The Business Times, 19 May 2020

We refer to the article "Over 8500 business entities close shop in April highest in recent years" (The Business Times, 11 May 2020) which reported that the number of business entities that have closed in April 2020 more than doubled the number of cessations in March 2020, citing data from BizInsights.

The number of business entities that have ceased, i.e. de-registered from the business register, in April 2020 is 3,771, not 8,663 as reported. This is comparable to the business cessation number of 3,793 for March 2020 and 4,124 for April 2019.

Business entities go through a process to have their business e-registered. Depending on the complexity of the case, the de-registration process may take a few weeks to a few years. During the process, a business entity can also withdraw its application for de-registration. In the case of a company, the process also includes a 60-day period of public notice of the impending de-registration.

The statistics provided by BizInsights in the article included 4,892 business entities that were in the process of closing down - that is, they had not been de-registered from the business register. Among them were companies that were in liquidation or in the process of being struck off, and businesses that have yet to renew their registration. For some of these entities, the process of closing down started even before this year.

Hence, while the statistics cited gave an indication of business entities to be de-registered in the coming months, there was no spike in the April 2020 cessation number.

The number of business entities that has ceased in the Food and Beverage (F&B) sector and retail trade is 159 and 362 respectively, not 403 and 918 as reported. The numbers are comparable to the monthly average of 186 for the F&B sector, and 416 in the retail trade, in the first quarter of 2020.

ACRA’s data on formation and cessation of business entities are available at as well as

Kate Hia (Ms)

Head, Corporate Communications Department


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