1. The Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is seeking comments on the consultation document “Review of the Registration and Regulatory Regime for Foreign Companies under the Companies Act (Cap. 50)”.
  2. As part of its continuous effort to review and refine its legislation to develop a responsive and trusted regulatory environment for businesses, ACRA is reviewing the registration and regulatory regime for foreign companies under the Companies Act (Cap. 50). A key objective for this review is to ensure that our legislation in this area is progressive and able to contribute to achieve a trusted and pro-enterprise business environment. In addition, our registration and regulatory regime for foreign companies should also be comparable to those in other major jurisdictions, in view of international trends and developments. Through this review, we also seek to look into the relevance of the provisions relating to foreign companies in the Companies Act to the current business environment.
  3. This consultation exercise invites views from all stakeholders and interested persons in the registration and regulatory regime for foreign companies under the Companies Act.

Scope of the Consultation Exercise

  1. Broadly, the consultation document invites comments on the following issues:

    • Definition of a foreign company;
    • Drivers to establishing a foreign company branch, as opposed to incorporating a subsidiary;
    • Simplifying the filing requirement for appointment of authorised agents;
    • Reducing the minimum number of authorised agents;
    • Requiring each foreign company to include its registration number in documents of its local operations;
    • Removing the need to display names and place of origin outside registered office and every place of business;
    • Requiring foreign companies to lodge similar components of their head office financial statements and other reports as locally incorporated companies;
    • Retaining requirement for foreign companies to lodge financial statements for Singapore operations;
    • Specifying liability and penalty for foreign companies that fail to lodge financial statements and other reports with ACRA;
    • Specifying liability and penalty for foreign companies whose financial statements do not comply with accounting standards;
    • Empowering the Registrar to issue class orders for exemptions from financial reporting requirements for qualifying foreign companies;
    • Cross registration system for foreign companies; and
    • Transfer of incorporation system for foreign companies.


  1. ACRA invites views on the specific questions posed in the document as well as views on any other matters relevant to the consultation exercise. To facilitate a mutually beneficial feedback process, ACRA would appreciate it if you could provide some background insights leading to your views and suggestions. In facilitating a productive and focused consultation process, respondents are encouraged to:

    • Indicate your name as well as the organisation you represent (if any);
    • Make a conscious attempt to phrase your comments in a clear and concise fashion; and
    • Focus on the specific consultation points set out in the document.

Period of Consultation

  1. The consultation document is available for public consultation till 15 January 2008.

Feedback Channel

  1. We would appreciate that you send us your comments via email to  acra_consultation@acra.gov.sg. Please indicate ‘Consultation on “Review of the Registration and Regulatory Regime of Foreign Companies under Companies Act”’ in the subject line.

Summary of Response

  1. We will publish a summary of the key comments we have received, together with our responses, when available. Depending on the situation, the summary may not disclose the identity of respondents, and will not separately address or acknowledge every comment.

Consultation Document

  1. For your convenience, the consultation document (PDF, 175KB) relating to this consultation exercise can be downloaded for further reference.
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