Companies Act, regulations to be reviewed to improve competitiveness and transparency: MOF

The Government will also review its own processes to reduce red tape.

07 Mar 2017

The Government will continually review its corporate regulations and processes to ensure that they remain robust, competitive, and business-friendly. Moving ahead, Singapore’s regulatory regime will adopt a more forward-looking approach to encourage innovation, and new business models that arise from technological disruptions.

Updating Singapore’s corporate regulations

To improve Singapore’s global economic competitiveness, the Companies Act will be amended to allow companies registered in another country to transfer their registration to Singapore. This will allow foreign-based companies to relocate to Singapore more easily to tap on its institutional strengths and ease of doing business.

The laws will also be amended to require companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) to maintain non-public registers that contain the details of their beneficial owners. This move aims to improve transparency, and combat money laundering and terrorism financing. At the same time, this will also strengthen Singapore’s position as a trusted international financial centre.

Cutting red tape

The Government will also improve its systems and processes and cut red tape to reduce the compliance and regulatory costs for doing business in Singapore.

To this end, the corporate tax-filing processes will also be improved this year.

The revenue threshold for simplified corporate income tax return will be increased to S$5 million from the current S$1 million, assisting an additional 28,000 companies.

The Trade Facilitation & Integrated Risk-based System (TradeFIRST), a trade facilitation assessment framework used by Singapore Customs, has also been enhanced. The criteria required by the system was reduced by about 50%, saving businesses about 14 man-hours of application time. The enhanced system was rolled out in January 2017.