Compliance for Social Enterprises

What defines a Social Enterprise in Singapore?

Social Enterprises (SE) in Singapore are run as business entities with clear social objectives. Their purpose is to achieve social impacts while generating financial returns for their own. Meanwhile, charitable organisations are non-profitable. Therefore, SEs are not to be mistaken as charitable organisations. 

Most SEs in Singapore are established as a society, cooperative, private limited company, or a company limited by guarantee. These entities provide business solutions to contribute to social causes. They complement the efforts put in by the government to bring positive changes to various aspects of society.

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Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act

All companies, including Social Enterprises, are obligated to comply with PDPA regulations. 

This includes appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO) who is required to come up with policies to ensure safe data collection methods and usage, and remain compliant with the laws. For more information on Data Protection, please visit our page here


Accounting, Tax and Financial Statements

Unlike Charities, Social Enterprises are not exempted from tax. Hence, we can tend to your taxation needs by:

  • Estimating Chargeable Income (ECI)
  • Preparing and submitting corporate tax 

Additionally, we are equipped to prepare your Financial Statements (Accounting & Bookkeeping) and oversee your HR/payroll requirements with reputable software which you have access to 24/7.

Check out our Accounting Package (S$135/month) here.

Application of raISE membership to be fully registered as a social enterprise

The Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, raiSE aims to raise awareness on social entrepreneurship and to support new SEs by providing advisory services, training, resources and mentorship. 

To be a full-fledged SE in Singapore, your company needs to be a member of raiSE – which requires an arduous process of filing and administrative work. 

Processes simplified- Forbis professionals are equipped and ever-ready to support your company’s journey to be a SE. 

Incorporation of a Social Enterprise

To set up a Social Enterprise in Singapore, the entity needs to be incorporated and registered with ACRA. On top of that, a qualified Corporate Secretary needs to be lodged with ACRA. These processes are made simple with Forbis’ Professional Corporate Secretary Plan, where we’ll keep you covered and take care of the bare necessities.

How do you know if you are a Social Enterprise?

1. Have the following characteristics

  • Generate the majority of revenue from the provision of goods & services
  • A clear business plan to achieve financial sustainability & profitability
  • Have clear social goals to address social needs & service gap
    (in an inclusive & non-discriminatory manner!)
  • Clear allocation of resources to fulfil social outcomes
  • Management or founder has a clear intention to make social goal(s) the core objective(s) of the business

2. Support Persons in need or at risk

  • Economical (e.g. low income, risk of poverty, social exclusion)
  • Mental (e.g. dementia, depression, anxiety disorders, addictive behaviours)
  • Social (e.g. social isolation and discrimination)
  • Physical (e.g. mobility issues, inability to perform daily activities)

3. Address a Social Need/Gap

  • Employment Opportunities
  • Education
  • Skill Development
  • Basic Living Needs
  • Economic Tools & Services
  • Health Care or Social Care Products & Services
  • Products & Services to Improve Mental Health & Well-being
  • Capacity Building for Organisations in the Social Sector
  • Solutions and Initiatives for Environmental Sustainability

(Information retrieved from

Grants for Social Enterprises

As Social Enterprises work hand in hand with the government, they are entitled to the following grants: 

  • Up to S$100,000 in seed grants under Venture For Good (VFG), by Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise(raiSE)
  • Up to S$20,000 grants for expansion to existing social enterprises as early-stage funding for pilot ideas
  • Up to S$300,000 for social enterprises that train and employ disadvantaged Singaporeans under the ComCare Enterprise Fund (CEF)
  • Up to S$300,000 to new cooperatives under Central Cooperatives Fund

*Only Social Enterprises registered in Singapore are entitled to these grants 


A Social Enterprise that cares

Forbis is a proud member of raiSE, therefore, we are extending a helping hand for both established and up-and-coming Social Enterprises. 

All Social Enterprises are entitled to a 10% discount on all our services. 

Chat with us today to discover what we can do for you.

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