Singapore: Harnessing the Internet to streamline procedures

Author: K. Latha
Publication: Celebrating Reforms 2008
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Before 2003, the process to start a business in Singapore was long, tedious, and too dependent on clerical staff entering data by hand. The result was dissatisfaction and delays. Now Singapore’s Internet-based system for registration, filing, and information retrieval—known as Bizfile—is making business startups easier, more efficient, and less expensive. Today, thousands of businesses and companies are formed in Singapore every year—and the number keeps on growing.

This case study follows how Singapore tapped into the power of the Internet to streamline startup procedures at its Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

Main Findings

  • With Bizfile up and running, information was updated within 30 minutes of a successful filing. The same process took 14 to 21 days before the reform.
  • The time to register a new business in Singapore fell from 24 hours to just 15 minutes, and the time to incorporate a company fell from 5 days to 15 minutes.
  • Also thanks to the new system, the fees to register a new business dropped from S$100 to S$50. Meanwhile, the cost to incorporate a new company—which used to range from S$1,200 to S$35,000—fell to a flat rate of just S$300.