What is an annual return?

WLP Group

An annual return is a term by ACRA and is not to be confused with an annual report or financial report. An annual return is a document that contains information about a company that was incorporated in Singapore:

  • Directors’ names
  • Information about the company secretary
  • Date of its financial statements
  • Any key information about the company that is important to the company’s shareholders and stakeholders like employees

The annual return is filed on Bizfile by either the company secretary, director or a registered filing agent or company incorporation firm like WLP Group. The annual return must be filed by someone appointed by the company and this is a legal official document that is available to the public to purchase on Bizfile.

How to file an annual return

Filling an annual return is very easy if you’ve already filed an annual return before. You can file an annual return online on Bizfile and all the information is pre-filled on the form based on your previous annual return filing. This means that you’ll only have to add new information such as a change in office address. ACRA has a step-by-step guide here but if you’re looking to file the annual return yourself:

  1. Go to the Bizfile website. Make sure that website URL ends with “.gov.sg”. There have been many scams online with scammers setting up fake websites pretending to be the Singaporean government to steal private information.
  2. Login using your Singpass details. You’ll need your phone and the Singpass app to login.
  3. Select “Local Company” under “File eServices”.
  4. Select “Annual Return by Local Company (For FYE from 31 August 2018)” under “Annual Filing” in the menu.

You will then be brought to a page with a form that you can review and then click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page.

Please note that filing an annual return is an important legal action of your registered corporate entity. You must know what you’re doing. If you’re confused by ACRA’s guide, contact a company incorporation consultant or firm for help.

Are there companies exempt from filing an annual return?

Everyone has to file an annual return. While there are some companies that are exempted from filing financial statements, all companies need to file an annual return. This include dormant companies that no longer participate or conduct any business operation, but still need to declare that all the company’s information is still up-to-date.