Singapore entities to get one identification number for all government interaction
From 1 January 2009, any entity registered in Singapore will have a Unique Entity Number (UEN) as its identification number, which will be used for all interaction with government agencies. The entity could be a business, local company, limited liability partnership (LLPs), society, representative office, healthcare institution or trade union.
Ms Tan: The UEN will better synergise government agencies through the streamlining of identification and verification processes. With the UEN, entities will enjoy the convenience of having a single identification number for interacting with the Government, for example, for the filing of corporate tax returns, applying for import and export permits or submitting their employees’ CPF contributions.
Welcoming the move, Mr Teng Theng Dar, Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Business Federation said, “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.”
For the public sector, the UEN will better synergise government agencies through the streamlining of identification and verification processes, said Ms Pauline Tan, Senior Director, Government Chief Information Office, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). “This is in line with the iGov1010 Masterplan to create a high performance integrated public sector.” IDA is driving the back-end integration effort that will pave the way for the UEN implementation.
The UEN replaces all other identification numbers issued to them by different government agencies. Businesses and local companies currently registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) will retain their ACRA Registration Number as their UEN. This will help minimise the impact of introducing the UEN as these two entity-types constitute 85 per cent of the 385,000 Singapore-registered entities.
All other registered entities, such as LLPs, foreign companies, societies and management corporations, will be issued with their UEN. Between August and October 2008, these entities will be informed, via post, of their UEN directly by the government agencies that register or oversee them. The list of these government agencies (known as UEN Issuance Agencies) and the entity-types under their charge can be found here. New entities which are formed from 1 January 2009 will be issued with the UEN at registration.
LLPs, which are required by legislation to display their LLP registration number on their official stationery, will need to display the UEN by 1 January 2010.
From 1 January 2009, 51 government agencies will use the UEN to interact with entities for both over-the-counter and online interactions. They include ACRA, the Central Provident Fund Board, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Customs. All other government agencies will use UEN from 1 July 2009.
For more information on the UEN, visit www.uen.gov.sg. By October 2008, the website will include a search function to enable the public to search for entities’ UEN. Entities which use identification numbers issued by government agencies to identify their own customers will also be able to request for conversion data from the UEN website, to convert the existing identification number of their customers to UEN.