Singapore Database of Company Controllers & Nominators Underway

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Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) has announced proposals for a central non-public register of controllers, first discussed back in 2017. Simultaneously, the company’s legislation will be revised to necessitate disclosure of the details of nominators of nominee shareholders.
New registers of controllers
Going forward, Reporting entities, registered in Singapore will be required to maintain and update their registers of controllers, currently kept at their registered offices or by their registered filing agent on their behalf, and provide this information to ACRA.

The entities the new legislation encompasses a broad range, including the following entities:

Local Singapore companies.
Foreign entities.
Limited liability partnerships (LLPs).
Since 2017, Singapore companies and LLPs have been required to maintain registers of controlling parties, as per Singapore’s Companies Act, which works alongside ACRA powers in order to maintain a sound central register of controllers of companies and foreign companies, once it has published a notification in the government’s official published aper.

Why are the registers beneficial & necessary?
ACRA says the registers are necessary for a number of points. Mainly because of:

The increasing complexity of money laundering arrangements involving corporate entities.
The requirement to keep pace with international efforts to enhance transparency of ownership and management of corporate entities.
To ensure beneficial ownership data is readily accessible for law enforcement agencies.
By mid-April 2020, it will begin notifying reporting entities and their registered filing agents that they must present the requisite information. The system should be fully operational by May 2020 later in Spring.

‘Nominee shareholder’ now definition
ACRA will also adopt a new definition of ‘nominee shareholder’ – a member of a company who legally holds shares in the company on behalf of another person. The personal details of this other party (the nominator) will have to be disclosed to ACRA.