On 8 September 2014, the Business Names Registration Bill 2014 (the “Bill”) was introduced in Parliament. The Bill seeks to repeal the Business Registration Act and re-enact it with amendments as the Business Names Registration Act 2014.
The provisions of the Bill will simplify the process for the registration of persons and their business names, and reduce regulatory burden on business owners. The change of name from “Business Registration Act” to “Business Names Registration Act” is intended to better reflect the objective of the Act.
The Bill provides for the following:
- Requiring a person carrying on business in Singapore to be registered in respect of each business name under which the person carries on business;
- Exempting registration when individuals and firms of individuals carry on business solely under their full names;
- Preventing the disclosure by the Registrar of Business Names (the “Registrar”) of a registered person’s residential address if an alternate address has been maintained with the Registrar except in certain circumstances; and
- Providing for better and more effective administration of the system of registering persons and their business names.
From 2 June 2014 to 18 June 2014, the Ministry of Finance (the “MOF”) and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (the “ACRA”) conducted a public consultation on a draft version of the Bill.
On 5 September 2014, the MOF and ACRA issued their summary of responses to the feedback received on the draft Bill. According to the MOF and ACRA, feedback on the amendments has been generally positive, with most of the comments focused on the implementation of the proposed amendments.