Singapore – Important Legislative Updates From Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (“ACRA”)

The ACRA (Registry and Regulatory Enhancements) Bill, the Corporate Service Providers (CSP) Bill, and the Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (Miscellaneous Amendments) (CLLPMA) Bill were passed by Parliament on 2 July 2024 as part of the Ministry of Finance’s (MOF) and ACRA’s regular review of legislation administered by ACRA.

The ACRA (Registry and Regulatory Enhancements) Bill represents our ongoing efforts to update legislation administered by ACRA, with the aim of digitalising and enhancing Singapore’s corporate regulatory framework.

The CSP Bill will strengthen the regulatory regime for the CSP sector, while the CLLPMA Bill will enhance the transparency of beneficial ownership of companies and LLPs.

These Bills aim to ensure that Singapore’s regime for the CSP sector and beneficial ownership aligns with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).


ACRA (Registry and Regulatory Enhancements) Bill

The amendments aim to:

  1. Strike a balance between corporate transparency and data protection;
  2. Facilitate digital communications with businesses and other stakeholders by allowing statutory correspondences and notices (other than summons) to be sent to and accessed via a digital mailbox;
  3. Improve filing convenience and data accuracy by empowering the Registrar to use information from prescribed public agencies to keep ACRA’s registers up to date;
  4. Enhance the accuracy of the registers of directors by empowering the Registrar to reflect the disqualification status of individuals for all types of disqualifications under the Companies Act (CA); and
  5. Streamline the financial reporting requirements for foreign companies registered under the CA.

The Bill makes amendments to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority Act 2004, the Accountants Act 2004, the Business Names Registration Act 2014, the Companies Act 1967, the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018, the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2005, the Limited Partnerships Act 2008 and the Variable Capital Companies Act 2018.


Corporate Service Providers Bill and Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill

The legislative amendments introduce the following key changes:

  1. Require all business entities carrying on a business of providing corporate services in and from Singapore to register with ACRA as registered CSPs;
  2. Require all registered CSPs to comply with obligations, including those on anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (AML/ CFT/ PF obligations);
  3. Introduce fines for breaches of AML/ CFT/ PF obligations by registered CSPs and their senior management;
  4. Prohibit persons from acting as nominee directors by way of business unless the appointments are arranged by registered CSPs and they have been assessed as fit and proper by the registered CSPs;
  5. Require nominee directors’ and nominee shareholders’ nominee status and the identities of their nominators to be disclosed to ACRA; and
  6. Increase fines pertaining to the register of registrable controllers, register of nominee directors and register of nominee shareholders.

More details on the transition plans for legislative changes relating to contact address and digital communications, including the fee waiver for filing of alternate addresses, will be made known by early August 2024.

Learn more about the changes in the Bills here: