Sunday, 21 January 2018

Singapore Company Registrar - The Basics

As Singapore encourages foreign investment and has made incorporation of companies so attractive with low tax rates, they have also striven to make the registration process clear and straightforward. Much of the information about the role of the Singapore Company Registrar as performed by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority can be found at their website There you can find most of the documentation needed to set up an incorporated company in Singapore and all the functions of the Singapore Company Registrar. As well, you can find most of the legislation and regulation documents that will have to be adhered to when considering starting a business or relocating an already formed company to Singapore.

The Singapore Company Registrar is part of the legal and regulatory body that is responsible for the incorporation and regulation of companies in Singapore. Much of their regulatory responsibility can be found in the Business Regulation Act, Chapter 32. Below are some of the basic facts about the Registrar and the responsibility relating to business formation.

Authority: The Singapore Company Registrar is granted regulation by the Law Society of Singapore and the Registrar of the Supreme Court. This has been in turn been authorized by sections 4(1B) and 37 of the Business Registration Act by the Minister for Finance of Singapore. ACRA was formed as a statutory board on 1 April 2004 from the merge of the Registry of Companies and Business (RCB) and the Public Accountants' Board (PAB).

Scope: ACRA is the official and national regulator of business and such entities in Singapore. It also facilities business development and public accountancy (another one of its functions is the regulation of the public accountancy profession). It monitors the business ecosystem to ensure corporate compliance, disclosure requirements and statutory audits.

Functions: The administration of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority Act, Accountants Act, Business Regulation Act, Companies Act, Limited Liability Partnerships Act and the Limited Partnerships Act2008. All of these regulatory acts can be found at the ACRA website; the availability of these documents to the public falls under the Singapore Company Registrar's purview as well. ACRA reports to the Government of Singapore, as well as makes recommendations on the regulation of business and public accountants. If there are changes in the structure of business, compliance regulations, governance for corporate entities and legislation, it is the duty of the Singapore Company Registrar to facilitate the publication and understanding of these changes to the business ecosystem and the public in general. Finally, the Registrar represents the Government of Singapore internationally on matters of regulation and registration relating to business and public accountancy.

Board: The Singapore Company Registrar Board is comprised of respected and experienced business professionals, academics, members of private enterprise as well as public sectors employees.

Divisions: The Singapore Company Registrar or ACRA is made up of 12 departments or divisions that help carry out its operations, formulate policy and report to the government. They are;

1. Audit Division

2. Business Facilitation Division

3. Client Engagement and Communications Division

4. Enforcement Division

5. Finance Division

6. Financial Reporting Regulations Division

7. Governance Surveillance Division

8. Human Resource Division

9. Information Resource Division

10. Information Technology Strategy Division

11. Legal Services Division

12. Management Services Division

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