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.