If your entity operates in the scope of Singapore, it is essential to know what a UEN is. In this article, you can learn more about the Unique Entity Number, UEN number examples, formats, and other frequently asked questions concerning the UEN.
What is a Unique Entity Number (UEN) in Singapore?
UEN or Unique Entity Number is a business 9 or 10 digit identification number issued by the Singaporean government through the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) to all entities operating in Singapore. It is used to facilitate more seamless communications between companies and government agencies.
UEN was first assigned to businesses by the Singapore Ministry of Finance (MoF) and (ACRA) back in 2009.
Who Needs a Unique Entity Number in Singapore?
Since the implementation of the Unique Entity Number, all entities in Singapore falling under the following categories are required to have a UEN:
2. Local Companies
3. Limited liability partnerships (LLPs)
5. Representative offices
6. Healthcare institutions
7. Trade unions
It’s important to note that the Unique Entity Number assigned to an entity is both permanent and unique, and it cannot be altered even if there are changes to the business name. Additionally, this distinctive number will not be assigned to any other entity.
Who Doesn’t Need a Unique Entity Number in Singapore?
The following entities do not need UEN in Singapore:
1. Individuals (who are mandated to use their personal identification number)
2. Foreign-based companies that have no dealings with local government agencies
3. Subsidiaries or affiliated entities of a Singaporean company categorized as a branch
What Are the UEN Formats?
Unique Entity Number consists of 9 to 10 digits, including numbers, alphabets, year of issuance, and the UEN number check. The number of digits and structure is dependent on the type of your entity. We can see the details and UEN number example in the table below:
|UEN Number Singapore Example
|Businesses registered with ACRA
|Local companies registered with ACRA
|201712177T (the company formed in 2017)
|Other types of entities that will be issued a new UEN
|T09LP0001B (limited partnership (LP) formed on 10 March 2009)
Here, n’ = a number; ’P’ = an alphabet; ’Q’ = an alpha-numeric digit; ’PQ’ = entity type indicator; Tyy’ / ‘Syy’ / ‘yyyy’ = year of issuance; ‘X’ = UEN number check (suffix)
Moreover, the entity type indicator includes various types of businesses, entities, and issuing agencies, for example:
- UEN for embassies (DP) and consulates (CP) will be issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- UEN for news bureaus (NB) will be issued by the Ministry of Communication and Information
Why UEN is Important?
Having your business registered in Singapore and getting your UEN is mandatory as a unique identifier of your business. When communicating and interacting with government agencies, UEN will serve as proof of the legitimacy of your business.
Below are the reasons that emphasize how having the UEN will enable you to:
- Update entity information with ACRA
- Apply for import and export permits through SC
- Make CPF payments to CPFB; and
- File tax returns with the IRAS
Hence, having UEN will support the execution of your business strategies and operations in Singapore.
How to Get the UEN Number?
If your business is already registered, you should already have your UEN. If you haven’t yet registered your business, you can follow the steps below:
1. Identify your business type
The first thing to do is identify your entity type, whether a limited partnership, a limited liability partnership, sole-proprietorship, or other types of entities such as charity organizations. It will affect the issuing agency which the UEN will be issued from. For example, if your entity is a healthcare institution, the UEN will be issued by the Ministry of Health.
2. Register your business
Enlist your business by applying through the bizfile website, the electronic business filling platform under ACRA.
3. Consider Special UEN (SUN)
A special UEN means you can choose your preferred Unique Entity Number combination but with an additional fee. Below are the provided choices:
- Tier 1 (S$3000 per SUN): The SUN is defined as any number combination that includes the number “8,” or any number with consecutive same numbers.
- Tier 2 (S$1000 per SUN): The SUN is defined as a repeating pattern (except for the number “8”) or a triple-identical number (such as “222,” “666,” or “777”).
You can get additional information regarding the Special Unique Entity Number here.
4. Complete the Checks
After registration, you must make sure your business profile and UEN are correct.
A Few Other Facts on UEN Singapore
In case you still have questions on UEN meaning, you might find your answers below.
How do I find my UEN number in Singapore?
You can search your company UEN through this portal. The UEN, entity name, status, issuance agency, entity type, partial address, as well as active status will be displayed in the search results.
Can I find UEN of other companies in Singapore?
Yes. Through the same portal, you can find the UEN of other companies which you can use to ensure whether the company is still active.
Is the ACRA number and UEN the same?
Yes, enterprises and local corporations who have registered with ACRA and been given an ACRA Registration Number which is also referred to as the entity’s UEN.
Is the GST number and UEN the same?
Yes, the entities in Singapore have the same GST registration number. But in any other scenario—for example, international partnerships or companies—their GST registration numbers will differ.
Is UEN and Registration Number the same?
Indeed. For firms and local companies registered with ACRA and given an ACRA Registration Number, this is also referred to as the entity’s UEN.
Who will not be required to obtain a UEN?
UEN is only meant for companies and entities operating in Singapore and will not be issued to:
- Individuals (will use NRIC instead)
- Entities that do not contact any government agencies or only do so occasionally
- branches and divisions of an entity.
Where should I include my UEN?
The Singaporean law requires organizations and entities to display their UEN on a variety of documents, such as letterheads, emails, invoices, receipts, order forms, brochures, and booklets are examples of these documents. This also includes all printed marketing materials, websites, and online materials.
Is UEN the same as the tax number?
Up until January 2009, Singapore’s Tax Identification Number for entities was known as the Tax Reference Number. Today, it is referred to as the UEN.
Make sure you have both your UEN and TIN ready for a smoother taxation process.
Can you change the UEN number?
Once you have your UEN, you won’t be able to modify it. But if you form a new company or there is a change in your business structure, you can get a new UEN.
Is renewing UEN necessary?
No, it will not. The UEN will be valid as long as the company is active and listed on the company registration.
Sole proprietorships and partnerships, on the other hand, are registered on a term basis. When that period expires, you must renew the registration in order to keep the business running and the UEN.
What is PayNow UEN?
PayNow UEN (Unique Entity Number) refers to a feature within the PayNow system in Singapore. PayNow is a peer-to-peer funds transfer service that enables individuals and businesses to send and receive money using just their mobile number or Singapore NRIC/FIN (National Registration Identity Card) number. The PayNow UEN service extends this functionality to businesses and other entities. Each entity is assigned a unique PayNow UEN, which serves as an identifier for receiving payments. This UEN can be linked to the entity’s bank account, allowing others to transfer funds easily by entering the UEN instead of traditional bank account details.
Simplify Finance Operations through Automation
Now that you understand the importance of what UEN means, you might want to start to register your business to get your UEN.
One of the advantages of having UEN is the ability to easily interact with the government, including filing your company’s tax returns. With Peakflo, you can establish a smoother tax filing process and payment of withholding tax. Peakflo’s all-in-one interface enables businesses to collect payments quicker than ever.
Peakflo will help your finance team to automate your AR and AP, enabling your team to:
- Save 100 hours/month on finance operations
- Get paid 10-20 days faster on customer bills
- Save 50-90% on vendor payment fees
Moreover, our system also supports making payments using UEN.
To learn more about how our automation of AR and AP can simplify your accounting process, you can download our guidebook on Automation for CFOs and finance leaders.