Introduction

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (“ACRA”) has announced that the second phase of legislative amendments to the Companies Act (“CA”) will be implemented on 3 January 2016.

The first phase of implementation, which saw about 40% of the over 200 amendments come into effect, took place on 1 July 2015. Our April 2015 Update on the first phase of implementation can be accessed here.

The Second Phase: 3 January 2016

A list of the key Companies Act amendments that will come into effect in the second phase on 3 January 2016 can be found at Annex A.

New Business Names Registration Act

The new Business Names Registration Act (“BNRA”) will also come into effect on 3 January 2016. The BNRA repeals and re-enacts the Business Registration Act.

The provisions of the BNRA will simplify the process for the registration of persons and their business names, and reduce regulatory burden on business owners.

The list of key legislative provisions of the BNRA can be found at Annex B.

Launch of enhanced Bizfile

In tandem with the above, ACRA will also launch the enhanced Bizfile on 3 January 2016. The enhanced regulatory fee structure for Bizfile transactions, which was first announced in October 2014, will also take effect on 3 January 2016.

New features of the enhanced Bizfile include customised dashboards for each user, streamlined processes and mobile options to perform some transactions on the go. Some of these features were the result of feedback from stakeholders including corporate service providers and business owners.

Under the enhanced regulatory fee structure, some businesses can expect a slight increase in their annual fees while over a hundred ad hoc transactions previously charged under a pay-per-use model, will be made free of charge.

More information on the enhanced regulatory fee structure can be found here.

System Migration for Bizfile

In preparation for the launch of the enhanced Bizfile, ACRA has informed that the current Bizfile will undergo system migration from 26 December 2015 to 2 January 2016. During this period, all services on Bizfile and BizFinx portals will not be available.

All Bizfile-related transactions should therefore be completed by 25 December 2015, 2330 hours. This includes seeking the necessary endorsement from business partners and making payments, if required.

Any incomplete transactions may require re-application when the revamped Bizfile launches on 3 January 2016. A few transactions, including purchase of business information from the ACRA iShop, will not be available from 22 December 2015.

More details on Bizfile’s system migration can be found here.

Click here to view the table.