authorities. 

As a first step before registering your business, you will need to pick a business structure among the available ones and proceed with hiring local and foreign directors.

Businesses with solo owners who want to take entire decisions will become sole proprietors, and those who want to share the liabilities will choose the partnership model.

When you want the flexibility of a partnership but want to make your company a separate legal entity like a private company, LLP is best for you. 

If you hire corporate service agents, they will recommend the appropriate business structure suitable for you.

2. Register your business

After choosing an entity type and deciding on your business structure, the whole registration process happens online on the Bizfile portal.

If you are not a Singapore citizen, you can hire a local agency as you would require Entrepass to do it yourself.

There is a registration fee of $300 and should have found a company name. If you have all the documents in place, the registration will be done within a day.

3. Check your UEN after registration

Here is where you will have to work on the part on how to get UEN numbers. Once your registration is complete, you will receive your UEN number within 24 hours along with your business profile. 

All you need to know about special UEN (SUN)

You can also get a special UEN which is SUN (Special EUN). Here, ACRA allows you to choose your EUN number from a list of reserved EUN numbers.

Some businesses prefer easy-to-remember and fancy numbers but the digits of UEN numbers are random.

They can go for SUN numbers. And since the EUN is also going to be a part of your email signatures, letterheads, and other official documents, a SUN will contribute to your branding. You can either get a tier 1 or a tier 2 SUN.

Tier 1 SUN: If you want your EUN numbers where the digits are the same and consecutive or have the number 8 the most, then Tier 1 category is for you. Ex. 5346666A. The fee to reserve your tier 1 SUN is SGD 3000. 

Tier 2 SUN: In this set of Special EUN numbers, there will be three consecutive digits at the end and without the number 8. The reservation fee that you will pay is SGD 1000.


Can you change your UEN?

No. The UEN number cannot be changed. Even if you change your business, your UEN number will remain the same.

When do you need to renew your UEN?

As long as the company exists and runs its operations and its business name is in the books, they don’t have to renew their UEN number. But when sole proprietors and partnerships are concerned, they have to renew once the term ends. They can retain the same UEN number by renewing it.

Is ACRA the same as UEN?

ACRA is the authority and statutory board in Singapore that is run by the ministry of finance, Singapore. ACRA is not the same as the UEN because ACRA denotes a board that helps corporates with incorporation, and makes it easier for foreign companies to start their branches in Singapore. In contrast, UEN is an identification factor that acts like a tag for every business entity registered in Singapore.

How can I change my UEN number in Singapore?

You cannot change your UEN number in Singapore because it is permanent and will stay the same even if you change your business.

Who is exempted from getting UEN?

Individuals don’t have to worry about how to get UEN numbers in Singapore as they already have their own identification numbers. They are also not provided to foreign-based companies who are not going to directly interact with government agencies in Singapore.

Can a business entity or local company have more than one UEN?

No business needs more than one UEN number to access online platforms of the Singapore government facilities. Hence, only one UEN number is allotted to them and not more than that.