Guide to Bankruptcy, Insolvency Searches in Singapore

Guide to Bankruptcy, Insolvency Searches in Singapore

Bankruptcy is an unavoidable experience for some of us. Unfortunately, it will hinder you when making important career, business, or financial decisions, especially if someone conducts a bankruptcy search and discovers your financial mishap.

But if you’re on the other side of the table and will be the one hiring, lending, investing, or even job hunting, bankruptcy searches will help you decide more wisely. 

In Singapore, a bankruptcy search will tell you an individual’s bankruptcy status, while a corporate insolvency search will inform you of an organisation’s liquidation status. Both can help you make a smarter financial decision. 

What Is Bankruptcy or Corporate Insolvency Search in Singapore?

Bankruptcy search

A bankruptcy search will tell you the bankruptcy status of an individual in Singapore. A bankrupt individual has failed to repay at least $15,000 in debts and declared so by the High Court.

Corporate insolvency search

On the other hand, a corporate insolvency search examines the liquidation status of a company, which has been compelled by a court to wind up. Insolvency is a status assigned to companies if they are no longer able to meet their financial obligations to creditors.

Who can perform the search? 

Anyone can perform a bankruptcy or corporate insolvency search in Singapore. The individual or company that is the subject of the enquiry may do so. But if you’re a current or potential employer, creditor, investor, or job applicant, you can also easily search the bankruptcy or liquidation status of individuals or companies in Singapore for a small fee.

 

Why Conduct a Bankruptcy or Corporate Insolvency Search?

In any commercial transaction, individuals and companies want to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks they get out of it. We are fortunate that we can easily gain more financial insight by conducting a bankruptcy or corporate insolvency search on our potential employees, employers, or clients in Singapore. This will help us make more informed decisions and bargain better.

For employers:

Employers may want to conduct a bankruptcy search on prospective employees to determine their suitability for a position. For example, an individual currently dealing with bankruptcy says a lot about who they are regarding their decision-making or financial skills. Furthermore, a bankrupt person cannot become a director or be involved in managing a company without permission from the High Court.

For creditors:

It would be practical for a potential creditor to conduct a bankruptcy or corporate insolvency search on an individual or company to ensure a full return of the loan amount and interests. Creditors will obviously prefer lending money to a person who has a greater capacity to repay a loan than a bankrupt person who must prioritise his existing creditors.

For investors:

Investors would typically perform a corporate insolvency search to check whether a company has been served a winding up order.

When a company is winding up, its assets are seized and liquidated to satisfy its liabilities. There would be little to no benefit for an investor to inject funds into a company where there would be no certainty of a return on investment.

For job applicants:

Individuals who wish to apply for a job with a company may want to conduct a corporate insolvency search and look into its winding up status. Since its assets are being liquidated to meet its obligations, a company winding up cannot guarantee an employee the certainty of receiving consistent and sufficient salaries and even career growth.

How to Conduct a Bankruptcy or Corporate Insolvency Search?

If you want to conduct a bankruptcy or insolvency search on an individual or organisation in Singapore, you can perform the search online through the Ministry of Law – Insolvency Office’s e-services.

On the other hand, if you’re searching on behalf of your organisation, which has been granted partner access to the Ministry of Law’s search facilities, you may also search using the Creditor’s Portal.

You need to input the following information to execute the bankruptcy or corporate insolvency search:

  • Bankruptcy search: identification or bankruptcy number of the individual concerned
  • Corporate insolvency search: Unique Entity Number (UEN) or winding up reference number of the organisation

After providing the relevant information, the service will yield results which correspond to the search criteria.

You have to pay $6 for each result you want to view. This fee applies regardless of whether you’ve conducted a bankruptcy or insolvency search and whether the result is positive or not.

You may course your payment through the following channels:

  • Visa (debit/credit)
  • Mastercard (debit/credit)
  • eNETS Direct Debit

How Long Are the Search Results Kept?

If you want to investigate individuals, expect a negative result on your search results if the bankruptcy order has been discharged or annulled for more than five years. 

However, some individuals are permanently on record if they have been discharged but failed to pay their target contributions after seven years (for first-timers) or nine years (for repeat bankrupts).

On the other hand, companies in Singapore will always have their insolvency records accessible to the general public.

What Happens After the Search?

After conducting the search, key decision-makers will use the results to reconsider their initial terms or change their position completely. These are the probable courses of action if a negative result is produced:

Employers

If a job applicant is bankrupt, an employer may reconsider whether it wants to hire the individual or not. On the other hand, employers may limit the responsibilities of existing employees who have been declared bankrupt. They also need permission from the High Court before promoting them to a managerial position or directorship in the organisation.

Creditors

Creditors, whether banks, moneylenders, or other institutions, may refuse to offer their services to a potential client that is bankrupt or insolvent. They may still give a chance but offer lower loan amounts, higher interest rates, or other terms to protect their interests.

Investors

If an investor discovers that the company it is dealing with has been insolvent, it may reconsider its position and ultimately ask whether it would still be a good investment or not. Unfortunately, even if a company has long regained its capacity to satisfy its financial obligations, its insolvency is permanently on record.

Closing

Bankruptcy is a huge restriction on life. It’s a huge dent on your credit history and will make borrowing money more challenging. Even after you’ve fully recovered, lenders, especially banks, would think twice if they want to extend credit.

Fortunately, licensed moneylenders in Singapore focus primarily on your current ability to pay a loan. A bankruptcy record can be unpleasant, but you can definitely negotiate and still get help.With Instant Loan, we can match you with licensed moneylenders in Singapore that would suit your financial position and needs. Fill up our form and get up to three personalised loan quotes for free! We guarantee you’ll find the best offer and the right loan for you.

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