Reed Smith Client Alerts

In a move widely seen as an attempt to further enhance Singapore’s status as a business-friendly destination, Parliament recently passed the Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017, ushering in a swathe of company law reforms. In this alert we take a look at the provisions in the Companies (Amendment) Act 2017 (the “Act”) and assess the extent to which they will achieve Parliament’s objectives.

Authors: Matthew Gorman

Singapore will see a shake-up of its company laws following the passing of the Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017 on 10 March 2017. The amendments set out in the Act (the Amendments) will take effect in a series of phases. The first phase in relation to: (i) transparency of ownership; (ii) control of business entities and LLPs; and (iii) the common seal, came into effect on 31 March 2017.

The Amendments will align Singapore’s company laws with international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. It is also hoped that the Amendments will reduce regulatory burdens and improve the ease of doing business in Singapore.

Substantial changes have also been made to Singapore’s debt-restructuring provisions. It is hoped that the new framework will lead to Singapore being increasingly seen as an international centre for debt restructuring and will also facilitate corporate rescues.