Forum: Business owner used my address to register his business

Lately, I have been receiving many letters from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) and others mailed to my residential address.

I then found out that a business owner had registered a business entity with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) using my residential address.

I contacted Acra and found out that there are no existing mechanisms to check and authenticate the use of a residential address as the company address.

A business owner can freely and lawfully submit any address to register his business with Acra.

It is then up to the business owner's discretion to change, amend and remove the residential address from Acra records.

Until then, Iras and other creditors will continue to automate fines and administrative letters to my residential address.

I was also concerned to see my home address, including unit number, published on more than 10 websites linked to this business.

Most of the mirror sites had lifted Acra records and published my address.

Acra has since told me that it has convinced the business owner to amend its residential address.

However, the issue resolved is only the tip of the iceberg.

There is no resolution and mechanism to purge my residential address entirely from search engines, as this is not under Acra's purview.

The burden should not be on the home owner to prove to any creditors or the public that he is not affiliated with the business or business owner.

Because any residential address can be used without verification, the safety and privacy of residents with no affiliation to the business are compromised.

I am also worried that any irresponsible action by the business owners might eventually involve harassment, and lead creditors to my home.

I strongly urge the authorities to look into this issue and rectify it, to prevent other businesses from gaming the system at the expense of home owners.

More robust governance is required to ensure that the Acra-registered address and title deed belong to the business owner.

Tenants should also be required to seek permission from their landlords to use the residential address for business registration.

Long Meiyin

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