Reforms to The Singapore Companies Act
In October 2014 The Companies (Amendment) Bill was passed by Parliament, this amendment was the consequence of a comprehensive review of the Companies Act which began in 2007.
The amendment is being implemented in two stages, the first stage which was implemented in July 2015 and the second stage to be implemented in the first quarter of 2016.
Two of the main legislative changes that took place in July 2015 are;
- ‘Small Company’ exemption from audit. This applies to private companies that meet at least two of the three criteria being total annual revenue of less than $10m, total assets less than $10m and less than fifty total employees
- Auditors of public interest companies and their subsidiaries must obtain ACRA’s consent in order to resign prematurely
The second stage to be introduced in 2016 will mean reforms on the following;
- Merging of the memorandum and articles into a single document called the constitution
- Removal of the maximum age limit for directors
- Company directors must disclose conflicts of interest and shareholdings
- Debarment regimes
- New multiple proxies’ regime for indirect investors and CPF members
- Liberalising the electronic transmission of notices and documents
- Remove one-share-one-vote restriction for public companies
- Directors, Chief Executive Officers and secretaries will be allowed to report an alternative address instead of their residential address
Further details regarding the second phase are expected from ACRA in due course.
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