A company seal in Singapore is an office stationery or tool that is used by many Singapore companies. At first, it was more often used by law firms or corporations. However, it became the necessity for general companies as well over the years. A common seal is important because it serves as an official mark of a company and it is used as the signature of an organization. Usually, a common seal is used for releasing legal and official documents from one corporation.
A company may get their common seal after successfully registering and incorporating the business in Singapore. After the company is registered, it will earn a registration date. This date is to be included in the common seal.
The company seal itself can be obtained by making an order to a seal manufacturer. The manufacturer will make the seal based on the order. Commonly, a seal is two opposing metal plates affixed on a metal handle. It is an ink-free tool that works by embossing the company name and registration date that is engraved on the two plates onto papers.
From the 31st March of 2017 in Singapore, companies and limited liability partnerships no longer need a company seal for releasing legal documents. Now, companies only need the signature of a person of authority in the company or limited liability partnerships to execute documents from the company.
People who are recognized as ones who have authority in the company include the company directors and secretary, or two directors of the company or one director with the presence of a witness who can attest to the signing of the document.
For limited liability partnership type of business, people of authority include the two partners who own the LLP or one partner with the presence of a witness.
Now that the common seal is no longer an obligation, a question emerges: is a common seal still necessary for companies?
The answer is, it could be. Even though it is not a must, it holds many benefits that can put companies in advantage. There are also certain circumstances where it is still needed, for example for government documentation. A company seal is also still required by courier companies, telephone bills, utility, or another purpose of authorization.
Even though it is not required by the law, a company director has the authority to make a decision whether the company must use a seal or not. If the director decides that it is mandatory, then all execution of documents and authorization must use a common seal. But if not, then it is not necessary and documents can be authorized simply by the signature of the director.
At the end of the day, even though it is not obligatory, having a common seal still holds a lot of benefits. There is nothing wrong in putting in some money into making one for your company. There are certain events and occurrence where the company still needs it, so it’s always better to be prepared before it happens.