Singapore implements a Central Register of Controllers
All companies, foreign companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) in Singapore, unless specifically exempted, are now required to lodge the information that they currently maintain in their Register of Registrable Controllers (RORC) with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
Since March 2017, Singapore entities have been required to keep a RORC either in their registered office address or at the office of their authorised filing agent. Registrable controllers are also commonly known as the beneficial owners of the entities. The information maintained in the RORC includes the names and identifying details of their controllers, as well as information on their citizenship or places of registration in the case of legal entities.
With effect from 30 July 2020, in addition to keeping a RORC privately, entities will have to lodge the same information in their RORC with ACRA’s central register within 30 days. However, in view of the Covid-19 disruptions and to assist business entities to ease into the resumption of normal business activities, ACRA will allow entities to file their RORC information by 29 September 2020.
There is no penalty for late submission but entities that are found to have failed to lodge RORC information with ACRA within the required deadline may face enforcement action and a fine of up to SGD5,000 upon conviction.
Clients should be aware that, going forward, any update to the controllers’ information in their RORC must also be lodged with the ACRA central RORC within two business days of the change being made.
The ACRA central RORC is intended to further enhance the transparency of ownership and control of corporate entities in line with international standards. Information in the ACRA central RORC will only be made available to law enforcement agencies for the purpose of administering or enforcing the law – for example in investigating money laundering offences. Members of the public will not have access to the information in the ACRA central RORC.